2015 WNBA Draft Presented by State Farm Live on ESPN2 April 16

ESPN Images WNBA Photos: http://bit.ly/1CUvebL

Draft to be held for second-straight year at Mohegan Sun Arena – home of the Connecticut Sun

The top female college basketball prospects – including Jewell Loyd and Amanda Zahui B., who enter the WNBA Draft by forgoing their remaining college eligibility – will gather at Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the Connecticut Sun, for the 2015 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm on Thursday, April 16. Airing in prime time for the third-straight year, coverage and analysis of the first round will begin at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by the second and third rounds on ESPN3 starting at 8 p.m. The entire Draft – three rounds of 12 picks each – can also be seen on WatchESPN. WNBA Draft anchor Kevin Negandhi will be joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo and Carolyn Peck, and reporter Holly Rowe.

Loyd of Notre Dame, espnW’s National Player of the Year, and Zahui B. of Minnesota, are eligible for the draft by virtue of turning 22 years old this calendar year. Connecticut’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who helped the Huskies win three consecutive national titles, headlines a list of 12 prospects who will attend the Draft.

The Seattle Storm holds the top pick in the draft for the third time in franchise history after winning the WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm. The rest of the top five includes the Tulsa Shock (second pick), Seattle (third, from the Connecticut Sun), Connecticut (fourth, from the New York Liberty) and the Chicago Sky (fifth).

Content will also be offered throughout the day across ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter and espnW.com.

WatchESPN is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

Production Features & Storylines

  • Connecticut Sun and Tulsa Shock representatives onsite
  • Live shots and reaction from friends and family in the arena, as well as college head coaches in attendance
  • Additional behind-the-scenes coverage during the Draft, plus post-selection interviews with Rowe
  • Chiney Ogwumike of the Connecticut Sun will join the telecast in the second round to discuss Connecticut’s first-round pick, to reflect on being the No. 1 pick just a year ago and on being named 2014 Rookie of the Year
  • All-access with top prospects throughout the day
  • Interview with WNBA President Laurel Richie
  • Discussion and analysis of off-season WNBA storylines and team needs, including Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker’s decision to rest, players leaving before their graduation year and more

espnW

  • Preview video from Mechelle Voepel and Michelle Smith
  • Mock Draft: espnW experts give first-round predictions
  • Exclusive post-pick interviews by ESPN analyst LaChina Robinson, including video with each of the top 12 picks
  • A Kate Fagan story on why college stars leaving early for the WNBA is a good thing
  • Voepel on how Tulsa and Seattle can reshape their franchises
  • Profile on Princeton standout Blake Dietrick
  • DraftCast: Live chat, pick-by-pick analysis of each selection and video player of WatchESPN Draft feed
  • Top prospects in the WNBA draft answer funny, odd-ball questions edited into a video montage
  • “Day In The Life” piece with draftee Zahui B. on espnW social channels
  • Team-by-team Draft grades

Additional Notes
In October 2014, the NBA and ESPN announced an extension of the relationship between the WNBA and ESPN. Under the terms of the new deal, WNBA games will continue to be televised on ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC through the 2025 season. ESPN also will have enhanced in-progress highlight rights for the WNBA on digital and linear platforms.

The 2014 telecast was the most viewed WNBA Draft on ESPN2, up nine percent from the 2013 edition, which featured the highly acclaimed “3 to See” — Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne, and Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins. The 2014 draft class was led by Chiney Ogwumike, the No. 1 overall selection by the Sun. Chiney, whose sister, Nneka, was the No. 1 pick in 2012 (by Los Angeles), went on to become the WNBA Rookie of the Year presented by Samsung.

ESPN2 will debut its schedule of WNBA games on Sunday, June 14, showcasing the Chicago Sky at the Indiana Fever at 1 p.m., followed by the Minnesota Lynx at the Phoenix Mercury at 3 p.m. The schedule also includes the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2015, with ABC showcasing the best women’s basketball players in the world from Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, July 25 at 3:30 p.m.

-30-

 

 

 

 

 

NBA TV Tips Off WNBA Playoffs 2014 Presented by Boost Mobile with Doubleheader Action Friday, Aug. 22

NBA-TV-LogoNBA TV will televise up to 11 WNBA Playoffs 2014 presented by Boost Mobile games, beginning Friday, Aug. 22, with a Conference Semifinal doubleheader starting with the Eastern Conference’s Chicago Sky and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Della Donne visiting the Atlanta Dream and WNBA All-Star Angel McCoughtry at 7:30 p.m. ET. In the second game of the night, the Western Conference’s top seeded Phoenix Mercury led by WNBA All-Star Diana Taurasi will host the Los Angeles Sparks and 2013 MVP Candace Parker at 10 p.m. NBA TV will continue with live playoff game coverage through the Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals.

Throughout the first two rounds of the playoffs, NBA TV’s Vince Cellini, Jared Greenberg, Kristen Ledlow and Matt Winer will host the network’s pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage, along with analysts LaChina Robinson, Dennis Scott and Steve Smith, and guest analysts Swin Cash and Katie Smith. Additionally, NBA TV’s studio show, NBA GameTime, will air following each WNBA Finals game.

