Caitlin Clark's WNBA debut smashes ESPN league viewership record

The broadcast of Clark's debut with the Indiana Fever drew an average of more than 2 million viewers Tuesday night.
Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark is guarded by Connecticut Sun forward Tiffany Mitchell.
Posted at 2:39 PM, May 16, 2024

Caitlin Clark is back to doing what she does best: break records.

An average of more than two million people tuned in Tuesday night to see Clark's WNBA debut with the Indiana Fever on ESPN, making it the network's most-watched game in league history. Ratings topped the previous record that was set in 2004 when nearly 1.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the Phoenix Mercury take on the Connecticut Sun during WNBA legend Diana Taurasi's rookie season.

Clark, a two-time national college player of the year and all-team leading NCAA Division I scorer, was drafted first overall by Indiana in last month's WNBA draft.

She was able to log 20 points and three assists in her Fever debut, but struggled overall, committing 10 turnovers in the team's 71-92 loss to the Connecticut Sun.

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"Obviously, you know I would've liked to play a little better tonight. I think all of us would say that if we were all sitting up here," Clark said in a post-game press conference. "As a team, collectively, we would've liked to play better and shown a better product because I thought we've had some really good practices leading up to this game. But, you know, I think the biggest thing is just, you know, learn from it [and] move on."

Clark and the Fever will look to bounce back Thursday night against the New York Liberty when the 22-year-old makes her home debut at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

"I'm just excited for Thursday to get back home and have our home opener," Clark said after Tuesday's loss.