ESPN+, ESPN to Carry All National Lacrosse League Games Beginning This Season
The National Lacrosse League, the largest of the two major lacrosse leagues, has announced a huge media rights agreement that gives ESPN+ and ESPN exclusive broadcast and streaming rights to live NLL games in the US and the rest of the world outside of Canada.
As a result of the agreement, all NLL games will be carried on an ESPN network or platform. ESPN+ and ESPN will 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. 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,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “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. 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 regular season begins with the Vancouver Warriors at the San Diego Seals on Friday, December 3, plus six games on Saturday, December 4, featuring the debut of the expansion Panther City (TX) Lacrosse Club at the Philadelphia Wings, along with the 2019 NLL Championship Finals rematch between the Calgary Roughnecks and the Buffalo Bandits in Buffalo. The broadcast schedule for the 2021-22 season on ESPN’s linear networks will be announced in the coming weeks.
“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. 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,” said Dan Margulis, Senior Director, Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN.
The agreement with ESPN follows an earlier announcement for TSN in Canada for both linear television and live streaming coverage of NLL games, marking the first broadcast deal for the NLL in Canada since 2016.
About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League is an indoor league that first played games in 1987. This season, the league will field 14 teams in two divisions. The Eastern Division includes:
- Buffalo Bandits
- Halifax Thunderbirds
- Rochester Nighthawks
- Toronto Rock
- Albany FireWolves
- Georgia Swarm
- New York Riptide
- Philadelphia Wings
The Western Division includes:
- Calgary Roughnecks
- Colorado Mammoth
- San Diego Seals
- Saskatchewan Rush
- Vancouver Warriors
- Paradise City Lacrosse Club
An expansion club in Las Vegas is set to begin play in the fall of 2022.
The other major lacrosse league, the Premier Lacrosse League, is an 8-team outdoor league that plays its games in the summer months. PLL’s games are carried on NBC Sports Network and Peacock.
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