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Caitlin Clark’s pro debut most-watched WNBA game since 2001

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The Caitlin Clark era in the WNBA is off and running, and it’s off to a hot start.

The NCAA’s all-time leading scorer was drafted with the first overall selection in last month’s WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever, and she’s quickly become a legend in Indianapolis.

Clark’s Fever jersey set sales records for Fanatics, and even Tim McGraw wore one of her jerseys during a concert at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse, home of both the Fever and the Indiana Pacers.

Clark debut

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever smiles before a game against the Connecticut Sun May 14, 2024, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.  (Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Clark was the star in the four most-watched women’s NCAA games ever, three of them Iowa’s final three games of the most recent March Madness tournament. Now, she’s bringing eyeballs to the WNBA.

Her WNBA debut in Connecticut against the Sun averaged 2.1 million viewers and peaked at 2.3 million, beating out the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It was the most-watched WNBA game since 2001, and it had the most views ever for a game broadcast on ESPN platforms.

Caitlin Clark faces a defender

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever controls the ball while being defended by DiJonai Carrington (21) of the Connecticut Sun during the third quarter in a game at Mohegan Sun Arena May 14, 2024, in Uncasville, Conn. (Elsa/Getty Images)

CAITLIN CLARK BRUSHES OFF WNBA STAR’S RACE REMARK, SAYS MORE ‘OPPORTUNITIES’ WILL HELP ELEVATE WOMEN’S GAME

According to Sports Media Watch, the game was the third-most viewed sporting event Tuesday night, behind Game 5 of the Knicks-Pacers and Game 5 of the Timberwolves-Nuggets in the second round of the NBA Playoffs.

It was a struggle for both Clark and the Fever, though. The Sun won, 92-71. Clark dropped a team-high 20 points but went just 5-for-15 from the floor. She also turned the ball over 10 times.

“I’m disappointed, and nobody likes to lose, but I don’t think you can beat yourself up too much about one game,” Clark said after the game. “I don’t think that’s going to help this team.” 

Caitlin Clark warms up

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever warms up prior to a game against the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena May 14, 2024, in Uncasville, Conn.  (Elsa/Getty Images)

Clark’s home debut will be Thursday night against the New York Liberty, the defending Eastern Conference champions.

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