Ratings for title game up 19 percent from 2005

Updated: April 6, 2006, 12:33 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The ratings for ESPN's broadcast of the NCAA women's championship game were up 19 percent from last year.

Maryland's 78-75 overtime victory over Duke on Tuesday night drew a 3.1 overnight rating, up from last year's 2.6.

The tournament was the most viewed on ESPN, averaging 1,322,717 households -- up 31 percent from 2005. ESPN's average rating was a 1.5, a 15 percent increase from last year's 1.3 and tied for the highest with 2004.

Nearly 2.77 million households tuned in as Maryland won its first women's title, surpassing last year's audience of nearly 2.37 million by 17 percent.

The rating is the percentage of all homes with TVs, whether or not they are in use. Overnight ratings measure the 55 largest TV markets in the United States, covering nearly 70 percent of the country.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press