Friday, May 22, 2009

WNBA On ESPN2 and ABC In 2009

Okay, I know we all decided that I would take the juicy details out of press releases for you to read but this one has a lot of great information. The WNBA is set to attract even more attention this year and now you can check out televised games in HD. Read on:

ESPN2 and ABC to Present Entire WNBA Schedule in HD

Season Tips Off on ABC June 6 with the Defending Champion Detroit Shock at L.A. Sparks

For the first time ever, every regular and postseason WNBA game will be televised in high definition on ESPN2 HD and ABC HD. The networks will combine to televise 13 regular-season WNBA games, the WNBA All-Star game, and up to 15 postseason telecasts, starting with the defending champion Detroit Shock at the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday, June 6, at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

This will also mark the first year of the new eight-year rights extension between ESPN and the WNBA through the 2016 season. As a result of the new agreement, every ESPN2 game will be offered on, ESPN’s broadband sports network, and ESPN International networks in Atlantic (sub-Saharan Africa), Pac Rim (Australia/NZ), Latin North, Latin South, Latin Caribbean, Latin Brazil, Middle East, as well as on ESPN Australia HD and ESPN Brazil HD. Live coverage of up to 15 games will also be available on ESPN Mobile TV.

The ESPN2 schedule will tip off with a WNBA Tuesday opener on June 9 at 7 p.m., when Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever host the Seattle Storm, led by Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson. Overall, ESPN2 will televise 12 regular-season games and ABC will air two.

ESPN2 will extend its coverage into the postseason with coverage of the Eastern and Western Conference Semifinals, Conference Finals and Finals, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 16. The complete schedule will be announced at a later date.

Carolyn Peck and Nancy Lieberman will alternate as game analysts and will be joined by rotating play-by-play commentators Terry Gannon, Dave Pasch and Pam Ward with reporters Heather Cox and Rebecca Lobo. Fans can also follow Lobo, Lieberman and Peck on Twitter throughout the season: @RebeccaLobo, @NancyLieberman and @CAROLYNPECK.


* WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday, July 25, at 3:30 p.m. on ABC, from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
* Five appearances by the Sparks, featuring All-Star center Lisa Leslie, who will retire after this season.
* 2008 WNBA Finals rematch between the Shock and San Antonio Silver Stars on Saturday, August 29, at 3 p.m. on ESPN2.
* No. 1 Draft pick Angel McCoughtry from Louisville will make her national television debut with the Atlanta Dream against the Minnesota Lynx and No. 4 Draft pick Renee Montgomery of Connecticut on Tuesday, June 30, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
* Top Draft picks and former Maryland Terrapins teammates Marissa Coleman (No. 2) of the Washington Mystics and Kristi Toliver (No. 3) of the Chicago Sky will square off Thursday, July 23, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
* Full-access coverage with live microphones on players/coaches/referees, exclusive locker room interviews, and above and below the rim cameras for select telecasts.
* Fans will also be able to follow the action on ESPN’s MVP application, which will include video highlights, recaps, statistics and features.
* coverage will include weekly original content, such as blogs and columns from Mechelle Voepel and Power Rankings by Melanie Jackson. Additional content includes game previews, recaps, stats and standings.

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