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WNBA Draft draws 3 million to ESPN platforms

The 2024 WNBA Draft saw high interest thanks in part to Caitlin Clark's participation in the event.

The 2024 WNBA Draft saw high interest thanks in part to Caitlin Clark's participation in the event.

More than 2.4 million people tuned in to ESPN to watch some or all of the 2024 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) draft, according to preliminary viewership figures released by Nielsen on Tuesday.

The event was the most-watched WNBA Draft ever, according to officials at ESPN, with interest fueled in large part by basketball star Caitlin Clark, who was drafted to the Indiana Fever on Monday.

Across ESPN platforms, nearly 3.1 million people tuned in at the draft’s peak, the network said. It was the most-watched program of the evening among people under the age of 35, and nearly 1.1 million women tuned in to watch some or all of the event, ESPN said.

On social media, ESPN saw a 1,164 percent increase in engagement during the 2024 WNBA Draft compared to 2022, the network affirmed.

The data is, perhaps, unsurprising: The final game of the NCAA March Madness women’s college basketball tournament — which Clark participated in — grabbed 18.4 million viewers for ESPN and its sister broadcast network ABC, according to Nielsen data, with the event peaking at 24 million viewers across both networks.

By comparison, the final game of the NCAA March Madness men’s college basketball tournament drew an average of 14.8 million viewers to TNT Sports, with the event aired on cable channels TBS and TNT.

ESPN is operated as a joint venture between the Walt Disney Company and Hearst Television, with Disney owning a controlling stake in the network. ABC is wholly-owned by Disney.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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