Rolling Out

2024 WNBA season breaks records with soaring fan engagement and viewership

The WNBA’s surge in popularity leads to its highest attendance in 26 years
Angel Reese, also known as the Bayou Barbie, at the 2024 WNBA Draft. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out)
Angel Reese, also known as the Bayou Barbie, at the 2024 WNBA Draft. (Photo credit: Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out.)

The 2024 WNBA season has tipped off with unprecedented momentum, drawing fans in record numbers to arenas and across various media platforms. With over 400,000 attendees in the first month, the highest in 26 years, the league is experiencing a surge in popularity that is breaking previous records.

Record-breaking attendance and viewership

Over half of the games this season have been sellouts, marking a 156% increase from the previous year. The 28th season opened on May 14 to packed stands and a significant rise in television viewership. Networks including ABC, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ION, and NBA TV have seen an average of 1.32 million viewers per game, nearly tripling last season’s numbers. The Indiana Fever vs. Connecticut Sun opener set a new record with a peak of 2.34 million viewers on Disney platforms, the most-watched WNBA game ever on these channels.

Demographic shifts and increased engagement

The WNBA has welcomed a more diverse audience this season, with a 124% increase in viewers under 35 years old and a 139% increase in young girls tuning in. The league has also seen a significant rise in viewership among Black and Hispanic fans. Social media engagement has soared, with a 380% increase in video views during the first week compared to last season. Rookies like Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark have been instrumental in attracting a larger audience, contributing to the heightened social media buzz.

Merchandise sales and league pass subscriptions skyrocket

Jersey sales have seen a remarkable 756% increase through the WNBA Store compared to last year, with rookies Clark, Reese, and Cameron Brink leading the top 5 in sales. WNBA League pass subscriptions have also jumped by 335%, indicating a growing interest in following the league more closely.

The WNBA’s 2024 season is a testament to the athletes’ talent and the league’s growth and also reflects the increasing value placed on women’s sports by fans and investors alike. With the league’s continued efforts to expand its reach and engage with a wider audience, the future of the WNBA looks brighter than ever.

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