NBA TV Announces 2011 WNBA Regular Season Game Schedule

72 Game Regular Season Schedule to Tip Off with Debut of No. 1 Draft Pick Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx at Los Angeles Sparks on Friday, June 3 at 11:00 p.m. (ET)

Network to Air WNBA Preview Show on Friday, June 3 at 10:00 p.m. (ET) Featuring Exclusive Interview with New WNBA President Laurel J. Ritchie

NBA TV today announced its 72-game WNBA 2011 regular season schedule, beginning with the debut of  No. 1 draft pick Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx, taking on former WNBA MVP Candace Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday, June 3 at 11 p.m. (ET).

The WNBA on NBA TV schedule will include appearances from all 12 WNBA teams, along with extensive all-access coverage of the league throughout the season, including highlights and postgame interviews with players and coaches following key WNBA matchups.

Prior to tipping off its extensive coverage of the league’s 15th season, NBA TV will present the WNBA Preview Show on Friday, June 3 at 10 p.m. ET. During the 60-minute special, host Marc Fein, analyst LaChina Robinson and former Charlotte Sting forward  Rushia Brown will break down each WNBA team and key storylines heading into the upcoming season.

The WNBA Preview Show will feature an exclusive interview with new WNBA president Laurel J. Richie and her plans for the world’s premier women’s sports league. In addition, Robinson will interview Hall of Famer Teresa Edwards and Moore, a two-time winner of the Naismith Prep Player-of-the-Year award and member of two national championship teams with the University of Connecticut.

NBA Digital is the NBA’s extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports. This robust offering includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.

Visit Turner Sports online pressroom at http://news.turner.com. Follow Turner Sports on Twitter @TurnerSportsPR

