LSU’s Victory Over Iowa Was Watched By A Record 9.9 Million in History-Making NCAA Women’s Basketball Final

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship has brought a lot of attention because of controversy centered around the racist treatment of Louisiana State University player Angel Reese after she mimicked a move by University of Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, a white player. But, what was lost in the championship win for LSU is that it was the most-watched NCAA Women’s Final ever.

ESPN reported that Sunday’s game shattered a viewership record when the numbers came in.

The number of people who tuned in to witness Louisiana State University beat the University of Iowa was a record-breaking 9.9 million. The game was watched by viewers on ABC and ESPN2, according to fast national numbers by Nielsen. Those numbers eclipsed the number of viewers from last year’s contest by 103%.

In last year’s NCAA Women’s Championship game, an average of 4.85 million people viewed the University of South Carolina defeat the University of Connecticut on ESPN and ESPN2. At Sunday’s peak, the number of viewers was 12.6 million.

It was the most viewed college event ever on ESPN Plus.

It’s LSU’s first national title in women’s basketball. The game was also the first on network television since 1995, when UConn defeated Tennessee. That game averaged 7.4 million viewers when it aired on CBS.

Although most viewers agreed that it was a well-played game, it was mired in controversy.

Louisiana State University beat the University of Iowa at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The win sparked debate online following LSU’s Angel Reese, a Black player, repeating a taunt from Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, a white player, in previous games. While Clark was celebrated for the move, Reese was chastised amid calls of unsportsmanlike conduct on the way to a championship victory.