The Indiana Fever at Connecticut Sun season opener, featuring Caitlin Clark’s highly anticipated WNBA debut, has shattered viewership records on ESPN platforms. The game drew an impressive 2.1 million viewers across ESPN2, ESPN+, and Disney+, making it the most-watched WNBA game ever on these platforms, whether in the regular season or playoffs. This remarkable milestone surpasses the previous record set by the Phoenix Mercury at the Connecticut Sun game on May 22, 2004.


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Viewership peaked at 2.3 million between 7:45 p.m. and 7:59 p.m., highlighting the widespread excitement surrounding Clark’s entrance into the league. The buzz didn’t stop there; the second game of the night, featuring the Phoenix Mercury at Las Vegas Aces, averaged 464,000 viewers, marking a five percent increase compared to last year. Collectively, the two games averaged 1.28 million viewers, a staggering 192 percent rise from last season’s average on ESPN platforms.

The pre-game show, WNBA Countdown, which was presented by Google, also saw a significant uptick in viewership. The show averaged 680,000 viewers across ESPN2, ESPN+, and Disney+, reflecting a 126 percent increase compared to last year’s pre-game averages on ABC and ESPN.

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The surge in interest wasn’t confined to TV screens. WNBA content on ESPN.com and the ESPN App experienced a 409 percent increase in unique visitors year-over-year. Social media engagement with WNBA content on ESPN’s accounts also saw a 125 percent boost.

These record-breaking numbers underscore the growing popularity and excitement surrounding the WNBA and the immense draw of rising star Caitlin Clark.

Caitlin Clark made an impressive WNBA debut, scoring a team-high 20 points and hitting four 3-pointers. However, her performance wasn’t enough to secure a win, as the Connecticut Sun defeated her team 92-71.

Alyssa Thomas led the Sun with a triple-double, recording 13 points, 13 assists, and ten rebounds. This marked her 12th career triple-double in the WNBA, extending her league record, including regular season and playoff games.

Despite Clark’s strong showing, the Sun’s balanced attack and Thomas’ brilliance proved too much. The rookie phenom showcased her scoring prowess and provided a glimpse of her potential impact in the league.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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