2011 WNBA ON NBA TV SCHEDULE
(ALL TIMES ET)
JUNE
Date Day Time Teams
03-Jun-11 Fri 11:00pm Minnesota @ Los Angeles
25-Jun-11 Sat 7:00pm Connecticut @ Indiana
26-Jun-11 Sun 3:00pm San Antonio @ Atlanta
26-Jun-11 Sun 7:00pm Indiana @ Minnesota
JULY
Date Day Time Teams
01-Jul-11 Fri 7:00pm San Antonio @ New York
01-Jul-11 Fri 10:00pm Chicago @ Phoenix
03-Jul-11 Sun 4:00pm Seattle @ Washington
08-Jul-11 Fri 8:00pm New York @ San Antonio
09-Jul-11 Sat 8:00pm Connecticut @ Minnesota
09-Jul-11 Sat 10:00pm Los Angeles @ Seattle
10-Jul-11 Sun 4:00pm Chicago @ New York
10-Jul-11 Sun 6:00pm Tulsa @ Phoenix
12-Jul-11 Tue 3:00pm Washington @ Seattle
12-Jul-11 Tue 8:00pm Los Angeles @ San Antonio
13-Jul-11 Wed 1:00pm Phoenix @ Minnesota
15-Jul-11 Fri 7:00pm Connecticut @ New York
15-Jul-11 Fri 10:00pm Washington @ Phoenix
16-Jul-11 Sat 7:30pm Chicago @ Atlanta
17-Jul-11 Sun 4:00pm Tulsa @ New York
17-Jul-11 Sun 8:30pm Washington @ Los Angeles
19-Jul-11 Tue 12:00pm Indiana @ Atlanta
20-Jul-11 Wed 11:30am Atlanta @ Washington
20-Jul-11 Wed 3:30pm Minnesota @ Phoenix
21-Jul-11 Thu 7:00pm Chicago @ Indiana
21-Jul-11 Thu 10:00pm San Antonio @ Seattle
26-Jul-11 Tue 10:00pm Seattle @ Phoenix
28-Jul-11 Thu 12:30pm Phoenix @ San Antonio
28-Jul-11 Thu 7:00pm Los Angeles @ Atlanta
29-Jul-11 Fri 7:00pm Indiana @ Washington
30-Jul-11 Sat 7:00pm Phoenix @ New York
31-Jul-11 Sun 3:00pm Minnesota @ San Antonio
31-Jul-11 Sun 6:00pm Los Angeles @ Indiana
AUGUST
Date Day Time Teams
03-Aug-11 Wed 3:00pm Connecticut @ Los Angeles
04-Aug-11 Thu 12:00pm Chicago @ New York
04-Aug-11 Thu 8:00pm San Antonio @ Minnesota
05-Aug-11 Fri 10:00pm Connecticut @ Seattle
06-Aug-11 Sat 7:00pm New York @ Washington
07-Aug-11 Sun 3:00pm Seattle @ Atlanta
07-Aug-11 Sun 6:00pm Connecticut @ Phoenix
07-Aug-11 Sun 8:30pm Minnesota @ Los Angeles
13-Aug-11 Sat 7:00pm New York @ Indiana
13-Aug-11 Sat 10:00pm Atlanta @ Seattle
14-Aug-11 Sun 3:00pm Chicago @ San Antonio
14-Aug-11 Sun 7:00pm Tulsa @ Minnesota
16-Aug-11 Tue 10:00pm Atlanta @ Los Angeles
18-Aug-11 Thu 7:00pm Connecticut @ New York
19-Aug-11 Fri 7:30pm Connecticut @ Atlanta
20-Aug-11 Sat 7:00pm Chicago @ Washington
20-Aug-11 Sat 10:00pm San Antonio @ Phoenix
21-Aug-11 Sun 6:00pm Washington @ Indiana
26-Aug-11 Fri 8:00pm San Antonio @ Minnesota
26-Aug-11 Fri 10:30pm Tulsa @ Los Angeles
27-Aug-11 Sat 7:00pm Atlanta @ Indiana
28-Aug-11 Sun 4:00pm Phoenix @ Washington
28-Aug-11 Sun 6:00pm New York @ Chicago
SEPTEMBER
Date Day Time Teams
02-Sep-11 Fri 7:30pm Washington @ Atlanta
03-Sep-11 Sat 8:00pm Seattle @ San Antonio
03-Sep-11 Sat 10:00pm Los Angeles @ Phoenix
04-Sep-11 Sun 4:00pm Connecticut @ Washington
04-Sep-11 Sun 6:00pm Indiana @ Chicago
06-Sep-11 Tue 10:30pm San Antonio @ Los Angeles
07-Sep-11 Wed 7:00pm Washington @ Indiana
08-Sep-11 Thu 8:00pm Chicago @ Minnesota
08-Sep-11 Thu 10:00pm Tulsa @ Phoenix
09-Sep-11 Fri 7:00pm Indiana @ New York
09-Sep-11 Fri 10:30pm Tulsa @ Los Angeles
10-Sep-11 Sat 8:00pm Washington @ San Antonio
10-Sep-11 Sat 10:30pm Chicago @ Los Angeles
11-Sep-11 Sun 1:00pm New York @ Connecticut
11-Sep-11 Sun 5:00pm Atlanta @ Indiana
11-Sep-11 Sun 7:00pm San Antonio @ Tulsa
11-Sep-11 Sun 9:00pm Chicago @ Seattle

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2011 WNBA Draft to Be Held at ESPN

2011 WNBA Draft to Be Held at ESPN

The 2011 WNBA Draft – the selection of the world’s top female basketball prospects – will be held Monday, April 11, at ESPN in Bristol, Conn. ESPN2 will televise live the first round beginning at 3 p.m. ET, in addition to ESPN3.com offering a simulcast. ESPNU and NBA TV will air the second and third rounds from 4-5:30 p.m.

“ESPN and the WNBA are entering their 15th year of partnership in a way that is worthy of this milestone,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “Showcasing the WNBA Draft and its top incoming stars at ESPN only emphasizes our commitment to the sport of women’s basketball.”

The event marks the first time a professional sports league will conduct its draft at ESPN headquarters. Previous WNBA Drafts, which ESPN has televised since 2001, have been held in various locations, including the site of the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four (2006-08) and, most recently, at NBA Studios in Secaucus, N.J. (2009 & 2010).

