Home Sports Caitlin Clark’s first WNBA meeting with Angel Reese flexed to ESPN

Caitlin Clark’s first WNBA meeting with Angel Reese flexed to ESPN

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Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese at the WNBA Draft held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024 in New York, New York. (Photo by Cora Veltman/Sportico via Getty Images)

One of the biggest oversights in WNBA television programming has been corrected.

The Indiana Fever’s first game against the Chicago Sky this season (read: Caitlin Clark’s first WNBA game against college rival Angel Reese) has been moved from NBA TV to ESPN. according to Sports Media Watch. The two teams will meet on June 1.

The measure is common sense on the part of ESPN. Clark has brought unprecedented attention to women’s basketball in recent months, and Iowa’s two games against Reese and LSU are a big reason why. The Hawkeyes’ victory over the Tigers last month drew 12.3 viewers on the same network, making it the most-watched women’s college basketball game of all time.

That record was broken twice in Iowa’s next two games, culminating with 18.7 million people tuning in for the championship game loss against South Carolina. Iowa-UConn’s 14.2 million viewers at the Final Four were the most-watched basketball game in history, whether men’s or women’s, college or professional.

The interest is not just in Clark. Reese’s preseason debut was not televised, but hundreds of thousands of people watched her play via a spontaneous live broadcast on X.

So it’s only natural that ESPN would want to capitalize on the Clark-Reese rivalry again now that both women are professionals. Reese achieved enormous fame after leading LSU to a national championship over Iowa last year, and there were no shortage of detractors for how he trash-talked Clark after she finished the game.

Both athletes have made it abundantly clear that there is no personal animosity behind their rivalry, and have even embraced their linked fortunes.

Clark has struggled so far in her WNBA career, with the Fever sitting at a lopsided 0-2 and their No. 1 overall pick shooting 7-for-23 (30.4%) from the field with 13 turnovers. It’s not really time to hit the panic button, however, as Clark is expected to handle ball-handling duties just one month after joining her team and 39 days since she finished her college career. . Diana Taurasi was not wrong.

As for Reese, the Sky lost their season opener 87-79 against the Dallas Wings on Wednesday. Taken seventh overall and paired in the paint with South Carolina star Kamilla Cardoso, Reese scored 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting with eight rebounds and two turnovers.

The June 1 showdown likely won’t feature a rematch between Clark and Cardoso, as the Brazilian giant will miss a significant amount of time with a shoulder injury.

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