Virtual WNBA draft draws 2nd-highest TV audience

NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA draft drew its second-highest television audience.

The draft, held virtually last Friday because the coronavirus, averaged 387,000 viewers on ESPN, up 123% from last year’s draft. It was also up 33% from the last time it aired on the network in 2011.

Only the 2004 draft had more viewers.

Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu was the first pick in a draft that made a huge impact across WNBA and NBA social media handles, generating 6.5 million views — up 165% from last year — and 1.3 million minutes watched. That was up 237% from last year.

In addition, the WNBA Instagram handle had its highest year-over-year growth, generating more than 3.8 million video views on draft day.