Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) in action during the game against the Dallas Wings at College Park Center. Caitlin Clark in WNBA preseason action. (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports.)

If the past two NCAA tournaments and April’s WNBA Draft were any indication, each time Caitlin Clark suits up for the Indiana Fever this season, the games could break viewership records.

But there’s nothing like a first impression. And Clark’s sold-out regular-season pro debut on the road against the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday night figures to maintain the momentum she generated through the spring and launch the WNBA season off when it comes to fan attention.

The league’s top-10 most-watched broadcasts up to this point all come from the league’s first five seasons, when games were on traditional broadcast television, according to Jon Lewis of Sports Media Watch. The WNBA has not averaged more than a million viewers for a game since Candace Parker’s pro debut in May 2008.

The most recent game to garner an audience big enough to make the league’s top 10 was a 2000 tilt between the New York Liberty and Houston Comets. The most-watched WNBA game ever was its first game on NBC, which averaged 5.04 million viewers.

Given that an average of more than 2.5 million people tuned in to watch the Fever draft Clark, expectations are high for Tuesday night.

The expectations go beyond Clark. Last year’s WNBA Finals averaged more than 700,000 viewers across all four games, with the deciding Game Four peaking at 1.3 million viewers and becoming the most-watched WNBA Finals Game Four on record.

From any direction, Clark’s debut appears headed toward the record books.

Will it clear that 5.04 million mark set by the inaugural WNBA game in 1997? It would be hard to bet against that. But Connecticut is not a marquee franchise with recognizable star talent, which could hold the game back.

Still, many of Clark’s huge ratings numbers the past two years in March Madness came on ABC or in weekend windows on ESPN. A Tuesday night on ESPN2 may not set the stage for history.

Beyond that, Disney is using Clark’s debut to test out new offerings. The Fever vs. Sun matchup will stream on ESPN+ and be the first live sporting event available on Disney+ as well. That makes for easier access, but potentially lower viewership numbers on the cable network.

A more logical estimate would be in the ballpark of 3 million, which would make the top 10 and clear the draft while remaining far from the top WNBA broadcast ever or Clark’s massive viewership in college.

If you’re wanting a record early in Clark’s rookie season, look no further than Saturday in Brooklyn against the New York Liberty. That game is midday on the weekend on ABC, exactly the slot fans tuned in for the past two national championship games featuring Clark.

Thirty-seven of the Fever’s 40 games are on national television this season, split between ESPN, ION, NBA TV, CBS Sports Network and Prime Video.

The business of Caitlin Clark continues to soar just as much as her logo threes. And TV viewership this week is sure to be yet another example.

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.