The WNBA signed a six-year extension with ESPN that is separate from the network’s NBA deal, according to breaking news from Sports Business Daily. Sources said the deal is worth $12M per year, which amounts to about $1M per WNBA team, and runs through the 2022 season.
Along with the broadcast announcement, WNBA changed its logo to reflect women’s athletic advancement in basketball. It was rumored the former logo was inspired by legend Sheryl Swoopes. The new one almost looks like Baylor star C Brittney Griner going up for a dunk.
The last broadcast extension between the broadcasting network and WNBA was in 2007. That deal was to expire in 2016. The WNBA released the announcement officially at a press conference Thursday with John Skipper, President of ESPN, Inc., Co-Chairman of the Disney Media Networks, and WNBA president Laurel J. Richie.
The Storm has the sixth overall pick in the April 15 WNBA draft. It opens its exhibition schedule May 12 against Los Angeles and its regular-season opener on the road at LA on May 26. The Storm’s home-opener against Phoenix is set for June 2 at KeyArena.
Naturally household names Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins are prompting more television coverage.
The Storm will play the 2013 season sans PG Sue Bird (knee), Lauren Jackson (hamstring) and Ann Wauters (personal). The team also lost free agent G Katie Smith to Detroit. F Camille Little and G Tanisha Wright are the only returning starters. Training camp opens May 5.