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LSU-Iowa national championship game sets ratings record for women’s college basketball

Just under 10 million viewers tuned in to watch the LSU-Iowa title fight.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four National Championship-Louisiana State vs Iowa Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s national championship game between LSU and Iowa on ABC was the most watched women’s college basketball game in history.

ESPN announced on Monday that the title showdown between the two powerhouses drew in 9.9 million viewers, record for a women’s game. Viewership peaked at 12.6 million at one point during the contest and according to the network, it was also the most watched college event ever for ESPN+.

This was the first year the title game was broadcasted on ABC and it paid dividends with the tip scheduled for mid-afternoon. ESPN was the exclusive broadcaster of the women’s tournament once again and this year’s tourney overall was the most watched in history. The title game itself brought much interest with dynamic Iowa guard Caitlin Clark going up against a dominant LSU team led by Angel Reese. Viewers witnessed a ref show in the 102-85 Tigers victory and Reese’s taunting of Clark as the game closed triggered a national conversation that carried over well in Monday.

Currently, the women’s tournament has been part of a larger media rights package of 20 NCAA championships that will expire in 2024. Advocates like South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley have argued for the women’s tournament to get its own separate deal and numbers like these will fuel that agurment.