Among the top prospects eligible for this year’s draft are: Australia National Team member center Elizabeth Cambage, University of Connecticut forward Maya Moore, Ohio State center Jantel Lavender, Oklahoma guard Danielle Robinson and Xavier forward Amber Harris.

The live telecast of the Draft will take place in the ESPN studio that is home to Mike & Mike in the Morning, Sunday NFL Countdown and a variety of other ESPN shows.

espnW will provide behind-the-scenes content at espnW.com leading up to the WNBA Draft, including profiles and features on the top potential picks. On draft day, espnW.com will bring you the live perspective from the draft, including reaction and interviews of the top WNBA draftees.

ESPN and the WNBA enter into the 15th year of coverage, which dates back to the league’s inaugural season in 1997. The WNBA tipped off on ESPN June 21, 1997 – a game between the NY Liberty and the LA Sparks featuring ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo, who began her seven-year WNBA career with the Liberty.

2011 WNBA DRAFT ORDER (2010 Record)
First Round
1. Minnesota (13-21)
2. Tulsa (6-28)
3. Chicago (14-20)
4. Minnesota from Connecticut (17-17) (Kelsey Griffin, 4/8/10)
5. Los Angeles (13-21)
6. San Antonio (14-20)
7. Tulsa from Phoenix (15-19) (Kara Braxton/Nicole Ohlde 7/23/10)
8. Atlanta (19-15)
9. Indiana (21-13)
10. New York (22-12)
11. Washington (22-12)
12. Seattle (28-6)

Second Round
13. Minnesota from Tulsa (6-28) (Amber Holt, Chante Black 4/7/10) via Connecticut (Kelsey Griffin, 4/8/10)
14. Minnesota (13-21)
15. Chicago (14-20)
16. Connecticut (17-17)
17. Chicago from Los Angeles (13-21) (Kristi Toliver, 5/13/10)
18. Atlanta from San Antonio (14-20) (Michelle Snow/Dalma Ivanyi, 3/11/10)
19. Phoenix (15-19)
20. San Antonio from Atlanta (19-15) (Michelle Snow/Dalma Ivanyi, 3/11/10)
21. Tulsa from Indiana (21-13) (Shavonte Zellous, 5/27/10)
22. New York (22-12)
23. Washington (22-12)
24. Seattle (28-6)

Third Round
25. Tulsa (6-28)
26. Minnesota (13-21)
27. Chicago (14-20)
28. Connecticut (17-17)
29. Los Angeles (13-21)
30. San Antonio (14-20)
31. Phoenix (15-19)
32. Atlanta (19-15)
33. Indiana (21-13)
34. New York (22-12)
35. Washington (22-12)
36. Seattle (28-6)

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WNBA Finals’ Viewership Rises for Second Straight Year

WNBA Finals’ Viewership Rises for Second Straight Year

For the second straight year, the audience for the WNBA Finals increased as the Seattle Storm swept the Atlanta Dream in three close games. Games 2 and 3 were on ESPN2 (Game 1 was on ABC) and averaged 422,000 households, up 15 percent from Games 2 and 3 on ESPN2 last year (Indiana vs. Phoenix, a five-game series) and up 79 percent from those two contests on ESPN2 in 2008 (Detroit vs. San Antonio, a 3-0 sweep).

Among viewers (P2+), the increase for the same two games over last year was 20 percent, from an average of 430,000 impressions to 516,000. Compared to 2008, the rise was 73 percent (from 299,000). This year’s two games averaged a 0.4 rating on ESPN2, equal to last year and double the 0.2 of 2008.

All the key male demographic groups showed impressive double-digit growth, led by M18-34 (+90 percent).

Last night’s Game 3 averaged 437,000 homes and 545,000 viewers, increases of 32 percent and 40 percent, respectively. In Seattle, the telecast earned a 3.8 overnight rating, the highest local WNBA rating on ESPN or ESPN2 for any market since a 4.0 in Hartford on September 15, 2005 (Game 2 of the WNBA Finals, Connecticut vs. Sacramento).