NBA TV’s WNBA Playoff schedule:

Date Time (ET) Matchup
Friday, Aug. 22 7:30 p.m. Chicago Sky at Atlanta Dream

(Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 1)

10 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Phoenix Mercury

(Western Conference Semifinals, Game 1)

Monday, Aug. 25 TBD Washington Mystics at Indiana Fever

(Game 3, if necessary)

TBD San Antonio Stars at Minnesota Lynx

(Game 3, if necessary)

Tuesday, Aug. 26 7:30 p.m. Chicago Sky at Atlanta Dream (Game 3, if necessary)
10 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Phoenix Mercury

(Game 3, if necessary)

Friday, Aug. 29 TBD Western Conference Finals (Game 1)
Saturday, Aug. 30 TBD Eastern Conference Finals (Game 1)
Monday, Sept. 1 TBD Eastern Conference Finals (Game 2)
Tuesday, Sept. 2 TBD Western Conference Finals (Game 3, if necessary)
Wednesday, Sept. 3 TBD Eastern Conference Finals (Game 3, if necessary)

About NBA TV

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

-30-

2014 WNBA Season Tips Off May 17 on ESPN2

WNBA-Coin-Logo20-Game Schedule Includes Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 on ESPN

The WNBA regular-season schedule on ESPN networks opens Saturday, May 17, on ESPN2 from Madison Square Garden as the New York Liberty hosts the Chicago Sky. The ESPN/ESPN2 20-game WNBA schedule includes six doubleheaders, with five airing on Tuesday evenings in July. All games can also be seen via WatchESPN.

The opening ESPN2 game marks the return of the Liberty to the Garden after a three-year absence due to building renovations.

The Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game 2014 on Saturday, July 19, will showcase the league’s top players on ESPN, at 3:30 p.m. from US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The Chicago Sky and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne will make seven appearances on ESPN2. The Los Angeles Sparks and 2013 WNBA MVP Candace Parker, as well as the Minnesota Lynx and 2013 WNBA Finals MVP Maya Moore, will be featured on six separate occasions. The Phoenix Mercury and two-time WNBA Champion (2009, 2007) Diana Taurasi are on the ESPN2 schedule five times.

Commentators

Ryan Ruocco returns to ESPN’s WNBA coverage as a play-by-play voice. He can also be heard on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco” weekdays from 1-3 p.m. Ruocco will be paired with analyst and former WNBA star Rebecca Lobo, as well as reporter Holly Rowe. Veteran play-by-play commentator Pam Ward teams with analyst Carolyn Peck. LaChina Robinson will also work as a reporter on select games.

ESPN Content Highlights

ESPN will boost its production commitment to the WNBA through the teams, players and coaches.

  • Continued access includes:

o    Live microphones worn in-game by coaches and players.

o    Special mini-camera worn by referees during select games.

o    Look-ins at practices and shoot around, as well as in the locker rooms pregame and during half time.

  • The song “Classic” by MKTO used as the theme song throughout the regular season.
  • “Need to See” – a specialty brand focusing on top players in the league and their impact throughout the season, similar to last year’s focus of “3 to See”.

espnW

  • espnW’s 2014 season preview will include expert picks, conference predictions and player and team analysis of what the season holds. Included will be features on Chicago Sky’s Elena Delle Donne and Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird, as well as slideshows on the top MVP candidates and league contenders.
  • Weekly columns and online chats from writers Mechelle Voepel and Michelle Smith.
  • Total Access with the Los Angeles Sparks. After two seasons of tremendous change, have the Sparks finally found the right formula to win the franchise’s first championship since 2002? espnW will go behind-the-scenes to examine all the key players and how they might impact Los Angeles’ quest for another title. Features will include stories, blogs, and video and photo galleries
  • Blogs from WNBA players: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota), Bird (Seattle), Tina Charles (New York), Delle Donne (Chicago), Kayla McBride (San Antonio), Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut), Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles), Odyssey Simms (Tulsa) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix).

ESPN Digital Platforms

  • WatchESPN – available to 67.5 million households nationwide via an affiliated video provider – will carry every WNBA regular-season game this season.
  • Live scores, alerts and video clips accessible via the ESPN mobile Web and SportsCenter app

WNBA Postseason Coverage

ESPN2 will showcase the majority of the 2014 WNBA postseason.

  • Playoff coverage begins Thursday, Aug. 21, with an ESPN2 doubleheader.
  • The WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile runs September 7-17 with a best-of-five series.

The WNBA and ESPN have been affiliated for 18 years, dating back to the league’s inaugural season in 1997, and extended the relationship in March 2013 for six years through the 2022 season.

