Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives past South Carolina guard...

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives past South Carolina guard Bree Hall (23) during the first half of the Final Four college basketball championship game in the women's NCAA Tournament, Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Cleveland. Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster

NEW YORK — Call it the Caitlin Clark effect.

The WNBA will show 36 of the Indiana Fever's 40 games on its national broadcast and streaming partners, starting with the season opener at Connecticut on May 14. Last season, the Fever had only 22 of their games shown nationally.

The Fever, who are expected to take Clark first in the WNBA draft on Monday, will appear eight times across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 as well as eight times on ION and twice on CBS. In addition the Fever will be highlighted 13 times on NBA TV, four times on Prime Video and once on CBS Sports Network.

Clark helped the NCAA get record TV ratings, including 18.9 million that watched the NCAA title game.

“With the energy and excitement already generated by what we anticipate will be a star-studded rookie class, and on the heels of a 2023 season that featured one of the greatest MVP races in WNBA history and our most-watched regular season in over two decades, the WNBA’s broadcast and streaming partners are offering a huge national platform that will showcase the league’s superstars, rising stars, rivalries and a newly reconfigured WNBA Commissioner’s Cup,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said.

The WNBA just had its most-watched season in 21 years, averaging 462,000 viewers per game across ABC, ESPN and CBS. The league also had its most-watched Finals in 20 years that featured Las Vegas and New York. It was up 36% from the previous season. The league has its TV deal expiring at the end of next year and that could lead to a massive new contract for the WNBA.

Besides the excitement around Indiana and Clark, the league is showcasing two-time defending champion Las Vegas. The Aces are looking to become the first team to win three titles in a row since Houston took the first four titles from 1997-2000. The Aces will make the second-most appearances on national TV with 35.

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) shoots over South Carolina forward...

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) shoots over South Carolina forward Sania Feagin (20) during the second half of the Final Four college basketball championship game in the women's NCAA Tournament, Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Cleveland. Credit: AP/Morry Gash

New York, which lost to Las Vegas in the Finals, is third with 31 appearances. The two teams will meet three times this season with one matchup on ABC, another on CBS and the third on ESPN.

The WNBA, in its 28th season, will have 25 total games in the regular season on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, eight on CBS, 12 on CBS Sports Network, 13 on Ion, 40 on NBA TV and 21 on Prime Video. The league will also show 20 games on Meta.

In addition the league will have all of its playoffs games on ESPN platforms.

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