This summer, Athletes Unlimited will debut the newest iteration of women’s professional lacrosse and we now know how we’ll be able to watch it. On Tuesday, Athletes Unlimited announced that CBS Sports Network, FOX Sports, Facebook and YouTube will be the main broadcast and streaming partners for the league’s 30-game inaugural lacrosse season.
As the lead television partner, CBS Sports Network will air seven games that include each week’s matchup of the top two teams by draft order, as well as the final game of the season on Championship Sunday, August 22. FOX Sports will broadcast 15 games (11 games on FS1 and four games on FS2), while eight games will livestream on Athletes Unlimited’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
“CBS Sports is excited to present Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse action this summer to fans across the nation,” CBS Sports Executive Vice President, Programming, Dan Weinberg said. “We are proud to continue to be a part of the growth of Athletes Unlimited after successful softball and volleyball seasons and see their innovative competition style utilized in another sport.”
“FOX Sports is excited to expand its partnership with Athletes Unlimited even further in 2021, showcasing all three of AU’s women’s professional sport offerings, softball, volleyball and now lacrosse on FS1 and FS2,” FOX Sports EVP, Head of Programming & Scheduling Bill Wagner said.
“Today we are announcing by far the largest TV and digital distribution ever for pro women’s lacrosse. Through our partners CBS Sports and FOX Sports we will reach over 80 million TV homes in the U.S.,” Co-Founder and CEO of Athletes Unlimited Jon Patricof said. “I want to thank our amazing advisory board who has come together to provide us with valuable expertise and creativity as we develop our TV and digital production strategy.”
The Athletes Unlimited Media Advisory Board currently includes Sarah Crennan, Head of Content for Yahoo Sports; Hilary Awad, Head of Brand Development, SC30 Inc.; Libby Bush, Chief Operating Officer, Tandem Entertainment; Taylor Cummings, Founder of Taylor Cummings Lacrosse and Athletes Unlimited player; Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer, DraftKings; Emily Leitner, Emmy-award winning Feature Producer for NFL Films; Dan Levy, Senior Vice President, Olympics and Women’s Sports, Wasserman; Nick Miaritis, Executive Vice President, VaynerMedia and Nyerr Parham, General Manager, SB Nation.
Athletes Unlimited College Draft
In addition to their broadcast partners, Athletes Unlimited also announced that it will host its first college draft featuring the announcement of 13 graduating college seniors who will be invited to join the league for its inaugural season. Draftees will be unveiled as part of a video presentation that will debut on Facebook and YouTube on Tuesday, June 8, at 12pm ET.
Each player will be introduced by members of the Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse Player Executive Committee, lacrosse legends or celebrity guests including former National Team member, three-time national champion and two-time Tewaraaton award winner from Northwestern, Kristen Kjellman Marshall, four-time national champion, two-time Tewaraaton award winner and member of the Australian National Team from Northwestern, Hannah Nielsen, and former National Team member and two-time gold medalist from Ohio State University, Regina Thomas.
“We are also thrilled to announce our first College Lacrosse Draft coming off the NCAA Championships and look forward to hosting fans at certain games this season,” Patricof said.
“Coming off an incredible NCAA women’s lacrosse season, Athletes Unlimited is poised to showcase the best players in the sport competing in their innovative, high-paced game,” Head of Content for Yahoo! Sports Sarah Crennan added. “Athletes Unlimited is changing the playbook for pro sports and the Media Advisory Board was established with the belief that women’s lacrosse has yet to realize its full potential, both as a business and as a brand, in delivering competitive game action and captivating coverage of these world-class athletes.”
Athletes Unlimited leagues feature a range of scoring innovations to bring athletes and fans a unique and intense version of sport. Individual athletes will earn points based on both team wins and individual performance and become the champions in team sports. Points are earned on every play and the leaderboard changes constantly. In addition, teams change each week, with the top four athletes in the standings serving as captains and drafting their teams. At the end of the five-week season, the player with the most points will be crowned Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse Champion.
2021 Inaugural Lacrosse Broadcasting and Streaming Schedule
|Week #||Game #||Day||Date||Start Time EDT||US Live Coverage|
|1||1||Friday||July 23||5:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|1||2||Friday||July 23||7:30 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|1||3||Saturday||July 24||12:00 PM||FS1|
|1||4||Saturday||July 24||3:00 PM||AU Digital Platforms|
|1||5||Sunday||July 25||12:00 PM||FS1|
|1||6||Sunday||July 25||3:00 PM||AU Digital Platforms|
|2||7||Friday||July 30||5:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|2||8||Friday||July 30||8:00 PM||FS1|
|2||9||Saturday||July 31||12:00 PM||FS1|
|2||10||Saturday||July 31||3:00 PM||AU Digital Platforms|
|2||11||Sunday||August 1||11:00 AM||FS1|
|2||12||Sunday||August 1||1:30 PM||FS1|
|3||13||Friday||August 6||5:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|3||14||Friday||August 6||8:00 PM||FS1|
|3||15||Saturday||August 7||3:00 PM||AU Digital Platforms|
|3||16||Saturday||August 7||6:00 PM||AU Digital Platforms|
|3||17||Sunday||August 8||2:00 PM||FS2|
|3||18||Sunday||August 8||4:30 PM||FS2|
|4||19||Friday||August 13||5:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|4||20||Friday||August 13||8:00 PM||FS1|
|4||21||Saturday||August 14||12:00 PM||FS1|
|4||22||Saturday||August 14||3:00 PM||AU Digital Platforms|
|4||23||Sunday||August 15||1:00 PM||AU Digital Platforms|
|4||24||Sunday||August 15||4:00 PM||FS1|
|5||25||Friday||August 20||5:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|5||26||Friday||August 20||8:00 PM||FS2|
|5||27||Saturday||August 21||12:00 PM||FS2|
|5||28||Saturday||August 21||3:00 PM||AU Digital Platforms|
|5||29||Sunday||August 22||2:00 PM||FS1|
|5||30||Sunday||August 22||6:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
What are your thoughts on the Athletes Unlimited TV schedule? Will you be tuning in each weekend?