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WNBA EXTENDS TV RIGHTS DEAL WITH ESPN AND ABC

The WNBA has expanded its TV rights agreement with ESPN and ABC for eight years, until the end of the 2016 season.

Like the present deal, the networks and league will share the advertising revenue from broadcasts, but no rights fees will be paid.

ABC, ESPN or ESON2 will have exclusive rights to 18 prime time season games, and the WNBA All-star season opener will be broadcast on ABC. The deal also secures a minimum of 11 postseason games across both channels, plus exclusive coverage of the first round of the WNBA draft each season.

“ESPN is committed to being the leader in women’s sports coverage and is delighted to partner with the WNBA as we continue to help grow women’s basketball,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vp, content.

ESPN will get increased digital rights from the new deal to have WNBA content shown on platforms other than television, including ESPN.com and ESPN360.com. ESPN will also have the rights to stream WNBA games live, delayed or on an on-demand basis across all of its multimedia platforms, including ESPN Mobile TV.