ESPN Nets 32% Nielsen Gain With UConn Perfection

Over 3.5 million watched UConn cap its second straight perfect season Tuesday night.
UConn's 53-47 win over Stanford in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship game on April 6 drew an average of 3.53 million viewers for ESPN, 32% more than 2.69 million for the 20-9 title tilt, in which the Huskies clubbed Louisville, according to Nielsen data.
The April 6 telecast -- which saw Maya Moore rally UConn after an abysmal first half when it scored just 12 points to extend Geno Auriemma's team's winning streak to a record 78 games for the sport -- garnered a 2.7 rating, up 29% from the 2009 championship game's 2.1 mark, with households jumping by a like percent to 2.69 million from 2.06 million.
ESPN netted just under a 2.99 million average for its April 4 coverage of the national semifinals from San Antonio's Alamodome, an 18% gain from the 2.54 million in 2009. Ratings rose 16% to a 2.2 from a 1.9.
Tallying the three "Final Four" contests, ESPN scored a 22% rise to 3.16 million watchers on average from 2.59 million, with ratings up 20% to a 2.4.
For its 12 telecasts, ESPN averaged 1.63 million viewers, 9% more than the 1.49 million from last year, based on an 8% ratings advance to a 1.3 from a 1.2.