To recognize International Women’s Day, the Toronto Raptors announced plans to have an all-female team of broadcasters for an upcoming telecast.
For their March 24 game against the Denver Nuggets, the Raptors broadcast on TSN will feature Meghan McPeak as their play-by-play voice and Canadian national star Kia Nurse providing color analysis. TSN anchor Kayla Grey will report from the sideline, while Kate Beirness and Amy Audibert will host and provide studio analysis. The five women are making history as the first all-female broadcast team in NBA history.
A native of Canada, McPeak currently works for Monumental Sports Network where she calls games for the Washington Mystics. Nurse is a WNBA player for the Phoenix Mercury. Grey is a reporter and anchor for TSN, while Beirness is the network’s sideline reporter for Raptors games and Audibert provides analysis for the team’s G League affiliate.
In 2018, McPeak became the first female broadcaster in more than three decades to provide play-by-play of an NBA game when she called a Washington Wizards preseason matchup. And on March 24, she’ll join Leandra Reilly Lardner as the only female broadcasters to call a regular-season NBA game. Lardner called a Nets-Sixers telecast in 1988.
“We wanted to highlight the contributions that women make individually — across so many broadcasts — by bringing them all together,” John Wiggins, Raptors vice-president of organizational diversity and inclusion, said in a statement. “Yes, we’re making a point. We hope this leads to more recognition of the many roles women play in pro sports. And we especially hope that one of the takeaways from this is for girls at home who see Meghan or Amy or Kayla, and think — hey, I could do that. There’s a place for me in sports.”
The NHL has similarly had all-female broadcasts to recognize International Women’s Day. On Monday, the NHL Network’s studio show NHL Now was co-hosted by an all-female crew for the fourth consecutive year. And last season, NBCSN presented a Blues-Blackhawks game with an all-female broadcast, both on-air and behind-the-scenes.
Although it’s still uncommon, female announcers have begun to break through the male dominated sportscasting industry to work as NBA game analysts. Longtime industry trailblazer Doris Burke is now recognized as one of ESPN’s top game analysts for their NBA coverage. Stephanie Ready with the Hornets, Ann Meyers with the Suns, Kara Lawson for the Wizards and Sarah Kustok with the Nets are other female broadcasters to work as NBA game analysts in recent years.
Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football
“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years.
Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.
“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.
“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.