News Sports Caitlin Clark: WNBA Debut Shatters Viewership Records
Indiana Fever

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Caitlin Clark's WNBA Debut Draws Record Audience

May 14, 2024

by [Your Name]

Uncasville, Connecticut, USA - The WNBA witnessed a historic moment on Tuesday night as Caitlin Clark, the former Iowa G, made her professional debut for the Indiana Fever. The game between the Fever and the Connecticut Sun became the most-watched WNBA matchup in 23 years, captivating fans across the nation.

Record-Breaking Viewership

The numbers speak for themselves: an impressive 2.13 million viewers tuned in to watch the game. The broadcast spanned ESPN2 (2.12 million) and ESPN Deportes (13,000), marking the largest WNBA audience since the Sparks-Comets clash on NBC during Memorial Day 2001 (2.44 million). Notably, this game also set a new cable record for WNBA viewership.

Previous Highs and Comparisons

Before Clark's debut, the highest-rated WNBA game on ESPN networks (including ABC) was Diana Taurasi's career opener against the same Connecticut Sun in 2004, which drew 1.43 million viewers. However, Clark shattered that record, ushering in a new era of interest in women's basketball.

While the NBA playoffs dominated the night, with Pacers-Knicks averaging 4.88 million viewers on TNT, Clark's impact was undeniable. Her coattails didn't extend to the Mercury-Aces game, which retained less than a quarter of its lead-in audience.

Future Prospects

Although Clark's debut didn't quite reach the heights of NBA stars like Victor Wembanyama or LeBron James, it came close. Her performance resonated with fans, and her journey promises more exciting moments for the WNBA.

Local Fervor

In Indianapolis, the Fever game achieved a 2.95 rating, but it couldn't match the Pacers' Game 5 against the Knicks, which combined for a massive 10.9 rating across TNT and truTV.

As the WNBA continues to thrive, Caitlin Clark's electrifying debut will be remembered as a turning point in the league's history.

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