ESPN gets record ratings for Iowa-South Carolina, LSU-Virginia Tech women's Final Four
With South Carolina's Aliyah Boston and Iowa's Caitlin Clark facing off in the women's Final Four on Friday night, ratings were expected to be high.
They were record-setting for ESPN, the network announced Saturday.
ESPN, which broadcast both NCAA Tournament semifinal games, said the LSU-Virginia Tech early game averaged 3.4 million viewers with a peak of 5 million across network platforms. That was up 57% from last year's early game.
Iowa-South Carolina averaged 5.5 million with a peak of 6.6 million, up 72% from last year's late game.
Both games drew record audiences for a college basketball game – men's or women's – on ESPN+, the network said.
#WFinalFour 𝐒𝐂𝐎𝐑𝐄𝐒 across ESPN platforms to become the most-viewed #NCAAWBB semis (4.5M avg viewers) in ESPN history
🏆@IowaWBB vs. @GamecockWBB | 5.5M viewers | Peak: 6.6M
🏆@LSUwbkb vs. @HokiesWBB | 3.4M viewers | Peak: 5M
🏆2 most-viewed 🏀 games ever on @ESPNPlus pic.twitter.com/qHD3VtYp3F
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) April 1, 2023
SOUTH CAROLINA: Star Aliyah Boston declares for the 2023 WNBA draft
No. 3 LSU beat No. 1 Virginia Tech 79-72 behind a fourth-quarter comeback that erased as much as a 12-point Hokies lead.
No. 2 Iowa ended defending champion South Carolina's 42-game winning streak with a 77-73 victory in the late game. Clark, who has swept player of the year awards, finished with 41 points and eight assists against the No. 1 Gamecocks.
Iowa and LSU will meet Sunday afternoon (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC) for the national championship.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Iowa-South Carolina, women's Final Four brings record ratings to ESPN