• Loading stock data...
Monday, May 27, 2024

Angel Reese’s WNBA Preseason Debut Racks Up Millions of Views on Phone Stream

  • A fan decided to stream it on X and it quickly became a trending sensation.
  • Players and coaches ripped the league for its mistake.
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Angel Reese’s WNBA debut drew an enormous audience—from a fan’s cellphone. 

The Chicago Sky’s Friday preseason game against the Minnesota Lynx was unavailable to the masses after the WNBA mistakenly said it was available on its League Pass service. So a random fan took matters into her own hands. 

Alli Schneider, who runs the X account @heyheyitsalli, offered to stream the game after seeing that it couldn’t be viewed on League Pass or YouTube. The result was two million views by Saturday (according to the app’s metrics), multiple shout-outs from the game’s legends such as Brittney Griner and Sue Bird as well as coaches using it to wonder whether the league can meet its biggest moment. 

“The growth is happening so fast, it’s so accelerated,” said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve about the broadcast limits after the game. “Business as usual isn’t going to work anymore; you’re going to get left behind,” Reeve said about the league’s broadcasting limitations. “This is an example. … We have to capitalize on those things.”

Two million views—according to X’s self-reported metrics—on a stream that can be watched at any time isn’t the same as having as many average viewers on television. Game 4 of the 2023 Finals was watched by an average of 889,000 viewers, making it the league’s most-watched game in years. But the eye-popping numbers (more than 800,000 by midnight Friday) still show an appetite for the women’s game that the league failed to serve.

New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu didn’t hold back her thoughts on the situation when asked about it at the team’s media day Saturday. 

“I mean, it sucks,” Sabrina Ionescu said. “I think representation of every team is important. … Hopefully, the league can fix that because I think they dropped the ball on that part and hopefully they have a great explanation as to why that wasn’t televised. But hats off to the person that just figured it out.”

The mishap occurred while the WNBA is negotiating a new media-rights deal, in which it hopes to double its current deal, which pays the league $60 million. 

Minnesota won the game 92–81. Reese finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, while fellow rookie Kamilla Cardoso had six points and four rebounds off the bench for the Sky. 

The WNBA later apologized for its mistake on a post and used it as a way to promote Caitlin Clark’s preseason debut against the Dallas Wings, which was available on League Pass and sold out to more than 6,500 fans in Arlington. 

Schneider’s deed didn’t go unrewarded. In her postgame press conference, Reeve shouted out Schneider’s broadcast and said, “We should all send three bucks. Anybody who watched it should send three bucks.” Sure enough, Schneider tweeted her Cash App account out and replied that people were sending her money for her efforts. 

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Jan 11, 2024; Paris, FRANCE; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks before a NBA Game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers at AccorHotels Arena.

Adam Silver Is the Real Winner in the Battle for the NBA’s Rights Future

For the past decade, the commissioner has been playing chess, not checkers.
NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. Ncaahall 311477 Jpg

From Revenue-Sharing to Private Equity: Breaking Down the NCAA’s Historic Week

Commercialization of college sports has never been more evident than this week.
May 22, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) controls the ball against Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr. (55) in the fourth quarter during game one of the western conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center.

NBA Media-Rights Talks ‘in Fourth Quarter.’ Here’s What We Know

NBA heads into Memorial Day weekend without a new set of deals.

Not Every MLS Team Gets to Strike Gold With a Messi Visit

Lionel Messi won’t play in Saturday’s match against the Whitecaps.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

French Open Marks Transition in Tennis


Featured Today


‘This Is Semi-Pro’: Inside One Arena Football League Team’s Collapse

The collapse of the Georgia Force, as told by the players who lived it.
Michael Block signs autographs on the 18th hole during day three of practice for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.
May 19, 2024

‘I Prefer It This Way’: How Life Works for PGA Club Pros

Here’s how life works for the qualifiers at golf’s second major.
February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.
May 18, 2024

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.
May 14, 2024

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
EA Sports
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

Rare Indy 500 Rain Could Keep Odd Blackout Tradition Going

The local Indy 500 TV blackout has endured despite the NFL ending its blackout policy nearly a decade ago. 
May 23, 2024

MLB Weighs Media Overhaul As Manfred Deals With DSG Turmoil

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred criticizes all the key facets of DSG’s bankruptcy reorganization plan.
Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden (2)
May 23, 2024

Cheating Scandal and Media Rights Battle Loom Large Ahead of Indy 500

NBC and Fox remain the two main suitors for the media rights.

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
May 23, 2024

Fox Reveals Its Friday Night CFB Slate With a Few Notable Teams Absent

No Friday night games will feature defending national champions Michigan.
May 23, 2024

‘Morale Sucks’: Charles Barkley Blasts David Zaslav’s Historic Bungling of NBA Rights

Barkley speculated that Zaslav’s infamous comments may have cost TNT league rights.
Steve Kerr was teammates with Michael Jordan for five seasons with the Bulls, winning three championships. 2020-04-13 Kerr Jordan1
May 23, 2024

NBC’s Time With the NBA Was a ‘Perfect Storm.’ Will History Repeat Itself?

Bob Costas, Marv Albert discuss a reunion 22 years in the making.
May 23, 2024

All-NBA Voting Brings and Costs Young Stars $40 Million Raises

Two stars of the playoffs are now eligible for much larger extensions.