In TV Ratings for NCAA Finals, an Upset

Women outdraw the men on TV
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2024 2:00 AM CDT
Two Remarkable Stats From the NCAA Finals
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark stands on the court during the second half of the championship game against South Carolina Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Two stats from the NCAA finals tell an interesting story about the state of men's and women's college basketball. More:

  • Women win: For the first time ever, the women's championship game outdrew the men's game in TV viewers, per the Hollywood Reporter. The women's contest on Sunday between Iowa and South Carolina drew 18.9 million viewers, while the men's game between Connecticut and Purdue on Monday drew 14.8 million.
  • Women lose: The men's tournament pulled in $873 million for the TV rights, while the women got only $6.5 million, reports the Wall Street Journal. As the newspaper notes, the "wide discrepancy raises the question of whether college athletics officials have failed to capitalize on a surge in popularity in the women's game." (Iowa's Caitlin Clark is a big reason for that surge.)

  • Notable: This year's men's final, which aired on TBS, drew the second-lowest total ever, though it was up a bit from last year's worst-ever mark of 14.7 million, per USA Today. The women's game, which aired on CBS, nearly doubled last year's viewership and nearly quadrupled the mark from two years ago.
(More NCAA basketball stories.)

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