July 27, 2022 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Did Las Vegas Aces just show how to win a WNBA title? Or are Chicago Sky favorites? 

James speaks with host Howard about the television deal for the game and the atmosphere in Wintrust Arena

It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. This episode features host Howard Megdal and Live from the Commissioner’s Cup, The Next‘s Chicago Sky beat reporter James Kay takes us inside what the 93-83 victory from the Las Vegas Aces over the Sky felt like inside the arena.

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James talks about the atmosphere in Wintrust Arena for the Commissioner’s Cup game:

“You know, it was great to see all the people in Chicago come out to Philip Wintrust. I think it was just a tick below 9,000 people at the game. So, on a Tuesday night, when you have Wintrust that full, even when it’s 7,000 fans, it’s loud in there. I mean, it felt like a playoff game, probably maybe a tick below that too. But at the same time, both of these teams wanted to win.

But you know, Candace Parker and A’ja Wilson both talked about wanting to get that money. And I think that’s so important to the players right now when you’re not paid your full worth and to get paid in other ways. So yeah, it felt like a playoff game.”

James talks about whether the Commissioner’s Cup game should be on a more visible TV Network rather than Amazon Prime:

“I think it’s great to have multiple platforms that are willing to invest in the WNBA, or women’s sports in general when it comes to TV deals. But, at the same time, I like my content to be more centralized. And one of the things that it’s so difficult is because Amazon is also a controversial place for people to watch. People don’t want to sign up for Amazon Video because of who is attached to it.

But I think you can’t have like nine different places to watch games and expect to have your audience be able to invest in every single thing. It’s tough. We talked about cutting the cord; it feels like we’re going back to it by having to sign up for all these different packages. And I think that is not a WNBA issue, that it’s just something that streaming services are going to have to come back at a certain point.”

Make sure to subscribe to Locked on Women’s Basketball, where we have new shows every weekday.

For more of James’s coverage of the Chicago Sky, click here.

Written by The Next


  1. M. Edward (Ed) Borasky on July 27, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    I signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime just so I could watch the Commissioner’s Cup game. The experience is … well … awful! The game broadcast was fine, but when the game isn’t on, there is nothing but advertisements for other Amazon Video content. Most of it looked like stuff I wouldn’t pay to watch or even watch for free with ads.

    Giving Amazon an exclusive deal on the Commissioner’s Cup and other games was a mistake as far as I’m concerned. The league deserves better and the marketing arm of the league ought to be making phone calls to actual television networks until they get a decent deal.

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