Chris Berman, who joined ESPN a month after it launched in 1979, has signed a new multiyear deal with the sports TV giant. The deal, announced on Berman’s 66th birthday Monday, includes a new gig hosting NFL PrimeTime on ESPN Plus, a weekly highlights show. Meanwhile the final whistle was blown on another ESPN veteran. SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne tweeted that he is leaving ESPN, calling himself a “salary cap casualty.”
A first look at Disney’s new Digital Center 3 (DC3) in The Woodlands, Texas, a massive, 187,000-square-foot plant consolidating playout, transmission and media operations. (Sam Exley photo)
The $113 billion deal
announced by the NFL and media companies last Thursday spreads professional football content broadly, with CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, ESPN and Amazon all getting pieces, and locks it in at a time little else can attract such a wide audience. “If you think of the future of network television, there is nothing more important to it than the NFL,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst for LightShed Partners, an industry research firm. During the current television season, the eight most-watched recurring programs are football.
Hockey will return in a big way to Walt Disney’s ESPN in a new seven-year deal that breaks NBCUniversal’s dominance of the sport’s TV rights and makes some National Hockey League games available for streaming in broader fashion. ESPN’s new deal with the NHL will last from the 2021-22 season through the 2027-28 season, the network announced today.
The FCC has officially approved requests from CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and ESPN to be exempt from audio description rules that are required of top national non-broadcast networks, based on the amount of non-live linear programming the networks offer per calendar quarter. However, there is an exception available for networks that don’t air at least 50 hours per quarter of primetime programming that is not live or near-live.
ESPN has re-signed Rece Davis to a multiyear contract that will keep him in place as host of the network’s popular Saturday college football pregame show. The network announced the deal Monday. Davis, 55, is entering his seventh year as host of ESPN’s “College GameDay.” He told The Associated Press this new deal will take […]
ESPN Podcasts reports strong growth in 2020, with downloads growing 28% to nearly 500,000,000, a new record (499.3 million). The old mark was set a year ago. The strongest month was September. ESPN set a record with 50.1 million downloads (up 45% from 2019) while the combined network of ESPN-ABC-FiveThirtyEight-National Geographic totaled more than ever with 67.3M […]
When Jimmy Pitaro got the job of running ESPN in 2018, it was a dream come true for the lifelong sports fan. But the reality of running ESPN has been a far different story, as Pitaro has found himself presiding over a network in decline. ESPN last November laid off 300 people, about 6% of its workforce, a gut-wrenching move for what was once the profit engine of Walt Disney Co. Now ESPN is considering selling small parts of its business.
Alabama’s 52-24 rout of Ohio State in the College Football National Championship game drew 18.7 million viewers for ESPN’s family of networks on Monday. That puts it on pace to be the least-viewed championship game in college football’s era of staging an end-of-season matchup to determine the national champion.
Even though games may look the same, most of the processes around broadcasting the games have changed. Interviews for pregame features are being done remotely, announcers are socially distanced while being separated by plexiglass, and sideline reporters are in the stands.
One of the most recognizable figures in sports news, ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt announced on his Twitter account Thursday that he has contracted the coronavirus and will be taking some time off.
ESPN and Major League Baseball are closing in on a TV deal that would provide the network exclusive rights to the first round of the playoffs. Now all that is needed is a first round of the playoffs. That needs to be negotiated between MLB and the Players Association, which is to say that, while an ESPN-MLB deal is close, they are still far from knowing when — and even if — there will be playoffs expanded from 10 to likely 14 teams to include a best-of-three first round.
A new 10-year deal makes ESPN the exclusive media rights holder of SEC football and men’s basketball, and will end the conference’s relationship with CBS after three decades. CBS has been airing the league’s Saturday afternoon centerpiece game and football championship since 1996.
The AKC National Championship will be presented on ABC for the next three years under an agreement between the American Kennel Club and ESPN announced Monday.
Getting return video to talent in the field, particularly those working from at-home studios, has been one of remote production’s biggest challenges. Japan’s Techno Mathematical Co. (TMC) is using low-latency encoding and decoding technology that has become indispensable for the likes of NBC and CBS stations. Above, By using a TMC encoder, WCBS New York is able to keep the end-to-end delay low enough to allow meteorologist Lonnie Quinn to present the weather map remotely from his home Weather Barn.
As part of a “megacast” of a wild-card playoff game in January, ESPN will produce a version of the telecast for Freeform, Disney’s cable network targeted at young women. The game will also air on ESPN, ABC, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN is turning to a familiar face to women’s basketball fans for its top college broadcast team. Ryan Ruocco is joining Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe for the lead announcing team this season. Ruocco has worked with Lobo and Rowe on the network’s WNBA coverage for the past eight years. “It […]
ESPN has re-set its senior executive team in the wake of Connor Schell’s exit and Jodi Markley’s retirement. (Oh yeah, and those 500 cut jobs last week.)
ESPN’s chief said the Disney sports-media division would eliminate 500 positions – 300 employees and 200 posts that are currently unfilled – in a bid to free up resources for streaming, digital and other kinds of video experiences designed for the new ways fans are engaging with sports.
Once Disney’s cash cow, the cable giant is shedding linear subscribers while the high cost of live sports rights is hindering its transition to a direct-to-consumer future.
Joe Morgan, the Hall of Fame second baseman and sparkplug of the Cincinnati Reds’ Big Red Machine who went on to spend more than two decades as an ESPN analyst alongside Jon Miller, died Sunday. He was 77.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC averaged 1,836,000 viewers for 16 broadcasts in Major League Baseball’s expanded wild-card round, drawing far more viewers for 16 games but an average down vastly from the single-knockout contests in previous years.
Dialing up its wagering efforts around sports, ESPN has made two separate sports betting partnerships — one each with DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment to promote sports gambling content. ESPN will offer content linked to both gambling companies’ sports booking operations.
On the heels of the opening of its new studio on the Las Vegas Strip and the return of its sports betting television program Daily Wager, ESPN is expanding its sports betting footprint with Monday’s debut of Bet, a new half-hour program that will stream three nights per week on digital platforms. Also on Monday, ESPN is […]