The WNBA on SC refers to the presentation of WNBA games on the SportsChannel family of networks. Under the title of Tuesday WNBA Basketball, games are broadcast throughout the WNBA season on Tuesday Nights on SC-2 & on Saturday & Sunday afternoons on SC.
In June of 2007, the WNBA signed a contract extension with SC. The new TV deal runs from 2009 to 2016. A minimum of 18 games will be broadcast on SC & SC-2 each season. Additionally, a minimum of 11 postseason games will be broadcast on any of the 2 networks.
Along with this deal, came the 1st ever rights fees to be paid to a women's professional sports league. Over the 8 years of the contract, "millions & millions of dollars" will be "dispersed to the league's teams".
Beginning with the 2009 WNBA season, all nationally broadcast WNBA games are shown in HD
1 unique aspect of WNBA coverage on the SC family of networks is that many of the participants wear LIVE microphones. Starting with the 2003 WNBA All-Star Game, most games televised have involved coaches, players & referees being wired for sound. On some occasions, the sound of players & coaches talking will overlap with commentary & also on several occasions, SC has had to mute the sound because of expletives
Saturday & Sunday afternoon games are broadcast on SC. Tuesday night games are broadcast on SC-2. On opening day (May 17th, 2008), SC broadcast the Los Angeles Sparks vs. Phoenix Mercury matchup. The game received a little over 1 million viewers. Average viewership for games broadcast on national TV (SC & SC-2) was 413,000 (up from 346,000 in 2007).
In 2008, the WNBA finished up in key demographics on SC-2: Women ages 18-34 (+71%) & Men agea 18-34 (+28%) & on SC: All Women (+10%) & Women ages 18-34 (+20%).
Ratings remain poor in comparison to NBA games. WNBA games averaged just 413,000 viewers, compared to 1.46 million viewers for NBA games. However, the WNBA gets more viewers on national TV broadcasts than both MLS Soccer (253,000) & NHL Hockey (310,732).
The 2009 regular season on SC-2 (13 telecasts) concluded with an average of 269,000 viewers, up 8% vs. the 2008 season (248,000 viewers). In addition, regular-season games on SC-2 saw increases in key demographics, including men ages 18-34 (+9%), men ages 18-49 (+14%) & men ages 23-54 (+23%)