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NCAA men's final viewership falls short of women's for 1st time

Jamie Schwaberow / NCAA Photos / Getty

For the first time, the NCAA women's basketball championship outdrew the men.

UConn's 75-60 victory over Purdue in Monday night's men's final on TBS and TNT averaged 14.82 million, according to Nielsen. That was not enough to surpass the 18.87 million who watched South Carolina defeat Caitlin Clark and Iowa in Sunday afternoon's women's final on ABC and ESPN.

Monday night's audience was a 4% increase over last year's final between the Huskies and San Diego State on CBS. The number likely dropped off during the second half when UConn took control to become the first repeat champion since Florida in 2007.

The two men's semifinal games averaged 12.8 million. UConn-Alabama attracted 14.18 million and the game between Purdue and North Carolina State averaged 11.45 million. Friday night's women's semifinal games averaged 10.8 million, with the Iowa-UConn game averaging 14.2 million.

The 67 games of the men's tournament across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV averaged 9.9 million viewers, a 3% increase over last year. This year's tournament benefited from more blue bood and power conference programs advancing beyond the first weekend.


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