College Sports

LSU-Iowa national championship the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history

The game averaged 9.9 million viewers, doubling last year's title contest which averaged 4.9 million.

LSU celebrates winning the National Championship.
The LSU women's basketball team celebrated after defeating Iowa for the national championship.

Louisiana State’s victory over Iowa in Sunday’s national championship on ABC and ESPN2 was the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history.

The matchup, featuring first-team All-America selections Angel Reese (LSU) and Caitlin Clark (Iowa), averaged 9.9 million viewers on the two networks, peaking at 12.6 million, per Nielsen Media Research. LSU won, 102-85.

Viewership was up 103 percent over last year’s championship game, South Carolina’s 64-49 win over UConn, which averaged 4.9 million viewers.

ESPN has had exclusive rights to the tournament since 1996. The previously highest-rated final in that span was a 2002 matchup between UConn and Oklahoma, which averaged 5.7 million viewers.


This is the first year the final aired on ABC, which like ESPN is owned primarily by the Walt Disney Company.


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