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How to Watch WNBA Games 2021: The Handy Guide

ByDani Bar-Lavi|@dblfluidity| December 22, 2020
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Looking for how to watch the WNBA? Let’s go! You’re about to see some of the best women’s basketball on the planet. The WNBA’s 25th season, which will include a 32-game schedule for each team, will feature 100 national telecasts across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, CBS Television Network, CBS Sports Network and NBA TV.

Though, between national games, local games, League Pass, and more, sometimes finding out where to watch a WNBA game can feel like solving a puzzle. 

So today, we’ll reveal all the ways to watch the WNBA on TV, online, or on the go. We’ll break down the best deals for streaming services that carry the WNBA, and show you how to watch your favorite WNBA team locally. Plus, we’ll provide a deep dive into the WNBA’s very own League Pass.

Spoiler alert: If you want to keep it simple, to see every game, buy YouTube TV (and watch 113 games on your computer, AppleTV, Chromecast, Roku, or Fire TV). If you want the best bargain while still seeing a good number of games, buy the League Pass offering access to 47 games (and watch on your computer, Apple TV or Chromecast).

Discover the WNBA League Pass 2021

The WNBA offers an official “League Pass” for watching games online, for the ridiculously low price of $16.99 a year. Here’s what the WNBA League Pass 2021 gets you:

Stream WNBA games: Watch games from all 12 teams live as they broadcast, or watch the recordings anytime after the game is over. League Pass offers 110 live season games for 2021. And every game from the 2015-2020 WNBA seasons on demand. However, some restrictions apply:

  • Nationally televised games, as well as games broadcast on a local network in your area are on a “blackout” due to the terms of the WNBA’s broadcasting agreement.
  • “Blackout” games are available to stream on League Pass after they air.

Relive classics: WNBA League Pass hosts recordings of all WNBA games going back to the 2015 season, available on demand.

Added perks: Being a League Pass subscriber also gets you other occasional perks, such as coupon codes for discounts at the WNBA store. 

League Pass is available to purchase on the WNBA website, and can be streamed in browser. You can also use League Pass on iOS or Android tablets and phones, as well as Apple TV or Chromecast – just download the WNBA App, and on your computer. However, WNBA League Pass is not currently available on the Roku or Amazon Fire TV Stick.

You also have the option to purchase the Team Pass which gives you game access all season long for a specific team. Or the Game Pass which lets you watch a specific awesome game (choose from a handful).

Don’t worry if you’re not looking to add another subscription service to your portfolio. In that case, there are also great options for catching free WNBA games streaming every season.

Where can I watch WNBA games online for free? 

Over the past few seasons, the WNBA has partnered with social media giants Twitter and Facebook to stream games for free on their platforms. These streams help introduce the WNBA to new fans, and help spark discussion about the WNBA in the replies and comments of the streams.

Explore free WNBA live streams

Here are three simple ways to free live stream the WNBA.

1. Twitter free WNBA streams

For the past three seasons, the WNBA has live-streamed select games through Twitter Sports directly on the Twitter platform. Find these games during the season on the @TwitterSports account.

In 2021, the WNBA and partner Twitter will continue to deliver programming to fans via alternative live streaming platforms. As Twitter and the WNBA enter the fifth year of their partnership, Twitter will offer a 12-game slate on #WNBATwitterLive, as well as real-time game highlights and post-game interviews. 

Highlights of Twitter content

  • Twitter’s 12-game package, available via @WNBA, will feature in-game commentary from basketball insiders, influencers and WNBA legends.
  • On Friday May 21, Twitter will deliver a matchup between the Atlanta Dream and the Indiana Fever (7 p.m. ET). Then on Tuesday, May 25, Twitter will spotlight the WNBA’s two most recent No. 1 overall draft selections when 2021 top pick Charli Collier and the Wings visit the Liberty and Sabrina Ionescu, the No. 1 pick in 2020 (7 p.m. ET).
  • As part of the WNBA’s effort to bring fans closer to live game action, game presentations on Twitter will incorporate fan tweets as an overlay, polls for fans to vote on certain elements of the game, and real-time engagements with the commentators in unique ways.

2. Facebook free WNBA streams

In 2020, Facebook entered the fray as well, as the WNBA broadcast some games through their official Facebook page. Find these streams during the season on Facebook.

Facebook, now in its second straight year as a provider of WNBA game action, will present 20 games available on both Facebook Watch and Venues on Oculus Quest.

Highlights of Facebook Watch and Venues on Oculus Quest content

  • Fifteen games prior to the in-season break and five when the league returns to action will be available on Facebook Watch via the WNBA Facebook page. The broadcasts will feature interactive elements that take advantage of the Facebook Watch social video platform.
  • These same games will be available in 2D through Venues on Oculus Quest headsets (both Quest and Quest 2). 
  • The schedule tips off on opening night, Friday, May 14, when it carries the Dallas Wings who will be in Los Angeles to meet the Sparks (10:30 p.m. ET).
  • Coverage wraps up on Friday, Sept. 17, when Minnesota is at Indiana (7 p.m. ET).

But Twitter and Facebook streams only cover a handful of games every year to give people a taste of the WNBA. If you want the full experience, you’re going to have to turn on your TV.

What channels is the WNBA on?

It’s easier than ever to watch WNBA games on television, with national games broadcast on several networks almost nightly during the season. Here’s the upcoming 2021 WNBA schedule of nationally televised games.

Google will be the presenting partner of the WNBA on ESPN. Google has collaborated with ESPN and the WNBA to deliver “25 for 25”, a 25-game schedule of telecasts across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 in celebration of the WNBA’s 25th season.

