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ESPN2 Nets Big Gains With 2009 WNBA Finals, Playoffs Coverage

ESPN2, lifted by good numbers for its Game 4 and Game 5 coverage, scored the second-best WNBA Finals mark and the most since the championship series went to cable in 2006.
The Phoenix Mercury's five-game series win over the Indiana Fever averaged 548,000 viewers, a 73.4% surge from the 316,000 average for the Detroit Shock's three-game sweep of the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2008, according to Nielsen data. This year's Finals bested the 545,000 that watched the Mercury beat the Shock in five games during the 2007 Finals. ESPN2 averaged 631,000 watchers for its two telecasts of the 2003 WNBA Finals.
Game 4, on Oct. 7, was the most-watched game of the Mercury-Fever battle, earning 670,231 watchers, 12,000 more than the 658,000 who watched Phoenix take the decisive contest on its floor behind regular-season and Finals MVP Diana Taurai on Oct. 9.
For its 13 games WNBA playoff games, ESPN2 averaged 435,000 viewers, 54.3% more than the 282,000 watchers in 2008.
On the demo watch, the playoffs netted gains of 49% among men 18 to 49, 39% with guys 25 to 54, plus 73% and 51% among women 18 to 49 and 25 to 54, respectively.