2014 WNBA ESPN/ESPN Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Games / Commentators Network
Sat, May 17 8 p.m. Chicago Sky at New York Liberty

Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe

ESPN2
Mon, May 26 3:30 p.m. Minnesota Lynx at Chicago Sky

Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe

ESPN2
Tue, June 3 7 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Atlanta Dream

Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck & LaChina Robinson

ESPN2
Sun, June 15 1 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Sun, June 22 1 p.m. Tulsa Shock at Chicago Sky

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 1 8 p.m. Indiana Fever at Atlanta Dream

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Chicago Sky at Los Angeles Sparks

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
Sun, July 6 2 p.m. Minnesota Lynx at New York Liberty

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
  4 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Los Angeles Sparks

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 8 7 p.m. Connecticut Sun at Atlanta Dream

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
  9 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
Sun, July 13 3 p.m. Seattle Storm at Minnesota Lynx

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 15 8 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Indiana Fever

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Washington Mystics at Phoenix Mercury

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Sat, July 19 3:30 p.m. Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 (Phoenix)

Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe

ESPN
Tue, July 22 8 p.m. Indiana Fever at Chicago Sky

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Seattle Storm

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 29 8 p.m. Chicago Sky at San Antonio Silver Stars

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Phoenix Mercury

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
Thu, Aug 7 8 p.m. Chicago Sky at Minnesota Lynx

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2

-30-

NBA TV Tips Off 2014 WNBA Coverage with Doubleheader Action Friday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET

NBA-TV-LogoNBA TV Tips Off 2014 WNBA Coverage with Doubleheader Action Friday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET

NBA TV’s 2014 WNBA Season Preview to feature NBA Inside Stuff  Co-host Kristen Ledlow and WNBA analyst LaChina Robinson on Thursday, May 15, at 8 p.m.

NBA TV will tip off its 2014 WNBA coverage Friday, May 16, with a doubleheader featuring the San Antonio Silver Stars and this year’s No. 3 overall draft pick Kayla McBride against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Dream and Angel McCoughtry at 7:30 p.m. ET.  In the second game of the night, the Los Angeles Sparks and reigning MVP Candace Parker will visit the Seattle Storm and Sue Bird at 10 p.m.

The network will preview the regular season Thursday, May 15, at 8 p.m. with the 2014 WNBA Season Preview hosted by Kristen Ledlow and analyst LaChina Robinson.  WNBA President Laurel Richie will also join the hosts to discuss a variety of topics from around the WNBA.

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

Follow Turner Sports on Twitter at @TurnerSportsPR. Follow NBA TV on Twitter at @NBATV.

-30-

Primetime 2014 WNBA Draft Presented by State Farm Live on ESPN2 April 14

WNBA-Coin-LogoDraft to be held at Mohegan Sun Arena – home of the Connecticut Sun

The top female college basketball prospects will assemble at Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the Connecticut Sun, for the 2014 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm on Monday, April 14. Airing in primetime for the second-straight year, coverage and analysis of the first round will begin at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by the second and third rounds on ESPNU from 9-10:30 p.m. The entire Draft – three rounds of 12 picks each – can also be seen on WatchESPN. WNBA Draft anchor Kevin Negandhi will be joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo and Carolyn Peck, and reporter Holly Rowe.

Content will also be offered across ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter and espnW.com.

Top prospects invited to the WNBA Draft are guards Chelsea Gray (Duke), Bria Hartley (Connecticut), Kayla McBride (Notre Dame), Shoni Schimmel (Louisville), Meighan Simmons (Tennessee) and Odyssey Sims (Baylor); forwards Natalie Achonwa (Notre Dame), Natasha Howard (Florida State), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland); and centers Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut) and Markeisha Gatling (NC State).

The Connecticut Sun holds the top pick in the draft for the second time in franchise history after garnering the top selection in this year’s WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm, which aired on  SportsCenter in December.  Rounding out this year’s top five picks are the Tulsa Shock (second), San Antonio Stars (third), New York Liberty (fourth) and Indiana Fever (fifth).

Production Features & Storylines

·         Connecticut Sun, Tulsa Shock and San Antonio Silver Stars representatives onsite

·         Live shots and reaction from friends and family in the arena

·         Virtual graphics within the telecast

·         ‘ESPN3 Podium Cam’ allows viewers to see each pick live through the third round with sound from podium microphone

·         In addition to post-selection interviews with Rowe, the telecast includes individual sit-down chats with Ogwumike, Dolson, Schimmel and other top players

·         All-access with top prospects throughout the day

·         Interview with WNBA President Laurel Richie

·         Discussion of new player collective bargaining agreement (CBA), as well as Magic Johnson’s Sparks ownership and what it means to the league

·         College head coaches in attendance at the draft

espnW

·         Exclusive post-pick interviews with top draftees by ESPN analyst LaChina Robinson

·         Mock Draft: espnW experts give first-round predictions

·         Video: Kate Fagan and Mechelle Voepel preview the Draft

·         DraftCast: Live chat, pick-by-pick analysis of each selection and video player of WatchESPN Draft feed

·         Photo gallery and player blogs

·         Team-by-team Draft grades

WatchESPN is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the award-winning WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon FireTV. It is available in 67.5 million households nationwide to fans of an affiliated video provider, including AT&T U-verse® TV, Bright House Networks, Cablevision’s Optimum TV, Charter, Comcast Xfinity TV, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Midcontinent Communications, NRTC, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS TV.

