While executives at Turner and ESPN try to figure out what is wrong with the NBA ratings in 2020, suits in Bristol are celebrating what has happened with the Association’s sister league. The WNBA Finals saw huge year-over-year growth this season.
The Seattle Storm’s WNBA Finals victory over the Las Vegas Aces averaged 440,000 viewers for each of the series’ three games. That represents a 15% growth over last year’s series.
Viewership for the NBA Finals is historically low this year. It should be noted though that ABC’s average audience for the four games in the series so far has been 6.46 million people. It is obviously significantly higher than the WNBA Finals, but all of the factors the league is pointing to to explain the decline in NBA viewership are things the WNBA has dealt with as well. Why are the women seeing their audience grow while the men’s shrinks?
The answer could be something as simple as starting with a lower number. The final game of the WNBA Finals was not remotely competitive. Seattle blew out Las Vegas 92-59. Still, the game saw 570,000 people tune in, dwarfing last year’s Game 3 by 27%.