Viewers Prefer Women’s NCAA Title Game Over Men’s Championship For The First Time Ever

Viewers Prefer Women's NCAA Title Game Over Men's Championship For The First Time Ever

Most audiences during March Madness also tuned in before and after Iowa’s games.

UConn’s 80-73 win over Southern California in the Elite Eight on April 1, which tipped off after the Iowa game, averaged 6.7 million. During the Sweet 16 on March 30, LSU’s victory over UCLA, which preceded the Iowa game, averaged 3.8 million.

The championship game’s return to network television has also benefited the women’s game. UConn’s victory over Tennessee in 1995 averaged 7.44 million on CBS. Despite ESPN’s work growing the tournament since it acquired the rights in 1996, the closest the network got to that number for the final was in 2002, when 5.68 million watched UConn beat Oklahoma.

“I think our game has been good for a long time and I think people have just missed the boat. Now we’ve finally had the exposure, and people have understood, ‘Wow, I haven’t watched women’s basketball for a long time, I’ve missed something.’ I don’t think they’re going to want to miss anymore,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said during the Final Four. “Caitlin has certainly been a tremendous star for our game, but there are so many stars in our game. So we’re just going to latch onto that next one next year.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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