ESPN’s broadcast of the Los Angeles Sparks’ opening day victory over the Phoenix Mercury has become the most viewed regular season game on domestic pay-TV for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 24 years.
- Game averages 683,000 viewers on ESPN, with a peak audience of one million
- Viewership on Disney-owned sports network was up 103 per cent from the previous campaign’s opening day game
- 2023 season’s opening day was the most viewed on ESPN platforms in 11 years
The WNBA season opener was widely anticipated given it marked the return of Mercury center Brittney Griner, who had missed the previous season after being detained in Russia. The positive viewing figures will also serve as a boost for the league as it prepares to negotiate its next series of domestic broadcast partnerships.
ESPN2 will next show the Seattle Storm’s home game against the New York Liberty on 30th May.