Even with the No.8 Texas and No.4 Florida State game going into double overtime on ESPN 2 delaying the Huskies start and two games, including No.9 and No.3 Kansas both going into overtime on ESPN during the game, the matchup last night between No.1 UConn and No.6 South Carolina was the highest-rated women’s college basketball regular season game since 2010. The 100th straight victory for the Huskies delivered a 0.9 overnight rating, which made it the highest-rated college basketball game on ESPN2 this season among both men’s and women’s telecasts.
Last night, the UConn Huskies defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks by a score of 66-55, as junior Gabby Williams shined with 26 points and 14 rebounds. With the victory, the Huskies moved to 25-0, as they have now won an incredible 100 straight games. Since the Huskies beat the SMU mustangs for the NCAA record 91 straight wins on Jan. 14, the game versus South Carolina has been on everyone’s mind.
With SportsCenter reporting live from Storrs and a plethora of reporters coming in from across the nation, the hype for the game was immense, and both teams did not disappoint. Gampel Pavilion was sold out and “the Big Monday” matchup tied Tennessee vs. Duke (Jan. 23, 2006) as the fourth-highest regular-season women’s college basketball game across all ESPN networks. The quality of scheduling for women’s basketball has translated very nicely to the amount of viewers, as viewership seems to be rising over the past few years.
Viewership was not just on television or in person, as the game online attracted 69,000 viewers with a total of 1,700,000 minutes watched. These statistics translate to making this matchup the most streamed women’s college basketball regular-season game to date televised by ESPN.
On a local level, in the Hartford/New Haven market, which is the No. 1 local market, the game earned a 14.3 local rating, which made it the highest-rated women’s college basketball game in market across all ESPN networks since 2010. The second highest local market leader was in Greenville with 2.3 rating, as it was followed by Knoxville (2.0), Charlotte (1.7) and Cincinnati (1.6).
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.