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WNBA regular season ratings up 24% on 2019

ESPN averages 306k viewers per game during 2021 regular season.

24 September 2021 Tom Bassam
ESPN's coverage of the WNBA averaged 306,000 viewers per game during the 2021 regular season

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  • Audience up 49% over disrupted 2020 regular season
  • Chicago Sky’s 87-85 win over Seattle Storm in August scores top regular season audience of 755k viewers

Regular season coverage of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) on US sports broadcast giant ESPN saw ratings up 24 per cent against the last uninterrupted full campaign in 2019.

ESPN confirmed that its coverage of the US-based women’s basketball league averaged 306,000 viewers per game. That figure represents a significant 49 per cent jump over last year’s regular season when it was played in the biosecure bubble at the IMG Academy in Florida. The 2020 regular season’s average audience per game was 205,000.

Ahead of the playoffs, the most watched WNBA game in 2021 was the Chicago Sky’s 87-85 win over Seattle Storm in August, which scored 755,000 viewers on ESPN’s commercial sister channel ABC. That is the highest for a regular season game since 2012.

The positive total season figures maintain the strong start enjoyed by the WNBA’s 25th season. The first five games of the Disney-owned media company’s 25-match slate averaged 357,000 viewers across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.

Last year’s WNBA finals brought in a per game average of 440,000 viewers, which was up 15 per cent on 2019.

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