The WNBA and ESPN have been affiliated for 18 years, dating back to the league’s inaugural season in 1997, and extended the relationship in March 2013 to six years through the 2022 season. ESPN2 will debut its schedule of WNBA games on Saturday, May 17 showcasing Chicago at New York at 8 p.m. The schedule also includes the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014, with ESPN showcasing the best women’s basketball players in the world from Phoenix on Saturday, July 19, at 3:30 p.m.

-30-

ABC’s Coverage of WNBA All-Star Game Saturday Focuses on Extensive In-game Access

espnwESPN3 & espnW.com to Provide Stream of Friday Practices

The Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game 2013 will showcase the league’s top players with several live-access elements throughout the ABC broadcast on Saturday, July 27, at 3:30 p.m. Ryan Ruocco will have the call of the game with analyst Rebecca Lobo and reporter Holly Rowe.

The 2013 event marks the third All-Star Game hosted by the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., which also served as the home for the event in 2005 and 2009, as well as the “Stars at the Sun” matchup between league all-stars and Team USA in 2010.

ESPN3 – and via the ESPN3 player on espnW.com – will stream team practices on Friday, July 26, from 3-5 p.m. Coverage will include audio from microphones worn by the two All-Star head coaches. SportsCenter will provide live look-ins from the practices.

WNBA All-Star Game Highlights

In-game Access

ABC will have extensive access to the All-Star Game participants.

·         Live interviews with WNBA players and coaches before and after the game, as well as coming in and out of halftime

·         Rowe will have in-game access to both the Eastern and Western Conference benches, conducting interviews with players

·         Studio show anchor Randy Scott will have live access to players in the locker rooms during halftime

·         On-court camera access during the action, specifically free throws and dead ball situations

Ref Cam

The Ref Cam will appear during the WNBA All-Star Game, after a successful debut during the June 8 ABC broadcast of the Phoenix Mercury at Indiana Fever. Grabbing a unique perspective, the eye-level camera allows viewers to virtually be on the court as the referee’s first-person perspective is incorporated into the live broadcast in real time.

·         It is a wireless high definition, mini point of view camera paired with an HD mini transmitter

·         The fully remote system includes a vest, which will be worn underneath the official’s shirt, and contains the transmitter and batteries that provide the power and video

Live Microphones

·         A total of four players – one per half from each team

·         Head coaches of each team will also wear a live microphone

espnW

espnW will have in-depth coverage from the WNBA All-Star Game. Highlights:

·         Kate Fagan and Graham Hays will be reporting on site

·         Mechelle Voepel and Michelle Smith will provide midseason reports, which include team-by-team grades and picks for the WNBA midseason awards, including MVP

·         Lobo’s five things she’s looking forward to in Saturday’s All-Star Game

·         Live chat with espnW writers throughout the game

Chicago Sky guard/forward Elena Delle Donne led all players with 35,646 votes following final returns of the 2013 WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by Boost Mobile. Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker topped the Western Conference and ranked second overall with 33,810 votes. Delle Donne, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2013 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, is the first WNBA rookie ever to earn the top spot.

Eastern Conference Starters:                                            Western Conference Starters:

Cappie Pondexter, Guard (New York Liberty)                   Diana Taurasi, Guard (Phoenix Mercury)

Epiphanny Prince, Guard (Chicago Sky)                            Seimone Augustus, Guard (Minnesota Lynx)

Elena Delle Donne, Frontcourt (Chicago Sky)                  Candace Parker, Frontcourt (Los Angeles Sparks)

Tamika Catchings, Frontcourt (Indiana Fever)                  Maya Moore, Frontcourt (Minnesota Lynx)

Angel McCoughtry, Frontcourt (Atlanta Dream)                Brittney Griner, Frontcourt (Phoenix Mercury)

 

Eastern Conference Reserves:                                         Western Conference Reserves:

Tina Charles, Frontcourt (Connecticut Sun)                       Rebekkah Brunson, Frontcourt (Minnesota Lynx)

Sylvia Fowles, Frontcourt (Chicago Sky                        Glory Johnson, Frontcourt (Tulsa Shock)

Alison Hightower, Guard (Connecticut Sun)                      Nneka Ogwumike, Frontcourt (Los Angeles Sparks)

Crystal Langhorne, Frontcourt (Washington Mystics)     Danielle Robinson, Guard (San Antonio Silver Stars)

Ivory Latta, Guard (Washington Mystics)                       Kristi Toliver, Guard (Los Angeles Sparks)

Shavonte Zellous, Guard (Indiana Fever)                       Lindsay Whalen, Guard (Minnesota Lynx)

By virtue of winning their respective conference titles last season, Indiana head coach Lin Dunn will coach the Eastern Conference, and the Western Conference will be led by Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve.

