Remember how everyone said that UConn women’s dominance made games boring and was bad for the game? That tired complaint seems to be conclusively proven to be untrue because Wednesday night’s game versus Temple was one of the most-watched broadcasts of the UConn women ever.
In the New York market, last night’s game was the most-watched women’s basketball game ever on SNY. This isn’t an outlier, either. The four highest-rated games since SNY bought the Tier-3 rights back in 2012 have all come since January 4th. In addition, last night’s telecast beat out seven other college basketball games on the ESPN networks and an NHL doubleheader on NBCSN.
Moving to the Hartford/New Haven market, the UConn-Temple game was the highest-rated game of the season, just inching out the record-setting win over SMU by .01 HH rating points. It was also the most-viewed UConn women’s basketball game since February 1, 2014, when the Huskies defeated Cincinnati, 86-29. It topped out as the 8th-most viewed UConn women’s basketball game on SNY.
Over the course of the season, more people have been tuning in to watch the Huskies as ratings are up 14% as compared to last season. Through 11 games, the UConn women are getting the highest ratings since the 2013-2014 season.
The elevated ratings this season are no surprise. It’s easy to forget how much uncertainty surrounded this team at the start of the season. People were very curious to see how the team would fare without the Big Three and through a very challenging non-conference slate.
This team is fun to watch, in a different way than years past. Since the Core Four plays so many minutes together, they’ve developed a great chemistry which leads to jaw-dropping plays on the court.
The surprising part, however, was that Tuesday night’s game against Temple was one of the most-watched games ever on SNY. While Temple is a solid team in the American with NCAA Tournament aspirations, they certainly don’t have the appeal of Baylor, Notre Dame or even USF. More and more, people are tuning into to watch the Huskies play, regardless of the opponent.
Perhaps their dominance isn’t so bad for the sport after all.