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WNBA viewership numbers looking good on ESPN

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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.