Wednesday, April 17, 2024
HomesportIowa's Caitlin Clark draws historic viewership numbers for WNBA broadcast partner CBS

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark draws historic viewership numbers for WNBA broadcast partner CBS

It’s a complete sweep for Caitlin Clark and her Iowa Hawkeyes.

The Obese Ten championship sport between Iowa and Nebraska averaged greater than 3 million audience and peaked at 4.45 million audience when it was at extra time on CBS, the corporate announced on Tuesday. Iowa received its 1/3 consecutive Obese Ten name, 94-89, after Clark bounced back from a four-point first half.

It’s the 7th community to achieve historical score marks from the nationwide hobby in Clark, the NCAA all-time well-known scorer next passing Pete Maravich’s legendary record this month. And the general of the Obese 3 networks (ABC, CBS, NBC; plus Fox) to publish most-watched numbers for Iowa video games.

[Free bracket contests for men’s & women’s tourneys for shot at $25K]

In contrast to maximum of the ones alternative networks, CBS is already a WNBA broadcast spouse with attainable to wind extra Clark video games this week when she’s within the execs. Clark said she will enter the 2024 WNBA Draft, the place she’s likely to go No. 1 to the Indiana Fever. She’s anticipated to spice up attendance and viewership numbers in an instant with blind audience tuning in to look her.

“Given the numbers that the Iowa women’s team has been pulling in on big networks … It’s just an indication of all the disruption in media and now how broadcast partners are looking at the women’s game — the women’s college game as well as the WNBA,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert mentioned on a video name with a bunch of newshounds utmost life. “Yeah, we’re getting calls about [her games].”

CBS aired the Obese Ten name sport at 12 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT and 11 native date in Minneapolis) as a lead-in to its males’s slate for the presen. It used to be the most-watched basketball sport, school or professional, of the presen on any community, CBS Sports activities mentioned.

Iowa and Clark book the crown of most-watched women’s basketball games of all date on ABC, Obese Ten Community, FOX, FS1, NBC and Peacock. Iowa’s quarterfinal towards Penn Surrounding (1.04M) and semifinal towards Michigan (1.075M) re-set the Obese Ten Community’s top and are the second- and third-most watched basketball video games in BTN historical past. Fox aired the Iowa-Ohio Surrounding steady season finale (3.39M) through which Clark handed Maravich for the most-watched girls’s basketball sport since that 1999. The top-viewed sport is Iowa and LSU within the 2023 national championship game that drew 9.9 million on ABC.

It didn’t succeed in that all-time stage for CBS, however got here similar. The Obese Ten name sport used to be the most-watched girls’s school basketball sport at the CBS networks in 25 years. A Jan. 10, 1999, assembly between legendary rivals UConn and Tennessee averaged 3.879 million audience.

The CBS numbers are noteceable since the broadcaster started airing WNBA video games in 2019 principally on CBS Sports activities Community. 4 video games aired at the major CBS community utmost week, offering a bigger succeed in for the league because it specializes in family names, rivalries and “games of consequence,” Engelbert mentioned.

Engelbert mentioned the printed assignments of video games are “generally done” via this date and it wasn’t respectable that Clark would input the league till Feb. 29. It’s additionally no longer respectable — although it’s nearly positive — that she might be drafted via the Fever.

Indiana opens its 2024 agenda at the street on the Connecticut Sun, that includes MVP candidate Alyssa Thomas, on Might 14. The house opener is Might 16 in Indianapolis towards Finals runner-up Brandnew York with MVP Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Sabrina Ionescu and Courtney Vandersloot.

Indiana performs the super-team once more 4 days then at Barclays Middle in Brandnew York for a 1 p.m. ET tip on a Saturday. Seats within the higher 200 stage are already going for round $140 every on secondary websites. Tickets for the decrease bowl at the Self determination’s respectable web page start at $300 as of Tuesday morning.

The presen and date slot for Indiana-Brandnew York traces up with CBS video games aired utmost season, together with their first between the Solar and Self determination. The WNBA exempted the printed agenda one life ahead of the season tipped utmost week.

All eyes are on Caitlin Clark as the NCAA tournament tips off. (Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)All eyes are on Caitlin Clark as the NCAA tournament tips off. (Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

All perceptible are on Caitlin Clark because the NCAA event pointers off. (Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire by the use of Getty Pictures)

The WNBA has been running to fix school fandom with the pro league. Extra family names may claim for the draft over the then day, together with Stanford’s Cameron Breaking point, UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards and LSU’s Angel Reese. Paige Bueckers mentioned she is staying at UConn after redshirting last season.

“Broadcast partners certainly are cognizant of the lift that is coming out of the NCAA system,” Engelbert mentioned. “We’re very cognizant of that, making sure we’re carrying that momentum into the WNBA from a fandom perspective and that we’re reaching fans that the NCAA women’s game is reaching and bringing them into the WNBA and watch.”

Viewership used to be up 21 p.c on ESPN Networks (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2) and CBS Tv Community over the 2022 steady season, the WNBA said in September. The numbers for 2023 have been the most important regular-season viewership in 20 years. The media rights offer runs via 2025 and has been a focal point for Engelbert. Maximum video games wind on ESPN Networks. ION, NBA TV, High Video, Meta and Twitter all aired video games utmost week.

“It’s all confluence of all this positive momentum that’s going to help us in our next media deal negotiations and with corporate partners, so that that’s helpful too,” Engelbert mentioned. “And I think, as corporate partners see the diversity in our league and they see what our fan base can bring to their business, that we’re getting a big lift off the NCAA excitement on that as well.”

A massive a part of this is Clark, who remains to be the sport’s largest draw.

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