WNBA Viewership Grows on ESPN2, NBATV

Networks Notch Respective Gains of 19%, 34%

Perhaps benefiting from a strong promotional campaign, WNBA viewership has jumped during its 2013 season to date.

The women’s pro basketball circuit has registered a 19% gain on ESPN2 and an advance of more than one-third on NBA TV as it moves towards the home stretch of its current campaign.

Through 10 telecasts, ESPN2 averaged 236,000, up 19% from 198,000 over the corresponding span of the 2012 season, according to Nielsen data.

On NBA TV, 19 WNBA contests averaged 55,000 watchers, 34% amelioration from 41,000 a year ago.

The WNBA was pushed hard with a promo campaign developed by ESPN centering on the rookie class of Britney Griner, Elena Delle Donna and Skylar Diggins, who were celebrated as “3 to See” as their collegiate careers wound down at Baylor, Delaware and Notre Dame,  respectively.

The improved television performance of the WNBA follows the March 28 announcement of a rights deal for the 2017-22 seasons that is separate from ESPN’s extant contract with the NBA that also encompasses the distaff hoops league through 2016.