With International Women’s Day on Monday, the NBA announced an upcoming special broadcast that will feature an all-female broadcast crew.
TSN’s Toronto Raptors broadcast on March 24 will have Meghan McPeak on play-by-play with Canadian national star and Nia Nurse as the analyst. TSN anchor and reporter Kayla Grey will do the sideline reporting, while Kate Bierness and Amy Audibert will host and provide studio analysis. The four will comprise the first all-female broadcast team in NBA history.
McPeak regularly calls play-by-play for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the Capital City Go-Go, the Wizard’s G League affiliate. Nurse plays for the Phoenix Mercury and made the WNBA All-Star team with the New York Liberty in 2019. Grey is a regular anchor for TSN, Bierness is the usual sideline reporter for TSN’s Raptors telecasts, and Audibert is the analyst for Toronto’s G League affiliate, Raptors 905.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 8, 2021
“I’m really excited. And really looking forward to this,” McPeak told The Athletic’s David Aldridge. “As a little mixed girl growing up, there was no representation for me in Canada. To have five women of different backgrounds, and three of which are Black women in sports on their televisions, is probably one of the craziest full-circle moments I’ve had in my career.”
McPeak joins Leandra Reilly Lardner as female broadcasters who have called a regular-season NBA game. (Lardner did play-by-play for a Nets-Sixers game in 1988 for SportsChannel America.) Her assignment comes nearly three years after calling a Washington Wizards preseason telecast for Monumental Sports Network. (Monumental Sports Network had to sign off on McPeak working the TSN broadcast, of which general manager Zach Leonsis was “incredibly supportive.”)
In recent years, female broadcasters have been analysts on NBA broadcasts, most notably Doris Burke being one of ESPN and ABC’s top commentators. Stephanie Ready has provided analysis for Charlotte Hornets telecasts, with Ann Meyers performing a similar role for the Phoenix Suns. Kara Lawson was previously an analyst for the Wizards and Sarah Kustok was on the Brooklyn Nets broadcasts.
“Yes, we’re making a point,” said John Wiggins, the Raptors’ vice-president of organizational diversity and inclusion. “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 had all-female broadcast teams for special broadcasts commemorating International Women’s Day. Monday’s NHL Now studio show on NHL Network was co-hosted by Jamie Hersch, Lauren Gardner, Jackie Redmond and Kendall Coyne Schofield. And last season, NBCSN featured an all-female crew for its Blues-Blackhawks telecast.