The WNBA and ESPN announced that there will be 25 games broadcast nationally on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 during the league’s 27th regular season, with the Liberty making nine appearances.
The new Liberty will be the most featured on ESPN networks this season, which begins May 19. The defending champion Las Vegas Aces will make seven appearances. The Connecticut Sun, Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Dallas Wings, Washington Mystics and Seattle Storm will each make four appearances throughout the record 40-game season.
“As we prepare to begin our 27th season, ESPN is once again becoming an incredibly committed broadcast partner to the WNBA,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “We are grateful that ESPN is providing meaningful opportunities to tell the stories of the league’s incredible players in 2023.”
The Liberty topping ESPN’s lineup is the result of the spotlight on the franchise after an offseason that turned the team into a giant. Two-time champion Breanna Stewart and four-time All-Star Courtney Vandersloot were added in free agency to a roster that already included 2022 All-WNBA selection Sabrina Ionescu.
( Breanna Stewart: Signing with Liberty isn’t about matching the star power of the Las Vegas Aces )
The front office also acquired 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones via trade from Connecticut to round out New York’s superteam.
“Our continued collaboration with the WNBA resulted in unprecedented growth and success last year and we have an outstanding schedule that will once again showcase the league’s best players and teams on ESPN platforms,” said Matt Kenny, ESPN Vice President of Programming and Acquisitions.
The first Liberty game on the ESPN networks will be Stewart’s return to Seattle on May 30. The 2018 MVP was first selected overall by the Storm in 2016 and spent six seasons with the franchise. Vandersloot is scheduled to make his second return to Chicago (the two teams will meet in the Windy City on June 2) during the nationally televised outing on September 3.
Brittney Griner’s first WNBA action since being released from a Russian penal colony will be on display on opening night as she leads the Mercury on the road to take on the Sparks. Griner’s home opener in Phoenix will also be televised on the ESPN networks when the team plays the Chicago Sky on May 21.