Caitlin Clark Jul 6, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) celebrates after scoring against the New York Liberty at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Grace Smith/INDIANAPOLIS STAR-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the popularity of Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark has directly correlated to a drastic increase in viewership of the WNBA this season. And this seems to only be continuing in a way that the league has never seen before.

According to Sports Media Watch, Saturday’s matchup on CBS between the Fever and the New York Liberty brought in an average of 1.87 million viewers, peaking at 2.65 million viewers. This marks the fifth-highest viewership of any WNBA game this season.

To put this into perspective, it is the fifth-largest WNBA audience in the past 23 years. All of which have come this season.

Clark and the Indiana Fever have naturally been the big draw when it comes to the overall rise in viewership. Only one game inside the top 10 in viewership this season in the WNBA hasn’t included Clark. This was a matchup on May 18th between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Las Vegas Aces.

Going into the 2024 WNBA season, the league had a lengthy streak that dated all the way back to 2009 where there was not a single WNBA game that reached a million viewers.

Already this season, the WNBA has 12 games that have reached over a million viewers. We are just over midway through the 2024 season, and this is already tied for the most games with a million viewers in a season since 1997.

Simply put, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to just how big of a draw Caitlin Clark is. All you need to do is tune into any sports talk show on a major network to see how highly discussed the Fever star has become.

The WNBA has truly broken into the mainstream sports discussion. And without Caitlin Clark, there is a very clear argument that this may not have been possible.

[Sports Media Watch]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.