Athletes Unlimited Announces Broadcast Partners CBS Sports Network and FOX Sports, Reveals College Draft Details

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 DateStart Time  EDT US Live Coverage
Friday July 235:00 PMCBS Sports Network
Friday July 237:30 PMCBS Sports Network
SaturdayJuly 2412:00 PM FS1
SaturdayJuly 243:00 PMAU Digital Platforms
Sunday July 2512:00 PM FS1
Sunday July 253:00 PMAU Digital Platforms
Friday July 305:00 PMCBS Sports Network
Friday July 308:00 PM FS1
SaturdayJuly 3112:00 PM FS1
10 SaturdayJuly 313:00 PMAU Digital Platforms
11 Sunday August 111:00 AM FS1
12 Sunday August 11:30 PM FS1
13 Friday August 65:00 PMCBS Sports Network
14 Friday August 68:00 PM FS1
15 SaturdayAugust 73:00 PMAU Digital Platforms
16 SaturdayAugust 76:00 PMAU Digital Platforms
17 Sunday August 82:00 PM FS2
18 Sunday August 84:30 PM FS2
19 FridayAugust 135:00 PMCBS Sports Network
20 FridayAugust 138:00 PM FS1
21 SaturdayAugust 1412:00 PM FS1
22 SaturdayAugust 143:00 PMAU Digital Platforms
23 SundayAugust 151:00 PMAU Digital Platforms
24 SundayAugust 154:00 PM FS1
525FridayAugust 205:00 PMCBS Sports Network
526FridayAugust 208:00 PMFS2
527SaturdayAugust 2112:00 PMFS2
528SaturdayAugust 213:00 PMAU Digital Platforms
529SundayAugust 222:00 PMFS1
530SundayAugust 226:00 PMCBS Sports Network
AU Digital Platforms: Facebook, YouTube

What are your thoughts on the Athletes Unlimited TV schedule? Will you be tuning in each weekend?

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