Phoenix Mercury Among Big Beneficiaries Of WNBA's New TV Deal
The WNBA Phoenix Mercury will have at "least half of their 34 games televised this season" following the league's new media deal with CBS Sports Network, according to Jeff Metcalfe of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The Mercury "will appear in seven games" on CBSSN after previously being "chosen for five ABC or ESPN2 telecasts." In addition to the 12 nationally televised games, the Mercury "will have some games televised locally" on FS Arizona and "some on NBA TV and Twitter." Games also will be "streamed on WNBA League Pass" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/23).
TURNING THE PAGE? In N.Y., Kevin Draper writes the new TV deal is "important for the WNBA, which is still struggling for exposure entering its 23rd season, but also demonstrates the challenges it continues to face." Although 40 additional games on TV "could help expand the audience for the league, they will be shown on the network’s second-tier cable sports channel" instead of its broadcast CBS channel. Although terms of the deal were not announced, CBS "probably is not paying the WNBA much for the rights" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/23).