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The Breakdown: Women’s NCAA Championship smashes viewership records

9.9 million people watched the LSU vs Iowa National Championship game on Sunday afternoon.

LOUISIANA, USA — The records have been not just broken – but demolished. And they show America has a growing interest in women’s college basketball.

9.9 million people watched the LSU vs Iowa National Championship game on Sunday afternoon, where the Tigers won their first national title in program history.

ESPN says it’s the most-viewed college event ever on ESPN Plus. That number more than doubles last year’s record-breaking viewership of 4.85 million viewers. 

It wasn’t a fluke. The semifinal games - LSU versus Virginia Tech and Iowa versus South Carolina - averaged 4.5 million average viewers.

3.4 million people watched the LSU versus Virginia Tech game. Iowa versus South Carolina had 5.5 million viewers.

Iowa versus South Carolina is the fourth most-viewed women’s college basketball game on record, according to ESPN, and had higher ratings than any NBA game on ESPN this season.

Records were shattered in person, too. ESPN reports that the eight Sweet Sixteen games and four Elite Eight games in the women’s tournament had a combined 82,275 fans in seats.

The last time the attendance number was above 70-thousand was back in 2014. 

So, is the NCAA just beginning to realize the potential of the women’s tournament? Some analysts think so. Of course, you had incredible players and storylines this year that kept people tuning in; 9.9 million people to be exact.

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