ESPN has agreed a six-year extension to its broadcast deal with the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) which will see up to 30 live games televised on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
The deal, which extends ESPN’s relationship with the WNBA to 26 years, starts when the current agreement ends in 2017 and runs until the end of the 2022 season.
The deal includes coverage of the playoffs and the annual All-Star Games as well as a prime time slot for the WNBA draft on 15th April. It also includes enhanced production features including referee cam, a small camera to be worn by referees in select games, improved behind the scenes access and commentary from current and former players.
The WNBA also released a new league logo at the announcement on Thursday, the first change of logo since the league’s inception in 1997, and revealed new uniforms would be launched by Adidas ahead of the 2014 WNBA season.
The six-year extension is worth US$12 million annually, according to Sports Business Daily.
ESPN president John Skipper (left in photo) said: "We are thrilled to extend our agreement with the WNBA, a dynamic relationship that will extend over two decades. This strengthens ESPN's commitment to the league and helps solidify us as the home of women's sports content. We want to be active participants in growing the league."
"There is nothing greater than having a partnership with a company whose commitment to women's sports is deep," added WNBA president Laurel Richie (right in photo). "I think this is going to be a seminal season for the WNBA. This is a moment in time that I think we are poised and primed to capitalise on."