The WNBA superstars are here to play. The Connecticut Sun’s Alyssa Thomas, Chicago Sky’s Candace Parker, Las Vegas teammates A’Ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum, along with AP Player of the Year Breanna Stewart and WNBA legend Sue Bird, both of the Seattle Storm, look to lift their teams to new heights in the battle for the 2022 WNBA Championship.
Of course, one superstar is missing from the 2022 playoffs. Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner remains imprisoned in Russia after being sentenced to nine years in a penal colony on drug-smuggling charges. Griner has appealed her conviction, while talks of a prisoner swap are ongoing.
Meanwhile, eight WNBA teams continue the three-round journey to the title and there’s already been an upset. Yesterday’s Game 1 action saw the defending champion Chicago Sky, who finished tied in wins with the Las Vegas Aces for the best record in the league, lose to the New York Liberty. In the other game, the Aces dispatched the Mercury by 16 points.
Tonight brings the second pair of first-round leadoff games. Arike Ogunbowale and the Dallas Wings play Alyssa Thomas and the Connecticut Sun at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) on ESPNU, followed by Elena Delle Donne and the Washington Mystics taking on the Seattle Storm’s powerhouse duo of Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on ESPN2.
Those looking to follow the drama will need access to ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPNU to watch every game. We’ve broken down everything you need to know in order to stream the WNBA playoffs live without cable.
What does the first round of the playoffs look like?
In a change from previous seasons, all teams will play in a best-of-three first round matchup. The winners will then move on to a best-of-five semifinal, followed by a best-of-five WNBA Final.
Here’s the remaining first round schedule, all times ET:
WNBA First Round Playoff Schedule
|Date and Time||Matchup||Network|
|Thursday, Aug. 18 (8 p.m.)||Dallas Wings at Connecticut Sun – Game 1||ESPNU|
|Thursday, Aug. 18 (10 p.m.)||Washington Mystics at Seattle Storm – Game 1||ESPN2|
|Saturday, Aug. 20 (12 p.m.)||New York Liberty at Chicago Sky – Game 2 (Liberty lead 1-0)||ESPN|
|Saturday, Aug. 20 (9 p.m.)||Phoenix Mercury at Las Vegas Aces – Game 2 (Aces lead 1-0)||ESPN2|
|Sunday, Aug. 21 (12 p.m.)||Dallas Wings at Connecticut Sun – Game 2||ABC|
|Sunday, Aug. 21 (4 p.m.)||Washington Mystics at Seattle Storm – Game 2||ESPN|
|Tuesday, Aug. 23 (7 p.m.)||Chicago Sky at New York Liberty – Game 3*||ESPN 2|
|Tuesday, Aug. 23 (9 p.m.)||Las Vegas Aces at Phoenix Mercury – Game 3*||ESPN 2|
|Wednesday, Aug. 24 (TBD)||Connecticut Sun at Dallas Wings – Game 3*||TBD|
|Wednesday, Aug. 24 (TBD)||Seattle Storm at Washington Mystics – Game 3*||TBD|
Best options for streaming without cable
All games in the 2022 WNBA playoffs will air on the Disney family of networks, namely ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPNU. To catch every second on the basketball action, cord-cutters will need to subscribe to a live TV streaming service. Here’s how they break down.
You can catch the WNBA playoffs with a subscription to YouTube TV. ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPNU are all included in the package, which means you’ll have all the channels you need in order to watch every second of the action.
Read our YouTube TV review.
Hulu Plus Live TV is a little more expensive than YouTube TV, but it also offers all the channels you need to watch the WNBA playoffs. As an added bonus, Hulu Plus Live TV comes with the rest of the Disney Bundle, which includes a subscription to Disney Plus, as well as ESPN Plus. The WNBA playoffs don’t air on ESPN Plus, but the service offers a ton of other content for die-hard sports fans.
Read our Hulu Plus Live TV review.
Sling TV’s $35 Orange plan might be a good choice for casual WNBA fans who don’t need to watch every game. This plan is one of the cheapest ways to get access to ESPN and ESPN 2. Those looking for ESPNU will have to opt for the $11 Sports Extra ad-on. Sling TV lacks ABC, which could be a problem for fans hoping to catch some of the biggest games.
Read our Sling TV review.
FuboTV costs $70 per month and includes ABC, ESPN and ESPN 2. The base package lacks ESPNU but you can add it for an extra $8 a month with the Fubo Extra Package or pay for the $80-a-month Elite streaming tier that includes Fubo Extra. Check out which local networks FuboTV offers here.
Read our FuboTV review.
DirecTV Stream is the most expensive live TV streaming service. Its cheapest, $70-a-month Plus package includes ESPN, ESPN 2 and ABC, but you’ll need to move up to the $90-a-month Choice plan to get ESPNews. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available in your area.
Read our DirecTV Stream review.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism