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WNBA reports record TV viewership for 2024 season, highest game attendance in 26 years

1 month ago 31

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) maneuvers past Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins (7) and Washington Mystics guard DiDi Richards (12) during the Washington Mystics-Indiana Fever WNBA game at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., on June 7, 2024.

Craig Hudson | The Washington Post | Getty Images

The growing popularity of women's basketball did not stop with the NCAA tournament — fans are showing up and tuning in at record levels for Women's National Basketball Association games, too, the league reported Monday.

The beginning of the 28th season, which started May 14, has been the most-watched on TV networks in the league's history, according to a release. Across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS, the WNBA is averaging 1.3 million viewers per game, tripling last season's average of 462,000 viewers.

About 400,000 fans attended games in May, the most first-month attendees in 26 years, according to the league. More than half those games were sold out.

The WNBA attributed much of the growing fan engagement to its powerful rookie class. Jersey sales for big names such as Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever and Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky contributed to a 236% jump in merchandise sales year over year.

The league also reported more diverse viewership. The number of people tuning in to games on TV grew 60% year over year among people of color. Viewership in the first week of the season more than doubled for young girls and people under age 35.

"We're encouraged by growing engagement across all our verticals, especially as we welcome new and diverse audiences into our fandom," Chief Growth Officer Colie Edison said in the release.

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