The first weekend of the WNBA season was a success from just about every possible viewpoint. The league drew record numbers on its national TV broadcasts, produced some thrilling games and tremendous performances by its top stars, and players used the platform afforded to them to continue speaking out on social justice issues, police brutality, and systemic racism — most notably continuing to call attention to the fact that the police that killed Breonna Taylor in Louisville have not been arrested.
That first point is of particular note, as the league’s fans have clamored for years for the WNBA to be given more national exposure and when given that this weekend, people took note and watched. ESPN also has apparently taken heed of that, announcing on Monday that they would be adding 13 more regular season games to their schedule, bringing the total of nationally televised games on ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC to 37 — by far the most the network has every carried.
Ryan Ruocco and Rebecca Lobo, as well as Pam Ward and LaChina Robinson, will continue to be the two broadcast teams calling Wubble action remotely from Bristol, Connecticut, with Holly Rowe on site at IMG Academy in Florida. A number of the remaining games on the schedule will be ESPN2 broadcasts, but it’s hard not to see ESPN’s decision to beef up their live WNBA broadcast offerings as part of potential mitigation of losing baseball broadcasts as MLB deals with an outbreak on the Miami Marlins that has already caused two games to be postponed.
Adding Wubble games gives ESPN more live sports to show no matter what, but also gives them an opportunity to pivot those games to ESPN proper should MLB continue to see postponements or an outright stoppage as they attempt a season without a bubble environment.
The full ESPN WNBA schedule can be found below: