The WNBA has been given an opportunity to capitalize on a momentum shift in women’s basketball thanks to the entertaining and record-breaking draft class of Caitlin Clark, Kamilla Cardoso, Angel Reese, Cameron Brink and others.

The Liberty are excited to be a part of this new enthusiasm as the season begins while still keeping the league in check.

On Friday night, returning and new fans were unable to watch the pro debuts of Reese and Cardoso because their preseason game wasn’t available via WNBA League Pass.

Sabrina Ionescu handles the ball during the Liberty’s open practice on Saturday at Barclays Center. Michelle Farsi
That was until a fan inside the stadium pulled out her cell phone and started a live stream on X that collected over 800,000 views across almost two hours to help other fans watch the game.

The WNBA, which has had trouble marketing players from college to the pros, incorrectly displayed on the League Pass app that every preseason game would be available to watch.

The league later apologized in a post on X, but was met with only criticisms from fans.

“I mean, it sucks,” Sabrina Ionescu said at the Liberty’s Media Day on Saturday, which included an open practice attended by about 2,000 fans. “I think representation of every team is important. … Hopefully, the league can fix that because I think they dropped the ball on that part and hopefully they have a great explanation as to why that wasn’t televised. But hats off to the person that just figured it out.”

Jonquel Jones, a native of the Bahamas, is familiar with such issues.

The Liberty star center has mentioned several times her family’s trouble with streaming her games from home while paying for League Pass.

Being so close to Florida, they are still considered in a blackout area for an East Coast game while not being within the United States.

“You can’t build consistency if you don’t have a consistent schedule, right? The WNBA is the only professional league of the bigger professional leagues that makes their fans work so hard just to watch a game,” Jones explained. “You know you’re gonna watch ‘Monday Night Football.’ You know when football games are gonna come on. You know when NBA games are gonna come on. It’s a playoff game, nine times out of 10, the NBA game is going to be on TNT.”

On the other hand, the livestream numbers led Breanna Stewart to yelp, “What?!”

“It means people want to watch,” said the former MVP, who was recently marketed by the league in a commercial. “Making sure as many of these games are being able to be watched as possible.”

Head coach Sandy Brondello believes these new stars, along with the rivalry narratives that carry over from college and already exist within the league, including the Liberty’s own against the Aces, will hopefully draw more eyes.

She wanted to watch Cardoso and Reese on Friday night but tuned in for the debut of Clark, who “hit the ground running” and “just had a different jersey on, really.”

“That’s exciting for the league,” Brondello said. “We have the opportunity to continue to grow this league. It’s the best basketball players in the world and the visibility that we have on it, it’s an opportunity for us to go to the next level.”