via press release:
2015 WCWS Championship Finals Produce Record Audience (Game 1) and Highest Overnight Rating in Eight Years (Game 2)
Defending National Champion/No. 1 Florida vs. No. 3 Michigan is Most-Watched WCWS Championship Finals Game 1 Ever
2015 WCWS Finals Game 2: College Softball’s Highest Overnight in Eight Years
Only Fourth Ever Decisive WCWS Championship Finals Game 3 Tonight on ESPN (8 p.m. ET)
The first two games of the 2015 Women’s College World Series Championship Finals between the defending national champion/No. 1 Florida and No. 3 Michigan (best-of-three game series) have resulted in the most-watched WCWS Championship Finals Game 1 ever (Monday, June 1) and college softball’s highest overnight rating in eight years (Game 2 on Tuesday, June 2). Additionally, with Florida’s 3-2 victory in Game 1 and Michigan’s 1-0 win in Game 2, the Gators and Wolverines will play just the fourth decisive WCWS Championship Finals Game 3 (Wednesday, June 3, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN) in history. The 2015 WCWS Championship Finals are coming off an ESPN record-setting 2015 Women’s College World Series bracket round (May 28 – May 31)
The 2015 WCWS Championship Finals Game 1 was watched by 1,542,000 average viewers (off a 1.0 rating), topping the 2009 WCWS Championship Finals Game 1 (Washington vs. Florida) for the most-watched WCWS Championship Finals Game 1 ever (1,412,000 viewers). Tuesday night’s Game 2 garnered a 1.2 overnight rating, resulting in college softball’s highest overnight rating since the 2007 WCWS Championship Finals Game 2 (Tennessee and Arizona) which earned a 1.4 overnight. Combined, the 2015 WCWS Championship Finals Games 1 and 2 has averaged a 1.1 overnight, tying it for the second most-watched WCWS Championship Finals Game 1 and Game 2 on record (since 2007).
Additionally, 2015 WCWS Championship Finals Game 1 audience and Game 2 overnight are up 37% (1,126,000 viewers) and 33% (0.9 overnight rating), respectively, compared to the 2014 WCWS Championship Finals Game 1 and Game 2 which featured Alabama vs. Florida.
Please note: Only overnight rating (and not audience numbers) were available for Game 2 when this release was issued
Top Markets (Combined Games 1 and Games 2)
Detroit is the highest-rated local market with a 3.7 rating, followed by Birmingham (3.2), Knoxville (2.9), Jacksonville & Oklahoma City (2.6), Orlando (2.5), Tampa (2.1), Nashville (2.0) and Dayton (1.9).
The 2015 WCWS Championship Finals Game 1 and Game 2 (combined) has experienced a 120% growth in average minute audience and a 84% spike in total unique viewers on WatchESPN compared to the 2014 WCWS Finals Game 1 and 2.
2015 Women’s College World Series Championship Finals Game 3 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
With only the fourth decisive Game 3 to be played tonight, both Florida and Michigan are looking to make history. The Gators would be just the third team to win back-to-back national championships joining UCLA and Arizona – who have each done it multiple times.
Michigan, also going for its second national championship, is trying to duplicate what it did in 2005 – rebound to win both Game 2 and Game 3 after dropping Game 1. In fact, in the other two years (2007, 2012) which a Game 3 was needed, both times the winner of Game 2 went on to win Game 3 (Arizona and Alabama).