NEW YORK (AP) – WNBA nearly doubles its national TV presence with a multi-year deal with CBS Sports.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast 40 WNBA games starting next month when the season starts.
"Through Through our partnership with CBS Sports Network, WNBA joins a number of world-class sports programs," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "We are grateful to CBS Sports for their significant commitment to women's basketball and another platform to showcase the world-class WNBA athletes."
The league, which begins its 23rd season on May 24, also has a collaborate with ESPN to watch 16 regular television programs, including three on ABC. Last year, the WNBA had a strong regular season with an average average viewership of ESPN2 and NBA TV, which increased 31
Minnesota v Chicago on Saturday, May 25, will be the first game on the CBS Sports Network. The TV channel is currently using local broadcast feeds, much as NBA TV shows WNBA games. NBA TV showed 49 games last year.
"We are very pleased to partner with WNBA, which brings the country's leading women's sports league to the CBS Sports Network. This partnership is one of the largest and most effective sports programming for women ever held at CBS Sports. It has a nationwide presence of 40 games a year, "said CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus. "This deal offers great prime-time and weekend-time live content throughout the summer, connecting two major brands in the WNBA and CBS Sports. We look forward to working with the WNBA for many years.
Dan Weinberg, vice president of CBS programming, said the WNBA was exactly what CBS needed for its timeline.
"We look for a partner with established brands that grow with dedicated fan bases" he said in a telephone interview. "The WNBA is testing each of these boxes. (Playing in) Spring-Summer is suitable for our program. We speak clearly and obviously of the best basketball players in the world at the highest level. In conjunction with WNBA, it is a great, established brand that is popular throughout the country.
The sites are still discussing extending coverage to features and other WNBA programs.
"This will go well beyond the highlights," he told David Denenberg, senior vice president, global media distribution and business affairs Whether it's features we're developing or developing to CBS, we want to do more. "
It's unclear how the WNBA will decide which games to play after this year on ESPN or CBS The league did not appear to be overly concerned.
"Suffice it to say we have enough games that we believe will put together a robust schedule for everyone," Denenberg said the CBS timeline and ESPN timetable, and I think we will support all of our partners well. "
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