ESPN’s telecast of Baylor’s 80-61 victory over Notre Dame in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship on Tuesday posted a double-digit increase over last year’s title game. The game averaged a 2.6 metered market rating for an increase of 13 percent over the 2011 NCAA Women’s National Championship, a 76-70 Texas A&M win over Notre Dame. The game also stands as ESPN’s highest overnight rating for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship since 2010 when the network averaged a 2.6 overnight rating for Connecticut’s 53-47 victory over Stanford.
ESPN averaged a 2.2 overnight rating for the three-game NCAA Women’s Final Four, up five percent over a 2.1 last year.
Among the metered markets, Hartford led the way for the final game with an 8.8 overnight rating followed by Knoxville with a 6.9 rating. The top 10 is rounded out by Austin (6.2), Oklahoma City (5.6), San Antonio (5.3), Nashville (5.2), Greenville-Spartanburg-
Ashville (4.8), Dallas-Fort Worth (4.5), Raleigh-Durham (4.5) and Indianapolis (4.4). Denver, host city of the NCAA Women’s Final Four, and Houston were the 11th and 12th highest rated markets with a 4.2.
In addition to the title game, each of ESPN’s NCAA Women’s Basketball National Semifinals on Sunday, April 1, attracted a larger audience than the previous year, with the doubleheader combining for an increased rating of 10 percent (2.3 household rating in 2012 vs. 2.1 in 2011). Also, the first game was the highest-rated semifinal game in that telecast window since Stanford vs. Connecticut in 2008 (2.1).
Notre Dame’s 83-75 victory over Connecticut delivered a 2.1 household coverage rating, up 11 percent from last year’s first semifinal tilt between eventual national champion Texas A&M and Stanford (1.9). The second National Semifinal game that saw Baylor top Stanford 59-47 registered a 2.6 rating, which is up eight percent over last year’s UConn-Notre Dame semifinal (2.4) and the viewership was 3,756,000.