The WNBA celebrated its most viewed season in history, claiming to have the largest increase in viewership in its 14-year history.
But to put it in perspective, more people watched the 2008 World Series of Poker finale than the WNBA Championship last month.
ESPN’s coverage of the WNBA averaged 379,00 viewers during the 2022 season and had a peak of 1.1 million for its final game between the Las Vegas Aces and Seattle Storm -roughly the same as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event which had 1.15 million viewers.
While ESPN decided to ditch WSOP and hand it over to CBS sports, they want you to believe their viewership for the WNBA is much higher, according to sports fans.
An ESPN video of the Las Vegas Aces players’ parade and celebration following their 2022 WNBA championship has racked up seven times the number of views as their championship game.
Many ESPN fans’ comments give insights as to why.
“ESPN is really trying hard for the WNBA, but we as a collective, outside of a few outliers don’t care at all,” one top comment reads.
“Dang wish I would have known,” another said in the top-voted comment. “This makes every game I missed this season.”
Another sports fan commented on ESPN’s coverage of the celebration being tightly focused to suggest more fans were present.
“I saw the parade was from Caesar’s Palace to the Bellagio fountains…those two properties are literally next door to each other,” they wrote.
“What in the middle school pizza party is this?” another wrote.
The city of Las Vegas was eager to celebrate the victory as it was the first time a major league sports team won a championship.
Even Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak proclaimed Sept. 20 as Las Vegas Aces Day.
But the most overstated gesture was made during a celebratory speech by the Las Vegas Ace’s owner, Mark Davis, who also owns the Raider’s NFL team.
“I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it now, to the greatest fans in professional sports, Las Vegas, we are world champions,” he said.
When it comes to WNBA fans, they are not mostly women as some would assume. In fact, most of their fans, while not many, are men.
According to Statistica, 81 percent of women are not fans of the league and only 3 percent of women are described as “avid fans.”
Comedian Bill Burr touched on their fan base with a controversial joke during his latest comedy tour, suggesting that if women would actually support the WNBA as they do other women, it would surpass the NBA in viewership.
“Ladies if you could just support the WNBA like you support a fat chick that’s proud of her body and is no longer a threat to you, that league would be doing better numbers than the NBA,” he said.
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