via press release:
ESPN’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Game Viewership Up
Ratings for Tournament on ESPN also Rises
The 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship game on ESPN was seen by an average of 3,831,000 viewers (P2+), up eight percent from last year’s average of 3,531,000, according to Nielsen. The game which featured two No. 2 seeds and saw Texas A&M capturing its first-ever title in the sport with a 76-70 victory over Notre Dame earned a 2.8 rating, a four percent increase from the 2010 rating of 2.7. A year ago, Connecticut won its seventh title with a 53-47 victory over Stanford.
Overall, the tournament viewership on ESPN increased 16 percent to 1,878,000 people from 1,629,000 in 2010. The rating was also up eight percent with a total of 12 games earning a 1.4 compared to 2010’s 1.3 rating.
ESPN networks aired all 63 games of the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship for the ninth consecutive year – and for the first time every game was shown in high definition. During the first two rounds, ESPN2 presented 48 games within 12 telecast windows in a whip-around format with home market protection. ESPN FULL COURT, the pay-per-view package, offered complete games as a supplement to ESPN2’s coverage. The final 15 games, beginning with the Regional Semifinals, had national telecast windows on ESPN or ESPN2. In addition, ESPN3.com simulcast the entire championship and ESPNU provided full national telecasts of five early-round games.