This league proves that she's got game, too. Created by the National Basketball Association in 1996, the WNBA operates the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), comprised of 12 professional teams throughout the US that play from May through September after the NBA wraps its season. Several of the league's teams are controlled by current NBA franchise owners and most share the same arenas as their men's league counterparts. The WNBA governs league operations, regulates franchise ownership, and negotiates broadcasting rights and marketing sponsorships. Its games are broadcast on Walt Disney's ABC and ESPN networks, as well as on NBA TV.
While men's professional basketball continues to enjoy popularity and high TV ratings, enthusiasm for the women's game has steadily declined since the inaugural WNBA season. The lack of fan support and sponsorship revenue has made it difficult for many franchises to continue. In 2009 the Sacramento Monarchs was shuttered by Sacramento Kings owners Joe and George Maloof. That same year the Detroit Shock franchise was sold by Palace Sports & Entertainment to investor Bill Cameron and relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Other former WNBA franchises include the Cleveland Rockers (folded in 2003), the Miami Sol (2002), and the Portland Fire (2002).