The WNBA released details Wednesday about its inaugural Commissioner's Cup competition and a multiyear streaming deal with Amazon Prime, which will show the Cup championship game.
The Commissioner's Cup is an in-season competition that designates a portion of regular-season games in the first half of the season -- 10 per team, 60 total -- to count toward Cup standings. The Cup will have prize money of $500,000.
The Cup games will be the first home game and first road game each team plays against its five conference rivals. The standings then determine an Eastern Conference team and a Western Conference team to meet for the championship.
The WNBA takes a break for the Summer Olympics starting on July 12. The Cup championship will be Aug. 12, four days after the end of the Tokyo Games, and then the season resumes Aug. 15.
Members of the Cup's winning team can earn in excess of $30,000 per player, with the runner-up team getting $10,000 per player. The game's MVP will earn an additional $5,000.
"To have the Commissioner's Cup come to life in this historic 25th WNBA season is a testament to the players, fans, partners and WNBA teams who have supported and driven innovation at the league," WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. "Together, we view the Commissioner's Cup not just as a compelling competition, but as a multi-faceted platform designed to drive opportunities for broader fan engagement, create additional interest around our regular-season games, convene around equity and equality themes in our WNBA markets and provide the players with an opportunity to earn significant cash compensation."
The WNBA regular-season standings, though, are not divided by conference. The playoff format will continue to have the top two overall teams getting a double-bye into a best-of-five seminal series. The third- and fourth-place teams get a bye into the single-elimination second round, and teams 5-8 play single-elimination first-round games.
The partnership with Amazon Prime adds 16 more regular-season games to be shown, along with league's previously announced games to be broadcast on the ABC/ESPN networks, NBA TV, CBS and CBS Sports Network, Facebook and Twitter. Prime's game of the week schedule begins May 29.
The WNBA season starts Friday. ABC will feature an opening-weekend doubleheader Saturday, as Chicago meets Washington at 1 p.m. ET and Seattle faces Las Vegas at 3 p.m.