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.