Speed Reads

They're playing basketball!

The WNBA just signed a huge airtime deal with CBS Sports

And they said playing ball like a girl was a bad thing...

CBS Sports Network announced on Monday that it will broadcast 40 WNBA games when the season begins next month. This multiyear deal is a major win for the women's league, as it will double its national TV exposure, reports ESPN.

"We are truly excited to partner with the WNBA, bringing the country's premier women's sports league to CBS Sports Network. This partnership is one of the biggest and most impactful women's sports programming arrangements ever at CBS Sports," said CBS Sports chair Sean McManus.

The WNBA's 23rd season opens on May 24, with the matchup between the Minnesota Lynx and the Chicago Sky on March 25 being the first to air on the CBS Sports Network. This new deal is just another addition to the WNBA's already budding network, which has ESPN showing 16 regular-season telecasts, reports ESPN.

Each year, the WNBA's average viewership steadily increases. In 2018, the league's following across ESPN2 and NBA TV went up 31 percent.

Smaller details of the deal are still being finalized. It's unclear how the WNBA will choose which games to air on ESPN versus CBS Sports after this year, and there are still discussions about expanding the coverage to include features and other WNBA programming.

Either way, this seems like the first official win of the season.