ESPN has big plans for Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut

    Caitlin Clark is already arguably one of the most recognizable faces in sports. As such, ESPN will treat the former Iowa star’s regular-season WNBA debut like the massive deal it is. 

    With the tip-off of the 2024 WNBA season quickly approaching on May 14, the network recently announced exciting details about how it plans to cover Clark’s first game with the Indiana Fever. 

    According to a press release, “ESPN will utilize a WNBA Finals-level production setup for Indiana’s first game to document Clark’s debut.” 

    ESPN’s “comprehensive coverage” will include multiple camera angles, rim cameras above and below, and shots from roving handheld cameras. Meanwhile, player mics will pick up any interesting chit-chat on the court. 

    In addition to ESPN’s coverage of Clark on the court, Prime Video will provide analysis with pre-game, halftime and postgame shows. 

    There will also be several options to watch the Fever’s opener against the Connecticut Sun, which will be viewable on ESPN2, ESPN+, Disney+ and ESPN Deportes. 

    ABC will feature Clark again four days later, broadcasting the New York Liberty’s home opener against the Fever in a Saturday matinee, beginning at 1 p.m. 

    ESPN isn’t the only network going all out to showcase Clark. Recently, 12 television markets across Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa and Kentucky agreed to broadcast 17 Fever games for free this season. According to Reuters, the games will be available to 4.6 million homes. 

    With the recent boom in women’s sports, the expanded coverage of Clark’s debut isn’t without merit, as she’s already proven to be a huge draw. 

    Before more than 13,000 fans showed up to watch her home preseason debut for the Fever on Thursday night, millions of viewers tuned in to watch her star in college. 

    Clark’s last regular season game as a Hawkeye had more viewers than an NBA contest between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. Likewise, ratings for Iowa’s wins in the Elite Eight (12.3M viewers) and Final Four (14.2M) broke records. Meanwhile, the women’s national championship game between Iowa and South Carolina outdrew the men’s title game

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