-30-

ESPN Unveils 12-Game Regular-Season Schedule for the 2012 WNBA Season

Defending Champion Minnesota Lynx Meets Phoenix Mercury in Season Opener on May 20 on ABC

Two WNBA Games Planned for June 23 Recognizing 40th Anniversary of Title IX

ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will combine to present 12 regular-season games beginning with the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx hosting the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday, May 20, at 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC. All coverage will air in high definition, and ESPN3 will simulcast all games on ESPN and ESPN2.

ESPN, in conjunction with espnW, will continue to recognize the 40th anniversary of Title IX with The Power of IX on Saturday, June 23 with games featuring the Chicago Sky at Minnesota at 12:30 p.m. and the Los Angeles Sparks at the Connecticut Sun at 9 p.m. The WNBA will have a studio presence throughout the day, live guest during the telecast and special features focusing on Title IX. The games are part of the network’s weekend of events and studio shows June 22-24 featuring women in sports across its television networks – ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Classic – highlighted by a full day of programming on June 23.

ESPN2 will showcase the majority of the 2012 WNBA postseason, while ESPN will air a first-round game and ABC will present an Eastern Conference Final game. The WNBA Finals on ESPN2 begin Sunday, Oct. 14 for a best-of-five series.

Due to many players representing their respective countries in a quest for a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the WNBA schedule will be on hiatus from July14-August 15.

Commentators

Terry Gannon and Pam Ward will serve as play-by-play announcers, working with analysts Rebecca Lobo and Carolyn Peck. Heather Cox and Holly Rowe will work as a sideline reporter on select games.

 

Schedule & Telecast Highlights

  • Five appearances by the two-time WNBA champion Seattle Storm, featuring the talented duo of guard Sue Bird and forward Lauren Jackson
  • Four appearances each by the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx led by 2011 WNBA Rookie of the Year Maya Moore and the Los Angeles Sparks, who drafted Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike with the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft;
  • Coming out of the month-long break, Minnesota, which returns four WNBA All-Stars, will play at Seattle on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 10 p.m. on ESPN2
  • The last three league MVPs will be featured when the playoff race heats up in the closing weeks of the regular season – Jackson (2010) and the Storm meet Tamika Catchings (2011) and the Indiana Fever on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and then Seattle visits Diana Taurasi (2009) and the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m. on ESPN2
  • Segments and special features after the London games highlighting WNBA players that competed for their respective countries
  • Halftime studio coverage from Bristol, Conn., during ESPN2 games

espnW/ESPN.com

  • A season preview launched May 14 ahead of season opening weekend
  • Weekly columns and online chats from writers Mechelle Voepel and Michelle Smith
  • Coverage and live chat around Title IX anniversary on Saturday, June 23
  • Blogs from WNBA players Tamika Catchings and Maya Moore

ESPN Digital Platforms

  • ESPN3 and WatchESPN will carry every WNBA game available on ESPN and ESPN2 this season
  • Additional live coverage for select games available on ESPN Mobile TV
  • Live scores accessible via the ESPN mobile Web, ScoreCenter and ScoreCenter XL
  • WNBA game alerts and video clips on ESPN Mobile

Last season, ESPN2 had its most viewed WNBA regular season since 2005, averaging 270,000 viewers, up five percent over the 2010 season (258,000 viewers).

For the second straight year, ESPN held the WNBA Draft at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn., on Monday, April 16. The live telecast of the Draft took place in the ESPN studio that is home to Mike & Mike in the Morning, Sunday NFL Countdown and a variety of other ESPN shows.

2012 ESPN/WNBA Schedule (Schedule subject to change; all time are Eastern)

Date Time (ET) Game Network(s)
Sun, May 20 12:30 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx ABC
Wed, June 13 8 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Connecticut Sun ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sat, June 23 12:30 p.m. Chicago Sky at Minnesota Lynx ESPN / ESPN3
  9 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Phoenix Mercury ESPN / ESPN3
Tue, June 26 7 p.m. Seattle Storm at Washington Mystics ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sat, July 7 10 p.m. Seattle Storm at Los Angeles Sparks ESPN2 / ESPN3
Thu, July 12 7 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Indiana Fever ESPN2 / ESPN3
Tue, Aug 21 10 p.m. Minnesota Lynx at Seattle Storm ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sat, Aug 25 7 p.m. Minnesota Lynx at Atlanta Dream ESPN2 / ESPN3
Wed, Sep 12 7 p.m. Seattle Storm at Indiana Fever ESPN2 / ESPN3
Tue, Sep18 8 p.m. New York Liberty at San Antonio Silver Stars ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sun, Sept 23 3 p.m. Seattle Storm at Phoenix Mercury ESPN2 / ESPN3

-30-

WNBA Draft Presented by Boost Mobile Returns to ESPN Headquarters

Fifteen of the world’s top female college basketball seniors have been invited to the 2012 WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile, which will be held Monday, April 16 at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn. Coverage and analysis of the first round will begin at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by the second and third rounds televised on ESPNU and NBA TV from 3-4:30 p.m. The entire Draft – three rounds of 12 picks each – will be simulcast on ESPN3. Last year’s event marked the first professional sports league draft held at ESPN.