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NBA TV Caps Off Exciting NBA Off-Season with 2010 WNBA Conference Finals Action & 2010 FIBA World Championship Coverage

NBA TV Caps Off Exciting NBA Off-Season with 2010 WNBA Conference Finals Action & 2010 FIBA World Championship Coverage

Network Delivers Over 120 Live Games, including NBA Summer League, WNBA, and FIBA Men’s World Championship Action

NBA TV caps off one of the most captivating summers in basketball history with exclusive coverage of the 2010 WNBA Eastern Conference Finals presented by adidas and continued coverage of the 2010 FIBA Men’s World Championships. The network has provided more than 300 hours of basketball programming and will feature over 120 live basketball games during the NBA off-season.

The 2010 WNBA Eastern Conference Finals presented by adidas will start on Sunday, September 5 at 7:00 p.m (ET) when Cappie Pondexter and the New York Liberty host Angel McCoughtry and the Atlanta Dream in Game #1 of the series. The WNBA Eastern Conference Finals will continue on Tuesday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) with NBA TV airing Game #2 of the series. Game #3 will air Thursday, September 9 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) if necessary. In addition, the network will air tonight’s Game #1 WNBA Western Conference Finals between the defending champion Phoenix Mercury and the Seattle Storm at 10 p.m. ET and a possible series deciding Game #3 on Wednesday, September 8 at 10 p.m. (ET).

NBA TV will continue to air live game coverage of the 2010 FIBA Men’s World Championship as well as encore presentations of the 2010 USA Men’s World Championship Team games featuring Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets).The network will also air special editions of NBA TV studio show, GameTime featuring comprehensive coverage of the 2010 FIBA Men’s World Championship. Matt Winer, Marc Fein and Rick Kamla will anchor the networks coverage with analysis from Steve Smith, Dennis Scott, and Brent Barry as well as special in-studio guests.

Coverage this off-season included the NBA Draft, NBA Summer League, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame festivities, WNBA Playoffs, 2010 FIBA Men’s World Championships, and one of the most talked about NBA free agency periods in recent history.

  • NBA Free Agency/Decision 2010: NBA TV’s Free Agency coverage provided fans with in-depth analysis and special reports dedicated to the most talked about NBA free agency class in history. The network provided free-agency previews, breaking news updates at the top of every hour, push notifications through NBA Mobile’s GameTime app and the free agency tracker on NBA.com.

  • NBA Draft – NBA TV’s coverage of the 2010 NBA Draft included 12 hours of dedicated coverage including player interviews from Craig Sager on draft night and the EA Division Review Shows which featured former Nets coach Lawrence Frank, University of Kansas Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bill Self.
  • NBA Summer League – The network aired 59 live games including first round draft pick John Wall’s first four games as an NBA Player with the Washington Wizards.
  • 2010 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement – The network delivered week-long coverage (Aug. 9 – 13) of the 2010 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festivities including the live red-carpet show and enshrinement ceremony.
  • WNBA Playoffs –  NBA TV aired  41 live games of the 2010 WNBA Regular season and will air Eastern Conference Finals exclusively and is the home for the WNBA Playoffs Postgame Show.
  • 2010 FIBA Men’s World Championship –During the Men’s FIBA World Championship, NBA TV will air 20 live games plus re-airs of all Team USA games and featured special programming including a special episode of Real Training Camp and the Nike World Basketball Festival.

NBA TV PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE:

*All Times Eastern Standard; FIBA Championships listings will be updated as games are added

WNBA Eastern Conference Finals Schedule:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
7:00 – 9:00 p.m WNBA ECF: Atlanta Dream @ New York Liberty, Game #1
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
7:30 – 9:30 pm WNBA ECF: New York Liberty @ Atlanta Dream, Game #2
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
7:30 – 9:30 p.m WNBA ECF: Atlanta Dream @ New York Liberty, Game #3*

*If Necessary

NBA Digital is the NBA’s extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports. This robust offering includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.

Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., presents some of the best and most popular sporting events worldwide and is a leader in televised and online sports programming.  With events airing on TBS and TNT, Turner Sports’ line-up includes NASCAR and NASCAR.COM, the NBA, Major League Baseball, professional golf, PGATOUR.COM and PGA.com.  Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.

