April 11, 2024 

Inside the WNBA national broadcast schedule

You want Caitlin Clark? You're getting Caitlin Clark

Want to chart the Caitlin Clark effect? Look no further than the 2024 national TV schedule released by the WNBA on Wednesday. Last season, the Indiana Fever had 28 national TV games. The team is on national TV for 36 of 40 regular-season contests this season.

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The 2024 WNBA regular season is scheduled to begin on May 14 with a doubleheader on ESPN2. The Indiana Fever will play against the Connecticut Sun at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Phoenix Mercury taking on the Las Vegas Aces, at 10 p.m. ET. The defending champions will host the night’s championship ring ceremony and banner unveiling.

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Last season, the league broke records in viewership, which increased by 21 percent over the 2022 regular season. Attendance and social media engagement grew as well. But expectations for audience are even higher now — this past weekend, the college national championship game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and South Carolina Gamecocks averaged about 18.7 million viewers combined on ABC and ESPN, which drew a larger audience than the men’s, according to ESPN.

“With the energy and excitement already generated by what we anticipate will be a star-studded rookie class, and on the heels of a 2023 season that featured one of the greatest MVP races in WNBA history and our most-watched regular season in over two decades, the WNBA’s broadcast and streaming partners are offering a huge national platform that will showcase the league’s superstars, rising stars, rivalries and a newly reconfigured WNBA Commissioner’s Cup.” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in press release.

The 2024 WNBA regular season will consist of 40 games per team, marking the second consecutive season for this record-high number of games. The national TV schedule will showcase all 12 teams with a particular emphasis on five teams: the Indiana Fever, Dallas Wings, Las Vegas Aces, New York Liberty, and Phoenix Mercury.

The upcoming schedule for broadcasting games will include 25 matches across various ESPN platforms, with 14 games airing on ESPN, nine on ABC, and two on ESPN2. Additionally, it will consist of the 2024 WNBA All-Star Game between the All-Stars and Team USA, which will take place in Phoenix, followed by the WNBA Playoffs, which will begin in September.

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The ESPN on ABC’s coverage will begin with a doubleheader on May 18; first, the Indiana Fever traveling to Brooklyn to face the New York Liberty at 1 p.m. ET followed by the Los Angeles Sparks to face the Las Vegas Aces at 3 p.m. ET.

CBS Television Network and Paramount+ will stream eight games, a new record, while CBS Sports Network will stream 12 games. The CBS Television Network will begin streaming on May 25 at 1 p.m. EST, when the Minnesota Lynx will host the New York Liberty.

ION will stream the most regular season games with 43, and include at least two games on 13 different Friday nights. Additionally, there will be four games every Friday night from Aug. 23 to Sept. 13. Their coverage will begin on Friday, May 17, with a doubleheader; Alyssa Thomas and the Connecticut Sun will take on the Washington Mystics at 7:30 p.m. EST and Skylar Diggins-Smith and Nneka Ogwumike will make their debuts for the Seattle Storm and will face Napheesa Collier and the Minnesota Lynx at 9:30 p.m. EST.Rhyne Howard and the Atlanta Dream will have the most-streamed games on ION with ten.

NBA TV is set to broadcast 40 games for the upcoming season, marking its 22nd consecutive year of covering the league. The broadcasting will begin with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 18. The first game will feature Arike Ogunbowale and the Dallas Wings against the Chicago Sky at 8 p.m. EST, followed by the Atlanta Dream taking on the Phoenix Mercury at 10 p.m. EST.

Amazon Prime Video will air 21 games, marking its fourth season of coverage. They will also stream this year’s WNBA Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game, which will take place on June 25. The channel’s coverage will begin on May 16, when Aliyah Boston, the 2023 WNBA Rookie of the Year, the Indiana Fever welcomes the New York Liberty.

And in a nod to the 2023 WNBA Finals, the most-watched Finals since 2003, the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty will face each other on national TV three times. These games will be broadcast on major television networks such as ABC, CBS, and ESPN. The Aces will have the second-highest number of appearances across all TV platforms, with 35 games, while the Liberty will have 31 games streamed, which is the third-highest number of appearances.

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Written by Aya Abdeen

Aya Abdeen is a student in sports journalism at Arizona State University and has been a contributing writer for The Next since December 2022. She is also a sports reporter for the Sun Devils’ women’s basketball team for The State Press. Her work has also appeared on AZPreps365.

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