Iowa-UConn women’s Final Four semifinal most-watched hoops game in ESPN history; 14.2M avg. viewers

Apr 7, 2024, 1:07 PM | Updated: 1:11 pm

Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes dribbles around Paige Bueckers #5 of the UConn Huskies in th...

Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes dribbles around Paige Bueckers #5 of the UConn Huskies in the second half during the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on April 05, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Steph Chambers, Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers, Getty Images)

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Iowa’s 71-69 victory over UConn at the women’s Final Four on Friday night averaged 14.2 million viewers on ESPN, making it the most-viewed women’s basketball game on record and the largest audience for an ESPN basketball broadcast.

The previous women’s hoops mark was 12.3 million for last Monday’s Iowa-LSU game in the Elite Eight. Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference finals between Cleveland and Boston was ESPN’s most-watched basketball game at 13.51 million.

That also makes it one of the most-viewed games in any sport other than college football and the NFL over the past couple years. Last year’s NCAA men’s title game between San Diego State and UConn averaged 14.79 million.

The Hawkeyes game, which saw the audience peak at 17 million, will likely go down as one of the top 50 primetime telecasts of 2024. It would have finished 32nd on last year’s list.

It is also ESPN’s second-highest audience for a non-football broadcast. The United States-Portugal match during group play in the 2014 men’s World Cup averaged 18.22 million.

The last NBA game to draw at least 14 million was Golden State’s title-clinching victory over Boston in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals (14.22 million).

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

South Carolina’s 78-59 victory over North Carolina State averaged 7.1 million viewers, making it the third most-watched women’s national semifinal since records started being kept in 1992.

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

Friday’s two games averaged 10.8 million viewers, a 138% increase over last year.

KSL 5 TV Live

College Sports

Security footage of the 18-year-old allegedly yelling racial profanities from a car while passing t...

Lindsay Aerts

‘His intent was to be funny’ Idaho prosecutor says in decision not to charge in U of U Women’s Basketball case

The Coeur D'Alene City Deputy Attorney said the 18-year-old accused of yelling racial slurs at the University of Utah Women's basketball team never meant any physical harm over his comments.

18 days ago

Head coach Lynne Roberts of the Utah Utes....

Josh Furlong,

Prosecutors won’t charge man who yelled racial epithets at Utah basketball team

Coeur d'Alene prosecutors have declined to charge an 18-year-old high school student who confessed to yelling racial epithets at the University of Utah women's basketball team.

20 days ago


Mitch Harper

BYU Set To Hire Phoenix Suns Assistant Kevin Young As Head Coach

BYU hires Phoenix Suns Associate Head Coach Kevin Young as its next head coach.

1 month ago

The man who witnessed the alleged racist insults that were directed towards the University of Utah ...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Body camera footage released from report of racist attacks against U of U team in Idaho

New body cam video is giving insight into alleged racist harassment that targeted U of U basketball players while in Idaho for an NCAA tournament.

2 months ago

Head coach Lynne Roberts of the Utah Utes....

Michelle Bodkin and Madison Miller, KSL Sports

Coeur d’Alene officials express regret, sorrow after U of U WBB experienced ‘racial hate crimes’

On Tuesday morning, city officials held a news conference to offer apologies to the University of Utah women’s basketball team and provide updates on the investigation.

2 months ago


Mitch Harper

No. 6 Seed BYU Falls To Physical No. 11 Duquesne In NCAA First Round

BYU basketball fell to Duquesne in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Iowa-UConn women’s Final Four semifinal most-watched hoops game in ESPN history; 14.2M avg. viewers