UConn's win over Purdue averages just under 4 million fewer viewers than South Carolina's victory over Iowa

Viewership for Monday night's game was up slightly from UConn's victory a year ago

It’s official. South Carolina’s women’s NCAA tournament win over Iowa had more viewers than UConn’s men’s NCAA tournament victory over Purdue.

The Huskies’ win Monday night drew just over 14.8 million viewers on TBS compared to the nearly 19 million people who watched South Carolina cap an unbeaten season with a win over Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes on Sunday afternoon on ABC.

It’s hardly a surprise that the men’s game didn’t match the women’s in total viewers. South Carolina’s win was the most-watched basketball game in five years at any level and was available via broadcast television on a Sunday afternoon, while Monday night’s game was on cable. A season ago, UConn’s win over San Diego State on CBS also drew fewer than 15 million viewers. It was the least-watched men’s title game ever at 14.69 million viewers.

UConn's win made the Huskies the first team since Florida in 2006 and 2007 to win back-to-back men's NCAA tournaments. Just eight schools have won consecutive titles and UConn is 6-0 in its six national title game appearances.

As ratings for the women’s NCAA tournament title game have grown in recent seasons, the men’s ratings have struggled since the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA tournaments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Four of the five least-watched title games have come since that cancellation.

The men’s Final Four did have higher ratings than the women’s Final Four, however. An average audience of 10.8 million watched South Carolina beat NC State and Iowa sneak past UConn on Friday night. Saturday night, 12.8 million people watched Purdue beat NC State and UConn take down Alabama to get to the title game. That figure of nearly 13 million was up slightly from the 2023 men's Final Four.

Overall, CBS and Turner Sports said that viewership was up approximately 3% for the entirety of the men's NCAA tournament and that its game windows averaged 9.9 million viewers.