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Women’s college sports get boost in TV ratings, visibility

A record-setting Women’s College World Series last week capped off a dynamic year of increased visibility for NCAA Division I women’s sports.
James Madison's Odicci Alexander pitches in the first inning of an NCAA Women's College World...
James Madison's Odicci Alexander pitches in the first inning of an NCAA Women's College World Series softball game against Oklahoma, Monday, June 7, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)(Sue Ogrocki | AP)
Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 6:53 PM EDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A record-setting Women’s College World Series last week capped off a dynamic year of increased visibility for NCAA Division I women’s sports.

Television viewership was up significantly compared to 2019 in the four most popular sports: basketball, softball, gymnastics and volleyball. ESPN expanded its volleyball coverage this year to include every match of the championship on an ESPN platform.

Women’s basketball games were broadcast on ABC for the first time. The three softball championship series games between Oklahoma and Florida State averaged a record 1,840,000 viewers.

The average for the 17 games was up 10% over 2019.