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H.S. Sports Venture Mars Reel Completes $4.7 Million Funding Round With Backing From Otter Media, Dwayne Wade And Drake

The twin brothers who built a sports media brand around coverage of high school athletes added some big-name players to their investment roster: NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade, Grammy-winning recording artist Drake and Otter Media. Together with backing from NBA standouts LeBron James and Kevin Durant, brothers Brandon and Bradley Deyo have raised an initial funding round of $4.7 million for youth sports brand, Mars Reel. “We're one of the largest sports media brands in the… Read


‘Shades Of Blue’ Ratings Steady In Goodbye To Match Season High, ‘Big Brother’ Tops Sunday

Shades Of Blue

NBC said farewell to its Jennifer Lopez-starring Shades of Blue (0.6 rating in the 18-49 demo, 3.19 million viewers) on Sunday, as the show’s series finale was on par with last week, matching its season high. But CBS’ Big Brother (1.6, 5.78M) towered over all of broadcast TV for the night, steady in the demo with a week ago and scoring its best Sunday of the season in total viewers. CBS won the night overall in the demo, with a 60 Minutes repeat (0.6, 6.16M) topping all… Read


Mike Tirico Named Studio Host For NBC Sports’ ‘Football Night In America’

It’s official. Mike Tirico has been named the new studio host for NBC’s primetime Sunday pregame show Football Night in America. Tirico was reported to have been the leading candidate to succeed Dan Patrick, who told the New York Post in March that he turned down a new five-year contract to continue as host. “I didn't want to do it and not love doing it," Patrick said at the time. He had served as Football Night‘s studio host since 2008. Tirico will work alongside FNIA… Read


ESPN Will Not Broadcast National Anthem During ‘Monday Night Football’

As controversy swirls around what has become a polarizing aspect of NFL games, ESPN says it will not air the national anthem before its Monday Night Football games this season. "We generally have not broadcasted the anthem, and I don't think that will change this year. Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem," Pitaro said during ESPN Football Media Day, according to Axios' Sara Fischer. "Again that could change,” Pitaro added. “It's unpredictable what… Read


Tiger Woods’ Resurgence Lands PGA Championship Ratings Well Above Par

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is returning to form with back-to-back top-of-the-leaderboard finishes at the past two major golf championships, the latest with a rousing second-place finish behind Brooks Koepka on Sunday at the PGA Championship. If you didn’t watch the round on CBS, you’d know Woods’ presence by the early ratings numbers: CBS Sports’ coverage drew a 6.1 rating in the 18-49 demo, up 69% over last year’s tournament, as Woods was in the final three groupings at Bellerive in… Read


ESPN Canceling ‘SportsNation’ As Part Of Afternoon Lineup Changes


ESPN said the final episode of its long-running afternoon show SportsNation will air August 24, part of a revamp of the sports network’s afternoon lineup that includes adding a live edition of SportsCenter and shifting High Noon to a half-hour format. The full new schedule will debut September 11. "SportsNation has been a staple of our afternoon lineup for years, and while we felt it was time for a change, the collection of talented, creative people and content associated… Read


Disney’s Bob Iger On Rivalry With Netflix, Fox Film Integration: “We Don’t Have To Be In The Absolute Volume Game”

Bob Iger Mickey Mouse

During today’s call with Wall Street analysts to discuss third-quarter earnings, Disney CEO Bob Iger offered some of his most extensive comments to date on the company’s high-stakes effort to compete with Netflix in the subscription streaming arena. The topic dominated the half-hour Q&A portion of the call. Iger repeatedly emphasized that the approach to the streaming service would be a gradual one that will not resemble the flood-the-zone, saturation tack taken by… Read


‘In Search Of Greatness’: AOS Sets Release Date For Gabe Polsky Sports Docu

EXCLUSIVE: If you’re looking for greatness, then you might want to watch Gabe Polsky’s upcoming sports documentary In Search of Greatness. The film, which marks the first project for the sports-oriented distribution company AOS (Art of Sport), has scored a Nov. 2 release Polsky, who recently served as EP of NatGeo’s Genius and is known for his American-Russian hockey doc Red Army, brings us another sports story with In Search of Greatness. The film examines the importance… Read


Red Sox Vs. Yankees Sunday Night Baseball Notches Highest Rating In Four Years For ESPN

Sunday night’s MLB game was not only a big win for the Boston Red Sox. The faceoff between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees, which saw Boston defeat New York in 10 innings, delivered the best Sunday Night Baseball rating in four years for ESPN, according to Nielsen. The telecast drew a 2.2 metered market rating, making it the highest-rated Sunday Night Baseball telecast since the Texas Rangers-Los Angeles Angels’ faceoff on June 22, 2014 (2.4 rating). This excludes… Read


NFL Hall Of Fame Game Ratings Down Hard From 2017; ‘The Four’ Strikes Season 2 High In Finale

Lamar Jackson's debut as a member of the Baltimore Ravens flew high and not so high last night for the quarterback in the NFL Hall of Fame game's unofficial start to a new season of football but ratings for the NBC broadcast match-up with the Chicago Bears definitely went down. With a 4.7/9 in metered market results and a 1.8/7 in fast affiliates, the Ravens 17-16 win over the Chicago Bears in Canton, Ohio took a two-time double digit hit last night from last year. That's… Read


ESPN Sets Landmark Boxing Deal With Top Rank Through 2025

As Disney and ESPN continue to feed its direct-to-consumer offering ESPN+, they have set a historic deal with boxing promoter Top Rank. The seven-year deal runs from 2018 to 2025 and is billed by the companies as the most comprehensive, exclusive rights deal in the history of boxing. The agreement, brokered by CAA on behalf of Top Rank, will yield 54 events per year as well as a full offering of exclusive shoulder programming, classic fights and studio content. Top Rank on… Read


Momentum Sports Merges Into CAA China

Momentum Sports, one of China’s leading marketing, brand consultation and athlete rep companies, has merged into CAA China. As part of the agreement, VC firm Legend Capital, an investor in Momentum Sports, will become a shareholder in CAA China. Momentum’s founder and CEO Mark Gao will work closely with CAA China CEO Mary Gu to help guide and grow the agency’s sports efforts throughout Asia. Gao, the former Vice President of NBA China, formed Momentum in 2016. Focused on… Read