Mystics home opener scores highest TV viewership in years

Washington Mystics center Shakira Austin (0) shoots the ball over New York Liberty forward Jonquel Jones (35) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)(AP/Terrance Williams)

Amid exploding interest in both women’s professional and college basketball, this week’s home opener featuring the Washington Mystics take on the New York Liberty saw the highest viewership in more than three years for a regular season WNBA game.

That’s according to a news release from Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which broadcast the game on its regional media platform.

Tuesday’s game was the most watched regular season broadcast since at least the start of the 2021 season, Monumental said, and outperformed CBS by 104% and ESPN by 48% in the D.C. market during the game.

Monumental didn’t provide viewership figures but said they outperformed last year’s most-viewed game — against the Las Vegas Aces — by 131%.

“Our network is proud to be the top innovator for regional WNBA coverage, and we are thrilled to see that the quality of our programming is resonating with D.C.-area fans and meeting this moment of increased popularity for the league,” said Zach Leonsis, with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, in a news release. “We’re looking forward to a summer filled with exciting live broadcasts and other creative Mystics content on our platform and for the fans”

The high viewership for the Mystics comes amid intense interest in the WNBA fueled by an influx of new talent into the league, such as Caitlin Clark, who recently signed on to the Indiana Fever, and Angel Reese, who signed for the Chicago Sky.

Clark’s WNBA debut earlier this week broadcast on ESPN scored the highest viewership on the network for a WNBA game, besting a 20-year-old record.

Citing unprecedented demand for tickets, the Mystics have moved a handful of games — including a June 6 matchup against the Chicago Sky and a June 7 matchup against the Indiana Fever — from their home venue, the Entertainment and Sports Arena, to Capital One Arena.

The ESA has up to 4,200 seats but Capital One Arena seats 20,000.

Overall, 32 of the team’s 40 regular season games will air on Monumental, which is available regionally from Delaware to Richmond, Virginia.

Games will be broadcast nationally on CBS, ESPN, and ION Television.

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Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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