Joe Tsai’s contention that upping the profile of the Liberty —and getting fans to come to their games— got a big boost Wednesday when YES Network and the Liberty announced YES will become the official regional TV partner of the Liberty this season. YES will televise 16 Liberty home games this season, the first of which will be the Liberty opener on Friday vs. the Indiana Fever at the Westchester County Center.
Chris Shearn and former Marist College basketball star Julianne Viani will handle play-by-play and analyst duties, respectively, on Friday’s telecast.
In addition to the YES arrangement, all 16 games on YES’ Liberty schedule will also be streamed live on the FOX Sports GO app. CBS Sports Network will also telecast one Liberty home game this season on Aug. 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET, as part of the WNBA’s multi-year partnership. The 17 televised games represent half of the Liberty’s 34-game schedule.
Here’s the schedule. All are home games and all but one will be played in While Plains. The Liberty will battle the Seattle Storm at Barclays Center on August 11.
YES, of course, broadcast all 82 regular season games as well as five playoff games this season. It also broadcast six Long Island Nets regular season games.
Tsai, who purchased the Liberty from James Dolan and MSG in January, has talked about building a fanbase for the team, noting that improvement in league economics will follow. Televising the games should help in that regard.
The Liberty will be led by Tina Charles, the five time All-WNBA guard, and feature two rookies, Asia Durr of Louisville, a two-time first-team All-American, and Han Xu from China, a member of the Chinese Women’s National Team.
“Boasting a healthy mix of veterans and newcomers, the Liberty is primed to be a force in the WNBA this season,” said John J. Filippelli, president of Production and Programming, YES Network. “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.”