• Loading stock data...
Saturday, June 22, 2024

Candace Parker Wants Smarter WNBA Broadcast Times

  • Parker doesn’t want to see WNBA broadcasts “in competition with huge NHL playoff games.”
  • The two-time MVP thinks late night tip-offs hinder the WNBA’s visibility and its "chance to succeed."
Late-game start times and conflicts with other sports hinder the WNBA's visibility, says the two-time MVP.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

This WNBA season’s opening night viewership on ESPN platforms was up 103% over last year, but two-time MVP Candace Parker thinks the league needs to do a better job of avoiding conflict with other sports on TV.

“I think just in terms of continuing to raise visibility and making sure that our games aren’t in competition with huge NHL playoff games, or even putting one of the biggest [NCAA] games in South Carolina and LSU on the same day as the Super Bowl. There’s some stuff that I wish we would make it make sense,” Parker said after FOS asked her about what she’d like to see changed in the WNBA.

The Las Vegas Aces forward referred to the LSU-South Carolina matchup on Feb. 12, which drew 1.5 million average viewers on ESPN as the most-watched regular season women’s college basketball game since 2010. The game’s 2 p.m. ET tipoff had it run into Fox’s pregame coverage of Super Bowl LVII. And to Parker’s point, last year’s WNBA Finals on ABC went head-to-head with broadcast times of Week 1 of the NFL regular season. 

“Visibility is a huge part of eyeballs being on the games, and sometimes if it’s at nine o’clock Pacific Time, I don’t know how many eyeballs are gonna be up watching it in the East Coast. I think that’s a huge point that I would love changed, is giving it a chance to succeed,” said Parker, who has a broadcasting gig with TNT.

ESPN has not released WNBA viewership data since this season’s opening weekend, marking Brittney Griner’s return and the most-viewed WNBA game on cable in 24 years. Last season’s WNBA broadcasts averaged 372,000 viewers per game, the most since 2008. April’s WNBA Draft on ESPN was the league’s most-viewed draft since 2004.

Parker, now in her 16th WNBA season, recently partnered with Muscle Milk to build an outdoor fitness court in Los Angeles, Atlanta, or Orlando. The selected city will be determined by a fan vote.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Finals Draw Underwhelming Viewership, but NBA Juggernaut Rolls On

The impact will be negligible on the NBA’s $76 billion media-rights talks.

Clark vs. Reese: Priciest WNBA Game Set for Record-Breaking Viewership

Ticket pricing has already set a league record, while viewership expectations are lofty.

Aces Sell Out Regular-Season Home Games in WNBA First

The Aces’ slow start continues to have no impact on the box office. 

TV Companies Losing Subscribers As Sports Rights Deals Continue to Rise

Four major TV provider companies reported huge losses.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How Women’s Sports Media is Charting Its Own Path


Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.

The NFL Could Be the Key to Stephen A. Smith’s ESPN Future

Can Stephen A. Smith become the next Howard Cosell?
June 18, 2024

Roger Goodell Rips ‘Below Standard’ NFL Network Broadcasts in Trial Testimony

The commissioner testified in federal court that NFL Network was subpar.
June 18, 2024

Caitlin Clark Continues to be Enormous Box Office for the WNBA

Sunday’s Fever-Sky game was the most-watched WNBA broadcast in 23 years.

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
June 18, 2024

ESPN’s Up-and-Down NBA Season Ends With Finals to Forget

The Finals are set to stay on ESPN through 2036.
June 17, 2024

Leagues’ Disclosure Demands Add Complexity to DSG’s Bankruptcy Exit

The bankrupt regional sports network operator makes an emergency motion for a discovery conference.
June 17, 2024

Why U.S. Soccer Fans Can’t Watch Some Euro 2024 Games on Cable

The small number of matches are exclusively on the expensive streamer.
June 17, 2024

Charles Barkley’s ‘Retirement’ Could Be Last-Ditch Power Play

Barkley has always proved himself to be a master negotiator.