Tuesday (5/14) sports viewers: NBA, Caitlin Clark, NHL and more

The NBA topped the night, but that’s about it Caitlin Clark and the WNBA making the most noise in the ratings on Tuesday, May 14.

Tuesday’s Pacers-Knicks second-round NBA playoff Game 5 averaged 4.88 million viewers on TNT (4.18 million) and truTV (699,000), down a fraction of a percent from Sixers-Celtics on the same night last year ( 4.88 million) and the most watched sporting event of the day.

Timberwolves-Nuggets came in second with a total of 4.51 million (TNT: truTV: ), down 6% from Suns-Nuggets a year ago (4.80 million). Denver’s third straight win was the first game in the series to fall and the first Timberwolves game this postseason in which that happened.

NBA playoff games averaged 3.56 million viewers through Tuesday, down 11% from the same point during last year’s playoffs (4.00 million).

The biggest headline on Tuesday’s sports slate was the WNBA season opener between the Indiana Fever and Connecticut Sun, which marked the professional debut of Caitlin Clark. An audience of 2.13 million viewers across ESPN2 (2.12 million) and ESPN Deportes (13K) – a figure that includes ESPN+ and Disney+ television streams – the largest WNBA audience since 2001 and the best ever on cable. Additional information about that game can be found in the previous link.

The WNBA game was the top sports broadcast of the day outside of the NBA Playoffs, surpassing the competing Panthers-Bruins NHL Stanley Cup playoff Game 5 on ESPN. The NHL game still held its own in the ratings, averaging 1.99 million viewers – a 75% increase from last year’s Hurricanes-Devils (1.14 million) and the fifth largest audience of the play-offs.

Boston, which won Tuesday to extend its season, has played in three of the top five games, four of the top seven and five of the top nine.

The all-Canadian Canucks-Oilers nightcap averaged 989,000, down 21% from Kraken-Stars a year ago (1.26 million). The Stanley Cup playoff games averaged 1.11 million viewers through Tuesday, an 11% increase over last year’s 1.00 million.

Returning to the WNBA, Mercury-Aces followed Caitlin Clark‘s debut with just 472,000 viewers (ESPN2: 464K; ESPND: 8K). That was still the third largest audience for a WNBA game on ESPN2.

Further down the dial, a Manchester United-Tottenham English Premier League game averaged 504,000 on USA Network (434,000) and Universo (70,000), and a Yankees-Twins Major League Baseball game drew 308,000 on TBS – a third more than Cubs- Astros per year ago (231K). In other MLB action, a Phillies-Mets matinee drew 130,000 on MLB Network.

Since the chart below is not shown, coverage of the NBA Draft Combine averaged 93,000 on ESPN2.

Tuesday, May 14, sports viewers