New York Liberty, Atlanta Dream announce broadcast deals

Photo Credit: Matteo Marchi/NBAE/Getty Images

Going into the final few days prior to tip-off of the WNBA season, the television situations of two teams still were uncertain – the New York Liberty and the Atlanta Dream.

With the Liberty being sold to Joe Tsai from Madison Square Garden, it was unclear what would happen to Libs television broadcasts since they are no longer under the MSG (MSG Networks) umbrella.

Since Tsai is the minority (soon to be majority) owner of the Brooklyn Nets, and the Nets are one of the marquee attractions of the YES Network, it would make sense for the Liberty to follow the Nets to the Yankee-centric regional sports channel.

Two days prior to the Liberty’s season opener against the Fever at Westchester County Center, both the team and YES let everyone know to “start spreading the news.”

The schedule revealed that YES would broadcast the entire Liberty home schedule either on the main YES Network channel or via the Fox Sports Go app. Chris Shearn will provide main play-by-play with Julianne Viani, who was part of Liberty telecasts on MSG, on color.

We want to showcase Liberty basketball to as many fans as possible and we have a unique opportunity to do that with YES Network this year.

–Keia Clarke, Liberty COO (per YES Network release)

We are thrilled to work with the team at YES to expand the reach of women’s basketball to new and different audiences.

–Keia Clarke, Liberty COO (per YES Network release)

The WNBA features the finest women’s basketball in the world, and we at YES look forward to bringing this exciting brand of ball to our viewers.

–John J. Filippelli, president of Production and Programming, YES Network (per YES Network press release)

The first Liberty broadcast on YES was the game with the Fever, a contest in which New York lost 81-80 in heartbreaking fashion thanks to Teaira McCowan’s last-second shot near the basket. But the YES presentation of the game appears to be a winner – arguably more than MSG’s.

While the Liberty’s broadcast situation may have been the more ballyhooed of the two prior to the start of the season, there was a similar situation unfolding down in Atlanta.

Before the season, word got out that Bob Rathbun and LaChina Robinson would no longer be working Dream games this season. In addition, Fox Sports South would no longer air Dream games as the organization had to pay the sports channel for coverage.

While this created a void for broadcasts of the Dream, that void was eventually filled by Atlanta’s Channel 2 WSB-TV, essentially the television station of record for the ATL and Georgia.

A total of 18 Dream contests would be streamed across platforms of WSB-TV Channel 2. Among those include eight games on the road. Those games would be available across WSB Now,, and the WSB app. Four games would also air on Bounce TV which is on a digital subchannel of WSB.

The Dream also announced that Andy Demetra and Amy Audibert would handle broadcasts. Demetra is the voice for Georgia Tech athletics for their football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball games. Audibert was analyst for University of Buffalo men’s and women’s basketball broadcasts and also appeared on a few episodes of NBA TV Canada’s “The Hangout.”

We plan to deliver the best of the Atlanta Dream’s upcoming season with our WSB Now digital stream, extending the team’s reach all while providing unique programming to viewers with streaming devices.

–Paul Briggs, Vice President of Content and Broadcast Operations, WSB-TV Channel 2 ABC Atlanta

We feel that creating new, easy access to 18 home and road games will help us reach a larger and younger demographic while concurrently growing our fan base. WSB-TV will be producing unique content, access to Bounce TV and great opportunities to partner in the community. This will be a full-service relationship!

–Chris Sienko, president and general manager, Atlanta Dream

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