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WNBA viewership numbers looking good on ESPN

Three new rookies helped the WNBA firm up its viewing numbers at ESPN. The WNBA averaged more viewers per regular season game than Major League Soccer.


A new article from John Ourand and Austin Karp over at Sports Business Daily gives us some viewing numbers for the 2013 WNBA season.

* The average regular season WNBA game (ESPN2) was viewed by 231,000 viewers.
* The average WNBA Finals game (ESPN2) was viewed by 344,000 viewers.

Some comparisons to other numbers:

* NCAA women's basketball (ESPN2) games (prime time and afternoon) have an average 289,000 viewers.
* Major League Soccer regular season games (ESPN/ESPN2) have an average of 220,000 viewers.

The growth in viewership numbers - 2012 was an all-time low with average numbers of 180,000 viewers - is attributed to the rookie stars of Skylar Diggins, Elena Delle Donne and Brittney Griner.

The article also gives the top three and bottom three viewed games for 2013.

Top 3

1. Chicago at Phoenix, 27 May 2013: 455,000 viewers.
2. Washington at Tulsa, 27 May 2013: 314,000 viewers.
3. Los Angeles at Seattle, 20 August 2013: 281,000 viewers.

Bottom 3

1. Seattle at Phoenix, 6 August 2013: 145,000 viewers.
2. Indiana at Minnesota, 24 August 2013: 155,000 viewers.
3. New York at Indiana, 23 July 2013: 173,000 viewers.