Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese certainly know how to draw an audience.

For the second week in a row, an Indiana FeverChicago Sky matchup has set record ratings. After Clark’s Fever and Reese’s Sky combined forces to deliver the WNBA’s most-watched contest in 23 years in a CBS broadcast on June 16, the pair delivered again this past Sunday on ESPN.

It wound up as a thrilling 88-87 come-from-behind victory for Reese’s Sky. WNBA fans were watching in droves.

A record 2.30 million viewers tuned in on Sunday on ESPN, including a peak audience of 3.3 million viewers. That bested the 2.25 million viewers that watched the previous edition, a 91-83 Fever triumph on June 16. That CBS broadcast was the most-watched WNBA game since Memorial Day in 2001.

The three most-watched WNBA games since 2001 have come just in the first six weeks this season, two being matchups of Clark and Reese and the third being Clark’s debut against the Connecticut Sun on Opening Night.

Chicago’s win was the most-watched WNBA telecast ever on ESPN. It bested the 1.56 million viewers that tuned in on May 20 as the Fever played host to the Sun.

As Sports Media Watch notes, these WNBA viewership numbers are comparable to the top-rated NBA regular season games that aired on ESPN this past season.

ESPN had only three audiences as large during the NBA regular season—its season-opening pairing of the Dallas Mavericks against the San Antonio Spurs that drew 2.99 million viewers and the Boston Celtics against the New York Knicks which pulled in 2.55 million viewers. The other contest was the Milwaukee Bucks at the New York Knicks on Christmas Day that averaged 2.49 million viewers.

Before this season, the WNBA had gone 16 years without a single seven-figure viewership audience. There have already been nine games this season that have surpassed the million viewers mark.

In the loss against the Sky, Clark became the first rookie in league history to score 15 or more points, dish out 10 or more assists and connect on five or more 3-pointers in a WNBA game. Clark also set a single-game franchise record for the Fever with 13 assists.

Reese went crazy late, scoring 10 points in the game’s final 6:38 to help erase a 12-point deficit. That included the go-ahead bucket with 53.2 seconds left to play.

Reese finished with a career-high 25 points and 16 rebounds. It was her eighth consecutive double-double, extending her WNBA rookie record.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire





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