Slowly, but surely, women’s basketball (and women’s sports overall are on the rise) and that was demonstrated by ESPN’s latest programming move regarding the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Bristol announced recently that when the tourney emanates from Smoothie King Arena in New Orleans that the entire Final Four will be available on ESPN’s primary channel. ESPN also announced that every game of the women’s tourney will be available for viewing on one of the ESPN channels.
The move is the opposite of the previous regionalization that has suffocated the potential of the women’s tournament to reach a wider swath of fans.
In a press release, ESPN’s vice president of programming and acquisitions Carol Still mentioned an eight percent increase in ratings for the Women’s Final Four.
Making the decision to move the women’s college basketball semifinals to ESPN and make the first and second round available nationally across our networks was a direct result of the ever-growing popularity of women’s college basketball.
–Carol Still, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions (per release)
This move will be enjoyed by women’s basketball fans across the country as we work to grow the game while celebrating what will be an outstanding 2020 championship.
–Diane Turham, NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee chair, senior associate A.D., Middle Tennessee State (per release)