Skip to main content

'Women are getting paid and they're playing their favourite sport': Recent women’s sports shattering viewing records


March Madness comes to a close this weekend, and this year on the women’s side, it’s been a ratings blockbuster.

Much of this year’s excitement comes from one superstar in particular, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark.

In an interview with CTV’s Todd Battis on Friday, Ellen Hyslop, co-founder of “The Gist,” a female-led media company covering sports, said a game with Clark on Monday shattered records.

“Iowa and Caitlin Clark when they played LSU and Angel Reese on Monday night in the Elite 8 set records with 12.3 million people tuning into that Elite 8, it’s a record for college women’s hoops, a record for men’s hoops,” said Hyslop.

“More people tuned into that game than any NBA, NHL or MLB game of all of last year, so if you don’t know Caitlin Clark’s name, you do now.”

Overcoming a loss in last year’s March Madness final to that same LSU Tigers team, Iowa has been considered the favourite this year.

“I think a lot of people are rooting for Caitlyn Clark in her senior year to go home with the victory, but it’s going to be really tough,” said Hyslop.

The finals are set, and Iowa will be up against South Carolina on Sunday, which has been one of the teams to watch out for.

“South Carolina is undefeated for the entire season so a lot of people are predicting that Iowa is going to end up playing South Carolina and that could be just such a fun game for all of us to watch.”

Also shattering records has been the Professional Women’s Hockey League.

“Yes, the PWHL is breaking records left, right, and centre. I think what’s so cool is we’re seeing them partner with a lot of NHL teams and a lot of NHL stadiums and they’ve been able to play in these arenas and set records,” said Hyslop.

She adds an upcoming game is already set to be a record breaker.

“We’re going to see PWHL Toronto face off against PWHL Montreal, that game sold out in minutes, so there’s going to be 21,000 people tuning in, it’s going to set another world record for professional women’s hockey,” she said.

Previously there was the CWHL in Canada, which was a non-profit model. That league folded in March 2019, which meant Canadian female hockey players had to go to the U.S. in order to play professionally.

There was also the Premier Hockey Federation in Canada, which came to a close in 2023.

Many players did not want to go south to play, leading to the creation of PWHPA, which became the PWHL four years later.

Hyslop says it’s good to see a female hockey league finally getting the recognition it deserves.

“I think it’s just a long time coming, they have been waiting for over four years for this PWHL sustainable, cross-border league to happen, and women are getting paid and playing their favourite sport,” said Hyslop.

With files from CTV's Todd Battis. Top Stories

Stay Connected