WNBA Finals’ Viewership Rises for Second Straight Year
For the second straight year, the audience for the WNBA Finals increased as the Seattle Storm swept the Atlanta Dream in three close games. Games 2 and 3 were on ESPN2 (Game 1 was on ABC) and averaged 422,000 households, up 15 percent from Games 2 and 3 on ESPN2 last year (Indiana vs. Phoenix, a five-game series) and up 79 percent from those two contests on ESPN2 in 2008 (Detroit vs. San Antonio, a 3-0 sweep).
Among viewers (P2+), the increase for the same two games over last year was 20 percent, from an average of 430,000 impressions to 516,000. Compared to 2008, the rise was 73 percent (from 299,000). This year’s two games averaged a 0.4 rating on ESPN2, equal to last year and double the 0.2 of 2008.
All the key male demographic groups showed impressive double-digit growth, led by M18-34 (+90 percent).
Last night’s Game 3 averaged 437,000 homes and 545,000 viewers, increases of 32 percent and 40 percent, respectively. In Seattle, the telecast earned a 3.8 overnight rating, the highest local WNBA rating on ESPN or ESPN2 for any market since a 4.0 in Hartford on September 15, 2005 (Game 2 of the WNBA Finals, Connecticut vs. Sacramento).