This week, the very first live sporting event was broadcast on Disney+ in the United States, with a doubleheader of first two games of this year’s new Woman’s National Basketball Association season.

Disney has announced that the Indiana at Connecticut game pulled in 2.1 million viewers across ESPN2, ESPN+, and Disney+, surpassing the Phoenix Mercury at Connecticut Sun (May 22, 2004).  The game peaked at 2.3 million viewers in the 7:45 p.m. – 7:59 p.m. window.

The Indiana Fever at Connecticut Sun season opener – featuring Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut – was the most-watched WNBA game on ESPN platforms ever (regular season or playoffs). The game scored 2.1 million viewers across ESPN2, ESPN+ and Disney+,

The second game of the night featuring the Phoenix Mercury at Las Vegas Aces averaged 464,000 viewers, up five per cent year-over-year. The two games averaged 1.28 million viewers, up 192 per cent versus last year’s regular season average on ESPN platforms.

The WNBA Countdown pre-game show, which led into Indiana at Connecticut, averaged 680,000 viewers across ESPN2, ESPN+, and Disney+, which was up 126 per cent versus last year’s average across ABC and ESPN.

WNBA content across and the ESPN App delivered an increase of 409 percent unique visitors year-over-year. Total engagements for WNBA content across ESPN social accounts is also up 125 percent, year-over-year.

This was the first major sporting event to be streamed on Disney+, though there have been some animated versions of NHL and NFL games.  Later this year, ESPN On Disney+ will be launching in the United States, bringing more sports coverage within Disney+, plus ESPN+ subscribers will also be able to get more content via Disney+, like the recent Hulu On Disney+ expansion.

Roger’s POV: It’s great to see the basketball games pulled in a record audience, which is important to the growth of the Women’s division but also likely helped the engineers test how live sports on Disney+ performed.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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