Hearts must have jumped in the mouths of people working the ESPN broadcast control room in the dying seconds of Game Four of the WNBA Finals.
20.9 seconds remained in the game with the Las Vegas Aces leading the New York Liberty 70-69. Vegas also had a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five series – with a victory in Wednesday’s game securing them a title.
But after Aces coach Becky Hammon called timeout, the ESPN broadcast appeared to glitch – looping the same five seconds of a stoppage in action over and over again.
The issue persisted for about 50 seconds or so – stopping just before the Aces were getting ready to inbound the ball.
Speaking to the New York Post, an ESPN spokesperson confirmed that the broadcast experienced technical difficulties.
A glitch in ESPN’s broadcast kept showing this scene on a loop at a crucial moment in the game
The broadcast was fixed before the Aces inbounded and A’Ja Wilson (22) had her shot blocked
But the Aces held on – winning Game Four and the team’s second-straight WNBA title
‘We had a technical issue during a timeout, and we were able to address it before the teams returned to game action,’ the spokesperson said.
Coming out of that timeout, the Aces inbounded the ball to star forward A’Ja Wilson – who had her shot blocked from behind by New York’s Breanna Stewart with 18.1 seconds remaining and the clock running.
But unfortunately for the Liberty, Courtney Vandersloot missed a game-winning 3-point attempt and the Aces won their second-straight WNBA title.
‘That would have been nice to go play Game 5 and then lay it all out on the table. But you know what, credit to Vegas. They were down and they found a way,’ Liberty coach Sandy Brondello told reporters after the loss. ‘We fought, but it wasn’t our best game today and so it’ll be a hard one to learn from.’
‘We just didn’t have it tonight. Vegas really exploited us,’ Brondello added.