Add 11 more to your calendar.
On Thursday, ESPN announced that it will live-stream 11 regular-season WNBA games this season on its ESPN3 channel. The first of these ESPN3-broadcasted games will be on Tuesday, May 30, at 8 p.m. ET, when Skylar Diggins-Smith and the Dallas Wings host Candice Dupree and the Indiana Fever in Texas. The 11 games will also be available to stream live on the ESPN app.
With these additional 11 games as well as the initial deal of 16 games on ESPN/ESPN2, ESPN Networks will be nearly doubling the number of games they were set to broadcast this season — a now total of 27 games.
The added games also resolve the fact that some teams were left out of the previous 16-game ESPN deal. The San Antonio Stars, for example, were not included in any games broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2 this season. However, now the Stars will be showcased in three games on ESPN3. In fact, this new deal ensures that all 12 WNBA teams will appear at least twice on the ESPN schedule.
With multiple media coverage announcements recently, it may seem that exposure of the WNBA is getting better and better. And in some ways, that feeling is correct. Certainly it could be argued, for example, that the WNBA’s 20-game Twitter deal was monumental in bringing the league exposure.
However, in comparison to the ESPN deal last year, the league actually will receive slightly worse ESPN coverage this year. To put the numbers in perspective, last year in the WNBA’s historic 20th season, ESPN Networks showcased a total of 32 regular-season games — 18 on ESPN3 — and each team appeared at least three times on ESPN Networks.
[More from Excelle Sports: What’s the best way to watch the WNBA? Start with Twitter, go to TV, then solve the puzzle.]
See the full ESPN3 schedule for the 2017 season below:
Tue, May 30 — 8 p.m. — Indiana Fever at Dallas Wings
Tue, Jun 6 — 8 p.m. — Seattle Storm at San Antonio Stars
Tue, Jun 13 — 10 p.m. — Atlanta Dream at Seattle Storm
Fri, Jun 23 — 7:30 p.m. — Connecticut Sun at New York Liberty
Fri, Jun 23 — 7:30 p.m. — Chicago Sky at Atlanta Dream
Fri, Jun 23 — 8 p.m. — Dallas Wings at San Antonio Stars
Thu, Jun 29 — 7 p.m. — New York Liberty at Washington Mystics
Tue, Jul 25 — 7 p.m. — Chicago Sky at Connecticut Sun
Tue, Jul 25 — 7 p.m. — Phoenix Mercury at Atlanta Dream
Tue, Jul 25 — 8 p.m. — Indiana Fever at Dallas Wings
Thu, Aug 10 — 8 p.m. — San Antonio Stars at Chicago Sky
*Note: times are Eastern Standard Time