When the WNBA was first established in the spring of 1996, investors and basketball fans alike were hopeful that it would develop into a solid league. Long story short, that hasn’t happened yet. The League set an all-time low in average game attendance during the 2017-18 season at just 6,721 filled seats per game. In contrast, during just its second season the league boasted an average attendance of over 10,000 per game. It has been all downhill from there as most people just don’t think the women are as exciting to watch as the men. However, we are being told by the main stream media, the WNBA players, and sportswriters everywhere that we don’t tune into the games because we are all either sexist or lack solidarity.
Apparently if a woman’s sport is failing it is due to men holding their gender against them, not because they don’t deliver an interesting product. The main demographic to tune into WNBA games, according to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, are older males who prefer watching fundamental basketball. Considering this, I am unsure why some folks insist that men are sexist for not watching the WNBA.
The other side of this is the fact most women know almost nothing about the WNBA. As I read up on the subject I frequently see bloggers and sports writers declaring that more women need to watch women’s basketball. Most of them say they should do this out of solidarity to one another. As if women are still oppressed and need to fight tooth and nail for their chances of success.
Some columnists even believe that the WNBA does not experience greater success because they are not properly covered by sports writers. They think that the WNBA is very exciting to watch but that sports writers don’t give it proper credit. The contradiction here is that sports writers make a living out of covering the sports that draw crowds, and sports that draw crowds are exciting. Ergo, if the WNBA is exciting, it would draw crowds and writers would cover it more. Also, in today’s feminist embracing culture, why wouldn’t the WNBA be covered if it is truly exciting? Wouldn’t writers, analysts, commentators, and news anchors rush at the chance to promote something that celebrates women?
On a side note, women’s tennis has viewership ratings on the same level as men’s tennis. This is because it appeals to a wide audience and people find it entertaining. What people don’t find entertaining, is being told they should watch something just because of the gender of the people playing it.