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WNBA, ESPN announce 2023 national broadcast schedule

WNBA, ESPN announce 2023 national broadcast schedule

On Wednesday, the WNBA and ESPN announced that 25 national broadcasts will occur during the regular season across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. The star-studded New York Liberty lead all teams with nine national broadcasts, with the reigning champion Las Vegas Aces not far behind with seven. 

The two super teams will face off Aug. 6 on ABC. 

You can read the full release below:

NEW YORK, March 8, 2023 – The WNBA and ESPN today announced that the league’s 27th regular season, set to tip off on Friday, May 19, will be highlighted by 25 national broadcasts during the regular season across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.

During the upcoming season, the WNBA will collaborate with ESPN to present up to 52 possible games beginning with the WNBA Regular Season presented by Google and extending through the WNBA Playoffs presented by Google, which will feature up to 27 games, including the WNBA Finals presented by YouTube TV. In addition, history will be made on Saturday, July 15 when the 2023 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas airs for the first time in primetime on ABC (8:30 p.m. ET).

Added coverage will be provided by WNBA Countdown presented by Google – ESPN’s pregame show introduced during the 2022 WNBA postseason – which will now be available throughout the regular season with at least 10 editions immediately preceding game broadcasts.

The complete television and streaming schedule, including games on CBS Television Network, Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, NBA TV, Meta Horizon Worlds, and Twitter will be announced at a later date.

“As we get set to tip off our 27th season, ESPN is once again stepping up as an incredibly engaged broadcast partner for the WNBA,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “We are grateful that ESPN will provide significant opportunities to tell the stories of the incredible players across the league in 2023. From tip-off weekend through the highly anticipated postseason, ESPN and Google will continue to serve our growing fan base and deliver a robust national platform for WNBA players with game broadcasts and new, regular-season pregame shows.”  

“As ESPN enters its 27th season with the WNBA, we continue to elevate our coverage of this exceptional league with premier broadcast windows, expanded studio programming and best-in-class storytelling,” said Matt Kenny, vice president of programming and acquisitions, ESPN. “Our ongoing collaboration with the WNBA resulted in unprecedented growth and success last year and we have a marquee schedule that will once again showcase the league’s best players and teams across ESPN platforms.”

The ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 broadcast schedule gets underway on Friday, May 19, as part of WNBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax when Brittney Griner, an eight-time WNBA All-Star selection and two-time Kia WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, and Diana Taurasi, the WNBA’s career scoring leader and a three-time league champion now entering her 19th season, lead the Phoenix Mercury against the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sparks’ revamped roster includes 2016 WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike and veteran acquisitions Azurá Stevens and Jasmine Thomas. That game will air on ESPN and stream on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. PT (11 p.m. ET), marking the first time a WNBA game will be available on the ESPN streaming service.

“It’s been refreshing to see women’s sports getting more of the attention it deserves over the past year and a half,” said Kate Johnson, Director of Global Sports & Entertainment Marketing Partnerships, Content and Media at Google. “We’re passionate about elevating coverage of women athletes and as we enter our third year as a WNBA Changemaker, continuing to work side by side with the WNBA and EPSN to air more nationally televised games is something we’re extremely proud of. We’ll continue to challenge ourselves and others to raise the bar for representing women’s sports equitably.

WNBA Tip-Off Presented by CarMax also includes a star-studded ABC doubleheader on Saturday, May 20. Action tips off when the Atlanta Dream, led by newly acquired Allisha Gray and reigning Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year Rhyne Howard, visit Gray’s former team, the Dallas Wings, with newly acquired WNBA All-Stars Diamond DeShields and Natasha Howard alongside Arike Ogunbowale, one of the league’s top scorers in each of the past four seasons (1 p.m. ET).

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Seattle Storm and four-time WNBA All-Star and two-time champion Jewell Loyd host the defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces (3 p.m. ET). The Aces’ roster includes 2022 award winners Chelsea Gray (WNBA Finals MVP and Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game MVP), Kelsey Plum (All-WNBA First Team and All-Star Game MVP), A’ja Wilson (Kia WNBA MVP and Kia WNBA Defensive Player of the Year) and Jackie Young (Kia WNBA Most Improved Player), along with free agent acquisition Candace Parker, a two-time MVP and two-time league champion.

