All photos courtesy NBAE/Getty Images
On Thursday, the WNBA announced a broadcast rights extension with ESPN that will keep games on the Worldwide Leader in Sports until 2022, according to WNBA.com and WNBA President Laurel J. Richie.
“Our enhanced television agreement reflects ESPN’s extraordinary commitment to women’s sports and to the WNBA,” said Richie. “The extension has been a catalyst for the WNBA and ESPN to bring forward fresh thinking ideas to better showcase our players, our game and our league.”
The league is obviously excited. WNBA basketball will now enjoy up to 30 live games broadcast on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. Further, the league’s April 15 Draft will be broadcast live and in prime time for the first time ever.
ESPN is also excited to be providing the women’s game with increased exposure.
“We are thrilled to extend our agreement with the WNBA, a dynamic relationship that will extend over two decades,” said John Skipper, President of ESPN, Inc. and Co-Chairman of the Disney Media Networks. “This strengthens ESPN’s commitment to the league and helps solidify us as the home of women’s sports content.”
Further, the league also announced a full-on re-branding effort beginning with a new logo. Instead of simply a female silhouette in the red, white and blue logo (it was the NBA’s logo but for women, basically) the league took a fresh take with their new “logowoman”. The logo is set to be officially debuted on April 1.
“As a WNBA player, the logowoman represents so many things to me,” said Chicago Sky forward Swin Cash. “It is a symbol of strength, growth and leadership. The new version not only celebrates the trailblazing work of the WNBA, but also past, present and future players. Like our players, she’s sleek, smooth and ready to ball. The biggest question is who is logowoman? She does seem to have my physique.”
The league will be tipping off its 17th season on May 24 — bounce passes for all.