ESPN’s 28th WNBA Season Tips Off with Highly Anticipated Doubleheader, Tuesday, May 14

WNBA

ESPN’s 28th WNBA Season Tips Off with Highly Anticipated Doubleheader, Tuesday, May 14

Season-Opening Doubleheader on ESPN2, ESPN+ and Disney+ Highlights Caitlin Clark’s Debut

WNBA Countdown Presented by Google Expands Coverage

ESPN, which has presented the WNBA since the league’s inception in 1997, will once again feature a full slate of regular season games presented by Google during its 28th season, in addition to being the exclusive home of the entire WNBA postseason. Regular season coverage begins Tuesday, May 14, with the WNBA Tip Off Presented by CarMax doubleheader on ESPN2, ESPN+, and for the first time ever on Disney+.

Season-Opening Doubleheader Highlights Caitlin Clark’s Debut (ESPN2, ESPN+, Disney+, ESPN Deportes)

WNBA Tip-Off Presented by CarMax will feature a doubleheader on Tuesday, May 14, as Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm makes her historic debut with the Indiana Fever, alongside a roster that features 2023 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston, visiting the Connecticut Sun (ESPN2, ESPN+, Disney+, ESPN Deportes, 7:30 p.m. ET). The Sun are led by Alyssa Thomas, the 2023 Kia WNBA MVP runner-up and the league’s all-time triple-doubles leader, and DeWanna Bonner, a five-time All-Star whose 6,881 career points rank third among active players.

Veteran play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers Rebecca Lobo, and Holly Rowe — in their 12th season together – will call the action from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

ESPN will utilize a WNBA Finals-level production setup for Indiana’s first game to document Clark’s debut. Comprehensive coverage will feature multiple camera angles, including Below and Above the Rim Cam viewing options, roving RF handheld cameras, and player mics.

In the second game of the night, the Las Vegas Aces – led by two-time Kia WNBA Most Valuable Player A’ja Wilson, begin their quest for a three-peat when they host the Phoenix Mercury, led by WNBA career points leader Diana Taurasi, and nine-time All-Star Brittney Griner (10 p.m.). Tiffany Greene, Hall of Famer Debbie Antonelli, and Angel Gray will have the call in Las Vegas.

Coverage of the WNBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax continues Saturday, May 18, with a star-studded ABC doubleheader. Action tips off with the New York Liberty’s home opener led by 2023 Kia WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart, 2021 Kia WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones, 2023 All-WNBA Second Team selection Sabrina Ionescu and seven-time WNBA assists leader Courtney Vandersloot, welcoming Indiana (ABC, 1 p.m.).  The second matchup at 3 p.m. will see the Los Angeles Sparks, with 2024 WNBA Draft picks Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson, the No. 2 and No. 4 overall selections, respectively, traveling to face Las Vegas in their first away game.

ESPN’s WNBA Tip Off presented by CarMax May 14 & May 18 Schedule (Full ESPN schedule here):

Date Time Game Platform
Tue, May 14

 

7 p.m. WNBA Countdown Presented by Google

 

LaChina Robinson, Monica McNutt, Carolyn Peck

ESPN2, Disney+, ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Indiana Fever at Connecticut Sun

 

Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe

ESPN2, Disney+, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes
9:30 p.m. WNBA Countdown Presented by Google

 

LaChina Robinson, Monica McNutt, Carolyn Peck

ESPN2, Disney+, ESPN+
10 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Las Vegas Aces

Tiffany Greene, Debbie Antonelli, Angel Gray

ESPN2, Disney+, ESPN+,  ESPN Deportes

 

 

Sat, May 18

 

12:30 p.m. WNBA Countdown Presented by Google

 

Elle Duncan, Chiney Ogwumike, Andraya Carter

ABC
1 p.m. Indiana Fever at New York Liberty ABC, ESPN Deportes
3 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Las Vegas Aces ABC, ESPN Deportes

WNBA Countdown Presented by Google Expands Coverage

As part of ESPN’s continued effort to expand its WNBA storytelling, WNBA Countdown Presented by Google, ESPN’s pregame show, will feature two distinct desks for its ESPN and ABC broadcasts throughout the regular season. LaChina Robinson will host ESPN’s broadcasts, joined by analysts Monica McNutt, and Carolyn Peck, former WNBA head coach & GM and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer, while ABC’s broadcasts will feature a new hosting team led by SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan, Chiney Ogwumike and Andraya Carter 

The first regular season edition of WNBA Countdown Presented by Google pre-game show will originate live from Mohegan Sun preceding Indiana at Connecticut and feature Robinson, McNutt, and Peck on the desk (7 p.m. Disney+, ESPN2, ESPN+). A second edition includes coverage of the Aces Championship Ring Ceremony and Championship Banner Unveiling (Disney+, ESPN2, ESPN+, 9:30 p.m.).

Duncan, Ogwumike, and Carter will make their WNBA Countdown on ABC debut Saturday, May 18, preceding the Indiana Fever at the New York Liberty game (ABC, 12:30 p.m.).

Throughout the season, ESPN’s in-game presentation will also lean heavily into access with live audio from mic’d players, first and third quarter player interviews, live in-game talk-backs with coaches and enhanced storytelling elements.

