BRISTOL, Conn. — The National Lacrosse League (NLL) and ESPN have reached a new, multi-year media rights agreement, the companies announced Tuesday.
The most extensive United States media rights agreement in NLL's history will see all NLL games, including every home and away Colorado Mammoth game, available live via streaming ESPN+ and ESPN networks.
NLL said it will be the largest number of live televised games in the history of the league. ESPN linear networks and ESPN+ will also combine to carry up to 139 games exclusively each year.
"We are so proud, honored and excited to work with ESPN and ESPN+ in this unprecedented landmark announcement for the NLL," said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. "Never before in the 35-year history of the league have fans, sponsors, teams and players had this type of access and exposure across the United States."
"While we, our sport and the industry continue to focus on digital native fans, we will also have the benefit of expanded reach through live distribution on ESPN linear networks," said Sakiewicz. "We’ve been steadily building on our media strategy and towards this kind of distribution over the last few years and are excited about the momentum an announcement like this generates heading into NLL Faceoff Weekend, December 3-4."
The NLL's opening weekend will see the Colorado Mammoth travel east to face the Georgia Swarm at Gas South Arena on Saturday, Dec. 4.
The Mammoth return to Ball Arena in Denver on Saturday, Dec. 11 for their first home game since early 2020. The Mammoth will play nine home games at Ball Arena this season.
"We’re thrilled to reach this new multi-year rights agreement with the National Lacrosse League, adding to our already extensive commitment to the sport of lacrosse on ESPN platforms," said Dan Margulis, Senior Director, Programming & Acquisitions at ESPN. "The NLL features elite players competing in an exciting and fast-paced game that we look forward to showcasing across ESPN and ESPN+ in the years ahead."
The broadcast schedule for the 2021-22 season on ESPN’s linear networks will be announced in the coming weeks.
The 2021-22 season will see the NLL's debut in Texas with Panther City Lacrosse Club playing at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. The league will also return to New York with the Albany NLL.
The NLL will also have a new two-conference configuration and an expanded playoff format in 2021-22.
With the league’s new conference alignments in play this season, the Mammoth now reside in the Western Conference, alongside previous West Division rivals in San Diego, Vancouver, Calgary and Saskatchewan. The new guys down south, Panther City, will round out the Conference of six.
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