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 Women's National Basketball Association

State Farm® WNBA Friday Night Spotlight on ION Includes New Studio Shows, the Most Games Broadcast

May 7, 2024 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) News Release


ATLANTA - In its second season broadcasting WNBA games on ION, Scripps Sports is adding weekly studio shows to supplement the State Farm® WNBA Friday Night Spotlight on ION. ION will air 43 regular-season games, the most of any broadcast partner, including eight Indiana Fever games with 2024 No. 1 overall draft pick Caitlin Clark. The first of those is May 24 against the Los Angeles Sparks and Cameron Brink, the No. 2 overall draft pick.

ION is the first broadcast network to air a weekly studio show for the WNBA. Owned by The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP), ION is available for free over the air, on cable and through connected TV platforms.

Viewers can find access to ION in their areas or via streaming platforms by visiting https://iontelevision.com/find-us.

Scripps Sports' studio shows will include:

30-minute pre-game shows, which will review highlights from the week's games, spotlight upcoming matchups on ION and feature in-depth stories from around the league.

Halftime shows to break down games and provide insights from the studio host and analysts.

Wrap-up/preview shows in between games.

The regular season tips off Tuesday, May 14, with the first studio shows and games on ION on Friday, May 17. The studio show will start most weeks at 7 p.m. ET.

Other highlights

On Aug. 30, Clark and the Fever meet the Chicago Sky, led by the rookie tandem of Angel Reese, a 2023 college national champion, and Kamilla Cardoso, a 2024 college national champion.

Defending champion Las Vegas, led by two-time WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson and two-time All-Star Kelsey Plum, will be on ION nine times, including Sept. 13 against Clark and 2023 WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston.

Reigning league MVP Breanna Stewart, two-time All-WNBA Second-Team selection Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty, who reached the WNBA Finals in 2023, will be on ION twice (May 31 and Aug. 30).

Diana Taurasi, the league's career scoring leader, and Brittney Griner, a nine-time All-Star, will be on ION seven times with the Phoenix Mercury, including two games against Clark and the Fever (July 12, Aug. 16).

The Connecticut Sun, led by Alyssa Thomas, who set WNBA records for triple-doubles and double-doubles last season, will be on ION eight times.

The talent

WNBA on ION Studio Shows will originate from Atlanta. The team:

Larry Smith, host - The award-winning news and sports anchor, host and correspondent is the lead evening anchor for the No. 1-rated newscast at LEX18 in Lexington, Kentucky. He spent 16 years at CNN Sports and more than a decade with Turner Sports as host for NBATV's "Gametime" program and Major League Baseball playoff coverage. Smith has covered more than 60 world and major championship events during his career, including 12 Final Fours, seven NBA Finals, six Super Bowls and four Olympics.

Autumn Johnson, analyst - Johnson is the NCAA's lead personality covering women's basketball and NBA 2K League's studio host. In 2024, she has contributed to ESPN and Big Ten Network. Johnson was a three-sport athlete growing up playing basketball, softball and running cross country. In 2023, she created the AJTV Summit and Scholarship with a goal of mentoring a community of young women in media while providing resources, learning opportunities and financial aid.

Meghan McKeown, analyst - She is a basketball analyst for the Sun, NBC/Peacock, Big Ten Network, ESPN and FOX. McKeown has called multiple NCAA women's tournament games and conference championships. Prior to this season, she spent four WNBA seasons as the color commentator for the Sky and also spent time as an analyst for the Indiana Fever. She played college basketball at Northwestern University.

Nicole Denne, executive producer - She is the senior director of content for Scripps Sports and executive producer of the studio shows. Previously, Denne was senior director of national news for Scripps. She is a former executive producer at KNBC in Los Angeles, and she worked for NBC Sports at the Torino Winter Olympics.

"We are dedicated to showcasing the players who are driving the popularity of the WNBA, not just in our game coverage but with the features we will produce for our studio shows," said Quinn Pacini, vice president of broadcast operations for Scripps Sports. "There are so many great stories to tell."

Full ION schedule

Scripps Sports will primarily broadcast Friday night doubleheaders. The WNBA and Scripps Sports together determine which games will be aired nationally and which regionally. The games:

May 17: Washington at Connecticut (7:30 p.m. ET), Seattle at Minnesota (9:30 p.m. ET)

May 24: Indiana at Los Angeles (10 p.m. ET)

May 31: Las Vegas at Atlanta, Dallas at Connecticut, Washington at New York (7:30 p.m.), Phoenix at Minnesota (9:30 p.m. ET)

June 7: Indiana at Washington (7:30 p.m. ET), Seattle at Las Vegas, Dallas at Los Angeles, Minnesota at Phoenix (10 p.m. ET)

June 14: Chicago at Washington, Los Angeles at Minnesota (7:30 p.m. ET)

June 21: Indiana at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. ET), Connecticut at Las Vegas (10 p.m. ET)

June 28: Atlanta at Connecticut (7:30 p.m. ET), Los Angeles at Phoenix (10 p.m. ET)

July 5: Atlanta at Dallas (7:30 p.m. ET), Las Vegas at Los Angeles, Chicago at Seattle (10 p.m. ET)

July 12: Las Vegas at Atlanta, Phoenix at Indiana (7:30 p.m. ET), Minnesota at Seattle (10 p.m. ET)

Aug. 16: Seattle at Atlanta, Phoenix at Indiana (7:30 p.m. ET), Connecticut at Dallas (9:30 p.m. ET)

Aug. 23: Phoenix at Atlanta, Chicago at Connecticut, Los Angeles at Washington (7:30 p.m. ET), Las Vegas at Minnesota (9:30 p.m.)

Aug. 30: Indiana at Chicago, Minnesota at Dallas (7:30 p.m. ET), Atlanta at Las Vegas, New York at Seattle (10 p.m. ET)

Sept. 6: Dallas at Atlanta, Las Vegas at Connecticut, Minnesota at Indiana (7:30 p.m. ET), Los Angeles at Chicago (9:30 p.m. ET)

Sept. 13: Washington at Atlanta, Las Vegas at Indiana, Seattle at Dallas, Chicago at Minnesota (7:30 p.m. ET), Connecticut at Phoenix (10 p.m. ET)


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.


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