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A New Era for Women’s Sports: NCAA Basketball Finals Make History

Daniel Kim Views  

Yonhap News

In April 2024, a historic moment was etched into the annals of American collegiate sports.

The NCAA women’s basketball championship game drew an average of 18.7 million viewers across the United States, marking it the most-watched sports broadcast, excluding NFL games since 2019. According to ESPN’s data, this number is the highest viewer count for any event outside of the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, setting a new historical record that surpasses the previous popularity of women’s college basketball.

The championship game between the University of Iowa and the University of South Carolina represents more than just a simple match. Caitlin Clark of the University of Iowa has performed to an excellent level that exceeds her ‘superstar’ reputation throughout this season.

Clark has achieved a record-breaking 3,900 points, the highest in NCAA Division I history for both men and women, making her a strong contender for the top pick in this season’s WNBA draft. Her long-range three-pointers and exquisite assist skills have captivated many, with fans following her from game to game, sending fervent cheers.

Yonhap News

In addition to these individual accomplishments, the team’s performance is also noteworthy. The University of Iowa set a record for the most-watched women’s college basketball championship in history, with over 12 million viewers tuning in for their quarter-final game against Louisiana State University. Their semi-final game against the University of Connecticut drew 14.2 million viewers. This surpasses the viewer counts for each game of last year’s NBA Finals, the Major League Baseball World Series, and the final round of the Masters Golf Tournament since 2013.

Despite an outstanding performance throughout the season, the University of Iowa, led by Clark, could not clinch the championship. They lost 75-87 to the University of South Carolina in the finals. However, the historic viewer count and exceptional performance throughout the season indicate the significant position that women’s college basketball has now reached.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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