ALBANY, NEW YORK – The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced the most extensive United States media rights agreement in its history, giving ESPN and ESPN+ exclusive rights in the U.S. and the rest of the world outside Canada for live NLL games. All NLL games will be carried on an ESPN network or platform. ESPN linear networks – with a minimum of 10 live games annually – and ESPN+ will combine to carry up to 139 games exclusively each year. It will be the largest number of live televised games in the history of the league.
“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.”
“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 broadcast schedule for the 2021-22 season on ESPN’s linear networks will be announced in the coming weeks. The regular season begins with the Vancouver Warriors at San Diego Seals on Friday, December 3; and six games on Saturday December 4, including the debut of the expansion Panther City (TX) Lacrosse Club at the Philadelphia Wings and the 2019 NLL Championship Finals rematch between the Calgary Roughnecks and Buffalo Bandits in Buffalo.
The agreement with ESPN follows an earlier announcement for TSN in Canada for both linear television and live streaming coverage of NLL games, the first broadcast deal for the NLL in Canada since 2016.
The Albany FireWolves, the Capital Region’s professional indoor lacrosse team playing out of the Times Union Center beginning in December, also announce that all FireWolves games, both home and away and which are not broadcast on ESPN linear, will be broadcast locally on My4 WNYT. Brendan Glasheen, Andy Towers, and Ashley Miller will make up the television broadcast team for the organization.
“On the heels of the best national television platform the NLL has ever had, we are ecstatic to also announce our local television partnership with MY4 WNYT. FireWolves fans will have the ability to watch ALL games, (both home and away) on television and really get to know who we are quickly,” said George Manias, President of the FireWolves. “This partnership will also broaden our reach, give us the ability to market our brand to a wider audience and offer our sponsors a tremendous reach that they cannot get from any other local sports teams in our area. In addition, our broadcast team will be the best in the league! Solid play–by–play from Brendan Glasheen will have our new audience quickly understanding the game, behind the scenes and critical insights from our color guy and scout, Andy Towers (who also coaches in the PLL) and our on–field floor reporter from local WNYT Sports, Ashley Miller, will help fans get to know our players. What a dynamic team! We cannot wait to get this season underway.”
Glasheen will be the inaugural season television play-by-play commentator of the FireWolves. He follows the team from New England to the Capital Region, having spent the last two seasons as the Black Wolves’ TV broadcaster. The 2021-22 season will be his fourth as a broadcaster in the National Lacrosse League, also having served as the voice of the NLL Twitter Game of the Week in 2018. When he is not in an arena calling lacrosse games, Glasheen keeps busy elsewhere in the sports world. He just wrapped up his first season as the television play-by-play voice of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. Glasheen also works as a freelance college football and basketball announcer at various networks. He is also an on-camera personality for DraftKings and radio personality at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.
Towers, who will serve as the team’s color analyst, has been playing and coaching lacrosse in both the indoor and outdoor game for over three decades. Recently inducted into the United States Lacrosse Connecticut Hall of Fame as well as the Brown University Sports Hall of Fame, Towers led the Bruins to Ivy and New England Championships during an accolade-filled stint at Brown. He graduated the University with both season and career goal scoring records, the last of which was held for 23 years before being broken in 2016. Following college, Towers began his professional career in both the NLL and Major League Lacrosse (MLL). During his time in the MLL, Towers earned All-Star honors and led the league in face-off winning percentage at 58%.
Shortly after his playing career, Towers held head coaching positions at Division I schools such as Dartmouth College and University of Hartford, as well as other assistant coaching terms at Yale, Brown, and Fairfield. Towers just began his third season as the Head Coach of the Chaos Lacrosse Club in the Premier Lacrosse League, where he was voted the PLL Coach of the Year Award during its inaugural season in 2019. In 2020-21, Towers served as the American Scout to Head Coach Jim Veltman with the NY Riptide and will be fulfilling the same role under Head Coach Glenn Clark for the FireWolves in the team’s inaugural season.
Miller joins the FireWolves as the team’s on-field floor reporter. A Capital Region native, Miller has spent the past 12 years working as a sports broadcaster in her hometown market. She graduated from Shaker High School and then went on to receive her degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Ashley has spent the past eight years as a sports reporter and anchor here locally for WNYT NewsChannel 13 covering everything from high school and college sports to the Albany Empire and the Saratoga Race Course. Miller has had the chance to cover a lot of lacrosse over the years including the UAlbany men’s and women’s lacrosse teams’ NCAA Tournament runs and the PLL’s visit to Albany. She is looking forward to much more as a member of the FireWolves team for the organization’s inaugural season!
Do not miss your opportunity to witness history! Fans can secure their tickets for the historic inaugural 2021-22 FireWolves home opener today! For more information regarding home opener tickets, visit https://albanyfirewolves.com/tickets/2021-22-home-opener/ or call 518-362-4900.
The Albany FireWolves 2021-22 Inaugural Season is presented by CDPHP.
About Albany FireWolves
The Albany FireWolves is the Capital Region’s very own Professional Box Lacrosse team, playing in the National Lacrosse League out of the Times Union Center in downtown Albany, NY. For more information, contact the Albany FireWolves Front Office at (518) 362-4900 or visit AlbanyFireWolves.com. Follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/AlbFireWolves, Twitter @AlbFireWolves, and Instagram @AlbFireWolves.
About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas NLL, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.
For more information, visit NLL.com and find @NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information visit NLL.com.
About ASM Global
ASM Global is the world’s leading venue management and services company. The company was formed by the combination of AEG Facilities and SMG, global leaders in venue and event strategy and management. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 325 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention, and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. From Aberdeen to Anchorage, and Sydney to Stockholm, its venues connect people through the unique power of live experiences. ASM Global’s diverse portfolio of clients benefit from the company’s depth of resources and unparalleled experience, expertise and creative problem solving. Each day, the company’s 61,000 passionate employees around the world deliver locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to deliver maximum results for venue owners and amazing experiences for guests. By consistently looking for new ways to envision, innovate and empower the spaces and places that bring people together, ASM Global elevates the human spirit while delivering the highest value for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.asmglobal.com.
About Times Union Center
Times Union Center is a full-service entertainment and sports facility featuring a wide variety of family shows, sporting events, trade shows and concerts. Owned by Albany County and managed by ASM Global, Times Union Center opened in 1990 and is home to the Albany FireWolves of the National Lacrosse League, the Albany Empire of the National Arena League and the Division I Men’s College Basketball Siena Saints. For more information, please visit www.timesunioncenter-albany.com.
Established in 1984, CDPHP is a physician-founded, member-focused and community-based not-for-profit health plan that offers high-quality affordable health insurance plans to members in 26 counties throughout New York. CDPHP is also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.
ESPN, Inc. is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment brand featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN launched on September 7, 1979, and is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Hearst holds a 20 percent interest.
ESPN+ is the industry-leading sports streaming service that offers fans in the U.S. thousands of live sports events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks and exclusive editorial content from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown to more than 14.9 million subscribers.
Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $6.99 a month (or $69.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices). It is also available as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $13.99/month (Hulu w/ads) or $19.99/month (Hulu w/o ads).