The Crusader Newspaper Group

WNBA opens 2024 Season with high marks for attendance and viewership

2022 WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson

The WNBA’s unprecedented growth continues as the league, which just tipped off its 28th season on May 14th, finished May with its highest attended opening month in 26 years and its most-watched start of season across each network ever: ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, CBS, ION and NBA TV.

The WNBA also saw complementary viewership marks amongst diversified audiences. Notably, viewership grew 60% year-over-year among people of color, with the most-represented demographics in that category – Hispanic and Black fans – notching a 96% and 67% year-over- year growth in viewership, respectively. Additionally, Tip-Off Week presented by CarMax saw a 124% increase in Under 35 viewership and a 139% growth in young girls tuning in.

From preseason through the end of May, the 2024 rookie class contributed meaningfully on the court and continued to drive fan engagement. Throughout Tip-off Week, four of the five moments that drove the most engagement on social channels featured highlights of Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark, Chicago Sky’s Angel Reese, Los Angeles Sparks’s Cameron Brink or Las Vegas Aces’ Kate Martin. WNBA merchandise sales are seeing a 236% increase year-over-year, with Clark, Reese and Brink ranking in the top five for jersey sales during the first week of the season.

The growth of diverse audiences is also resulting in deepened and more frequent single-user engagement across digital platforms. WNBA App monthly active users is up 613% year-over-year, and League Pass subscriptions more than tripled in the first two weeks of the season with the highest average minutes watched in league history.

“What’s happening now in women’s basketball is confirmation of what we’ve always known: The demand is there, and women’s sports is a valuable investment,” said Chief Growth Officer Colie Edison. “We’re encouraged by growing engagement across all our verticals, especially as we welcome new and diverse audiences into our fandom. The WNBA continues to experience sustained growth as our league embraces this heightened momentum.”

Additional highlights for start of season include:


Approximately 400,000 fans attended WNBA games since the tip of the season through the end of May, the most through the first month of the season in 26 years. More than half of all WNBA games were sellouts, which is a 156% increase from last year.

Additionally, WNBA arenas were filled to a 94% capacity, up 17% from last year.


Across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS, WNBA games are averaging 1.32 million viewers, nearly tripling last season’s average (462,000 viewers). Additional individual network highlights include:

  • ESPN2: The Opening Night matchup featuring the Indiana Fever vs. the Connecticut Sun (May 14) averaged 2.12 million viewers across ESPN2, ESPN+ and Disney+, peaking at 2.34 million viewers, making it the most-watched WNBA game on Disney platforms ever.
  • ABC: The Indiana Fever vs. the New York Liberty (May 18) on ABC averaged 1.71 million viewers, making it the most-viewed WNBA game on ABC ever and the second- most-viewed game across Disney networks ever (behind only this year’s Opening Night matchup featuring the Indiana Fever vs. the Connecticut Sun on ESPN2).
  • WNBA Countdown on ABC and ESPN2 has averaged 741,000 viewers, up +211% vs. last year’s full season Countdown average across ABC/ESPN/ESPN2.
  • ESPN: The Connecticut Sun vs. Indiana Fever (May 20) averaged 1.56 million viewers, making it the most-viewed WNBA game on ESPN ever.
  • CBS: In the Network’s first game of the season, the New York Liberty vs. the Minnesota Lynx (May 25) averaged 704,000 viewers, making it the most-viewed WNBA game on CBS ever.

Additionally, ION and NBA TV set new viewership highs during the start of the 2024 season:

  • ION: ION, in its second-year airing WNBA games, saw its most-viewed WNBA game ever when the Indiana Fever vs. the Los Angeles Sparks averaged 724,000 viewers on May 24. ION’s average WNBA game viewership has increased by 51% households, comparing Weeks 1-3 of the 2023 season to Weeks 1-3 of the 2024 season.
  • NBA TV: The Los Angeles Sparks vs. the Indiana Fever (May 28) averaged 356,000 viewers, making it the most-viewed WNBA game on NBA TV ever. *Subsequently surpassed by the Fever at Liberty game (June 2) that averaged 430,000 viewers, making it the most-viewed WNBA game on NBA TV ever.


Since the start of the season, has already set the record for the most single- season sales in store history as overall transactions are up 756% versus the same time period last year.

WNBA Social Media

WNBA social channels garnered 157 million video views through the first week of the season, the most viewed WNBA tip-off week on social media ever and up 380% vs. last year.

WNBA League Pass

May set an all-time high for WNBA League Pass subscriptions with a 335% increase vs. last season.

Recent News

Scroll to Top