ESPN and the Premier Lacrosse League have reached a new four-year media-right agreement that will make the network’s broadcast, cable, and streaming platform home to one of North America’s largest lacrosse leagues. As part of the agreement, when the upcoming PLL season begins on Saturday, June 4, games will air exclusively across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN+. All 47 games, including All-Star, Playoffs, and Championship Weekend will stream on ESPN+.
“We’re thrilled to announce our new agreement with ESPN,” said Co-Founder and President, Paul Rabil. “It’s a testament to our gameday experience, the business teams at the PLL, growing interest level and engagement of a global lacrosse audience, as well as ESPN’s foresight and meaningful investment into a game that’s indigenous to North America – one of the fastest-growing in the US today.”
The PLL’s 8 teams will play across 13 cities throughout the 2022 season and a champion will be crowned during Championship Weekend on September 17. The field lacrosse league has seen significant growth after merging with Major League Lacrosse in 2020.
“Year-over-year PLL viewership has shown consistent growth, setting record numbers for pro lacrosse across broadcast and streaming platforms,” said Mike Rabil, Co-Founder and CEO of the PLL. “We’re excited to work together with ESPN to bring even more eyeballs to the sport of lacrosse.”
Adding exclusive rights to the PLL games to ESPN+ has helped bolster the streamer’s massive live sports offerings and has made it the go-to platform for lacrosse in the United States. Last year, the platform added rights to National Lacrosse League games, which is the largest box lacrosse league that plays in the winter and spring.
“This new agreement will maximize exposure for the league and sport as a whole, with a number of events on linear television and all games being available direct to consumer. Paul and Mike Rabil are incredible leaders and innovators in the sport and we are all looking forward to continued growth for the PLL,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content.
Details on international distribution have not been announced as of yet but they are forthcoming.