ESPN Studio Shows/Features  

In addition to this week’s games, ESPN studio shows will highlight the WNBA Tip-Off week. Coverage will include:

SportsCenter

  • Rebecca Lobo analyzes the league’s levels from super teams to the incoming rookie class.
  • Indiana Fever schedule essay – Indiana Fever selected Caitlin Clark as their No. 1 pick last month. Clark’s popularity is currently unprecedented in sports as SportsCenter Cristina Alexander examines what games and matchups will be must-see when the WNBA season tips off. The piece airs Monday, May 13 on SportsCenter.
  • Angel Reese marketability – From LSU and Bayou Barbie to the Chicago Sky and Chi Barbie, rookie Angel Reese is using her brand appeal to secure a variety of endorsement deals. ESPN’s Michele Steele spoke to Reese for a feature that will air Tuesday, May 14, on the of SportsCenter.
  • Women’s basketball reporter Alexa Philippou will provide coverage from site in Uncasville beginning with the 2pm edition of SportsCenter, Tuesday, May 14.
  • ESPN’s Michele Steele will provide coverage of the Indiana Fever’s home opener on Thursday, May 16, beginning with the 2pm edition of SportsCenter.

NBA Today will continue to cover Caitlin Clark and the start of her rookie season, including a live report from the Indiana Fever’s first game on May 14th against the Connecticut Sun. On opening day and throughout the season, NBA Today will feature commentary and exclusive breakdowns from former WNBA player and #1 Draft Pick, Chiney Ogwumike. Andraya Carter will also contribute to the WNBA coverage on NBA Today. Additionally, the show will include a regular feature, “WNBA Today,” highlighting key WNBA storylines, along with live interviews and reports.

Season Long Multiplatform Coverage & Support for the W

ESPN’s WNBA digital/social pregame show, WNBA Hoop Streams Presented by Google, will return for the 2024 season with the first show dropping Tuesday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m., on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and the ESPN App. Sam Ravech will serve as host, alongside Ari ChambersChristine Williamson will serve as the regular host throughout the season, alongside Chambers, Lobo, and other recurring talent.

The WNBA on Andscape

As the WNBA and its stars – A’ja Wilson, Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart, Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, and more – emerge as tastemakers for the Culture, Andscape has beefed up its team of journalists and contributors covering the league in 2024. Critically acclaimed women’s sports commentator Ari Chambers, who debuted on Andscape at the 2024 WNBA draft in April, joins Sean Hurd and Mia Berry, journalists at the Black content studio, to cover the league.

Ahead of the WNBA season opener, Cayla Sweazie explored the on- and off-the-court momentum the 2024 Draft class brings to the league. Opening week content:

  • Chambers, on site for the Las Vegas Aces’ preseason game against Puerto Rico in Columbia, S.C., provides commentary on the WNBA’s need for more diverse representation and coverage amid Clark’s arrival to the league.
  • Hurd and Berry tip off the season with top storylines – ranging from Caitlin Clark’s top competition for Rookie of the Year to how the new chartered flights will impact the league.

All season, ESPN Social will cover the biggest moments and stars in the game across Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, and X. In addition to highlights and stats, our platforms will keep social users updated on players’ impact off the court. Social producers will be at key games, including Tuesday’s matchup between the Fever and Sun, providing courtside angles and unique access. The Social team will highlight key upcoming games while updating users on standings, power rankings, fantasy news, final scores, and game stats.

ESPN.com will provide comprehensive coverage throughout the season, including live game coverage, breaking news, and analysis.  Digital coverage continues to count down toward the start of the season with multiple pieces previewing 2024, including Michael Voepel’s WNBA Power Rankings (to be updated every Monday all season), while Alexa Philippou will write every Friday on trends around the league. Kevin Pelton will also serve as a regular contributor.

Additional ESPN.com stories planned for opening week:

  • Predict the participants in the WNBA Playoffs presented by Google, the matchup for the WNBA Finals presented by YouTube TV, and the eventual champion, as well as all the major individual awards
  • Ranking the top 25 players in the league (a list that will be updated every month of the season)
  • Introducing users to ESPN’s WNBA Basketball Power Index and outlining its “top predictions for 2024”
  • Continued tracking of the battle for the Kia WNBA MVP award, the Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year award and other end-of-season honors.

ESPN+ Original Series Full Court Press Presented by State Farm featuring Caitlin Clark, Kamilla Cardoso and Kiki Rice premieres May 11 & 12 on ABC and ESPN+.  The new four-part series from Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions and Words & Pictures in partnership with ESPN+ will feature exclusive interviews and unparalleled behind-the-scenes access documenting elite collegiate women’s basketball stars from current record-breaking season.

ESPN Deportes
Mirroring the overall ESPN regular season and playoff schedule, a full slate of Spanish-language WNBA game telecasts will again be available on ESPN Deportes and via the ESPN App, including the Opening Night Doubleheader.

ESPN Fantasy Women’s Basketball, the first-ever season-long fantasy game dedicated to a major women’s sport, returns for its third year.  ESPN Fantasy Women’s Basketball is a full-scale fantasy game with customizable settings for the number of teams per league, player rosters, and public and private league options, as well as ESPN+ Exclusive Leagues, available only to ESPN+ subscribers. New features for 2024 include more options for league managers to customize their leagues by changing the length of playoff rounds, reseeding after each playoff round, locking non-playoff teams from adding/dropping players or making trades, and more. Like other industry-leading ESPN Fantasy games, ESPN Fantasy Women’s Basketball is free to play and supported by analytical tools and editorial insights to help fans with their drafts, manage rosters, make trades, and more. ESPN Fantasy Women’s Basketball is available to play in the ESPN Fantasy App for iOS and Android.

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