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The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

September 29, 2008 at 5:14 PM

ESPN drops ball — again

OK, so I tuned in to watch a major championship game between Detroit and New York this evening. Instead baseball was on. Even an hour later, baseball was on.
It’s understandable that the Chicago White Sox needs to win its matchup today against the Detroit Tigers in order to advance to the playoffs. And that baseball garners more ratings than the WNBA. But can we get an update? Can we even get a score on the crawl at the bottom of the screen? I’m all for keeping with the action, but not without telling the viewers that tuned in to watch the main programming set for that time slot what is going on.
The announcers kept saying, “For those who just joined us.” Gee, why are we joining you? Could it be to see the flipping basketball game? Once Chicago hit for a grand slam to take a 7-2 lead, ESPN2 could have switched to the WNBA Game 3 elimination game, but no. And no mention of an alternative, not even on the league’s Web site.
And you wonder why you don’t have fans. Pathetic. Plus, it’s another reason to worry about the sports conglomerate buying the rights to the WNBA. With this kind of treatment of a pivotal Eastern Conference championship game, it’s very easy to view that as a $30 million payoff to shut the league off.
The station is already doing just that.
UPDATE: The switch was finally made (after showing fireworks, of course), sending viewers to Game 3 with 3:37 remaining in the third quarter. Detroit led 51-40. It would have been nice to see the Liberty’s dramatic comeback since I know they were down by about 20, but that’s OK. The Sox get to live another day. Right.

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