media source avatar
Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 11/1/2023, Last updated: 11/2/2023
link picture

Record Setting 1.659 Million TV Viewers for Women’s Volleyball Match Continues Historic Season For Big Ten Women’s Sports

page picture

ROSEMONT, Illinois – Big Ten women’s volleyball averaged 1.659 million viewers Sunday afternoon on FOX — the largest TV audience on record for a college volleyball match. The regionalized coverage of Wisconsin women’s volleyball hosting Minnesota, and Ohio State taking on Michigan, nearly tripled the previous record established just one week ago when #1 Nebraska defeated the #2 Badgers. 

“The profile of women’s athletics in the Big Ten Conference is at an all-time high, with some of the biggest names and brands anywhere in sports,” said Commissioner Tony Petitti. “The collaboration between our staff, our schools, and our broadcast partners has been critical in elevating the platform we provide. With the introduction of strategic scheduling principles overseen by Chief Operating Officer Kerry Kenny and Senior Director Television Administration Grace McNamara, the future of Big Ten women’s sports has never been brighter.”

Sunday’s historic viewership is the latest highlight in an exciting fall for Big Ten women’s sports. Earlier this month, 55,646 fans filled Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium for a women’s basketball exhibition between the Hawkeyes and DePaul Blue Demons, the largest crowd in the history of women's basketball.

In August, Nebraska volleyball hosted the University of Nebraska-Omaha inside Memorial Stadium in front of the largest crowd to ever witness a women’s sporting event in the United States - 92,003 - breaking the previous record of 90,185 established at the 1999 World Cup soccer final between the U.S. and China at the Rose Bowl.

This undeniable momentum is expected to continue into the winter season when Big Ten women’s basketball tips off in November, with all 126 conference games to be nationally produced and distributed for the 10th consecutive season. The 2023-24 campaign marks the most coverage on nationally distributed platforms in Big Ten women’s basketball history, including six Big Ten regular-season games televised on a broadcast platform, the most in conference history. In addition, the 2024 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Championship Game will air on CBS, the event’s first appearance on broadcast television.