Additional content will be offered across multiple ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter, espnW, ESPN.com and ESPNEWS.

The telecast of the Draft will take place in Studio E – home to several ESPN shows including Mike & Mike in the Morning and Sunday NFL Countdown. Pam Wardwill anchor the show alongside analysts Rebecca Loboand Carolyn Peck. Holly Rowewill conduct interviews with the players.

The Los Angeles Sparks hold the No. 1 overall pick after winning the Draft Lottery for the first time since 2008. With the first selection last year, Minnesota chose University of Connecticut star Maya Moore, who helped propel the Lynx to its first WNBA championship in franchise history. In 2010, the Connecticut Sun, having acquired the No. 1 pick in an offseason deal with Minnesota, selected Connecticut’s Tina Charles.

Rounding out the top five picks are the Seattle Storm (second, via trade with Chicago), Minnesota (third, by virtue of a trade with Washington), the Tulsa Shock (fourth), and the San Antonio Silver Stars.

Among the top prospects invited to the WNBA Draft are seven players who earned All-America honors this year, either from the Associated Press or the State Farm Coaches’ Poll this season, including Stanford forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike, an All-America pick the past three years. Also invited are three sets of teammates: Tennessee’s frontcourt trio of Glory Johnson, Shekinna Stricklen and Vicki Baugh; Miami (Fla.) guards Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams; and guard Natalie Novosel and forward Devereaux Peters of Notre Dame. Connecticut’s Tiffany Hayes, who joined Ogwumike, Novosel and Peters as participants in the 2012 Women’s Final Four, will also be in attendance.

The WNBA and ESPN have been affiliated for 16 years, dating back to the league’s inaugural season in 1997.

Production Features & Storylines

* Satellite reports from the Los Angeles Sparks (Shelley Smith) and Minnesota Lynx (LaChina Robinson), which will include coverage of each team’s draft party and interviews with the head coach/general manager

* All-Access pieces with the 15 draftees throughout day

* Select college coaches will be at ESPN, including Geno Auriemma (Connecticut), MaChelle Joseph (Georgia Tech), Kelley Graves (Gonzaga), Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame) and Jim Foster (Ohio State)

* Live shots and reaction from the friends and family area on ESPN’s campus

* Virtual team and player specific banners will appear to be hanging above the studio audience

* Logos will be virtually shown around campus and used in and out of segments

* Use of Lady GaGa’s “The Edge of Glory” music video in montages

espnW/ESPN.com

* Draft preview content from veteran ESPN.com writer Mechelle Voepel

* Live online coverage through espnW’s DraftCast – giving up-to-minute picks, analysis on each selection and a chat area for fans to interact with experts

* Video interviews with the top five draft picks

* On-site and post-Draft coverage from Voepel and former Colorado basketball athlete and espnW writer Kate Fagan

SportsCenter and ESPNEWS

* WNBA Draft preview segment will run during the 1 p.m. SportsCenter

* WNBA Draft will be the “What to Watch For” during the 9 a.m.-noon editions of SportsCenter

* Interview with the No. 1 pick will air on the 3-6 p.m. and later SportsCenter shows

Players attending 2012 WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile:

Name College/University Position Height

LaSondra Barrett Louisiana State Forward 6’2″

Vicki Baugh Tennessee Center 6’4″

Sasha Goodlett Georgia Tech Center 6’5″

Tiffany Hayes Connecticut Guard 5’10”

Glory Johnson Tennessee Forward 6’3″

Shenise Johnson Miami (Fla.) Guard 5’11”

Lynetta Kizer Maryland Center 6’4″

Natalie Novosel Notre Dame Guard 5’11”

Nnemkadi Ogwumike Stanford Forward 6’2″

Devereaux Peters Notre Dame Forward 6’2″

Samantha Prahalis Ohio State Guard 5’7″

Kayla Standish Gonzaga Forward 6’2″

Shekinna Stricklen Tennessee Guard/Forward 6’2″

Riquna Williams Miami (Fla.) Guard 5’7″

Julie Wojta Wisconsin-Green Bay Forward 6’0″

Current 2012 WNBA Draft presented by Boost Mobile order:

First Round (Trades)

