Lun. May 27th, 2024

The Caitlin Clark experience delivered another television milestone as ESPN’s coverage of the WNBA draft on Monday night averaged a record 2.45 million viewers.

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Viewership peaked at 3.09 million, ESPN said in a release Tuesday.

The audience was more than four times as many viewers when compared to the 2023 draft, which drew 572,000. The previous draft record was 601,000 in 2004, when UConn’s Diana Taurasi went No. 1 overall.

Monday’s viewership was the highest for any WNBA telecast since 2000, when NBC averaged 2.74 million viewers for a Memorial Day contest between the New York Liberty and now-defunct Houston Comets.

The reason for such a high audience on Monday was Clark, a generational player from Iowa who has brought thousands of new fans to the sport.

Clark and Iowa played against South Carolina in this year’s women’s NCAA championship game, and the telecast on ESPN averaged a record 18.7 million viewers.

Clark was selected No. 1 overall by the Indiana Fever, who will have peak visibility this WNBA season, with 36 of their 40 games featured by the league’s national broadcast and streaming partners.

Information from ESPN’s Michael Voepel and Field Level Media was included in this report.

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