Caitlin Clark’s pro debut most-watched WNBA game since 2001

Caitlin Clark’s pro debut most-watched WNBA game since 2001

The Caitlin Clark era in the WNBA is off and running, and it’s off to a hot start.

The NCAA’s all-time leading scorer was drafted with the first overall selection in last month’s WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever, and she’s quickly become a legend in Indianapolis.

Clark’s Fever jersey set sales records for Fanatics, and even Tim McGraw wore one of her jerseys during a concert at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse, home of both the Fever and the Indiana Pacers.

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Clark was the star in the four most-watched women’s NCAA games ever, three of them Iowa’s final three games of the most recent March Madness tournament. Now, she’s bringing eyeballs to the WNBA.

Her WNBA debut in Connecticut against the Sun averaged 2.1 million viewers and peaked at 2.3 million, beating out the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It was the most-watched WNBA game since 2001, and it had the most views ever for a game broadcast on ESPN platforms.

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According to Sports Media Watch, the game was the third-most viewed sporting event Tuesday night, behind Game 5 of the Knicks-Pacers and Game 5 of the Timberwolves-Nuggets in the second round of the NBA Playoffs.

It was a struggle for both Clark and the Fever, though. The Sun won, 92-71. Clark dropped a team-high 20 points but went just 5-for-15 from the floor. She also turned the ball over 10 times.

“I’m disappointed, and nobody likes to lose, but I don’t think you can beat yourself up too much about one game,” Clark said after the game. “I don’t think that’s going to help this team.” 

Clark’s home debut will be Thursday night against the New York Liberty, the defending Eastern Conference champions.

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