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Caitlin Clark, Indiana Fever Deliver Record Ratings for ABC, ESPN


Caitlin Clark was expected to bring record numbers of viewership to the WNBA in her first season in the league.

Four games in, she’s doing just that.

More news: WNBA Power Rankings: Caitlin Clark, Fever Plummet, Chicago Sky Jump Up

On Saturday, when Clark’s Indiana Fever lost to Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty in her third career WNBA game, a record number of viewers tuned in. ESPN announced that 1.71 million viewers watched the game, which is the most-viewed WNBA game ever on ABC. The viewership numbers for Saturday’s game peaked at 1.96 million.

Additionally, Saturday featured the most-viewed WNBA Opening Weekend doubleheader ever on ABC. The Liberty took down the Fever in the first game of the doubleheader, while the Las Vegas Aces beat the Los Angeles Sparks in the second game. An average of 1.5 million viewers turned up across the two games, a 143 percent increase from the 2023 season average viewership on ABC.

Caitlin Clark
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MAY 16: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever guards against Sabrina Ionescu #20 of the New York Liberty in the third quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on May 16, 2024 in Indianapolis,…


Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Clark has almost single-handedly changed the way people look at the WNBA, and is bringing a level of popularity the sport has never seen.

Clark’s jerseys flew off the Fanatics shelves in record time, and opposing teams have moved to larger stadiums to fit the massive amount of crowds that want to watch her play.

Clark has already made history multiple times early in her WNBA career. On Tuesday, it was announced she signed a deal with the Wilson Sporting Goods Co., becoming the first WNBA athlete in history to secure such a deal. She’s also the first athlete since Michael Jordan to sign with Wilson.

The Fever are off to an 0-4 start this season, but Clark is still putting on a show. Through four games, she’s averaging 17.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game on 41.2 percent shooting from the field, 34.3 percent shooting from deep, and 100 percent shooting from the free throw line.

The Fever played their best all-around game on Monday when they lost 88-84, and had a look at a game-tying layup to potentially force overtime. Clark left the game toward the end of the second quarter with an apparent ankle injury, but was able to return for the start of the third quarter and play the remainder of the game.

The Fever’s next matchup is on Wednesday against the Seattle Storm. Then, they play a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday against the Sparks and Aces. All three games are on the road, so expect to see more big crowds littered with Clark jerseys.

The Fever’s next ESPN game is scheduled for June 1.