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NBA TV Tips Off Coverage of the WNBA Playoffs and the Men’s 2010 FIBA Championships

MEDIA ADVISORY

NBA TV Tips Off Coverage of the WNBA Playoffs and the Men’s 2010 FIBA Championships

NBA TV will provide first round coverage of the WNBA Playoffs as teams battle for a chance to advance in the post-season. On Wednesday, August 25 NBA TV will air Game #1 as Angel McCoughtry and the Atlanta Dream face Crystal Langhorne and the Washington Mystics at 7 p.m. (ET). On Thursday, August 26 at 7 p.m. (ET) Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever will head to the Big Apple to face Cappie Pondexter and the New York Liberty in Game #1 of the Eastern Conference match-up. On Monday, August 30 the San Antonio Silver Stars @ Phoenix Mercury face off at 7 p.m. (ET) in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Semifinals. On Tuesday, August 31 at 10 p.m. (ET), the Los Angeles Sparks will meet the Western Conference top-seeded Seattle Storm for Game #3 of their battle to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Following each Playoff game, NBATV will air an exclusive WNBA Playoffs Postgame Show hosted by Kyle Montgomery and featuring analysts Dennis Scott and LaChina Robinson in addition to various in studio guests including WNBA All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw that will highlight players, stories and news that develop during the Playoffs.

In addition, NBA TV will air the Men’s 2010 FIBA World Championship. The network will air 20 live games and a special Men’s 2010 FIBA World Championship GameTime with rotating hosts Matt Winer, Marc Fein and Rick Kamala and analysts Steve Smith, Brent Barry and special in-studio guests. This year’s FIBA World Championship will include Team USA’s Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers) as they attempt to do something that no USA Team has done since 1994 and win Gold at the World Championships.  Team Spain will attempt to defend its 2009 title with help from Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzles) and Minnesota Timberwolves draft pick Ricky Rubio while Team Brazil’s roster includes Leandro Barbosa (Toronto Raptors), Anderson Varejao (Cleveland Cavaliers) & Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs).

NBA TV PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE:

AUGUST 25 – AUGUST 27

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. WNBA Playoffs: Atlanta Dream @ Washington Mystics, Game #1
9:00– 9:30p.m WNBA Playoffs Postgame Show Kyle Montgomery, LaChina Robinson
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26
7:00 – 9:00 p.m WNBA Playoffs: Indiana Fever @ New York Liberty, Game #1
9:00 – 9:30 p.m WNBA Playoffs Postgame Show Kyle Montgomery, LaChina Robinson
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27
7:30 – 9:00  p.m WNBA Playoffs: Washington Mystics @ Atlanta Dream, Game #2
9:30 – 10:00 p.m WNBA Playoffs Postgame Show Kyle Montgomery, Chamique Holdsclaw
SATURDAY, AUGUST 28
9:00  – 11:00 a.m FIBA Championships: Greece vs. China
2:00 – 4:00 p.m FIBA Championships: France vs. Spain
9:00– 9:30 p.m Men’s FIBA GameTime Matt Winer, Steve Smith, Mike Woodson

AUGUST 29 – SEPTEMBER 1

SUNDAY, AUGUST 29
11:30 am –1:30 pm FIBA Championships: Puerto Rico vs. Greece
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. FIBA Championships: Spain vs. New Zealand
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. WNBA Playoffs: Atlanta Dreams @ Washington Mystics, Game #3*
6:00 – 6:30 p.m. WNBA Playoffs Postgame Show Marc Fein, Dennis Scott
10:00 – 10:30 p.m NBA Game Time Marc Fein, Dennis Scott
MONDAY, AUGUST 30
12:00 – 2:00 p.m. FIBA Championships: Austria vs. Germany
10:00 p.m  –12:00 a.m. WNBA Playoffs: San Antonio Silver Stars @ Phoenix Mercury, Game # 3*
12:00– 12:30 a.m NBA GameTime Kyle Montgomery, LaChina Robinson
TUESDAY, AUGUST 31
11:30 am –1:30 p.m. FIBA Championships: France vs. Canada
2:00 pm  – 4:00 p.m FIBA Championships: Spain vs. Lithuania
10:00 p.m – 12:00 a.m. WNBA Playoffs: Los Angeles Sparks @ Seattle Storm, Game #3*
12:00 – 12:30 a.m Men’s FIBA GameTime Matt Winer, Steve Smith
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
2:30  – 4:30 p.m. FIBA Championships: Brazil vs. Slovenia
7:30 – 10:30 p.m WNBA Playoffs: Indiana Fever @ New York Liberty
10:30– 11:00 p.m. Men’s FIBA GameTime Matt Winer, Steve Smith

*If necessary

NBA Digital is the NBA’s extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports. This robust offering includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.

Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., presents some of the best and most popular sporting events worldwide and is a leader in televised and online sports programming.  With events airing on TBS and TNT, Turner Sports’ line-up includes NASCAR and NASCAR.COM, the NBA, Major League Baseball, professional golf, PGATOUR.COM and PGA.com.  Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.

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WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun presented by adidas Saturday on ESPN

WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun presented by Adidas Saturday on ESPN

WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun presented by adidas will showcase the world’s best female basketball players under one roof when the WNBA’s top talent faces the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Saturday, July 10 on ESPN at 3:30 p.m., ET. The Connecticut Sun will host the event at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Reigning WNBA MVP Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) will play for USA Basketball along with Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun), Maya Moore (University of Connecticut), and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty).

The WNBA team roster includes Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars), Rebekkah Brunson (Minnesota Lynx), Becky Hammon (San Antonio Silver Stars), Iziane Castro Marques (Atlanta Dream), Katie Douglas (Indiana Fever), Lauren Jackson (Seattle Storm), Crystal Langhorne (Washington Mystics), Sancho Lyttle (Atlanta Dream), Michelle Snow (San Antonio Silver Stars), Penny Taylor (Phoenix Mercury), and Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars).

The first 10 participants in the game were selected by fan voting with those players already in the USA National Team Pool being assigned to the USA Basketball squad and the remaining players assigned to the team of WNBA stars. USA Basketball’s roster was then completed with players from its national pool, while the league’s head coaches cast votes to fill the remaining spots on the WNBA roster. Both teams will compete with 11 players.

The USA National Team, comprised of players from the USA National Team Pool, is coached by University of Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, who has coached the Huskies to seven NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championships, including the 2009 title.  Brian Agler, who has led the Seattle Storm to a 15-2 start, the best mark in the WNBA, is the head coach for the team of WNBA stars.

Terry Gannon will provide the play-by-play with analysts Carolyn Peck and reporters Heather Cox and Rebecca Lobo.

ESPN  will have two players, both coaches and a referee wear microphones that will provide live audio during the telecast. In addition, players from both teams will have flip cameras that will let fans behind the scenes. The telecast will include features on Auriemma and 2009 WNBA MVP Diana Taursai and the announcement of the next class of inductees in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
The WNBA and ESPN

ESPN has televised WNBA games since the league’s inaugural season in 1997, including the first All-Star Game in 1999. In addition to ESPN’s presentation of the WNBA vs. USA Basketball; The Stars at the Sun presented by adidas, ESPN2 will combine to televise 18 regular-season WNBA games and up to 11 postseason telecasts. Every ESPN2 game will also be offered on ESPN3.com.

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WNBA Postseason on ESPN2 Delivers Double-Digit Increases Across the Board

WNBA Postseason on ESPN2 Delivers Double-Digit Increases Across the Board

This year’s coverage of the 2009 WNBA postseason (Eastern and Western Conference Semifinals and Finals, WNBA Finals) on ESPN2 (13 telecasts) delivered double-digit increases in viewership, households and in key male and female demos vs. 2008.  The postseason concluded Friday, Oct. 9, with a decisive Game 5  WNBA Finals matchup, in which the Phoenix Mercury captured its second WNBA title, defeating the Indiana Fever, 94-86.  The postseason earned a 0.4 rating, up 100 percent compared to last year (0.2), with a 54 percent increase in household impressions (352,000 vs. 229,000).  There was also a 100 percent increase in viewership for P2+ (0.2 vs. 0.1), delivering 435,000 viewers, up 54 percent from last year (282,000).

