Iowa vs. LSU Elite Eight Game Hits 12.3m Record Viewership

Updated On Apr 3, 2024 by Landon Wheeler

Caitlin Clark celebrates with her Iowa Hawkeyes teammates after beating LSU Tigers in Elite 8 Round 2024Summary:

  • Iowa VS LSU in the Elite Eight of the women’s NCAA Tournament reached a 12.3 million audience.
  • This makes it the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history.
  • The game was among the most-viewed games in all sports except for NFL football in the past year.

More than 12.3 million passionate women’s college basketball fans tuned in on ESPN to watch number 1 Iowa Hawkeyes defeat number 3 LSU Tigers in the women’s Elite Eight on Monday night.

The Most-Watched Women’s College Basketball Game

As the Iowa winners advanced to the Final Four and celebrated their 94-87 victory against their counterparts, their big win also triggered a new record for Caitlin Clark and the girls: their game was the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history.

The game also scooped up the title of the most-watched men’s or women’s college basketball game ever to be broadcast on ESPN, with an audience that was more than double in size compared to the previous largest audience recorded.

For comparison, ESPN data mentioned the 2002 women’s national championship played between UConn and Oklahoma that gathered an audience of 5.68 million.


Record Viewership in All Sports

The NCAA Tournament game was one of the most watched games in any other sport except for NFL football in the past year.

Iowa-LSU outdrew almost all games in 2023’s NBA Finals except the NCAA Tournament game this year that reunited North Carolina State and Duke in the men’s Elite Eight on CBS, which averaged a viewership of 15.1 million.

Sports Media Watch says the game was the most-viewed basketball game on ESPN since Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference finals when the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics in front of 13.6 million.

By comparison, the 2023 World Series reached a viewership of 11.48 million.

The Iowa-LSU viewership also went over the 11.84 million figure that was recorded during the 1983 NCAA championship game that was played between Southern California and Louisiana Tech.

LSU’s coach, Kim Mulkey, represented the Louisiana Tech team during that iconic game and was matched up against USC great Cheryl Miller. The Trojans came out victorious with a 64-58 win.

ESPN also noted the 2008 regular-season matchup between Duke and North Carolina with a viewership of 5.61 million as the most-watched men’s game.

Now, Iowa is getting ready to meet with UConn in Friday’s second national semifinal which will also be broadcast by ESPN and exclusive odds are available on a selection of US sportsbooks. The winners will then face either North Carolina State or South Carolina on ABC on Sunday.

Iowa’s last five televised games have gone over the 3 million mark in terms of viewers. This includes the last three games which had around 4.9 million viewers.

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