UConn/Notre Dame Ratings Best For Any ESPN Women’s College Basketball Broadcast In A Decade

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Tuesday night’s broadcast of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship has given ESPN its best ratings for a broadcast of women’s college basketball in a decade. This announcement came Wednesday.

Tuesday night’s broadcast of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship between the UConn Huskies and Notre Dame Fighting Irish gave ESPN a 2.8 US Rating. That is the highest rating for any women’s college basketball broadcast in a decade. It is the highest for women’s college basketball since the Huskies defeated Tennessee for the women’s NCAA Division I title in 2004. That game pulled in a 3.5 US Rating.

In terms of total numbers, Tuesday night’s broadcast averaged 3.21 million households and 4.27 viewers (P2+). That is fourth and sixth respectively since ESPN started broadcasting the NCAA Division I Women’s College Basketball Championship in1996. This year’s 2.8 rating represents an increase in viewership of forty percent over last year’s 2.0 for UConn’s championship matchup against Louisville.

ESPN made big marks both on television and online thanks to its broadcast of the UConn/Notre Dame matchup Tuesday night. Over 100,000 people watched the game on WatchESPN and ESPN3’s special Surround production of the game. This generated 3,800,000 minutes on the game. Both the 100,000 viewers and the total minutes are all-time highs for a women’s college basketball game. Even better for ESPN, Tuesday’s game generated the most minutes viewed for an ESPN3 Surround production to date.

The Hartford/New Haven market led the way among metered markets with a 29.3 rating. That is the highest overnight for any cable broadcast so far this year. Nashville, the site of the championship, came in second overnight with a 6.8. Knoxville came in third with a 6.0, followed by Louisville (5.5), Indianapolis (4.8), Raleigh-Durham (4.7), Providence (4.6), new York (4.6), Memphis (4.5), and Greenville (4.5).

More information on Tuesday’s broadcast and all ESPN coverage of NCAA Women’s Basketball is available online at http://espnW.com, http://www.facebook.com/espnW, http://www.facebook.com/ESPNCollegebasketball, and http://espn.go.com/womens-basketball. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

WNBA Draft Airs On Primetime Tonight

Courtesy:  ESPN/WNBA

Courtesy: ESPN/WNBA

The 2013 WNBA Draft will be held tonight on ESPN2.  This year marks the first time ever that the WNBA has held the draft in primetime.  It will be highlighted by the “3 To See”, Elena Delle Donne (University of Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), and Brittney Grinor (Baylor).  The broadcast—presented by State farm—will air at 8pm/7pm CT tonight.  It will be held at ESPN’s Bristol, CT headquarters.  The league’s second and third rounds will air live on ESPNU from 9-10:30pm.  Fans can watch all three rounds online and via mobile devices on WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. Each round consists of twelve picks each.  WNBA fans can get even more content throughout the day today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on espnW.

Kevin Negandhi will host the draft.  He comes into tonight’s broadcast fresh off the heels of a successful broadcast of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship.  It marks the first time that he will host the annual draft.  He will be joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo and Carolyn Peck.  Reporters Holly Rowe and LaChina Robinson will also be on hand to bring viewers the latest news and more live.  Guards and forwards highlight this year’s top draft crop.  Among the top guards expected to be on hand are:  Alex Bentley (Penn State), Layshia Clarendon (California), Kelly Faris (Connecticut), Tayler Hill (Ohio State), Lindsey Moore (Nebraska) and Sugar Rodgers (Georgetown).  The league’s top prospective forwards include:  Tianna Hawkins (Maryland) and Toni Young (Oklahoma State); and center Kelsey Bone (Texas A&M).

The Phoenix Mercury is at the top of this year’s draft for the third time in the history of the franchise.  The Chicago Sky, Tulsa Shock, Washington Mystics, and New York Liberty round out the top five teams in the draft this year.

ESPN and the WNBA are now in the seventeenth year together.  And heads of both organizations recently signed a new contract that will extend the pair’s partnership through the 2022 season.  This year’s season opens with a special Memorial Day doubleheader that pits the league’s top four draft picks against one another.  Washington and Tulsa will face off at 3pm.  Chicago and Phoenix follow that game at 5pm. 

To keep up with all the latest from the WNBA and ESPN, fans can go to the official WNBA Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/wnba and its official website, http://www.wnba.com or the official ESPN2 Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and its official website, http://www.espn.com.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.