In addition, the WNBA postseason on ESPN2 saw increases in key demographics, including men 18-49 (+49%) and men 25-54 (+39%).  WNBA postseason viewing among women also saw significant growth.  Female viewers between the ages of 18-49 and 25-54 were up 73 percent and 51 percent, respectively.

Moreover, the five-game WNBA Finals series averaged 548,000 viewers (P2+), up 73 percent vs. last season (316,000).  The series averaged 434,000 households, up 68 percent, and delivered a 33 percent ratings increase (0.4) from last year (0.3).

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ESPN2’s WNBA Finals Audience Up 55 Percent Through Two Games

ESPN2’s WNBA Finals Audience Up 55 Percent Through Two Games

Through Game 2 of the 2009 WNBA Finals, ESPN2’s telecasts are averaging 531,000 viewers (P2+), an increase of 55 percent when compared to last year’s 331,000 viewers. The corresponding household impressions are up 47 percent (410,000 vs. 278,000 in 2008) and the 0.4 rating is an increase of 33 percent over last year’s 0.3 rating.

ESPN2’s exclusive coverage of the WNBA Finals presented by adidas will continue with Game 3 on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 4 p.m. ET from Indianapolis. The best-of-five series is tied 1-1. Terry Gannon will call the remainder of the WNBA Finals with analyst Carolyn Peck and reporters Heather Cox and Rebecca Lobo. Prior to each tip, ESPN2 will televise the WNBA Shootaround pre-game show with host Pam Ward and analyst Nancy Lieberman. The Finals are also available in high definition on ESPN2 HD and via ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature broadband service.

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Sun., Oct. 4

4 p.m.

Game 3: Phoenix at Indiana

Wed., Oct. 7

7:30 p.m.

Game 4: Phoenix at Indiana

Fri., Oct. 9

9 p.m.

Game 5: Indiana at Phoenix *

*if necessary

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ESPN2 to Provide Extensive Coverage of WNBA Conference Semifinals, Conference Finals and WNBA Finals; Coverage Begins Wednesday, Sept. 16

ESPN2 to Provide Extensive Coverage of WNBA Conference Semifinals, Conference Finals and WNBA Finals; Coverage Begins Wednesday, Sept. 16

For photos of ESPN’s WNBA commentators, please click here.

ESPN2 will tip off its coverage of the 2009 WNBA Playoffs on Wednesday, Sept. 16, with action from the Eastern and Western Conference Semifinals. Out of the East, the defending WNBA champion Detroit Shock will take on the Atlanta Dream, who will be making their first WNBA playoff appearance. In addition, on Thursday, Sept. 17, the Indiana Fever will go head to head with the Washington Mystics. In the West, the Seattle Storm will take on the Los Angeles Sparks on Wednesday, while the Phoenix Mercury will play defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Silver Stars on Thursday. The best-of-three Conference Semifinal games will conclude with potential Game 3 matchups on Sunday, Sept. 20, and Monday, Sept. 21, all on ESPN2.

Also, ESPN2 and ESPN360.com will air Game 1 of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, respectively, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET. The networks will also air the best-of-five WNBA Finals, which will begin Tuesday, Sept. 29, with a potential Game 4 and Game 5 on Wednesday, Oct. 7, and Friday, Oct. 9. WNBA Finals coverage will be supplemented by WNBA Shootaround, a pregame studio show.

All playoff games (up to 15) will be produced in high definition and will also be simulcast on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network. This will be the first time every postseason WNBA game is televised in high definition on ESPN2 HD.

During the WNBA Conference Semifinals, Carolyn Peck, Nancy Lieberman and Doris Burke will serve as the primary analysts and will be joined by play-by-play announcers Pam Ward, Terry Gannon, Bob Wischusen and Dave Pasch and sideline reporters Rebecca Lobo and Heather Cox.

The WNBA’s regular season on ESPN2 (13 telecasts) concluded with an average of 269,000 viewers, up 8% vs. last season (248,000 viewers). In addition, regular-season games on ESPN2 saw increases in key demographics, including men 18-34 (+9%), men 18-49 (+14%) and men 23-54 (+23%).

