If you’re a sports fan, watching or listening to your favorite team when they play is key to being a fan. As someone who loves sports, but also has twenty-plus years as a sportscaster, fifteen at the college level, I understand all too well the broadcast rights and fees in place so games can be broadcast to their fans. 

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Sports may be a game to some, but to those who work in it, it’s a business. It’s how they pay their bills. The NCAA, the NFL, MLB the NBA, and the NHL all take their broadcast rights very seriously.  

Back in 2002, when the NBA launched what they called “The Developmental League” or “The D-League", Asheville North Carolina was selected to have a team housed there, which was called “The Asheville Altitude”.  

The radio stations I broadcast high school football for landed the “broadcast rights” to air their games.  After submitting a cassette tape to the NBA, I was selected to broadcast some of the Asheville games. The league had to approve all broadcasters before they would be allowed to call a game.

Let’s fast forward to last Friday. The Minnesota Lynx, of course in the WNBA, was playing their opening preseason game. The game was not to be televised, but a longtime fan of the team decided she would do something about that. 

Alli Schneider pulled out her phone and streamed the game over X (twitter). Over 200,000 people watched the broadcast of the game. The Twitter stream quality wasn’t TV quality, but as you can see, you can see the game pretty well and follow the game.  


The game featured three of the biggest names from the recent WNBA draft, Angel Reece and Kamilla Cardoso for Chicago and Alissa Pili for the Lynx.  

Now remember, I’ve seen firsthand how the NBA protects the rights to its products. How was this allowed to continue? Even at the college level, there was normally someone monitoring social media to see what was being said and put out on social platforms. 

It’s a little hard to believe that no one from the league or the team realized this was happening. To broadcast some high school playoff games, broadcast fees must be paid. At the college level, the NCAA gets paid for broadcast fees for playoff games too.  

I understand that the game that was streamed didn’t have broadcasters, but the PA announcer could be heard, so knowing who scored and committed fouls was easily heard.  

I think this can serve as evidence that people do care about women’s sports, especially after the success of the College basketball season and the Caitlyn Clark craze.  

What will come from this? We’ll see I suppose. 200,000 people may have seen the video on Friday, the video has been viewed over two and a half million times since then.  

And the WNBA and of course, the NBA are still getting plenty of attention, even if no one paid for it.  


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