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WNBA is all in for Caitlin Clark, as seen by the TV schedule

The 2024 WNBA television and streaming schedule was released by the league on Wednesday, with a strong emphasis on the Indiana Fever, who will most likely use their first-round pick to select the star point guard from Iowa, who helped break attendance and TV ratings records in the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Of the 40 games in the schedule, 36 will be aired by the WNBA’s national broadcast and streaming partners, including eight games on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2, eight matchups on ION, and two on the CBS Television Network.

The Fever will also appear on NBA TV thirteen times, Prime Video four times, and CBS Sports Network once.

This is a significant departure from the previous campaign, in which the Fever—whose roster included 2023 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston—only had one game on national television.

Front Office Sports reports that some WNBA teams have raised their ticket costs for their games against Indiana.

Among those teams was the Mercury, who last week used social media to advertise a flyer featuring a silhouette of Clark wearing her college jersey, number 22, for their June 30 clash against the Fever.

With the title, “The GOAT vs. THE ROOK,” the picture showcased Diana Taurasi, the three-time champion guard from Phoenix, and Clark, the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer in Division I.

Data revealed that the NCAA women’s national championship game attracted a higher TV audience than the men’s, leading to the revelation of the broadcast schedule.

According to The Athletic, the men’s game on TNT and TBS on Monday, in which UConn upset Purdue to win the championship for the second time in a row, averaged 14.8 million viewers.

More people watched the women’s game on ABC and ESPN than any other basketball game (men’s or women’s, collegiate or professional) since 2019, with South Carolina defeating Clark and Iowa in front of 18.7 million viewers.

Peak viewership for the show was an astounding 24 million.

All of this indicates that the Caitlin Clark effect persists outside of higher education.

Four other teams with intriguing narratives for the upcoming season—the New York Liberty, Dallas Wings, Phoenix Mercury, and Las Vegas Aces, the two-time defending WNBA champions—were also highlighted in the 2024 WNBA broadcast schedule.

The Aces are trying to become the first team to win a third straight title since the Houston Comets, who won four in a row from 1997 to 2000, and they have the second-most appearances across all platforms.

Dallas and Phoenix lead the list of teams with the most national broadcast appearances, followed by the Liberty, who were defeated by Las Vegas in the WNBA Finals the previous season.

The WNBA has been promoting this year’s draft, which will be held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, with Clark and many other college players who have contributed to the growth of the women’s game, including Cameron Brink of Stanford, Angel Reese of LSU, and Kamilla Cardoso of South Carolina.

Following a 2023 season that featured one of the greatest MVP races in WNBA history and our most watched regular season in over two decades, the WNBA’s broadcast and streaming partners are offering a huge national platform that will showcase the league’s superstars, rising stars, rivalries, and a newly reconfigured WNBA Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase. This will all add to the excitement and energy already generated by what we anticipate will be a star-studded rookie class. Commissioner of the WNBA, Cathy Engelbert said.

Written by schooleiwa

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