The WNBA’s 25th season is off to a roaring start.
After the league’s “Wubble” season last year, WNBA viewership is up 74% on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 through the first five games of the 2021 season — an average of 357,000 viewers per game.
Opening weekend saw a 325% increase in Canadian viewership — and that’s without a Canada-based team.
While the league saw a slight dip in overall viewers last year, interest spiked during the Finals, with the WNBA recording a 15% year-over-year increase in viewership, compared to the 49% decline for last year’s NBA Finals.
The jump in numbers across the three Disney-owned networks comes more resources are being devoted to women’s sports. Currently, only 4% of sports coverage is dedicated to women’s sports, but 84% of sports fans are interested in them, according to Bleacher Report.
- Amazon received exclusive streaming rights to 16 WNBA games each season in a multiyear deal.
- In May, Google joined Nike, Deloitte, and AT&T as a WNBA Changemaker.
- Kevin Durant recently backed a $3.5 million funding round for Just Women’s Sports, a multimedia company focused solely on women’s athletics.