Iowa again earned record ratings in a Final Four win over UConn

BRISTOL, Conn. — Iowa's 71-69 victory over UConn in Friday night's women's Final Four averaged 14.2 million viewers on ESPN, the most-watched women's basketball game on record and the largest audience for an ESPN basketball telecast.

Previous women's hoops for last Monday's Iowa-LSU game in the Elite Eight was 12.3 million. Game 7 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals between Cleveland and Boston was ESPN's most-watched basketball game at 13.51 million.

The Iowa-UConn matchup was one of the most-watched games of any sport other than college football and the NFL in the past two years. Last year's NCAA men's basketball title game between San Diego State and UConn averaged 14.79 million.

The Hawkeyes game, which saw a peak audience of 17 million, will go down as one of the top 50 primetime telecasts of 2024. It would have ranked 32nd in last year's list.

It was ESPN's second-highest viewership for a non-soccer broadcast. The USA-Portugal match during group play at the 2014 Men's Soccer World Cup averaged 18.22 million.

Golden State's title win over Boston in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals (14.22 million) was the last NBA game to draw at least 14 million viewers.

Clark's five March Madness games on ESPN and ABC averaged 8.3 million viewers. Iowa will face South Carolina for the national championship Sunday afternoon on ABC.

South Carolina's 78-59 win over NC State averaged 7.1 million viewers, the third-most watched women's national semifinal since records began being kept in 1992.

The previous record for most-watched semifinal was Stanford vs. Virginia on CBS in 1992 (8.1 million).

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Both games on Friday averaged 10.8 million viewers, up 138% from last year.

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