Women’s college sports get boost in TV ratings, visibility

Sports

FILE – Texas’s Charli Collier shoots over Maryland’s Angel Reese during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Sweet 16 round of the Women’s NCAA tournament in San Antonio, in this Sunday, March 28, 2021, file photo. The Dallas Wings basically control the WNBA draft on Thursday night, April 15, 2021, with the top two picks and four first-round choices. The Wings could draft Texas’ Charli Collier with one of the top picks.(AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A record-setting Women’s College World Series last week capped off a dynamic year of increased visibility for NCAA Division I women’s sports.

Television viewership was up significantly compared to 2019 in the four most popular sports: basketball, softball, gymnastics and volleyball.

ESPN expanded its volleyball coverage this year to include every match of the championship on an ESPN platform.

Women’s basketball games were broadcast on ABC for the first time.

The three softball championship series games between Oklahoma and Florida State averaged a record 1,840,000 viewers. The average for the 17 games was up 10% over 2019.

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