Candace Parker #3 of the Chicago Sky celebrates with her teammates after winning Game Four of the 2021 WNBA Finals against the Phoenix Mercury on October 17, 2021 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
Kena Krutsinger | National Basketball Association | Getty Images
The Women’s National Basketball Association concluded its 25th anniversary season with another positive sign for viewership for its championship series.
ESPN said the WNBA league attracted 417,000 total viewers for Game 4 of the WNBA Finals on Sunday between the Chicago Sky and Phoenix Mercury. The Sky won their first WNBA championship after beating the Mercury 80-74. Sky guard Kahleah Copper won the 2021 Finals MVP after averaging 17 points and 5.5 rebounds in the series. Sky forward Candace Parker finished the game with 16 points and team-high 13 rebounds.
The four-game series averaged 548,000 viewers, according to ESPN. The network said Game 3 was the most-watched, with an average of 524,000 viewers. In comparison, last October’s three-game WNBA Finals series featuring the Seattle Storm and Las Vegas Aces averaged 440,000 viewers. The final game for that series averaged 570,000 viewers. And the 2019 finals featuring the Connecticut Sun and Washington Mystics averaged 386,000 viewers and lasted five games.
The 2003 championship featuring the Los Angeles Sparks and Detroit Shock remains the league’s most-watch finals. The three-game series averaged 848,000 viewers. And Game 2 of that series averaged 1.2 million viewers on ABC.
For the 2021 season, the WNBA’s combined viewership averaged 306,000 viewers across Disney networks (ABC, ESPN) and CBS Television Network. The highest-rated game in the WNBA’s 25th anniversary season: an Aug. 15 contest between the Sky and Storm. That game averaged 755,000 viewers on ABC.
The WNBA noted its viewership is up 51% when compared to the 2020 regular season. The league added it’s also the most-viewed WNBA season since 2008. In that year, the WNBA averaged 413,000 viewers.