Earlier this week, LSU and Iowa’s women’s basketball teams drew a record number of viewers as they competed for the collegiate championship. With 9.9 million viewers on ABC and ESPN2, the game became the most-viewed NCAA women’s basketball game in history. Even with the 3:30 pm weekday time slot, basketball fans across the country tuned in for the game. At its peak, the game had 12.6 million viewers, surpassing the NBA men’s finals’ average of 9.89 million in 2021 and busting the myth that women’s sports are not as popular as men’s.
This game would not have been possible without the tireless work of women’s rights advocates to pass Title IX- the 1972 federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or education program that receives federal funding. Title IX is most widely known for its impact on high school and college athletics, dramatically increasing women’s participation in sports. In 1972, only 300,000 women and girls in the United States were playing either college or high school sports. By 2021, that number grew to 3 million. The Feminist Majority has been involved in the fight for Title IX protections since the start and continues to be an active member of the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education.
Congrats to the LSU women’s basketball team on their victory!
Sources: ESPN 4/3/2023; MSNBC 4/3/2023; NBC Sports 6/6/2022