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ESPN Layoffs: Jayson Stark & Trent Dilfer Among Several Big Names Let Go By Sports Giant – Update

UPDATED, 4:50 PM: Longtime baseball guy Jayson Stark and veteran NFL analysts Ed Werder and Trent Dilfer are among the dozens of on-air talent and writers laid off by ESPN today. Also out are such familiar names as NHL analyst Scott Burnside, legal analyst Roger Cossack and Dodgers reporter Doug Padilla, along with SportsCenter anchors Jade McCarthy, Jaymee Sire, Chris Hassel, Jay Crawford and Darren Hayes. ESPN did not release a list people who were laid off — including… Read

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Los Angeles Chargers Line Up Broadcast Partners

Having survived the move north up the 5 Freeway, the Los Angeles Chargers have announced their broadcast partners for Season 1 in their new city. The relocated team said today it has agreed in principle on multiyear deals with KABC-TV, iHeartMedia Los Angeles, KFWB 980 AM, Azteca America 54 and KAZA-TV and its official flagship English- and Spanish-language TV and radio outlets. The Chargers will collaborate with each flagship in developing a wide range of content… Read

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NBA Awards Tipping Off In June On TNT

Taking a cue from the NFL and NHL, the NBA is setting its inaugural NBA Awards for June 26 on TNT. In what’s planned to be an annual event, Drake will host the league’s official award show from Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York City. Produced by dick clark productions, the 2017 NBA Awards will feature integrations with the Sports Emmy-winning Inside the NBA studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal, along with the league's… Read

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NFL Schedule: Super Bowl Rematch, L.A. Chargers Debut & All The Primetime Games

The National Football League is out with its 2017 regular-season schedule, and to the surprise of exactly no one, the primetime games are heavy with Tom Brady, Pittsburgh Steelers and the post-Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys. The season will kick off September 7 with a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Brady’s defending champion New England Patriots. And Week 7 will see a Super Bowl rematch as the Atlanta Falcons go to Foxboro to play the… Read

Business

Sinclair Teams On Sports Service With Silver Chalice And 120 Sports

Ready for a new sports network, distributed via broadcast TV and digital streams? That’s what Sinclair Broadcast Group has in mind after forging an equity alliance with digital sports media company Silver Chalice and sports commentary provider 120 Sports. When it launches later this year, Sinclair’s American Sports Network will be “rebranded and improved,” the companies say. Programming will include live collegiate games from ASN and Silver Chalice’s Campus Insiders, as… Read

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‘Chicago Fire’ Casts Cubs’ Kris Bryant & Jake Arrieta, NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico In Season Finale

The 2017 Major League Baseball season started last week, but a pair of defending World Series champions have moonlighting gigs. Chicago Cubs All-Stars Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta are set to appear on the season finale of NBC’s Chicago Fire along with veteran sportscaster Mike Tirico, who joined NBC last year. In the episode airing May 16, a young Cubs fan is in a serious car accident and rescued by the Chicago Fire crew. The boy is injured, and to make matters worse, his… Read

breakingBusiness

Abrams Artists Agency Partners With EAG Sports Management

Abrams Artists Agency has just struck a deal with EAG Sports Management, a marketing/branding and crisis/personal management company for high-profile pro athletes. The deal with the 20-year-old, El Segundo, CA -based company puts AAA into the sports business, not unlike other talent agencies around town but on a smaller scale. The agency now will offer EAG clients representation in all areas, including film, TV, commercials, books, alternative programming and… Read

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ESPN Rulebook Sets New Guidelines For Employees Talking Politics

“Our audiences should be confident our original reporting of news is not influenced by political pressures or agenda.” That’s the gist of new guidelines from ESPN that cover its employees’ discussing politics “in any public-facing forum.” Separate guidelines now are in place for ESPN staffers working on news stories and those who provide commentary. Read the document below. ESPN Public Editor Jim Brady posted on the sports giant’s ombudsman page today a 1,400-word breakdow… Read

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Amazon Scores ‘Thursday Night Football’ Streaming Deal

UPDATE with more details: Amazon has acquired streaming rights to 10 NFL Thursday night games for the upcoming season, Deadline has confirmed. The deal is for one year and the pact is worth about $50 million, a major increase over Twitter’s rights deal last year that had marked the league’s first package with a streaming service. Under terms of the deal, games will be available only to subscribers of Amazon’s Prime service both in the U.S. and internationally in more than… Read

Business

Will James Dolan Find A Buyer For MSG Networks?

Many analysts thought that James Dolan would try to sell MSG Networks, and use the proceeds to take private his family-controlled Madison Square Garden Co., when the companies split in late 2015. Now investors believe that’s back on the front burner following a New York Post report today saying that Dolan is “sounding out” potential buyers such as Verizon and AT&T. MSG Networks shares rose 6.5% today, touching a 52-week high, while Madison Square Garden was up 1.1%. The… Read

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NCAA Title Game Ratings Score For CBS As North Carolina Wins

North Carolina Gonzaga

UPDATE with viewership numbers: Back in the NCAA Tournament title game for a second year in a row, North Carolina was aiming for a very different result than 2016. They got it, and so did CBS. With a 71-65 win over Gonzaga last night, North Carolina erased last year's last-minute loss to Villanova. For the House of Moonves, the victory was even greater, with 22.99 million viewers tuning in, according to Nielsen data. That is up 30% compared to last year Villanova-North… Read

Business

Sports TV Cost Growth Will Slow But Still Squeeze Operators & Subs – Forecaster

Research firm SNL Kagan has discouraging news for sports networks, pay TV distributors, and subscribers who don’t watch sports, in a new deep-dive study of the market. Sports programming costs consumed 24.1% of the revenue distributors typically collected from each subscriber last year, up nearly a percentage point from 2015, according to the research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence. Distributors paid an average of $16.88 per subscriber per month for sports… Read