HomeSportsCaitlin Clark's first WNBA meeting with Angel Reese aired on ESPN

Caitlin Clark’s first WNBA meeting with Angel Reese aired on ESPN

One of the biggest oversights in the WNBA’s television schedule has been fixed.

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. Both teams will face each other on June 1.

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

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

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The interest is not just in Clark. Reese’s preseason debut wasn’t televised, but hundreds of thousands of people watched her play via an impromptu livestream on X.

So it’s only natural that ESPN would want to capitalize on the Clark-Reese rivalry again now that both women are pros. Reese rose to prominence after leading LSU to a national championship over Iowa last year, and there was also no shortage of takers for the way she outed Clark as the game ended.

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

Clark has struggled thus far in her WNBA career, with the Fever going a lopsided 0-2 and their No. 1 overall pick shooting 7 of 23 (30.4%) from the field with 13 turnovers. It’s not really time to hit the panic button, however, as Clark is not expected to take on ball-handling duties until a month after joining her team and 39 days after her collegiate career ends. Diana Taurasi wasn’t wrong.

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As for Reese, the Sky dropped their season opener 87-79 to the Dallas Wings on Wednesday. Reese placed seventh overall and was paired with South Carolina star Kamilla Cardoso. He scored 12 points on 5-for-14 shooting with eight rebounds and two turnovers.

The June 1 match is unlikely to feature a rematch between Clark and Cardoso as the Brazilian big will miss a significant amount of time with a shoulder injury.

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