On Thursday, ESPN and the NCAA announced that the 2023 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship would be moving from cable to broadcast.
Per a release, the championship match will air on ABC rather than ESPN in December. The semifinals will still air on ESPN.
Personnel from both ESPN and the NCAA talked about volleyball’s growth in recent years.
“NCAA women’s volleyball has been a focus of our overall growth efforts for some time now as we continue to build upon our deep commitment to women’s sports, and moving the championship to ABC is the next step in that strategy,” said Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director, Programming & Acquisitions. “With the additional coverage on our college networks and ESPN+ over the past several years, we now carry more than 2,500 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball matches each season. Adding ABC to the line-up will enhance our efforts to grow a sport with incredible talent and an already extremely loyal fanbase.”
“Airing the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship Match on ABC is indicative of the passionate following this great sport and these student athletes continue to garner and deserve, said Pauline Thiros, NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball committee chair. “The collaboration between ESPN, NCAA Championships staff, and NCAA Volleyball coaches to create greater exposure for Women’s Volleyball has been stellar, and will further enhance the experience for our athletes and audience alike in years to come. I am very optimistic about the future success of this event, and its position on major platforms. Kudos to ESPN and its executives for their commitment to showcasing the tremendous talent and athleticism NCAA Volleyball has to offer.”
The volleyball championship match will air at 3 PM ET on ABC Sunday, December 17th. The semifinals will take place Thursday, December 14th at 7 PM ET on ESPN, with the second match taking place a half hour after the end of the first.
Over the last couple of years, ESPN has been shifting a variety of events to ABC. This includes the women’s gymnastics championship in April, which drew its best viewership since 2007.