When the Atlanta Dream and Minnesota Lynx tip off Game 1 of the WNBA Finals (Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), the mics will be hot.
Coaches and officials will be wearing live microphones during the action to help provide unique access to the court as the WNBA champion is crowned.
“The inside information we obtain from being part of the huddle provides the telecast with an opportunity to inform the viewer like no other sport,” says ESPN producer Mandy Cohen.
Thirteen cameras will be used throughout the Finals, including two above the rim and a roving floor camera that will give fans more access. The floor camera will provide a unique on-court view, mainly during free-throw attempts. An EStrator telestrator system, same as that used by the Monday Night Football crew, will be in place for color commentator Rebecca Lobo on-site and analyst Carolyn Peck in the studio.
A new open was created for the WNBA Finals on ESPN/ESPN2, featuring moments from the first 15 years of the Finals, as well as insights voiced by some of the top players in the league’s history, including Lisa Leslie and Sue Bird.
Pam Ward will call Game 1 with Lobo and reporter Heather Cox. Terry Gannon will take over play-by-play duties for the remainder of the five-game series, partnering with Lobo and Cox. In the studio, Cindy Brunson will host ESPN’s coverage with Peck.
ESPN.com and espnW will join forces to provide fans with live coverage and postgame analysis throughout the Finals. Lead contributor Mechelle Voepel, Michelle Smith, Joanne Gerstner, Pat Borzi, and Adena Andrews will supply the content. Multimedia initiatives including video features and interactive fan polls will also accompany regular game previews and an