WNBA and Facebook’s Oculus tip off partnership with 20-game regular-season schedule

NEW YORK – The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Oculus from Facebook, a leading virtual reality platform, will tip off the newly-announced, multiyear partnership that makes Oculus an Official Marketing Partner and the first-ever Virtual Reality Headset Partner of the league with a 20-game regular-season schedule on Oculus Venues and Facebook Watch.

As part of the new partnership, Oculus will also make live WNBA games available in 2D through Oculus Venues on Oculus Quest and Oculus Go headsets, while streaming games on Facebook Watch, beginning tonight when the Dallas Wings meet the Minnesota Lynx at 9 p.m. ET.

“We are excited to partner with Facebook and Oculus to provide fans a new and truly immersive experience to view WNBA games this season and beyond,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.  “Providing more opportunities to view WNBA games on innovative platforms will drive expanded coverage to our growing fan base, and combined with our other broadcast partners, will help sculpt the future landscape of the fan experience.”

Facebook’s schedule tips off Wednesday, Aug. 19, when the Dallas Wings, led by Arike Ogunbowale, coming off a 33-point performance in a win on Sunday, meet 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier and the Minnesota Lynx. The schedule also features Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith and the Phoenix Mercury taking on A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 9 p.m., and a battle of MVPs when 2018 WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm meet two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker and 2016 WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike and the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday, Sept. 4 at 10 p.m.

“When we discussed WNBA marketing opportunities, we wanted to make sure that our investment helped connect the league with its current and future generation of fans,” said Rob Shaw, Facebook Director of Sports Media and League Partnerships. “This sponsorship achieves that, as people around the world will now be able to experience and engage with the WNBA and its incredible players like never before on Oculus and Facebook Watch.”

As an Official Marketing Partner of the WNBA, Oculus will become an associate partner of the WNBA’s Believe in Women platform.  In addition, Oculus will have a presence during the league’s 24th season in Bradenton, Florida, at IMG Academy, the Official Home of the 2020 WNBA season, which features a 22-game schedule for each of WNBA’s 12 teams and will include Oculus signage throughout the site.

In addition to Facebook, WNBA games are available this season on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, CBS Television Network, CBS Sports Network, NBA TV, WNBA League Pass and Twitter, as well as select regional sports networks.  Regular-season play is currently scheduled to conclude on Saturday, Sept. 12, and be followed by a traditional playoffs and Finals format.

2020 WNBA Schedule: Live Games on Facebook

Date                                        Game                                                                      Time (ET)
Wednesday, Aug. 19               Dallas Wings at Minnesota Lynx                       9:00 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 20                  Seattle Storm at Indiana Fever                           8:00 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 21                       Washington Mystics at Dallas Wings                 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 23                     Dallas Wings at Los Angeles Sparks                   6:00 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 23                     Phoenix Mercury at Washington Mystics          8:00 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 28                       Minnesota Lynx at Atlanta Dream                      7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 30                     Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx                  6:00 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 30                     Atlanta Dream at Los Angeles Sparks                 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 1                     Indiana Fever at Atlanta Dream                           8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 1                     Phoenix Mercury at Las Vegas Aces                     9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 2                Minnesota Lynx at Chicago Sun                           7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 3                    Indiana Fever at Phoenix Mercury                      10:00 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 4                        Minnesota Lynx at Dallas Wings                            8:00 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 4                        Seattle Storm at Los Angeles Sparks                     10:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 5                     Connecticut Sun at Indiana Fever                        4:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 5                     Las Vegas Aces at Atlanta Dream                         6:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 6                       Seattle Storm at Minnesota Lynx                          6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 9                Phoenix Mercury at Connecticut Sun                  7:00 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 11                      Atlanta Dream at Connecticut Sun                         7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 12                   Washington Mystics at New York Liberty          4:00 p.m.

About the WNBA
The WNBA is a bold, progressive basketball league that stands for the power of women.  Featuring 12 teams, the W is a unique sports property that combines competition and entertainment with a commitment to diversity and inclusion and social responsibility.  Through its world-class athletes, the in-game fan experience, TV and digital broadcasts, digital and social content and community outreach programs, the league celebrates and elevates the game of basketball and the culture around it.

In 2020, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association signed a groundbreaking eight-year CBA that charts a new course for women’s basketball – and women’s sports overall – with a focus on increased player compensation, improvements to the player experience, expanded career development opportunities and resources specifically tailored to the female professional athlete.  Key elements of the agreement are supported through the league’s new partnership platform, WNBA Changemakers. Inaugural WNBA Changemakers include AT&T, Deloitte and Nike.   For more information, visit WNBA.com.

About Oculus
The Oculus team at Facebook lets people defy distance—connecting with each other and the world—through world-class VR hardware and software. With global departments dedicated to cutting-edge research, computer vision, haptics, social interaction, and more, Oculus is committed to driving the state of the art forward through relentless innovation.