This One Fact Makes Caitlin Clark's Ratings Dominance Even More Impressive

Caitlin Clark has become the biggest individual ratings draw in sports since Tiger Woods.
NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - National Championship
NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - National Championship / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

1. The women's NCAA Tournament wrapped up Sunday on a ratings run, from a growth standpoint, that we haven't seen in sports in a long, long time.

Friday's UConn-Iowa game drew 14.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched women's college basketball game of all time. This came on the heels of Iowa's Elite Eight game against LSU nearly a week earlier drawing 12.3 million viewers, which at the time was the most-watched women's college basketball game of all time.

What might be most impressive about the momentum that Caitlin Clark built is that Iowa's basketball games were a complete non-factor for the first third of its season.

According to Fox president of insights and analytics Michael Mulvihill, Clark and the Hawkeyes didn't even appear on television for their first nine game of the year and their 10th game aired on the little-watched Big Ten Network.

It wasn't until more than halfway into the season that the networks that air women's college basketball started revolving their schedule around Clark.

It would've been fascinating to see what the networks would've done next season if Clark was coming back for another year at Iowa. I'd bet money every single one of her games would be shown on television.

Just look at that disparity in viewership for this year's Final Four games. Clark drew DOUBLE the viewers as the other game (14.2 to 7.1). DOUBLE.

Bottom line: There hasn't been an individual responsible for a sport's ratings growth like Clark since Tiger Woods.

2. It's hard to properly explain how much the WWE completely nailed it with the Cody Rhodes-Roman Reigns main event at WrestleMania 40 on Sunday night.

After a year-long build up to see if Rhodes would finish his story, the payoff was well worth the wait.

If you follow the WWE, you knew there would be a ton of interference during the match. But you didn't know how it would be executed. The results were appearances by a Shield-throwback Seth Rollins, John Cena and The Undertaker in the wildest wrestling sequence in ages.

Every person associated with the creative behind the storyline deserves a massive amount of credit, especially Reigns, whose run at champion made Rhodes's win all the more satisfying.

3. Angels broadcaster Wayne Randazzo destroyed Major League Baseball in a way you never hear during a telecast over the weekend.

After an official scorer took a hit away from Anaheim's Nolan Schanuel to end his on-base streak—he had reached base safely in all 36 of the MLB games he's played in since last season—Randazzo went scorched earth on the sport for always doing the wrong thing.

4. Saturday Night Live spoofed Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley this past week. I've always thought it was strange that Smith and Barkley would swoop in to cover college basketball during the tournament so it was good to see SNL go there.

5. We covered the story of the Dodgers fan who caught Shohei Ohtanti's first home run ball with the Dodgers in Traina Thoughts last week. First, we were skepitcal about the fan's negotiating acumen and then we found out the Dodgers basically bullied the fan into giving up the ball.

This did not sit well (to say the least) with SiriusXM host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo who went OFF during his Friday show.

6. Speaking of Russo, he is the guest on the latest episode of the SI Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina. Click in below to listen or listen on Apple or Spotify.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER: DO NOT CLICK IF YOU DID NOT WATCH LAST NIGHT'S CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM.

I won't give away any plot points from last night's series finale, but we did get an excellent sports reference from Larry.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter,Instagram and TikTok


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Jimmy Traina

JIMMY TRAINA

Jimmy Traina is a media writer and podcast host for Sports Illustrated. A 20-year veteran, he’s been covering the media industry for seven years and writes a weekly column at SI, Traina Thoughts. Jimmy has hosted the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast since 2018, a show known for interviews with some of the most important and powerful people in sports media. He also was the creator and writer for SI’s Hot Clicks feature from 2007 to 2013.