ESPN’s Softball Hits Ratings High


ESPN’s coverage of the deciding softball game between Michigan and UCLA June 8 was the sports network’s highest-rated and most-watched NCAA Women’s College World Series contest ever.

The game -- in which Michigan won its first-ever softball title and denied UCLA a three-peat in 10 innings -- scored a 1.8 rating and 1.64 million households.

The previous high: the title tilt between UCLA and California in 2003, which produced a 1.6 and was watched in 1.36 million households.

All told, ESPN’s eight women’s CWS telecasts belted a 57% jump to a 1.1 ratings average from the 2004 event, while ESPN2 notched a 20% gain to a 0.6 average over nine games.