The NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship has brought a lot of attention because of the controversy that centered around the racist treatment of Louisiana State University player Angel Reese after she mimicked a move that University of Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, a white player did. But, what was lost in the championship win for LSU is that it was the most watched NCAA Women’s Final ever.
ESPN has reported that Sunday’s game shattered a viewership record by the time the numbers came in.
The number of people who tuned in to witness Louisiana State University beat the University of Iowa was a record-breaking 9.9 million. The game was watched by viewers on ABC and ESPN2, according to fast national numbers by Nielsen. Those numbers eclipsed the number of viewers from last year’s contest by a total of 103%.
In last year’s NCAA Women’s Championship game, there was an average of 4.85 million people who viewed the University of South Carolina defeating the University of Connecticut on ESPN and ESPN2. At Sunday’s peak, the number of viewers was 12.6 million.
It was the most viewed college event ever on ESPN Plus.
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) April 3, 2023
The title won by LSU was the university’s first national title in women’s basketball. This game was also the first one on network television since 1995 when UConn defeated Tennessee. That game averaged 7.4 million when it appeared on CBS.
Although most viewers agreed that it was a well-played game, it was mired in controversy.
Louisiana State University beat the University of Iowa at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The win sparked debate online following LSU’s Angel Reese, a Black player, repeating a taunt from Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, a white player, in previous games. While Clark was celebrated for the move, Reese was chastised amid calls of unsportsmanlike conduct on the way to a championship victory.
LSU’s Victory Over Iowa Was Watched By A Record 9.9 Million in History-Making NCAA Women’s Basketball Final