Shock and Sparks Meet in WNBA Finals Rematch on ABC on May 29

2004 WNBA Season Tips Off May 20

NEW YORK, January 21 � The WNBA will tip off its eighth season Thursday, May 20 with three Western Conference games featuring the San Antonio Silver Stars against the Houston Comets at the Toyota Center, the Sacramento Monarchs vs. the Phoenix Mercury at America West Arena and the Seattle Storm hosting the Minnesota Lynx at Key Arena.

ABC will air the first of seven regular season Saturday afternoon games on May 22, as the Connecticut Sun hosts the Phoenix Mercury at 4 p.m. EDT. On May 29, ABC will televise a rematch of last year�s WNBA Finals with the Los Angeles Sparks traveling to Detroit to take on the Shock at 4 p.m.

Lauren Jackson, Yolanda Griffith, Sheryl Swoopes and Katie Smith will be in action as the 2004 season tips off on May 20. (WNBAE/Getty Images)

ESPN2 will televise 10 regular season contests beginning Thursday, June 3 at 10:30 p.m. as Seattle hosts Phoenix. The Oxygen network will telecast five regular season games starting with a Sunday, June 18 match-up featuring the Silver Stars and the Shock at the Palace of Auburn Hills at noon.

NBA TV will televise 40 regular season and playoff contests. The league�s 24-hour television network is available to 45 million homes in the U.S. and in 39 other countries.

Rounding out the broadcast schedule, Telemundo will televise up to 10 additional games.

In order to accommodate the approximately 30 WNBA players expected to represent their countries at the 2004 Olympic Games being held August 13-28 in Athens, Greece, the WNBA has lengthened the 2004 season by four weeks and will not play regular season games from August 2 to August 31. Players not representing their countries during the Olympics will participate in a variety of activities that celebrate the sport of women�s basketball, taking part in community outreach initiatives such as �WNBA Mind. Body. Spirit.,� �Read To Achieve,� and �Jr. WNBA.� Teams will also run basketball camps and host viewing parties throughout the Olympic Games.

Six of the New York Liberty�s home games from July 24 through September 16 will be played at Radio City Music Hall this season, while Madison Square Garden prepares for, and hosts, the Republican National Convention.

The 2004 regular season ends on Sunday, September 19, with the playoffs scheduled to begin on Friday, September 24. The WNBA Finals will begin on Friday, October 8.