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

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 didn’t stop with the NCAA tournament — fans are showing up and tuning in at record levels for WNBA games too, the league reported on 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 of those games were sold out.

The WNBA attributed much of the growing fan engagement to its powerful rookie class. Jersey sales for big names like 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 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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