March Madness with a Women’s Touch on ESPN, ESPN2


ESPN’s and ESPN2’s first-round coverage of the 2004 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Tournament has tipped off with strong ratings gains.

Through its first two telecast windows -- presenting action across several contests -- ESPN averaged a 0.7 March 20 and 21, a 133% jump from the corresponding period with the 2003 tourney, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

For its part, ESPN2’s six first-round windows doubled to a 0.4 mark from the prior year. Its numbers were bolstered by the 658,160 households that tuned into the games in the 9 p.m. window Sunday -- a total that made it ESPN2’s most-viewed first-round telecast ever, the network said.

Following the conclusion of Tuesday’s night’s second-round action, the remaining 15 tourney games through the Final Four and championship tilt will be presented nationally by ESPN or ESPN2.