South Carolina-Iowa Was The Most-Watched Basketball Game Of Any Kind Since 2019

The 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship Game was a highly anticipated matchup between an undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks team and an Iowa Hawkeyes squad that featured the biggest star in the sport, Caitlin Clark.

After Iowa broke ratings records in the Elite 8 (against LSU) and again in the Final Four (against UConn), the expectation was that many millions of folks would tune in for the national championship game on Sunday afternoon. The game being on ABC rather than ESPN figured to provide another boost, as even in 2024 network broadcasts allow for a wider reach, and the game itself delivered with Clark going crazy early from three before becoming a back-and-forth battle until the Gamecocks ultimately pulled away for a win to complete a perfect season.

On Monday, the official ratings came in and it once again broke the record for the most-watched women’s college basketball game of all-time, pulling in a ridiculous 18.7 million average viewers, with a 24 million viewer peak. That isn’t just a huge number for a women’s game, it made it the most-watched basketball game of any kind — men’s/women’s college, WNBA, or NBA — since 2019.

Clark was fired up when she learned of the record-setting ratings the game did, as even in a Hawkeyes loss, it was a phenomenal day for the sport and both teams involved.

It is quite the number, bringing in viewership we simply never see this side of the football field (or Olympics), and shows how the when given mainstream attention and the perfect storm of star power and team dominance, there’s an awful lot of interest in the women’s game.