The opening weekend of WNBA Tip-Off Presented by CarMax concludes on Sunday, May 21, when Griner, Taurasi and the Mercury host 2021 WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper and the Chicago Sky in a rematch of the 2021 WNBA Finals on ESPN and ESPN+ at 4 p.m. ET.

The New York Liberty, which added 2021 Kia WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones, 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart and six-time league assists leader Courtney Vandersloot to a roster that already included 2022 All-WNBA selection and 2020 No. 1 overall draft pick, Sabrina Ionescu, will play nine games across ESPN platforms. The 2022 champion Aces will appear seven times. The two teams, which feature a combined eight 2022 WNBA All-Stars, will meet four times in the regular season and go head-to-head on ABC on Sunday, Aug. 6 from New York (3 p.m. ET).

Additional Highlights of the ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 Broadcast Schedule:

  • Six teams will each be showcased four times, including the Connecticut Sun, led by 2022 WNBA All-Star Brionna Jones and fellow All-Star Alyssa Thomas, who posted a WNBA-record four triple-doubles across the 2022 regular season and postseason. Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington will also appear four times each.

  • In addition to the opening weekend broadcasts featuring Griner and Taurasi, coverage of the Mercury is set for Tuesday, July 25, when Phoenix visits Rhyne Howard and the Dream (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET) and on Sunday, Sept. 10 – the final day of the regular season – when Phoenix travels to Las Vegas to face the All-Star quintet of Gray, Parker, Plum, Wilson and Young (ESPN2, 3 p.m. ET).

  • Stewart, who starred with Seattle for six seasons from 2016-22, will face her former team in a pair of national telecasts – first when the Liberty visits the Storm on Tuesday, May 30 (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET), and on Saturday, July 8, when the Storm travels to New York (ESPN, 1:30 p.m. ET).

  • New York’s Courtney Vandersloot, who helped Chicago to two appearances in the WNBA Finals presented by YouTube TV, including a WNBA championship in 2021, will square off against her former team when the Liberty visits the Sky on Sunday, Sept. 3 (ESPN2, 3 p.m. ET).

  • ABC will air star-studded doubleheaders across two weekends in June beginning on Sunday, June 11, when the Liberty host the Wings (1 p.m. ET) and the Storm host two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne, two-time WNBA All-Star Ariel Atkins and the Washington Mystics (3 p.m. ET). On Sunday, June 25, New York hosts Washington (1 p.m. ET) and the Sparks welcome the Wings (3 p.m. ET) to Los Angeles.

  • Connecticut and Las Vegas, which met in the 2022 WNBA Finals presented by YouTube TV, will play on Saturday, July 1 (ABC, 3 p.m. ET).

  • In advance of the 2023 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game on July 15, the WNBA’s Skills Challenge and the Starry Three-Point Contest will air on ESPN on Friday, July 14 at 4 p.m. ET.

  • All games across ESPN platforms during the regular season and postseason will stream live on the ESPN App.

The 2023 regular season will include a record-high 40 games per team, providing fans with more opportunities to see the best players in the world compete at the highest level. The third year of the Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase also brings added excitement and intrigue to the first half of the season for players, teams and fans. 

Following the conclusion of the 2023 regular season on Sunday, Sept. 10, ESPN will once again collaborate with the WNBA to broadcast all playoff games. Wall-to-wall coverage of the WNBA Playoffs presented by Google and the WNBA Finals presented by YouTube TV will feature up to 27 nationally televised playoff games across ESPN platforms. 

With the tip-off of the WNBA season set for May 19, ESPN Fantasy Women's Basketball is back and now open for the season. Fans can lock in their spot for free today and get ready to dominate with their favorite WNBA stars in May. Go to espn.com/fantasywomensbasketball or download the ESPN Fantasy App to get started.

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