Last week, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz discussed the extraordinary ratings of Iowa’s women’s Elite Eight victory. Well, guess what? Oops, they did it again.
. Record-breaking #NationalChampionship thriller between @LSUwbkb & @IowaWBB makes TV history:— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) April 3, 2023
Most-viewed #NCAAWBB game on record
Up 103% YOY
Peaked at 12.6M
Most-viewed college event ever on @ESPNPlus pic.twitter.com/UZLVNuP3Sf
Wow. Just wow.
Dan notes that these numbers are bigger than the Emmys, the Golden Globes, 11 of the 15 nights of the last Olympics, as big as the NFL Draft, bigger than any Thursday Night Football Game, bigger than the 2021 NBA Finals. Dan points out how far we have come from just a few years ago when the women’s tournament had to fight to get real weight rooms for its players.
Mike Schur said this all shows Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark and even perhaps Kim Mulkey were the biggest stars of March Madness — men’s or women’s. They were who people were talking about. Mike also points out that next year Clark will be back at Iowa, UConn will get back Paige Bueckers (missed the whole season) and Azzi Fudd (missed most of the season) and South Carolina will surely be back atop the polls once again. So there’s going to be a bunch of great storylines next year as well (all the more reason for the NCAA to separate the women’s NCAA Tournament TV rights from other rights). Mike pointed out that when there are stars, people care and it doesn’t matter what the sport is, and this year the women’s tournament had better storylines and narratives that were better than any of those in the men’s tournaments. Hence, the women’s tournament having better ratings — it’s not rocket science, as Mike points out.
Stugotz wonders if perhaps the audience has always been there but they just needed a platform, like being on a broadcast network like ABC. Mike says yes but they also needed parody. For instance, the powerhouse UConn women have not one a title since 2016 and Mike says the days of Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird dominating are over, even though UConn remains reliably excellent every season. Mike says the problem with UConn’s golden era, at least as far as the sport was concerned, was that no one was challenging them. He says you need the dynasty but then you have to see the dynasty get knocked off. For instance, 10 years ago, he says, Caitlin Clark had two choices when it came to schools — UConn or Tennessee. That’s no longer the case thanks to parity and that make the storylines in women’s college basketball much better.
Greg Cote notes that he was at the airport in Houston during the women’s National Championship game and was stunned by the crowds surrounding the TVs with the game on. He wondered if this is sustainable and the beginning of true equity in college basketball or an outlier because people weren’t as invested in the Men’s Final Four. Mike said it’s sustainable, depending on the players and the personalities. It’s not more complicated than that. Mike says it’s year to year, team to team, story to story. If it’s exciting — men or women— people get swept up in it.
Meanwhile, Mike also brought along his Stat of the Day ...
“We invented the rubber band and the hamburger…and we have achieved college basketball dominance…16 national Championships since 1995!”— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) April 4, 2023
Stat of The Day
Presented by @KenTremendous
Sponsored by @Venmo ✅
Your money, your move
Check out the breakdown of Tuesday’s show below.
Local Hour: Our Move, Brought To You By Miller Lite
- We welcome Mike Ryan back to the show as he returns from Hollywood with info on Lionel Messi, and Stugotz declares UConn a dynasty after their National Title win. Then, we have an emotional week around these parts as the show prepares to move away from The Clevelander to a new studio, so it’s time to do some reminiscing…and it’s ALL brought to you by Miller Lite.
The Big Suey: A Trip Around The Moon
- We dive into the deal between UFC and WWE and how Vince McMahon and Dana White are another example of white men persisting through the face of shame. Then, astronaut Victor Glover joins us to preview his trip around the moon with Artemis II. Plus, some great Vince McMahon looks like submissions, Mike watching UM basketball from WrestleMania, and Greg Cote’s infamous FAU owl picture.
Hour 1: The Gall Dang Connecticut Huskies
- Philip Bump of The Washington Post joins us to discuss the details of today’s indictment of Donald Trump and what it means for the future of Trump and the country. Stats intern Mike Schur is here to brag about his Huskies of the Nutmeg State. Plus, Greg has his latest Back in My Day and it’s full of controversy.
Hour 2: Dan’s Tube Dream
- Dan tells us about a video of a snowboarder finding another person buried beneath the snow which leads us to dissecting his recurring dream of being stuck in a tube. Then, the extremely Latin Jeremy Tache has too many jobs, Vince McMahon’s real life version of Succession, Jim Nantz is relentlessly competent, and Greg has an issue with the modern day Bat Boy. Plus, Dan is furious with the amount of people working for the company who want to be on camera, JJ Watt expresses gratitude, and Greg’s headed to France.
Postgame Show: And The Stripes Were All There
- The crew breaks down Adam Wainwright’s National Anthem performance on Opening Day.
Watch more below!
Check out the Le Batard and Friends YouTube page for more and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the show on Twitter @LeBatardShow.
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