South Carolina wins 2024 NCAA title in most-watched women's college basketball game of all time

South Carolina defeated Iowa on Sunday in front of a record-breaking national crowd.

The NCAA Women's Championship reached 18.9 million viewers on ABC and ESPN, an 89% increase in viewership over the previous year.

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Not only is this the most-watched women's college basketball game of all time, but it is also the second-most-watched non-Olympic women's sporting event on U.S. television, trailing only the 2015 Women's World Cup final for the second most-watched time, according to Nielsen data.

Excluding soccer and the Olympics, it is ESPN's most-watched sporting event since 2019. It is also the network's most-watched basketball game overall since 2019.

“With a record audience of 18.7 million viewers, Sunday's final between Iowa and South Carolina was a fitting conclusion to the most-watched NCAA women's basketball tournament ever,” ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement. “These extraordinary athletes, coaches and teams have captured our attention in an unprecedented way and it is our job to keep this incredible momentum going. I am also very proud of our talented and dedicated staff who presented this historic event so well.”

The impressive crowd at the championship crowns a women's college basketball tournament with a historic number of spectators.

Friday's semifinals averaged 3.1 million viewers ages 18-49, an increase of more than 130% from last year. Uconn-Iowa drew 14.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched women's college basketball game ever. However, that record was broken two days later by Iowa's appearance in the championship game.

The average viewership of the three Final Four games was 13.8 million, which is also a record for ESPN.

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