2009 WNBA Playoff and WNBA Finals Schedule (Subject to change)

Date

Time (ET)

Matchup

Network

Wed, Sep 16

8 p.m.

Eastern Conference Semifinals: Atlanta at Detroit

Pam Ward Nancy Lieberman and Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

10 p.m.

Western Conference Semis: Seattle at Los Angeles

Terry Gannon, Carolyn Peck and Heather Cox

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

Thur, Sep 17

7 p.m.

Eastern Conference Semis: Indiana at Washington

Bob Wischusen, Nancy Lieberman and Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

9 p.m.

Western Conference Semis: Phoenix at San Antonio

Dave Pasch, Doris Burke and Heather Cox

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

Sun, Sep 20

3 p.m.

Eastern Conference Semis: Detroit at Atlanta *

Pam Ward Nancy Lieberman and Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

5 p.m.

Western Conference Semis: LA at Seattle *

Terry Gannon, Carolyn Peck and Heather Cox

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

Mon, Sep 21

8 p.m.

Eastern Conference Semis: Washington at Indiana *

Bob Wischusen, Nancy Lieberman and Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

10 p.m.

Western Conference Semis: San Antonio at Phoenix *

Dave Pasch, Doris Burke and Heather Cox

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

Wed, Sep 23

8 p.m.

Eastern Conference Finals (TBD)

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

10 p.m.

Western Conference Finals (TBD)

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

Tue, Sep 29

7:30 p.m.

WNBA Finals Game #1 (TBD)

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

Thu, Oct 1

7:30 p.m.

WNBA Finals Game #2(TBD)

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

Sun, Oct 4

3:30 p.m.

WNBA Finals Game #3 (TBD)

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

Wed, Oct 7

7:30 p.m.

WNBA Finals Game #4 * (TBD)

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

Fri, Oct 9

7:30 p.m.

WNBA Finals Game #5 * (TBD)

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

* – If necessary

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2009 WNBA All-Star Game in High Definition Saturday on ABC HD

2009 WNBA All-Star Game in High Definition Saturday on ABC HD
Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2010 to be Announced

The best-of-the-best from the East and West will face each other in the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., Sunday, July 25, at 3:30 p.m. ET, in high definition on ABC HD.  Dave Pasch will call the ninth All-Star Game alongside analysts Nancy Lieberman and Carolyn Peck, with courtside reporters Heather Cox and Rebecca Lobo.

The Eastern Conference will feature All-Stars Alana Beard of the Washington Mystics, Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas of the Indiana Fever, and Candice Dupree and Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky.  The Western Conference All-Stars will be led by starters Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars and Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm.

Asjha Jones of the Connecticut Sun will be one of five former UConn stars suiting up for this year’s All-Star Game, the most by any university. The others include Western Conference All-Stars Sue Bird and Swin Cash of Seattle, Charde Houston of the Minnesota Lynx and Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury.

Lin Dunn, head coach of the Indiana Fever, will lead the Eastern Conference, while Dan Hughes, head coach of the San Antonio Silver Stars, will coach the West.  Both head coaches, one player from each team and the lead referee will wear live microphones during the telecast.  ABC’s production will also include the exclusive live announcement of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

To supplement ABC’s telecast of the game, ESPN.com will provide robust coverage of the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game with pre-game features from columnists Mechelle Voepel and Graham Hays, plus a new interactive social media site, which will include live-blogging from Voepel and Hays, tweets from ESPN TV personalities @RebeccaLobo, @NancyLieberman and @CAROLYNPECK and WNBA All-Stars, WNBA fan questions and comments, polls, photos, highlight video, ESPN Stats and Analysis research notes and more. WNBA All-Stars scheduled to participate: Alana Beard, Charde Houston, Cappie Pondexter, Sophia Young and Swin Cash.

The WNBA and ESPN
ESPN has televised WNBA games since the league’s inaugural season in 1997, including the first All-Star Game in 1999.  ABC and ESPN2 will combine to televise 13 regular-season WNBA games, the WNBA All-Star game, and up to 15 postseason telecasts. Every ESPN2 game will also be offered on ESPN360.com, 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.


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