Women’s hoops soars to new heights with unprecedented fan engagement

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Move over, NCAA. The excitement didn’t end with the tournament. The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is riding a wave of popularity that shows no signs of cresting. The league announced on Monday that fans are turning out and tuning in at record levels, setting a new benchmark for the sport.

Kicking off its 28th season on May 14, the WNBA has experienced its most-watched start in history. With games broadcast across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and CBS, the league is averaging a staggering 1.3 million viewers per game. This is nearly triple last season’s average of 462,000 viewers, illustrating a seismic shift in viewer interest and engagement.

The surge in viewership is mirrored in physical attendance. Around 400,000 fans flocked to games in May, marking the highest first-month turnout in 26 years. Impressively, over half of these games were completely sold out. This enthusiastic support underscores the league’s growing appeal and the electrifying atmosphere that fans crave.

The league’s powerful rookie class, featuring stars like Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever and Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky, has significantly contributed to this surge. Their presence has driven a 236% increase in merchandise sales year over year. Additionally, the WNBA is celebrating a more diverse audience, with a 60% year-over-year increase in viewership among people of color and a doubling of viewership among 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,” said Chief Growth Officer Colie Edison.

(Source: Clutch Points | Spectrum News | WNBA)

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