via press release:
Defending Champion Minnesota Lynx Meets Phoenix Mercury in Season Opener on May 20 on ABC
Two WNBA Games Planned for June 23 Recognizing 40th Anniversary of Title IX
ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will combine to present 12 regular-season games beginning with the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx hosting the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday, May 20, at 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC. All coverage will air in high definition, and ESPN3 will simulcast all games on ESPN and ESPN2.
ESPN, in conjunction with espnW, will continue to recognize the 40th anniversary of Title IX with The Power of IX on Saturday, June 23 with games featuring the Chicago Sky at Minnesota at 12:30 p.m. and the Los Angeles Sparks at the Connecticut Sun at 9 p.m. The WNBA will have a studio presence throughout the day, live guest during the telecast and special features focusing on Title IX. The games are part of the network’s weekend of events and studio shows June 22-24 featuring women in sports across its television networks – ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Classic – highlighted by a full day of programming on June 23.
ESPN2 will showcase the majority of the 2012 WNBA postseason, while ESPN will air a first-round game and ABC will present an Eastern Conference Final game. The WNBA Finals on ESPN2 begin Sunday, Oct. 14 for a best-of-five series.
Due to many players representing their respective countries in a quest for a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the WNBA schedule will be on hiatus from July14-August 15.
Schedule & Telecast Highlights
- · Five appearances by the two-time WNBA champion Seattle Storm, featuring the talented duo of guard Sue Bird and forward Lauren Jackson
- · Four appearances each by the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx led by 2011 WNBA Rookie of the Year Maya Moore and the Los Angeles Sparks, who drafted Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike with the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft;
- · Coming out of the month-long break, Minnesota, which returns four WNBA All-Stars, will play at Seattle on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 10 p.m. on ESPN2
- · The last three league MVPs will be featured when the playoff race heats up in the closing weeks of the regular season – Jackson (2010) and the Storm meet Tamika Catchings (2011) and the Indiana Fever on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and then Seattle visits Diana Taurasi (2009) and the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m. on ESPN2
- · Segments and special features after the London games highlighting WNBA players that competed for their respective countries
- · Halftime studio coverage from Bristol, Conn., during ESPN2 games
- · A season preview launched May 14 ahead of season opening weekend
- · Weekly columns and online chats from writers Mechelle Voepel and Michelle Smith
- · Coverage and live chat around Title IX anniversary on Saturday, June 23
- · Blogs from WNBA players Tamika Catchings and Maya Moore
ESPN Digital Platforms
- · ESPN3 and WatchESPN will carry every WNBA game available on ESPN and ESPN2 this season
- · Additional live coverage for select games available on ESPN Mobile TV
- · Live scores accessible via the ESPN mobile Web, ScoreCenter and ScoreCenter XL
- · WNBA game alerts and video clips on ESPN Mobile
Last season, ESPN2 had its most viewed WNBA regular season since 2005, averaging 270,000 viewers, up five percent over the 2010 season (258,000 viewers).
For the second straight year, ESPN held the WNBA Draft at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn., on Monday, April 16. The live telecast of the Draft took place in the ESPN studio that is home to Mike & Mike in the Morning, Sunday NFL Countdown and a variety of other ESPN shows.
2012 ESPN/WNBA Schedule (Schedule subject to change; all time are Eastern)
|Sun, May 20||12:30 p.m.||Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx||ABC|
|Wed, June 13||8 p.m.||Los Angeles Sparks at Connecticut Sun||ESPN2 / ESPN3|
|Sat, June 23||12:30 p.m.||Chicago Sky at Minnesota Lynx||ESPN / ESPN3|
|9 p.m.||Los Angeles Sparks at Phoenix Mercury||ESPN / ESPN3|
|Tue, June 26||7 p.m.||Seattle Storm at Washington Mystics||ESPN2 / ESPN3|
|Sat, July 7||10 p.m.||Seattle Storm at Los Angeles Sparks||ESPN2 / ESPN3|
|Thu, July 12||7 p.m.||Los Angeles Sparks at Indiana Fever||ESPN2 / ESPN3|
|Tue, Aug 21||10 p.m.||Minnesota Lynx at Seattle Storm||ESPN2 / ESPN3|
|Sat, Aug 25||7 p.m.||Minnesota Lynx at Atlanta Dream||ESPN2 / ESPN3|
|Wed, Sep 12||7 p.m.||Seattle Storm at Indiana Fever||ESPN2 / ESPN3|
|Tue, Sep18||8 p.m.||New York Liberty at San Antonio Silver Stars||ESPN2 / ESPN3|
|Sun, Sept 23||3 p.m.||Seattle Storm at Phoenix Mercury||ESPN2 / ESPN3|