WNBA sees historic viewership, attendance, and sales to begin 2024 season

June 12, 2024
Business is booming through the first month of the WNBA’s 2024 season. On yesterday’s episode of The GIST of It, co-host Ellen Hyslop put its early wins into perspective of how long the league has been here and where it’s headed next. Here are a few key metrics released by the league that prove the W has entered a whole new era.
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WNBA sees historic viewership, attendance, and sales to begin 2024 season
Source: Brian Fluharty/Getty Images

The GIST: Business is booming through the first month of the WNBA’s 2024 season. On yesterday’s episode of The GIST of It, co-host Ellen Hyslop put its early wins into perspective of how long the league has been here and where it’s headed next. Here are a few key metrics released by the league that prove the W has entered a whole new era.

🏟️ The WNBA’s first month attendance of over 400K marked its highest in 26 years. So far, more than half of W games have been sellouts, including a 20K crowd at Capital One Arena that was the biggest WNBA game turnout since 2007. WNBA arenas have also been filled to 94% capacity, up 17% YoY.

  • The WNBA has actually seen a steady decline of in-person attendance since 1998, making the current jump in crowd size all the more remarkable.

📺 Through the first month, the 2024 season has been the most-watched ever on every channel airing W games. This includes ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and CBS, where games averaged 1.32M viewers, nearly triple last season’s average of 462K. And during its most-viewed first week in history, four of the top five social moments featured a first-year player. The rooks won this round.

  • The increasing numbers aren’t just limited to linear platforms. Digital channels have seen all-time growth — May WNBA League Pass subscriptions are up 335% YoY and WNBA App monthly active users jumped 613% YoY.

🌐 The WNBA’s audience is diversifying. Viewership is up 60% YoY among POC, with Hispanic fans increasing 96% YoY and Black viewers growing 67% YoY. Tip-off week saw a 124% YoY increase from people under 35 and a 139% viewership growth among young girls.

🎽 The league’s merchandise sales experienced a 236% YoY increase. Rookies Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, and Cameron Brink ranked among the top five in jersey sales during the first week of the season…although they won’t enjoy revenue share from merch sales under their current CBA, unlike NBA players. A technical foul.