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2017 WNBA Finals Tip off Sunday on ABC with Sparks-Lynx Rematch; Playoffs Viewership on ESPN and ESPN2 up 6%


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ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the 2017 WNBA Finals presented by Verizon featuring the top two teams in the league – the defending WNBA champion Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx – will tip off Sunday, Sept. 24, at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. All other games in the best-of-five series will be played on ESPN or ESPN2. All games will also be streamed live via the ESPN app.  Ryan Ruocco and analyst Rebecca Lobo will call the Finals, with reporter Holly Rowe. LaChina Robinson will also serve as a pregame analyst alongside Ruocco, Lobo and Rowe.

The head coaches of both teams – Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve and Los Angeles’ Brian Agler — and select players will wear microphones during the games.

The matchup between the Lynx and Sparks will be a rematch of last year’s Finals that saw the series go to the limit with the Sparks winning the Championship in five games and Los Angeles’ Candace Parker taking the WNBA Finals MVP honors. The series will also be a historic matchup, with the Sparks looking to become the first team to win consecutive WNBA titles since their own back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002. Minnesota and Los Angeles both have three WNBA titles under their belts and will look to match the record set by the Houston Comets with four championships.

Additional Coverage will supplement ESPN’s schedule with comprehensive live coverage and analysis throughout the WNBA Finals:

  • Mechelle Voepel will cover each game of the WNBA Finals, providing on-site reporting and storytelling.
  • Contributor Pat Borzi will provide additional game coverage.
  • Playoff game video highlights along with previews, postgame video and analysis.
  • Postgame analysis from ESPN’s analysts.

WNBA Playoffs Viewership Gains

ESPN and ESPN2 are averaging 224,000 viewers (P2+), up +6% from 2016, and have shown strong gains among the P18-49 demographic with a +8% viewership gain from last year (74,200 in 2017).

Finals Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Sun, Sep 24 3:30 p.m. WNBA Finals Game 1: Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx
Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
Tue, Sep 26 8 p.m. WNBA Finals Game 2: Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx
Ruocco, Lobo, Rowe
Fri, Sep 29 9 p.m. WNBA Finals Game 3: Minnesota Lynx at Los Angeles Sparks
Ruocco, Lobo, TBD
Sun, Oct 1 8:30 p.m. WNBA Finals Game 4**: Minnesota Lynx at Los Angeles Sparks
Ruocco, Lobo, Rowe
Wed, Oct 4 8 p.m. WNBA Finals Game 5**: Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx
Ruocco, Lobo, Rowe

** If necessary

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