Women Now Make Up One-Third Of NBA Audience

    • Female viewers rose 23% during the 2021-22 Regular Season.
    • Overall full-season viewership rose 19% to 1.6 million average viewers.

Women are becoming an increasingly vital part of the NBA’s audience.

Full-season NBA viewership for the 2021-22 regular season rose 19% to 1.6 million average game viewers. 

But the growth of female viewers outpaced that overall average, with viewership up 23% from last season – and 11% from the 2019-2020 season. 

Women now make up fully one-third of the NBA audience. This season was the NBA’s most-watched since the 2018-19 regular season.

The Walt Disney Co.’s ABC/ESPN ($1.4B) and Turner Sports’ TNT ($1.2B) pay a combined $2.6 billion a year to televise the NBA.

This season, the NBA on ABC averaged 3.03 million viewers, up 13% vs. last season. 

ESPN games averaged 1.4 million viewers, a 17% increase. TNT games averaged 1.4 million viewers, up 13%.

The NBA’s ability to reach female basketball fans could boost rights fees as the league negotiates its next round of billion-dollar media deals this year. 

With its young, diverse audience, the NBA could draw over $8 billion annually and $75 billion overall from eager media partners.

Bidders could include tech giants like Apple and Amazon, as well as gambling heavyweights such as FanDuel and DraftKings that are morphing into media operations from pure sports betting plays.