ESPN2 Carries Nielsen Momentum Into WNBA Championship Game


Buoyed by the series top performance in Game 4, ESPN2 could see the 2009 WNBA Finals become the league's second most-watched championship round on its air.
Through four games, the WNBA Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever averaged 521,000, up 65% from the 316,000 average for the Detroit Shock's three-game series sweep of the San Antonio Silver Stars, according to Nielsen data.
Moreover, household impressions grew 64% to 423,000 from 258,000, while the rating climbed 33% to a 0.4 mark from a 0.3 for the 2008 Finals.
Game 4, in which the Mercury evened matters, drew 670,231 watchers on Oct. 7, the most for the 2009 WNBA Finals to date.
ESPN2 averaged 631,000 watchers for its two telecasts of the 2003 WNBA (ESPN covered the other game), while the 2007 Finals, which the Mercury took in five games over the Shock, averaged 542,000 viewers on ESPN2 over four game. Tacking on the fifth game and that series averaged 545,000 viewers, according to ESPN officials.
The decisive Game 5 tips off tonight in Phoenix at 9 p.m. Terry Gannon and Carolyn Peck will have the call.