1. Los Angeles (15-19)

2. Seattle from Chicago (14-20) (Cash/Willingham, 1/2/12)

3. Minnesota from Washington (6-28) (Anosike, 4/5/11)

4. Tulsa (3-31)

5. San Antonio (18-16)

6. Phoenix (19-15)

7. New York (19-15)

8. Washington from Atlanta (20-14) (Harding/Miller/Phillips, 4/11/11)

9. Connecticut (21-13)

10. Washington from Seattle (21-13) (Smith, Monroe, Thomas, Phillips, 4/29/11)

11. Indiana (21-13)

12. Minnesota (27-7)

Second Round

1. Los Angeles from Tulsa (3-31) (Riley, 2/1/11)

2. Atlanta from Washington (6-28) (Harding/Miller/Phillips, 4/11/11)

3. Los Angeles from Chicago (14-20) (Wisdom-Hylton, 5/31/11)

4. Los Angeles (15-19)

5. Tulsa from San Antonio (18-16) (S. Robinson, 5/2/11)

6. Minnesota from Phoenix (19-15) (Houston, 2/28/12)

7. Minnesota from New York (19-15) (Breland/A. Robinson, 4/11/11)

8. Minnesota from Atlanta (20-14) (Chester/Jarry, 4/11/11)

9. Connecticut (21-13)

10. Seattle (21-13)

11. Chicago from Indiana (21-13) via Seattle (Smith, Monroe, Thomas, Phillips, 4/29/11) (Cash/Willingham, 1/2/12)

12. Phoenix from Minnesota (27-7) (Houston, 2/28/12)

Third Round

1. Tulsa (3-31)

2. Washington (6-28)

3. Chicago (14-20)

4. Los Angeles (15-19)

5. Tulsa from San Antonio (18-16) (S. Robinson, 5/2/11)

6. Phoenix (19-15)

7. Minnesota from New York (19-15) (Hollingsworth, 5/27/11)

8. Atlanta (20-14)

9. Phoenix from Connecticut (21-13) (T. Robinson, 4/11/11)

10. Indiana from Seattle (21-13) (Smith, Monroe, Thomas, Phillips, 4/29/11)

11. Washington from Indiana (21-13) (Smith, Monroe, Thomas, Phillips, 4/29/11)

12. New York from Minnesota (27-7) (Hollingsworth, 5/27/11)

-30-

NBA TV Tips Off Live Coverage of the WNBA Conference Semifinals presented by Boost Mobile on Friday, Sept. 16

WNBA Roundtable: Generations featuring WNBA stars Maya Moore, Tina Charles,

Cappie Pondexter and Taj McWilliams-Franklin to Premiere Thursday, Sept. 15.

 

NBA TV begins its live coverage of the WNBA Conference Semifinals presented by Boost Mobile starting Friday, Sept. 16, with Game #1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup between the 2010 Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Dream and the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m. (ET). Game #1 of the Western Conference Semifinals follows with the San Antonio Silver Stars taking on the overall top seeded Minnesota Lynx at 9 p.m. (ET).

 

On Saturday, Sept. 17, at 4 p.m. ET, Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever will take on Cappie Pondexter and the New York Liberty in Game #2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup.  In addition, the defending WNBA Champion Seattle Storm will meet the Phoenix Mercury for Game #2 of a Western Conference Semifinal matchup beginning at 10 p.m. ET.  NBA TV also will present Game #3 of one of the Conference Semifinals, if necessary.

 

Following each Playoff game, NBA TV will air the WNBA Playoffs Postgame Show hosted by Rick Kamla and analysts LaChina Robinson and Dennis Scott. In addition to various in-studio guests, the postgame show will highlight players, stories and news that develops during the Playoffs.

 

Prior to the network’s extensive WNBA postseason coverage, NBA TV will premiere “WNBA Roundtable: Generations,” on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. (ET). The 30-minute special will feature four players that have spanned the history of the league – 2011 No. 1 overall draft selection Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx; 2011 All-Star Tina Charles of the Connecticut Sun;two-time WNBA Champion Cappie Pondexter of the New York Liberty; and seven-time All-Star and WNBA champion Taj McWilliams-Franklin of the Minnesota Lynx

 

During the special, each player will share their draft day memories and discuss their basketball idols, as well as the state of the league, while also recognizing each other’s accomplishments.  As the WNBA Playoffs are set to get underway, the players will also talk about winning titles and responding to postseason pressure.  

 

Click the link to view a trailer of WNBA Roundtable:Generations.

http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nba_tv/2011/09/13/20110913_wnba_roundtable_trailer.nba

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
6:00 – 6:30 p.m.

WNBA Roundtable: Generations

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

WNBA Playoffs: Atlanta Dream @ Connecticut Sun

 

9:00 – 11:00 p.m.

WNBA Playoffs: San Antonio Silver Stars @ Minnesota Lynx

 

11:00– 11:30p.m

WNBA Playoffs Postgame Show

Rick Kamla, LaChina Robinson and

Dennis Scott

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
4:00 –  6:00  p.m

WNBA Playoffs: Indiana Fever @ New York Liberty

 

6:00 – 6:30 p.m.

WNBA Playoffs Postgame Show

Rick Kamla, LaChina Robinson and Dennis Scott

10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

WNBA Playoffs: Seattle Storm @ Phoenix Mercury

 

12:00 – 12:30 a.m.

