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The NCAA women’s basketball final outrated the men’s for the first time ever



The NCAA women’s basketball final outrated the men’s for the first time ever
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

New York

For the primary time in its 42-year historical past, extra individuals watched the ladies’s NCAA basketball last than the boys’s.

The whole variety of viewers for Sunday’s ladies’s nationwide championship recreation between South Carolina and Iowa was 18.9 million, peaking at 24.1 million within the recreation’s last quarter-hour, in accordance with Nielsen. It was the most-watched ladies’s school basketball recreation ever and doubled the earlier 12 months’s 9.9 million viewers.

On Monday, the College of Connecticut’s victory over Purdue within the males’s last drew 14.8 million viewers, Nielsen stated. That was up a smidge from the 14.7 million who watched final 12 months’s males’s championship recreation, however fell 4 million viewers in need of the ladies’s last.

The most important purpose why the ladies outrated the boys this 12 months: Iowa sensation Caitlin Clark, who scored 30 factors within the Hawkeyes’ 87-75 defeat by the undefeated Gamecocks.

Clark captivated followers all 12 months, setting data on the court docket and driving the ladies’s recreation to viewership data all through the common season and the March Insanity event. Clark completed the 2023-2024 season as the very best scoring collegiate basketball participant in historical past, outpacing Louisiana State sensation (and future NBA legend and Corridor of Famer) Pete Maravich, who had set the earlier file in 1970.

Clark had been taking part in with a chip on her shoulder all season after her Hawkeyes misplaced within the finals the earlier 12 months to LSU — a workforce she and Iowa vanquished earlier within the event. She is broadly anticipated to be the highest choose within the WNBA draft subsequent week.

To place the ladies’s championship recreation viewership in perspective, it outrated each 2023 World Collection recreation and each NBA finals recreation from final 12 months, in accordance with Nielsen.

The success of this 12 months’s event led to many scorching takes in sports activities media about ladies’s sports activities lastly reaching equal standing with males’s. However Clark’s exit from the faculty recreation and certain rookie season on the dreadful Indiana Fever — which has the primary choose within the WNBA draft — will put these theories to the check later this 12 months.

The WNBA stays financially miniscule, bringing in a reported $200 million in income — in comparison with the NBA’s greater than $10 billion. ESPN’s SportsCenter offered 91 seconds of protection for the common WNBA recreation, in comparison with 266 seconds for the common NBA recreation, in accordance with Nielsen. The WNBA Finals final 12 months averaged simply 728,000 viewers a recreation.

Nonetheless, the league is rising, and a celeb with nationwide title recognition and star energy might work to vary the WNBA’s fortunes. Thus far, even earlier than Clark has been drafted, the excitement is boosting ticket gross sales.

Ticket reseller TickPick stated WNBA ticket gross sales for subsequent season are up 222% from this level final 12 months, and Fever tickets have already outpaced final 12 months’s whole by 86%. And Fever house video games are setting again followers $81 a ticket — up from simply $45 for final season.

Away video games received’t get you any assist — a chance to observe Caitlin Clark play in a rival metropolis prices $108 on common, TickPick stated, up 151% from final 12 months’s $43 common ticket worth to observe the Fever play an away recreation.

Oh, yeah, and within the males’s school basketball last Monday, the Huskies received their second-straight championship, beating the Boilermakers, who had been of their first last since 1969. No matter.