June 23, 1997 in Sports

TV Ratings, Crowd Figures Soar

Associated Press

NBC’s broadcast of the inaugural WNBA game between Los Angeles and New York topped all Saturday afternoon sports shows, receiving a 3.8 overnight national rating.

“That’s an outstanding rating, better than we projected,” WNBA president Val Ackerman said Sunday in Phoenix before the Mercury completed the league’s opening weekend with a 76-59 victory over Charlotte.

“I think to feel the enthusiasm and see the excitement coming from the fans and from the team people is very gratifying for us, and it’s a positive reinforcement in every way.”

Each ratings point represents 972,000 homes.

A crowd of 16,102 attended Sunday’s game at America West Arena, breaking the record for a women’s professional game in the United States set Saturday when 14,284 watched New York’s 67-57 victory at Los Angeles.

The two other openers Saturday also attracted large crowds, with 11,455 fans attending Houston’s victory at Cleveland, and 8,915 on hand for Sacramento’s victory at Utah.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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