ESPN’s Women’s College World Series, Super Regional, Regular Season Softball Viewership Surges; All Mark Year-Over-Year Double-Digit Viewership Growth and Set Multi-Year Highs


  • Women’s College World Series Averages One Million Viewers
  • Super Regionals Up 36%; Most Watched Since 2008
  • Regular Season Up 40%; Most Watched Since 2016

ESPN’s college softball coverage saw double-digit viewership growth throughout the season scoring its most-watched Women’s College World Series production since 2015, most-viewed Super Regionals since 2008 and best regular season since 2016.

Women’s College World Series
ESPN’s coverage of this year’s 15-game Women’s College World Series tournament (May 30 – June 4) averaged one million (1,046,000) viewers up, 20% year-over-year. The two-game championship series (June 3-4) between the UCLA Bruins and Oklahoma Sooners averaged 1,574,000 viewers, up 13% year over year. The Bruins championship clinching game two win averaged 1,799,000 viewers, up 17% year-over-year. Game one of the championship series averaged 1,341,000 viewers, up 7% year-over-year.

The top-five local television markets for the WCWS Finals:

Market Rating
Oklahoma City 8.3
Tulsa 7.1
Birmingham 3.0
Austin 2.2
Los Angles 2.1

 

The three game, Semifinals Sunday (June 2) averaged 1,340,000 viewers, up 43% over last year’s similar three-game slate, resulting in the most-watched semifinal Sunday since 2015. The entire 13-game, round robin (May 30-June 2) averaged 962,000 viewers, up 23% year-over-year. Six of the early round games averaged one million viewers or more:

Date Game Network Viewers
Sun, June 2 Alabama vs. Oklahoma
*Semifinal Sunday, Game 1
ESPN/ESPN2 1,430,000
Sun, June 2 Oklahoma vs. Alabama
*Semifinal Sunday, Game 2
ESPN2 1,346,000
Sun, June 2 Washington vs. UCLA ESPN 1,276,000
Sat, June 1 Oklahoma State vs. Washington ESPN 1,261,000
Fri, May 31 Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State ESPN 1,058,000
Sat, Jun 1 Florida vs. Alabama ESPN 1,042,000

The Women’s College World Series saw an increase across all key demos. Of note:

  • Men 18-34: up 45%
  • Women 18-34: up 41%
  • Men 12-17: up 75%
  • Women 12-17: up 36%

Super Regionals & Regular Season
Super Regional coverage (May 23-26) averaged 510,000 viewers across 19 games, the most-watched Super Regional round since 2008, and up 36% year over year. Regular season games on ESPN’s Nielsen rated networks* were up 40% this season, with the 28 games on ESPN/ESPN2 (up from 23 last year) averaging 266,000 viewers per game.

Viewership for the ACC and SEC Conference Championship Games (May 11) was up significantly year-over-year and each saw its largest audiences since 2016:

  • SEC Championship: Averaged 549,000 viewers, up 130% year-over year
    • SEC Semifinals: Averaged 280,000 viewers, up 177% year-over-year
  • ACC Championship: Averaged 480,000 viewers; up 41% year-over-year

*ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU

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