WNBA Finals Las Vegas Aces Oct 18, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; The Las Vegas Aces celebrate after winning the 2023 WNBA Finals at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Aces’ four-game triumph over the New York Liberty in the 2023 WNBA Finals drew a two-decade high in viewership.

Per a release from ESPN, this year’s Finals averaged 728,000 viewers, a 36% increase from last season and the most-watched edition of the Finals in 20 years (the Detroit Shock’s 2-1 series win over the Los Angeles Sparks averaged 848,000 viewers in 2003, per Sports Media Watch). It’s also the most-watched edition of the Finals since the WNBA switched to a best-of-five format in 2005.

The Aces’ series-clinching 70-69 Game 4 victory averaged 889,000 viewers, the most-watched Game 4 in WNBA Finals history. As mentioned, the series switched to a best-of-five format in 2005.

As a whole, the WNBA postseason averaged 470,000 viewers in 2023, the league’s most-watched postseason in 16 years.

For the WNBA, this viewership for the WNBA Finals is the cherry on top of an impressive season for the league. National viewership overall was up 21% from 2022, the league’s most-watched season in 21 years. The league’s All-Star Game hit a 16-year high, despite plummeting viewership for All-Star Games across other sports. The 2023 WNBA Draft was also the most-watched edition since 2004. Brittney Griner’s return to the Phoenix Mercury in May was also the most-watched WNBA regular season game on cable since 1999.

While some will unfavorably compare the WNBA’s viewership to other sports, hitting decade-plus highs for multiple different data points is impressive and something any sport would love to tout.


About Joe Lucia

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