WNBA TV Viewership Jumps 74% Five Games Into Season

    • The WNBA recorded a 15% increase in viewership during its finals last year.
    • Viewership for this season’s opening weekend rose 325% in Canada.

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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.

Last year, the WNBA claimed just over 3% of sports coverage. This season’s spike bodes well for the league, which has lost more than $10 million per year since its inception.