The ESPN family of networks will air 25 regular season games during the 2022 WNBA season and a record-tying nine of them will air on ABC, the league announced in March. The nine nationally aired ABC games ties the mark set in 2021. Prior to that, the last time there were more than three was in 2008, according to a Yahoo Sports analysis. Five games will air on ESPN and 10 on ESPN2.
The league continued its TV schedule rollout with news from CBS and CBS Sports Network (40 games), NBA TV (46), Prime Video (17) and Facebook Watch (20) on Wednesday. The WNBA will expand to a 36-game season tipping off on May 6 and will wrap up the Finals in time for the 2022 FIBA World Cup in September. It said 147 games will be broadcast and live streamed.
Three of four games on opening night of Friday, May 6, will be aired on either Facebook Watch or NBA TV. The "worldwide leader in sports" does not air a game until the day afterward with a doubleheader on Sunday. Amazon Prime will air the second Commissioner's Cup on its platform. No broadcaster has a set day of airing games in the schedule.
CBS Network schedule highlights
National broadcast channel CBS will air the Connecticut Sun and 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones versus the Washington Mystics, hopefully with 2019 MVP Elena Delle Donne back on the court, on June 19 at 2 p.m. ET. It is the only game set to air on the channel.
CBS Sports Network will begin its schedule on Saturday with the Dallas Wings and Atlanta Dream. Games will be streamed on Paramount+ this season, the WNBA said. Highlights of the schedule include players and coaches returning to their former spots:
May 11: New York at Chicago, 8 p.m. ET — Stefanie Dolson returns to New York
May 17: Phoenix at Las Vegas, 10 p.m. ET — Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard formerly served as an assistant in Vegas.
July 31: Phoenix at New York, 2 p.m. ET — Former Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello is in New York.
Aug. 5: Los Angeles at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. ET — All-Rookie teamer Chennedy Carter returns to ATL.
Aug. 9: Atlanta at Las Vegas, 10 p.m. ET — Atlanta head coach Tanisha Wright was an assistant for Vegas in 2021.
NBA TV schedule highlights
Fans excited for the first day of WNBA action will need to have NBA TV. The channel's 46-game lineup is the largest of any and 33 of those games will be after the All-Star game on July 10. The Aces will be featured 11 times and the Sky will be featured 10 times. The highlights:
May 14: Chicago at Minnesota, 8 p.m. ET — Candace Parker and Sylvia Fowles, playing her final season, went 1-2 in the 2008 WNBA draft.
June 27: Las Vegas at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. ET — Liz Cambage, the former Ace, is a Spark now. The teams meet in Vegas on July 23 on the channel at 10 p.m. ET.
July 22: Seattle at Phoenix, 10 p.m. ET — It is likely Sue Bird's final year and one of her final trips to Phoenix to play friend Diana Taurasi.
Prime Video on Amazon schedule
The streaming service will air 16 games and the Commissioner's Cup again. The schedule focuses on Commissioner's Cup games. The highlights begin with a Bird and Taurasi Show meeting when Seattle travels to Phoenix (May 11 at 10 p.m. ET).
The Los Angeles Sparks will have three of their 10 cup games on the channel beginning May 25 (10:30 p.m. ET) when they host the Mercury. Atlanta and Minnesota also appear four times each.
Facebook Watch, Twitter schedule
There will be 20 games on the WNBA Facebook page that feature "interactive elements."
The first game of the season will tip off from the social media app. Indiana and Washington play in the District on May 6 at 7 p.m. ET. Washington and Los Angeles have six appearances each. The free site concludes its airings on Aug. 21.
Twitter will have games for a sixth consecutive season, including the opening night matchup between the Lynx and Storm (10 p.m. ET on Friday). Twitter will air games every Friday night from May 6 through June 17 and then Thursdays from June 30 through Aug. 11.
ABC to air 9 games
ABC will air four weekend afternoon games in May beginning with a rematch of the Phoenix Mercury and Seattle Storm playoff game on May 14. Four-time Storm champion Sue Bird has said it is likely her final year, and it will be one of the last matchups with three-time Mercury champion Diana Taurasi.
The station will air a Las Vegas Aces vs. Connecticut Sun matchup in mid-July and will close the regular season with doubleheaders on the final two weekends of Aug. 7 and 14. The Sun and reigning champion Chicago Sky are featured on both weekends.
The 25 includes the All-Star Game held on July 10. The company also holds the postseason rights, which could be a maximum of 27 games under the new playoff system.
Ooo this season gonna be fun 🎉
Which games are y'all tuning into? 👀 pic.twitter.com/Z5VVeL0tcy
— WNBA (@WNBA) March 3, 2022
The Disney networks committed to airing 25 games last season during the league's 25th anniversary after Google agreed to underwrite an additional eight games to reach that number, per an ESPN report. It was the most games the networks aired in the past 14 years, excluding the 2020 bubble season in which ESPN cameras were the only ones allowed at the site. Google, named a WNBA Changemaker in 2021, will again partner with the networks to sponsor "WBNA on ESPN" telecasts that include the playoffs.
WNBA on ABC games
The nationally televised games on ABC begin on the second Sunday of the season. The first group of them feature Candace Parker and the reigning champion Sky team as well as 2020 MVP A'ja Wilson and her Aces on back-to-back weekends.
May 14: Phoenix at Seattle, 3 p.m. ET
May 21: Phoenix at Las Vegas, 3 p.m. ET
May 22: Chicago at Washington, 3 p.m. ET
May 28: Las Vegas at Chicago, 3 p.m. ET
ABC will air the Aces and Sun at 1 p.m. ET on July 17 out of the All-Star break. Games return for the final two weekends of the regular season with Parker's Sky and the Sun, led by reigning MVP Jonquel Jones, featured twice each.
Aug. 7: Connecticut at Chicago, 1 p.m. ET
Aug. 7: Las Vegas at Seattle, 3 p.m. ET
Aug. 14: Minnesota at Connecticut, 1 p.m. ET
Aug. 14: Chicago at Phoenix, 3 p.m. ET
WNBA schedule on ESPN networks
The ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 schedule gets underway on the second day of the 2022 season with a 6 p.m. ET game between the Sun and New York Liberty on ESPN. It continues with a Sunday doubleheader on May 8 in prime time on ESPN2.
The highlights of the schedule:
Phoenix vs. Chicago rivalry — The matchup of the playoffs will return for three appearances on the networks, beginning with the Mercury traveling to Chicago on May 31. Tip is 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The rematch is in Chicago on ESPN (July 2 at 1 p.m. ET) and the season finale in Phoenix on ABC.
Bird and Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles, who has announced 2022 as her final season, will face each other at Target Center in Minnesota on ESPN2 (June 14, 9 p.m. ET).
Regional deals for Storm
Prime video announced in April a regional streaming deal with the Storm. Approximately 30 Storm games will be available to Prime customers in Washington state, per the release. Rush Media will produce with Dick Fain on play-by-play and Elise Woodward in the booth.
“It is special to partner with Amazon, another Seattle hometown team, on something this game changing for the Storm organization and our fans,” Alisha Valavanis, Storm president and CEO, said in the release. “A major focus for us is growing the visibility and reach of Storm basketball. Providing fans across the Evergreen state with access to watch our games represents significant progress in that regard. We’re thrilled that Amazon is investing in the growth of the WNBA. The momentum continues.”
A total of 28 games not on the Disney Networks will be carried on FOX 13 in an extension of their partnership with the Storm. All of these games will still be available on WNBA League Pass.