WNBA Draft Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after she is selected with the number one overall pick to the Indiana Fever in the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Despite airing only on cable, Monday’s WNBA Draft shattered records for the league.

Per Sports Media Watch, the draft, which featured Iowa’s Caitlin Clark going No. 1 overall to the Indiana Fever, averaged a stunning 2.446 million viewers.

Unsurprisingly, that is a record audience for the WNBA Draft. The previous record was 601,000 for the 2004 edition, which saw Diana Taurasi go No. 1 overall.

Not only was this the most-watched WNBA Draft ever, it was the most-watched WNBA broadcast in over two decades. Back in 2000, a Memorial Day WNBA game between the Liberty and Comets drew 2.74 million viewers on NBC.

The audience for the Draft on Monday more than tripled the average viewership of last fall’s WNBA Finals, which averaged 728,000 viewers. That Finals was the most-watched since 2003.

The Draft was also the first WNBA broadcast of any kind to crack one million viewers since 2008.

After record-setting and (quite frankly) mind-boggling viewership for the 2024 NCAA Tournament, Caitlin Clark has been in the WNBA for a whole day and is already breaking records there. It remains to be seen whether or not her impact will continue throughout the 2024 WNBA season and whether or not it will carry on past her Indiana Fever.

But the one data point we have so far in Clark’s WNBA career seems to signal that the tidal wave she powered through the 2023-24 college basketball season will continue through her inaugural WNBA season. The league’s media partners have to be thrilled with her potential impact going forward.

[Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.