The WNBA continues to flex its muscle in 2019.
The WNBA announced its schedule of 20 live regular-season games to be streamed on Twitter during the 2019 season, marking the third consecutive year that the league’s games will be available on the platform. The games will be available via @WNBA.
Twitter’s schedule, which features appearances by all 12 teams, begins Saturday, May 25, when the Washington Mystics take on the Connecticut Sun at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The schedule includes 14 games on Tuesdays, including a doubleheader on July 30 when the Phoenix Mercury play the Mystics, followed by the Dallas Wings taking on the Las Vegas Aces, led by reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year A’ja Wilson and 2019 No. 1 overall draft pick Jackie Young.
Head coach Bill Laimbeer’s up and coming Vegas squad will be featured six times.
11-time All-Star Sue Bird and the defending WNBA Champion Seattle Storm will make four appearances on Twitter this season, including a matchup against the 2017 champs, the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday, June 4.
In all, 10 games are expected to feature a compilation of former league MVPs:
Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne
Minnesota Lynx’s Sylvia Fowles
Players Only co-host and Los Angeles Sparks legend Candace Parker
Sparks baller Nneka Ogwumike is a highly-skilled and outspoken leader in the WNBA’s battle for pay equity among other issues that will be at the heart of the new collective bargaining agreement when it’s renegotiated in 2020. The player’s union has already opted out of it.
Ogwumike serves as WNBA executive council president and wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune explaining that she wants young female athletes to grow up dreaming about “…the league that I know ours can become. A league that has a fair and consistent work environment. A league that treats its players as the world-class athletes they are. A league that invests in its future. A league that believes in us as much as we believe in it. ”
WNBA games will also be available this season on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, CBS Sports Network, NBA TV and WNBA League Pass.
WNBA Inks New Deal With Refs
On the labor side of things, the league and the National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA), the union representing the WNBA referees, announced today they have entered into a new two-year collective bargaining agreement, commencing with the 2019 season.
“We are pleased to extend the WNBA’s partnership with the NBRA for two more seasons,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Mark Tatum. “WNBA officials are part of our world-class referee program which features state-of-the-art development and training. We are fortunate to have this excellent group of referees representing our league.”
In serious contrast to the NBA, six of the 16 referees assigned to the 2018 WNBA Playoffs were women. The NBA has had just five women refs in its history. Referees are a vital extension of the game and the WNBA can certainly serve as a breeding ground for more deserving and qualified women to infiltrate the NBA’s referee ranks.