WNBA has found ways to grow fan base

NEW YORK — Coming off one of the most successful seasons in WNBA history, the league has found ways to bring in new fans.

 

Whether streaming games on Twitter, partnering with FanDuel to offer daily fantasy sports or having more games on TV, the WNBA is growing.

This year’s changes come after the WNBA had its highest attendance in five seasons, record marks for WNBA digital, social media and retail and double-digit growth in TV viewership on ESPN.

The season starts on Saturday with defending champion Los Angeles hosting Seattle at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Here are a few WNBA initiatives heading into its 21st season.

LIVE STREAMS: The WNBA will show 20 games a year on Twitter over the next few seasons. The games are exclusive to Twitter and aren’t on local or national TV. Twitter is paying the WNBA an undisclosed amount to stream the games. The inaugural game will be Dallas Wings against Phoenix Mercury Monday.

FANTASY SPORTS: WNBA is entering the daily fantasy sports market. The league is partnering with FanDuel – the first time a women’s professional sports league will be available in one-day fantasy games.

ON-AIR: The WNBA will air more games on TV this season, with 222 local broadcasts, up about 31 percent from last season. NBATV will show 45 contests, four more than last year. ESPN will show 16 regular-season games and broadcast the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

 

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