ESPN signs six-year extension with WNBA
The WNBA signed a six-year extension with ESPN, reportedly worth $12 million per year, according to Sports Business Daily. The new deal will include a double-header on Memorial Day, shown on ESPN2, the WNBA’s version of the NBA’s Christmas Day games. The total number of WNBA games on ESPN will be 30, up from 28.
From the Sports Business Daily report:
Those games will include the teams with the top four draft picks, so ESPN will be able to highlight the three top picks that it has showcased in its “Three to See” campaign all season: Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), and Brittney Griner (Baylor).
“Having a better sense of the athletes and getting to know the athletes is a really important part of building allegiance to a player, a team or a league,” said WNBA President Laurel Richie. “So in this extended partnership, we’re excited about looking for ways to do that.”
SI’s Richard Deitsch commented on the implications of the WNBA deal for ESPN’s relationship with the NBA:
Re-upping with the WNBA is also something that helps ESPN when NBA TV rights come up again in 2016.—
Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) March 28, 2013