BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — South Carolina’s victory over Caitlin Clark and Iowa in Sunday’s women’s NCAA championship game had a preliminary audience average of 18.7 million on ABC and ESPN.

The only sporting events in the United States to draw a bigger TV audience since 2019 have been football, the World Cup and the Olympics.

The audience numbers are expected to increase when Nielsen releases its final numbers on Tuesday.

Nielsen says the audience peaked at 24 million.

It’s the most-watched basketball game since 2019, when the men’s NCAA title game between Virginia and Texas Tech averaged 19.6 million on CBS.

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