In addition, as part of the commitment of CBS Sports to the WNBA, the network and the league, which first partnered in 2019, have announced a multi-year extension of their relationship through which CBS Sports will present WNBA regular season games, including 40 contests this season, featuring up to three games on the CBS Television Network that will also stream live on Paramount+. 

If you’re looking to follow your home-team more closely, check out our guide to local broadcast deals below!

Here’s how to watch the WNBA on TV

The WNBA appears on different channels, based on whether the games are nationally broadcast or locally broadcast. Here’s how to watch on channels that work for you.

Where to watch nationally broadcast WNBA games

2020 saw a huge increase in nationally broadcast WNBA games, with 37 games broadcast on ESPN alone, and another 40 on CBS.  And 2021 will top even that, as the regular season schedule features 100 national broadcasts.

Find nationally broadcast WNBA games in 2021 on:

  • ABC
  • CBS/CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN/ESPN2
  • NBA TV

And download these networks’ apps to your mobile device, tablet, streaming device or smart TV. So you can watch no matter where you are. Just make sure you login using your cable provider account.

Where to watch WNBA games locally

While many WNBA games are now broadcast nationally, some are still exclusively available through local broadcasts or League Pass. Look for your team in this list to find out where you can catch WNBA games on local TV during the season: 

Atlanta Dream: The Dream’s local broadcast partner is WSB-TV. Watch their games on WSB-TV2, or the WSB Now app, available on most streaming devices. 

Chicago Sky: Fans in Chicago can watch the Sky on local channel WCIU

Connecticut Sun: The Connecticut Sun’s games are broadcast locally on NESN, or New England Sports Network. While some games are broadcast on sister network NESNplus.

Dallas Wings: The Dallas Wings have a broadcasting agreement with Fox Sports. Find their local games on FSSW, or Fox Sports Southwest, or on FSSW+. Just use the Fox Sports Go app and FoxSportsGo.com to stream all games on either channel.

Indiana Fever: The Fever’s local affiliate is Fox Sports Indiana, with games also broadcast online and in-app through Fox Sports Go. You can also catch games for free online, through the Fever Facebook page, or at FeverBasketball.com

Las Vegas Aces: Aces games are locally broadcast on MyLVTV, a local Sinclair Broadcast affiliate, as well as the STIRR, Sinclair’s app for most streaming devices.

Los Angeles Sparks: Spectrum SportsNet is the long-standing broadcast partner of the Sparks. Fans in LA can catch most Sparks game on Spectrum, or on the Spectrum SportsNet app.

Minnesota Lynx: The Lynx have partnered with Fox Sports North since their first year in the WNBA. Fans can catch games locally on Fox Sports North, Fox Sports North PLUS, or online/in-app with Fox Sports Go.

New York Liberty: If you’re a Liberty fan in New York, you can find their games on the YES Network, or, through the YES App on most streaming devices.

Phoenix Mercury: Fans in Phoenix can watch Diana Taurasi and the Mercury on Fox Sports Arizona. Games also available online and in-app through Fox Sports Go.

Seattle Storm: Are you a Seattle fan looking to watch the reigning champs defend their title next season? Storm games are broadcast locally in Seattle on JOEtv, a FOX affiliate. 

Washington Mystics: The Mystic’s local broadcast deal is split between Monument Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington. Both networks have apps available for streaming options. 

How to watch the WNBA without cable

If you’re a WNBA fan and a cable-cutter, no problem. We’ve got you covered with the best options for watching games completely online.

First off, make sure to grab WNBA League Pass, outlined in further detail above. It’s just $16.99 for the whole season, and will get you live broadcasts of any game that isn’t on a national network.

Then, nationally televised games can be watched by cable-cutters using one of the many streaming services now offering live TV, such as:

Just purchase these services at the links above. Any of them will get you national games on ESPN. However, of these four, only YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now carry ESPN, ABC, CBS Sports Network, and NBA TV. Meaning they’re the only two that will give you access to all nationally broadcast WNBA games. 

The WNBA is also now on Amazon! Amazon and the Women’s National Basketball Association just announced a multi-year agreement giving Prime Video exclusive global streaming rights to 16 WNBA games per season, as well as the Commissioner’s Cup Game on Sunday, August 12. Prime Video’s WNBA coverage tips off on Saturday, May 29, as the Atlanta Dream travel to the Big Apple to take on the New York Liberty. The deal, featuring a WNBA game each week during the regular season, marks the first time Prime Video has exclusive global streaming rights to a women’s professional sports league with the matchup between Atlanta and New York being the first time Prime Video has exclusive international streaming rights to a professional basketball game.  

WNBA-watching hacks and cheat codes

If you don’t have cable and are looking to save a quick buck while watching the WNBA, there are still plenty of good options for tuning in. 

  • Ask friends: You could organize watch parties with other friends of yours who watch the WNBA using one of their TVs, or cable log ins for streaming. 
  • Find a local bar: By the same token, you can go to a sports bar and ask the staff to turn on a channel showing the WNBA. This has the bonus of increasing exposure for the league, and helping you find other WNBA fans in your community. 
  • Go-in on a subscription with family: Lastly, you can always borrow a cable or live streaming log-in from a friend or family member, or offer to go in on one with them.
  • Buy tickets: Go to a game! You can easily purchase tickets from your team’s website or TicketMaster.

Enjoy watching WNBA games

We’ve covered every way to watch WNBA basketball during the regular season. And from League Pass, to catching local games, to streaming with your friends you have a lot of options.

Next, learn more about free agency to prepare for the upcoming season, or check out our guide to watching WNBA players play overseas.

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