THIRD ANNUAL WNBA ALL-STAR GAME PROVIDES INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR
The Game's Gone Global
NEW YORK, July 11 -- The 2001 WNBA All-Star Game, which features the most talented female basketball players in the world, will be televised to 168 countries around the globe in 23 different languages via 37 telecasters. The third annual All-Star Game will take place at the TD Waterhouse Centre in Orlando, Fla. on Monday, July 16, and will be broadcast live in the U.S. on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.
The international television distribution of this year's game will reach a record number of countries and exceeds last year's reach of 154 countries. This year's game will be distributed via satellite to all 168 countries.
There are several broadcasters who will be televising the WNBA All-Star Game for the first time, including: City TV (Singapore); Pathe Sport (France); HRT (Croatia); ANEM (Serbia) and B92 TV (Montenegro).
"The interest in the WNBA from our international broadcasters has been great," said Heidi Ueberroth, Executive Vice President of Global Media Properties and Marketing Partnerships, NBA. "Basketball participation is on the rise and is the fastest growing sport among girls today. We're excited to provide fans around the world with the best women's basketball action."
The WNBA currently features a record 54 international players from 24 different countries on team rosters this season. For the third consecutive year, Ticha Penicheiro (Portugal) of the Sacramento Monarchs will be part of the international contingent at the All-Star Game as a starting guard for the Western Conference. Joining her on the Western Conference starting line-up is Houston Comets' guard Janeth Arcain (Brazil).
The WNBA, the world's pre-eminent women's sports league, tipped-off its fifth season on May 28 (Memorial Day). According to a recent ESPN Sports Poll, fan interest in the WNBA now ranks fourth overall among professional sports leagues in the U.S. In addition to being the longest running women's professional basketball league in the U.S., the WNBA was also the most successful league launch in sports history. The WNBA's extensive national television schedule has expanded to reach audiences on ESPN, ESPN2, NBC and Lifetime. The WNBA's combined local, national and international television coverage in 2001 will reach nearly 60 million around the world. During the 2000 season, a record 2.5 million fans attended WNBA games.