WNBA Delivers Most Viewed Playoffs in 15 Years


( ENSPIRE Sports ) WNBA Adds to Regular Season Viewership Rating Success During Playoffs

ENSPIRE Contributor: Claya Davis

The WNBA builds on its record-breaking regular season by shattering even more viewership and public engagement records during the Playoff games. In a statement published on Friday (Aug. 26), ESPN PR announced that the first round of the playoffs (comprised of 10 games) attracted an impressive 392,000 unique viewers, which represents a 50% increase from the previous year and officially makes it the most viewed playoffs round in nearly 15 years. 

Presented by Google, the 2022 WNBA playoffs semifinals commenced today and will continue through Thursday (Sep. 8). As per their partnership with Disney Network, the playoffs will be covered by their network exclusively. Disney Network’s extensive coverage of the WNBA also includes several additional shows that provide viewers with behind the scene insights, game highlights, and recaps. 

Photo Credit: ESPN Press Room

2022 Regular Season Viewership Achievements:

  • There was a 16 percent increase in viewership of the regular season across ABC, ESPN, CBS, and ESPN2.
  • The AT&T WNBA All-Star game averaged 734,000 viewers, which represents a 54 percent increase from the previous year and is the league’s most viewed game of its kind in over 6 years. The same event also set a record for merchandise sales, with a 50 percent increase from the next best-selling game in league history (2018).
  • The viewership of the 2022 WNBA draft (presented by State Farm) was up 20 percent from 2021, averaging 403,000 viewers and becoming the most watched WNBA draft since 2004.
  • Across social media platforms, @WNBA videos received nearly 186 million views, which is a 36 percent increase from the previous year.
  • WNBA.com traffic increased exorbitantly, receiving 9.2 million total views, 5.4 million unique visitors, and 23.9 million total views.
  • During Seattle Storms’s Sue Bird (pictured below) last season, the team amassed the 6 highest attended games during the 2022 season. The last of these games had over 18 thousand fans in attendance and was the last of Bird’s 4-time championship-winning career.
Photo Credits: Dean Rutz, via Seattle Times

The 2022 Semifinal Playoffs games will be announced by play-by-play host veterans Pam Ward and Ryan Ruocco. Rebecca Lobo, Andraya Carter, and LaChina Robinson will serve as expert analysts, and Holly Rowe and Ros Gold-Onwude will lend their world-class reporting skills to the occasion. 

The first games of the WNBA Semifinal Playoffs are scheduled to commence tonight (Aug. 28). The first game has the Seattle Storm facing off against the Las Vegas Aces at 4 p.m. (ET). Later this evening, at 8 p.m. (ET), Connecticut Sun will play against the Chicago Sky. 

Photo Credits: ESPN Press Room

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