WNBA Playoffs Postgame Show

Rick Kamla, LaChina Robinson and Dennis Scott

 

 

 

                       

ESPN2 and ESPN3 Set to Show Up to 17 WNBA Playoff Games

First Round to begin Thursday, Sept. 15
 
The WNBA Playoff bracket has been set with the Indiana Fever of the Eastern Conference and the Minnesota Lynx of the Western Conference grabbing the top seeds. ESPN2 and ESPN3 will show up to 17 playoff games beginning Thursday, Sept. 15, including the best-of-five WNBA Finals.
Eastern and Western Conference Semifinals
  • Top seeded in the Eastern Division, the Indiana Fever will face the No. 4 seed in the Western Division, the New York Liberty, to open ESPN2/ESPN3’s WNBA Playoff coverage on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. ET. The third game of the series, if necessary, will air from Indiana on Monday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m.;
  • An always-anticipated Western Conference game, the No. 2 seed Seattle Storm will host the No. 3 seed Phoenix Mercury on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 10 p.m. The third game of the series, if necessary, will air from Seattle on Monday, Sept. 19, at 10 p.m.;
  • In the Eastern Conference, ESPN2/ESPN3 will start with the second game between the No. 2 seed Connecticut Sun at the No. 3 seed Atlanta Dream on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 3 p.m.;
  • The Minnesota Lynx, the top seed in the Western Division, will play at the No. 4 seed San Antonio Silver Stars in Game 2 on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 5 p.m.
 
Eastern and Western Conference Finals
  • ESPN2 and ESPN3 will have up to five games of the Conference Finals from Thursday, Sept. 22 – Tuesday, Sept. 27 in a best-of-three series.
 
WNBA Finals
  • The WNBA Finals are scheduled to begin Sunday, Oct. 2, with a best-of-five format;
  • As part of the celebration of its 15th season, the WNBA had its fans select the WNBA Top 15 Moments Presented by Boost Mobile. The top five greatest WNBA moments will be revealed during the ESPN2 telecasts of the WNBA Finals.
 
ESPN.com/espnW Full Playoff Coverage
ESPN.com and espnW will combine for comprehensive live coverage and analysis throughout the WNBA postseason.
  • Rebecca Lobo, Mechelle Voepel and Michelle Smith will break down each series, including predictions from Voepel and Smith;
  • New “3-pointers” video analysis from Voepel and Smith will preview each series;
  • Features on all eight teams competing in the first round;
  • Daily column from Voepel wrapping up each day’s action;
  • Live coverage of the Conference Finals from Voepel and Smith;
  • Additional game coverage for espnW by Graham Hays, Meri-Jo Borzilleri and Pat Borzi.
 
2011 WNBA Playoff Schedule (Subject to change)
Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Sep 15 8 p.m. Eastern Conference Semifinals – Game 1:

No. 4 seed New York at No. 1 seed Indiana
Marc Kestecher, Carolyn Peck & Holly Rowe
ESPN2/ESPN3
  10 p.m. Western Conference Semifinals – Game 1:

No. 3 seed Phoenix at No. 2 seed Seattle
Pam Ward, Rebecca Lobo & Heather Cox
ESPN2/ESPN3
Sun, Sep 18 3 p.m. Eastern Conference Semifinals – Game 2:

No. 2 seed Connecticut at No. 3 seed Atlanta
Beth Mowins, Carolyn Peck & Holly Rowe
ESPN2/ESPN3
  5 p.m. Western Conference Semifinals – Game 2:

No. 1 seed Minnesota at No. 4 seed San Antonio
Pam Ward, Rebecca Lobo & Heather Cox
ESPN2/ESPN3
Mon, Sep 19 8 p.m. *Eastern Conference Semifinals – Game 3:

No. 4 seed New York at No. 1 seed Indiana
ESPN2/ESPN3
  10 p.m. *Western Conference Semifinals – Game 3:

No. 3 seed Phoenix at No. 2 seed Seattle
ESPN2/ESPN3
Tue, Sep 20 TBD * Conference Semifinals – Game 3 ESPN2/ESPN3
Thu, Sep 22 7 p.m. Conference Finals – Game 1 ESPN2/ESPN3
  9 p.m. Conference Finals – Game 1 ESPN2/ESPN3
Sun, Sep 25 3 p.m. Conference Finals – Game 2 ESPN2/ESPN3
  5 p.m. Conference Finals – Game 2 ESPN2/ESPN3
Tue, Sep 27 8 p.m. *Conference Finals – Game 3 ESPN2/ESPN3
Sun, Oct 2 4:30 p.m. WNBA Finals – Game 1 ESPN2/ESPN3
Wed, Oct 5 8 p.m. WNBA Finals – Game 2 ESPN2/ESPN3
Fri, Oct 7 8 p.m. WNBA Finals – Game 3 ESPN2/ESPN3
Sun, Oct 9 4 p.m. *WNBA Finals – Game 4 ESPN2/ESPN3
Wed, Oct 12 8 p.m. *WNBA Finals – Game 5 ESPN2/ESPN3
* – if necessary
-30-