SPORTS PRO 🔵 WNBA starts 2024 season with record viewership on ABC, ESPN and CBS – SportsPro – Shango Media
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SPORTS PRO 🔵 WNBA starts 2024 season with record viewership on ABC, ESPN and CBS – SportsPro

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has opened its 2024 season with bumper attendances and record viewership in May.

Confirmed:

  • WNBA ends May with highest attended opening month in 26 years
  • Approximately 400,000 fans attended games
  • Arenas were at 94 per cent capacity, up 17 per cent from last year
  • More than half of all games were sellouts, marking a 156 per cent increase
  • Games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS are averaging 1.32 million viewers, nearly tripling last season’s average of 462,000
  • Indiana Fever versus Los Angeles Sparks on 24th May averaged 724,000 viewers, making it Ion’s most-viewed WNBA game ever
  • New York Liberty versus Fever on 2nd June averaged 430,000 viewers – the most-viewed WNBA game in NBA TV history
  • Viewership grew 60 per cent year-over-year (YoY) among people of colour
  • Hispanic and Black viewership rose 96 per cent and 67 per cent YoY, respectively
  • Tip-Off Week saw a 124 per cent increase in under 35 viewership and a 139 per cent growth in young girls tuning in
  • League’s official online store sets new record for the most single-season sales, with overall transactions up 756 per cent compared to the same period last year
  • WNBA social channels notched up 157 million video views through the first week of the season – the most viewed WNBA tip-off week on social media ever and up 380 per cent versus last year
  • May set an all-time high for WNBA League Pass subscriptions with a 335 per cent increase on last season
  • WNBA App monthly active users is up 613 per cent YoY

Context:

These stats underline the WNBA’s storming start to the 2024 season. A key driver has been the influx of young talent into the league, including college stars such as Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso, who have helped boost fan engagement. Indeed, WNBA merchandise sales are seeing a 236 per cent increase YoY, with Clark, Reese and Cameron Brink ranking in the top five for jersey sales during the first week of the season.

Clark’s regular season debut for the Fever also averaged 2.12 million viewers on ESPN2, making it the most-watched WNBA game in 23 years.

Comment:

“What’s happening now in women’s basketball is confirmation of what we’ve always known: The demand is there, and women’s sports is a valuable investment,” said Colie Edison, the WNBA’s chief growth officer.

“We’re encouraged by growing engagement across all our verticals, especially as we welcome new and diverse audiences into our fandom. The WNBA continues to experience sustained growth as our league embraces this heightened momentum.”

Coming next:

Clark’s Fever are next in action against the Atlanta Dream on 13th June.

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