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Volume 26 No. 22
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Audience Analysis: ESPN Sees Uptick For Women's NCAA Championship

ESPN drew 3.7 million viewers for Baylor’s win over Notre Dame in the NCAA women’s basketball national championship game on Sunday night, up 3% from Notre Dame-Mississippi State last year. Two years ago, ESPN drew 3.8 million for South Carolina-Mississippi State. The last time Baylor was in the title game -- also against Notre Dame in ’12 -- ESPN drew 4.2 million viewers on a Tuesday night. The women’s title game moved to the Sunday night before the men’s championship starting in ’17. Sunday night’s telecast peaked at 5.6 million viewers from 8:00-8:15pm ET in the game’s final minutes. The three games as part of the Final Four averaged 2.5 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2, up slightly from last year.

NCAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TREND ON ESPN
YEAR
NIGHT
MATCHUP
VIEWERS (000)
'19
Sun.
Baylor-Notre Dame
3,689
'18
Sun.
Notre Dame-Mississippi State
3,536
'17
Sun.
South Carolina-Mississippi State
3,827
'16
Tues.
UConn-Syracuse
2,972
'15
Tues.
UConn-Notre Dame
3,081
'14
Tues.
UConn-Notre Dame
4,270
'13
Tues.
UConn-Louisville
3,206
'12
Tues.
Baylor-Notre Dame
4,244
'11
Tues.
Texas A&M-Notre Dame
3,831
'10
Tues.
UConn-Stanford
3,531
Download the
NCAA Womens Hoops Title Game Trend

TEEING IT UP: NBC on Sunday drew 2.7 million viewers for the final round of the PGA Tour Valero Texas Open, which saw Corey Conners win the event. Last year, the final round in late April drew 2.3 million viewers on CBS. Saturday’s third round drew 1.7 million viewers on NBC. That telecast had a lead-in from the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, which drew 1.2 million viewers, marking the best amateur golf event on TV in 14 years. Meanwhile, the first LPGA major of the season, the ANA Inspiration, drew only 194,000 viewers for the final round on Sunday, which saw Ko Jin-young win by three strokes. That is off sharply from last year’s Sunday telecast, which drew 437,000 viewers. Last year’s ANA Inspiration, which saw Pernilla Lindberg win in a playoff, also finished on a Monday due to darkness.

NOTES: Fox drew 470,000 viewers for Dortmund-Bayern Munich on Saturday afternoon, up 33% compared to the comparable Bundesliga match last year. The match also topped an MLS match airing right after it, as LAFC-DC United drew only 341,000 viewers.

The chart below lists final audience figures from select recent sports telecasts.

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RATING
VIEWERS
(000)
NCAA Tournament: Semifinal:
Texas Tech-Michigan State
4/6
CBS
8:48-11:13pm
9.1
15,840
NCAA Tournament: Semifinal: Virginia-Auburn
4/6
CBS
5:56-8:20pm
7.6
12,967
NCAA Women's Basketball Championship:
Baylor-Notre Dame
4/7
ESPN
6:15-8:23pm
2.1
3,689
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
Food City 500 (Bristol)
4/7
FS1
1:46-5:11pm
1.7
2,806
PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open: Final Round
4/7
NBC
2:30-7:45pm
1.8
2,728
NCAA Women's Tournament: Semifinal:
Notre Dame-UConn
4/5
ESPN2
9:20-11:15pm
1.4
2,139
NBA: Warriors-Lakers
4/4
TNT
10:41pm-12:48am
1.1
1,677
NBA: Thunder-T'Wolves
4/7
ABC
3:30-6:15pm
1.2
1,662
PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open: Third Round
4/6
NBC
3:30-6:00pm
1.2
1,659
NBA: Nuggets-Warriors
4/2
TNT
10:38pm-1:00am
1.1
1,658
NBA: Bucks-76ers
4/4
TNT
8:14-10:41pm
1.0
1,576
MLB: Dodgers-Rockies
4/7
ESPN
8:32pm-12:30am
0.9
1,498
NCAA Women's Tournament: Semifinal:
Baylor-Oregon
4/5
ESPN2
6:59-8:57pm
0.9
1,485
Golf: Augusta National Women's Amateur
4/6
NBC
12:00-3:00pm
0.9
1,194
NBA: Lakers-Thunder
4/2
TNT
8:13-10:38pm
0.7
1,168
NCAA Women's Tournament:
Elite 8: Notre Dame-Stanford
4/1
ESPN2
9:04-10:53pm
0.7
1,092
Liga MX: UNAM Pumas-Tigres UANL
4/6
Univision
8:55-11:00pm
0.5
977
Liga MX: Lobos-Chivas
4/6
Univision
11:00pm-1:09am
0.5
892
High School Basketball Slam Dunk
& 3-Point Contest (taped)
4/7
CBS
3:30-5:00pm
0.4
596
Bundesliga: Dortmund-Bayern Munich
4/6
Fox
12:15-2:30pm
0.3
470
MLS: LAFC-DC United
4/6
Fox
2:45-5:15pm
0.2
341
Download the
Audience Analysis Chart