via press release:
NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Highest-Rated & Most-Viewed Since 2004
Three-Game Final Four Most-Viewed Since 2004
ESPN’s telecast of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, an 80-61 Baylor victory over Notre Dame, on Tuesday averaged a 3.2 rating, 3,137,000 households and 4,244,000 viewers. The game stands as the network’s highest-rated and most-viewed NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship since 2004 and the fifth most-viewed since ESPN started televising the event in 1996. In 2004, ESPN averaged 4.3 rating, 3,801,000 households and 5,583,000 viewers for Connecticut’s 70-61 win over Tennessee.
This year’s telecast, documenting Baylor becoming the first women’s or men’s college basketball team to go 40-0, marked increases of 14 percent (vs. 2.8), 12 percent (vs. 2,804,000) and 11 percent (vs. 3,831,000), respectively, over last year.
Three-Game Final Four Up
In addition to the title game, ESPN’s three-game Final Four coverage was the network’s most-viewed Final Four average since 2004. The telecasts averaged a 2.6 rating, 2,600,000 households and 3,635,000 viewers for increases of eight percent (vs. 2.4), nine percent (vs. 2,380,000) and 13 percent (vs. 3,215,000), respectively, over 2011.
Second Most-Viewed NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament
Overall, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship was ESPN’s second most-viewed ever behind last year’s record-setting tournament. ESPN finished with an average of 1,836,000 viewers and 1,373,000 households based on a 1.4 rating. This year’s overall rating is even with last season. The viewers and households are down two percent (vs. 1,878,000) and five percent (vs. 1,445,000), respectively.
ESPN3, WatchESPN & espnW
ESPN’s digital platforms, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, also posted double-digit growth with a 16 percent increase in viewership on ESPN3 compared to 2011. In addition, espnW.com logged an average of 300,000 daily unique visitors during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship