Why the most-watched season since 2006 had consistent ratings for the Finals series

The full 2022 WNBA regular season on ESPN Networks was Most viewed since 2006, ESPN announced on Tuesday. The singles post-season games reached their peaks in the league and ESPN, which broadcasts the entire playoffs, was promoted and celebrated. But all the chatter “most watched in x years” or “ratio of many and percentage” slips through the context, which explains the numbers and projects a brighter light into the future if captured.

The company announced that ESPN saw an increase in viewership for the regular season (20%), the full season (22%), the post-full season (22%), the semi-finals (45%), and the opening playoff round (50%). But despite all this growth, viewership of Finals has remained steady even though it should normally be the most watched part of the league. That means the jump in viewers from the regular season to the finals was only 30% compared to 79% in 2021.

was on the WNBA Move its finals from mid-October to mid-September Because the FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup kicks off on Wednesday in Sydney, Australia. It also has to handle events already booked in the arenas and TV windows available. There are some things that are out of the league’s control, but with the media rights agreement expiring in a few years, everything counts when assessing what will work best for a growing league that finished its 26th season this week.

The league has been in heat due to its post-season schedule, specifically the start of the Finals on the first Sunday of the NFL for the 2022-23 season. The Las Vegas Aces won their first championship Sunday during the second week of the NFL, and this was the least-watched final in the past two years. Yahoo Sports has analyzed viewership of the 2021 and 2022 Finals, as well as ABC’s games in each season, and a head-to-head encounter with the first NFL weekend, or even any Sunday, doesn’t seem to do much for the league.

Las Vegas Aces Holds A & # 39;  ja Wilson WNBA Championship Cup as the team celebrates after defeating the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA 2022 Finals on September 18, 2022, in Uncasville, Connecticut.  (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Aja Wilson of the Las Vegas Ace holds the WNBA Championship Trophy as the team celebrates after defeating the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA 2022 Finals on September 18, 2022 in Uncasville, Connecticut. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Why did WNBA viewership go up after the season ended, but the Finals went down

The four-game Las Vegas Ice vs Connecticut Sun Final wasn’t a bad streak in terms of basketball. The events of the story were plentiful. He may have fallen into bad software.

The entire WNBA postseason usually faces the NFL and the end of the MLB season, as well as the MLB postseason in October. That wasn’t the case this year with all but the FIBA ​​World Cup finals wrapping up before the NFL season kicks off and before any MLB banner races. He also walked away from the NBA. It is a good indication that more casual fans are interested as viewership has been steadily increasing since the bubble season of 2020.

Here’s a look at viewership for each of the 2022 Finals games, three of which went up against the NFL. This was the first year that every final match was scheduled on ABC or ESPN.

Television: ABC | Sunday, September 11th 3PM ET / Noon PT

TV window: Opening Sunday of the NFL season. Caught at the end of the early afternoon window (1PM ET) and set off in the late afternoon (4-4:30PM ET).

Ratings: 555,000 viewers (peak: 872.000)

Takeaway: It was an increase of 100,000 viewers from 2021 Game 1 between Chicago and Phoenix, which was played on Sunday, October 10, during the fifth week of the NFL season. But even though it was an afternoon on ABC, it followed a trend of dropping below ABC’s viewership of the regular season.

Television: ESPN | Tuesday, September 13th at 9PM EST / 6PM PT

TV window: Yankees at Red Sox (7:10 p.m. ET)

Ratings: 649,000 viewers (peaking at 706,000)

Takeaway: Game 2 was the most-watched of the 2022 WNBA Finals, and was the only game that didn’t clash with an NFL game. The schedule of games was different from 2021, when Game 2 was on Wednesday (and watched by 780,000 regular viewers) and Game 3 on Friday (524,000 on ESPN2). The most watched show on cable was for people 18-49 And the top view is for men 18-49.

Television: ESPN | Thursday, September 15th at 9PM EST / 6PM PT

TV window: ‘Thursday Night Football’: Chargers vs. Chiefs (8:15 p.m. ET)

Ratings: 579,000 viewers (peak 686,000)

Takeaway: The Aces made it close in what could have been a decisive, but it was a Sun match from the first quarter onwards. The game continues to attract more average viewers than Game 1 on ABC, a channel that is in more families and often leads to the season’s highest-rated games. It would also indicate that playing against the first week of the NFL season – For one Thursday night game on a streaming service that not many have – Did not matter.

Television: ESPN | Sunday, September 17th at 4PM ET / 1PM PT

TV window: Late afternoon NFL

Ratings: 396,000 viewers (peaking at 608,000)

Takeaway: It was the least-watched final in the past two years, dropping below 417,000 people who watched Chicago Sky clinch their title in Game Four last year. The similarity was both on ESPN on Sunday afternoon (3PM ET in 2021). He catches the end of the first set of NFL games and bleeds into the beginning of the next set. It will be interesting to see how this 4 game will work on ABC.

The Importance of WNBA Games on ABC

Featured games on ABC, a channel in most homes with TV, is in some cases Passed 1.4 million peak viewers (Storm-Aces regular season finale). The NBA Finals play at ABC’s prime-time night spot and The NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four will now be broadcast on ABC.

When Yahoo Sports Analyze the jump in viewership numbers in 2021, It was obvious that having more games (100+) on the big networks helped increase the viewership. There were nine games on ABC, more than eight combined on the channel between 2008, when there were eight, and 2021. And all of that growth despite oddities such as scheduling four games into one night at the same time. There is also no standard tuning schedule, such as the NBA with “NBA on TNT” on Thursday nights.

Viewership on ABC, which broadcasts WNBA almost exclusively on Sundays, peaked at 755,000 in 2021 in an overtime thriller between Storm and Sky out of the Olympic Break. Four more games exceeded 550 thousand.

These aspects held true in 2022, with Nine matches to air again on ABC. Viewership jumped even higher, peaking at 852,000 views of Storm and the Aces at the somewhat pointless regular season finale. That number certainly helped him being the last regular season match for Sue Bird. The Lynx-Sun match on ABC early reached 682,000, and marked the last match in Sylvia Fowles’ career.

The Postseason 2022 games on the National Network have overshadowed those tags. The epic game 3 of the Aces-Storm semi-final series went into overtime and averaged 905,000. It peaked at 1.4 million and is the most-watched WNBA game since 2008 with a win over 902,000 people watched Match 5 of the 2017 Finals. Game 4 on Tuesday was buried deeper in the network’s lineup on ESPN2 and was watched by an average of 469,000.

But then the drop occurred in the Finals, which coincided with the start of the NFL season. The three games against the NFL were the three lowest rated games in the 2022 Finals. And the same for the two Sunday games in the 2021 Finals. Obviously, putting the games on ABC helps with the ratings, but how high these ratings can go if they aren’t yet Sunday afternoon in the NFL?

Leave a Comment