The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), founded by MoCo natives Mike and Paul Rabil, and ESPN have reached a four-year media rights agreement that will span the network’s broadcast, cable and streaming platform.
The recently retired Paul Rabil is widely considered the face of lacrosse. He attended Watkins Mill for a year, crediting his only lacrosse season there for helping him fall in love with the game, before heading over to Dematha and then Johns Hopkins for his NCAA career.
Mike Rabil spent all four years at Watkins Mill and played college football at Dartmouth.
The brothers co-founded the league, where the Montgomery Village natives serve as President (Paul) and CEO (Mike) respectively.
The League’s fourth season is scheduled to begin on June 4, 2022, playing 47 games across 13 US cities, including All-Star, Playoffs, and Championship Weekend on September 17, 2022.
“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.”
PLL games will air exclusively across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN+, with all 47 games available to stream on ESPN+. More details, including game times, will be announced at a later date.
Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content, said: “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.”
“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.”
Burke Magnus, President of ESPN Programming and Original Content, said: “This agreement further cements leadership for ESPN in what is clearly a growth sport. Between professional, college and high school, ESPN is the home for lacrosse. The massive reach we will bring across our leading streaming and linear platforms – ABC, ESPN and ESPN+ is the cornerstone of this innovative deal with PLL, creating many opportunities to super-serve all lacrosse fans.”
Additional details on the 2022 season’s international distribution are forthcoming.
About Premier Lacrosse League
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) powered by Ticketmaster is a men’s professional lacrosse league in North America, composed of 8 teams rostered with the best players in the world. Co-founded by lacrosse superstar, philanthropist, and investor Paul Rabil and his brother, serial entrepreneur and investor, Mike Rabil, the Premier Lacrosse League is backed by an investment group composed of Joe Tsai Sports, Brett Jefferson Holdings, The Raine Group, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Chernin Group, Blum Capital, The Kraft Group, Arctos Sports Partners, and other top investors in sports and media. The PLL was named Sports Breakthrough of the Year in 2020 by the Sports Business Journal. In December 2020, the PLL and Major League Lacrosse (MLL) announced a merger with subsequent season operations and activities to formally exist under the PLL. For more information, visit www.premierlacrosseleague.com and follow on social media: Instagram (@PLL), Twitter (@PremierLacrosse), Facebook (@PremierLacrosseLeague), YouTube (YouTube.com/PLL) and TikTok (@pll).