Championship game will air Sunday, April 2; semifinals on ESPN, March 31
The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship game will be broadcast live on ABC for the first time in 2023. The game will air Sunday, April 2, at 3 p.m. EDT and will be played at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The 2023 Women’s Final Four semifinal matchups will air on ESPN at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 31.
“Scheduling the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship on ABC has been a goal for quite some time in our ongoing efforts to maximize the exposure of women’s sports in collaboration with the NCAA,” said Burke Magnus, president, programming and original content. “Women’s NCAA Championships continue to generate strong audiences across the ABC/ESPN networks, and this move represents yet another unique opportunity to showcase this marquee event and the student-athletes who are competing for a national championship.”
ESPN aired NCAA Division I Women’s Tournament games on ABC for the first time in 2021, with two first-round matchups and four Sweet 16 contests available on the broadcast network. The trend continued in the 2021-22 season with the addition of two regular season matchups on ABC, as well as a number of tournament games.
“It’s a benchmark announcement for women’s basketball in being able to showcase the national championship game in Dallas for an expanded audience on ABC for the first time in 2023,” said Beth Goetz, chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and director of athletics at Ball State. “We are grateful to ABC/ESPN for the partnership in the continued growth of the game and championship.”
The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee recently confirmed the field of 68 teams participating in the 2023 championship will be announced on “Selection Sunday,” March 12, airing on ESPN at 8 p.m. EDT. The “First Four” opening-round games will be played March 15-16, and will take place at campus sites. The committee also announced March 24-27 playing dates for the 2023 regional rounds, which will be played using a two-host format with eight teams competing in Greenville, South Carolina, and eight teams playing in Seattle. The championship will follow this two-site regional format through 2027.
The 2022 Women’s Basketball Championship game, featuring South Carolina vs. UConn on ESPN, was the most-viewed women’s title game in nearly two decades (4.85 million viewers), with South Carolina capturing the program’s second national title in five years. The national semifinals averaged 2.7 million viewers, up 21% year over year, and was the most-viewed semifinals in a decade. The full tournament averaged 634,000 viewers, up 16% from last year’s coverage.
Additional 2022 viewership milestone details are available here.