The Verizon WNBA All-Star Game (Saturday, July 28, 3:30 p.m. ET) averaged 709,000 viewers, up 17 percent year over year.
The Verizon WNBA All-Star Game 2018 will highlight the league’s stars in the 15th edition of the star-studded event, broadcasting live on ABC on Saturday, July 28, at 3:30 p.m. ET from the Target Center in Minneapolis. Ryan Ruocco will call the game alongside analyst Rebecca Lobo, with reporters Holly Rowe and LaChina Robinson. In addition, ESPN2 will televise the hour-long All-Star Friday Night special on Friday, July 27, at 9 p.m., in which the team captains, the Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker and Washington Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne, discuss their starting lineups.
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ESPN grew its audience in the second quarter of the year, including a rise of 10% in prime time where all the key male and adult demo groups grew 6-12%.
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ESPN2’s presentation of the Seattle Storm vs. the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday, June 28, was the highest-rated, regular-season WNBA game on ESPN2 since 2011, and the highest-rated, regular-season WNBA game on the ESPN networks (excluding ABC) since 2016. The telecast delivered a 0.4 metered-market rating.
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Through three games, audience for the 2018 WNBA season is up 58% on ESPN2 compared to the first three games on ESPN2 in 2017. The season is averaging 266,300 viewers. The three games in 2018 on ESPN2 have also earned a 26% viewership gain over the first four games of 2017 that aired on ESPN and ESPN2. Each game has featured at least one of the participants of the 2016 and 2017 WNBA Finals – the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks.
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ESPN’s coverage of the 2018 WNBA season will tip off Sunday, May 20, at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2 when the defending champion Minnesota Lynx — led by Maya Moore – host the 2016 WNBA champions Los Angeles Sparks and 2016 WNBA Finals MVP Candace Parker in a rematch of last year’s Finals. Regular ESPN WNBA reporter Holly Rowe will bring her years of WNBA reporting to the commentary booth and provide play-by-play alongside analyst Rebecca Lobo, with reporter LaChina Robinson. Former WNBA star Katie Douglas will serve as a studio analyst for the opener.
ESPN’s telecasts of the WNBA Draft 2018 Presented by State Farm, which aired on ESPN2 and ESPNU on Thursday, April 12, earned a combined average audience of 212,000 viewers on ESPN2 and ESPNU, up +25% from last year. ESPN2’s telecast of the first round, which saw new franchise Las Vegas Aces select South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson with the No. 1 pick, was the most-watched ESPN2 telecast since 2014 and garnered an average audience of 308,000, a +13% increase over last year’s viewership.
Several of the top women’s college basketball prospects will gather at the Nike New York Headquarters, for the WNBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm on Thursday, April 12. Airing in prime time for the sixth-straight year, coverage and analysis of the first round will begin at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by coverage of the second and third rounds on ESPNU starting at 8 p.m. WNBA Draft host Ryan Ruocco will be joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo and LaChina Robinson, and reporter Holly Rowe. The Draft will also stream live on the ESPN App.
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Five-Game Series is Third Most-Viewed in ESPN History The Minnesota Lynx won their fourth WNBA Championship last night and the ESPN audience (including most of the streaming audience) – an average of 902,000 viewers (P2+) – is the fifth most all time among the 230 WNBA playoff games ESPN/ESPN2/ABC have aired since the league was … Read More
Last night’s WNBA Finals Game 5 on ESPN is the highest-rated WNBA Finals telecast since 2003, according to Nielsen. The WNBA Championship-clincher delivered a 0.8 metered market rating, doubling last year’s WNBA Finals Game 5 rating (0.4). The telecast peaked with a 1.1 rating from 10:45 – 11 p.m. ET. The 0.8 metered market rating is the best since Game 3 of the WNBA Finals in 2003 (1.0).