NEW YORK, Oct. 9, 2017 – The WNBA Finals, which saw the Minnesota Lynx win their fourth title since 2011 with a decisive Game 5 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks in one of the closest Finals in the league’s 21-year history, concluded another record-breaking season, where the WNBA achieved increases for attendance, viewership, social media and merchandise during the postseason.
For the second straight year, the WNBA teams with the best regular-season records – the top-seeded Lynx and the second-seeded Sparks – met in the Finals. The Lynx, led by All-Stars Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Sylvia Fowles, Maya Moore, and Lindsay Whalen, joined the Houston Comets (1997-2000) as the league’s only four-time champions. The Los Angeles Sparks, led by All-Stars Chelsea Gray, Nneka Ogwumike, and Candace Parker, fell short in their attempt for a title repeat. The Finals had an unprecedented amount of MVPs participating. Augustus, Moore, Fowles and Parker have all won league MVPs and Ogwumike was the Finals MVP in 2016. In addition, Fowles became the fifth player in WNBA history to earn regular-season MVP honors, an WNBA title and the Finals MVP award in one season joining Cynthia Cooper (1997, 1998), Lisa Leslie (2001), Diana Taurasi (2009) and Lauren Jackson (2010).
Highlights from the postseason also include:
- ATTENDANCE: The WNBA postseason averaged 9,596 spectators per game, making it the highest-attended postseason since 2010 (10,822). This year’s postseason attendance was up double digits (+10.1%) over last season (8,719).
- VIEWERSHIP: The 2017 WNBA Finals on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 was the third most-watched WNBA Finals ever on ESPN networks averaging 559,000 viewers for the five-game series since the networks began exclusively televising the Finals in 2003. This year’s championship was highlighted by Game 5 of the WNBA Finals on ESPN2, which averaged 902,000 viewers (including streaming audience) to become the fifth most-watched WNBA postseason game during the networks’ 18 years of playoffs and Finals coverage.
- SOCIAL MEDIA: The WNBA set new records across its social media platforms during the postseason with 246 million impressions (+33.9%), 47 million video views (+109.6%) and 20 million actions (+161.2%) over last season.
- MERCHANDISE: The postseason garnered record sales on WNBAStore.com, an increase of 38% over last year.