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NBA Strikes New Broadcast Deal

Jason Barrett

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The NBA will receive about twice as much in fees as the prior contracts, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the terms are private. Time Warner’s TNT and Disney’s ESPN and ABC networks currently pay the NBA about $930 million a year combined in a deal that was set to expire at the end of 2015-2016 season.

Disney and Time Warner took advantage of an exclusive window to negotiate a new deal, locking in a key contract that represented the last major U.S. sports rights that were up for grabs until 2021. Live sporting events like the NBA are ratings gold mines, helping the networks boost viewership and licensing fees from cable and satellite-TV distributors. The deal is crucial to Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes’ plan to turn around Turner Broadcasting, which includes TNT, and increase its fees.

“It’s good to be the NBA,” said Lee Berke, president of LHB Sports Entertainment & Media Inc., a firm that advises professional sports leagues and universities on media rights. “They’ve hit the media marketplace at just the right time, with growing viewership, substantial multi-platform programming and multiple competitors for their rights.”

Online Service

The NBA and ESPN are planning a new online video service that will show live games and also be available to customers who don’t pay for cable or satellite-TV, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified sources.

Mike Bass, a spokesman for the NBA, declined to comment, as did Chris LaPlaca a spokesman for ESPN. A representative for Turner didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some players, including LeBron James, have signed shorter contract in anticipation of more TV money down the road. James, the league’s four-time Most Valuable Player, limited his new $42.1 million agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers to two years to let him negotiate a new deal for the 2016-17 season, when the new TV rights will boost contract values.

Bloomberg reported in July, citing people familiar with the matter, that the NBA was seeking to double its rates over the prior contract. Bloomberg also reported at the time that 21st Century Fox Inc., the Rupert Murdoch-controlled company that tried to buy Time Warner this year, was interested in pursuing the NBA rights.

The current arrangement gives Time Warner rights to air 52 regular-season games and up to 52 playoff games. Disney’s rights have included 75 regular season games and as many as 29 playoff games.

The NBA opens the 2014-2015 season on Oct. 28. The league has scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. New York time tomorrow to discuss new media partnerships.

Credit to Bloomberg.com who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Good Karma Brands Expands Two ESPN Wisconsin Shows to 1430 ESPN

“We are excited to integrate ESPN Wisconsin programming into our lineup with the launch of 1430 ESPN,” said Ryan Gabel, GM

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1430 Beaver Dam

Four days after flipping WBEV1430 to sports, Good Karma Brands is adding two programs, Wilde and Tausch and Scalzo and Brust, to it’s Beaver Dam, Wisconsin station 1430 ESPN. Both shows currently air in Madison and Milwaukee, are coming to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

Wilde and Ausch airs 9a – Noon while Scalzo and Brust broadcasts from 4p-6p.

“We are excited to integrate ESPN Wisconsin programming into our lineup with the launch of 1430 ESPN,” said Ryan Gabel, GM. “Every morning, fans in Dodge County will hear from Packers Hall-of-Famer Mark Tauscher and award-winning Packers reporter Jason Wilde. In the afternoon, they can tune into former Wisconsin Badger basketball star Ben Brust and longtime ESPN Radio host Greg Scalzo. The versatility and analysis from each of the shows will make 1430 ESPN a one-stop sports station for our listeners.”

The new line-up in Beaver Dam starts August 22.

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Pat McAfee: ‘Hard to Believe, But Tom Brady on The Masked Singer Makes Sense’

“He’s gonna have a goat head on him obviously.”

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The absence of Tom Brady from training camp has had people buzzing this entire week. Most of the mainstream media speculation has centered on his health and what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are capable of without their quarterback.

That was until Friday when an internet theory that Tom Brady was fulfilling an obligation to FOX to appear on The Masked Singer started gaining steam. The theory has been fleshed out on reddit and shared by Kendall Valenzuela on The Fantasy Life Twitter account.

Pat McAfee took notice and talked about the theory on his show Friday afternoon. He noted that the details of Brady’s absence from Bucs’ camp work. He had a specific date he had to leave and was not able to tell the team when he would be back.

“What is something that has a beginning date that was planned, but doesn’t have an end date?” McAfee asked rhetorically.

The next season of The Masked Singer, a reality competition featuring celebrities in disguised competing in a karaoke contest, is set to debut in a month. McAfee says it isn’t hard to guess how FOX would dress Tom Brady if he were participating.

“He’s gonna have a goat head on him obviously.”

Part of the theory details the business relationship between FOX and Brady. When his playing career is over, the quarterback will start a ten-year contract with FOX that will see him in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt for the top NFL game on the network each week and have him serve as an ambassador for the network. The deal pays Brady $375 million and many believe this is the first of his duties under the terms of the contract.

“That seems, like, not possible, but maybe,” McAfee said. He noted that whether it was negotiations or a demand, FOX telling Tom Brady that they need him for The Masked Singer in the middle of the NFL preseason is hard to imagine.

“Fox has literally survived off the NFL, so I would love to hear the conversation between FOX and Tom Brady going ‘We’re paying you $375 million at some point, right? You’re gonna do The Masked Singer in the middle of training camp.’ That’s what would have had to have happened, right, for that to take place?”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers expect Tom Brady back in time to start the regular season. FOX has not said whether or not it has given Brady a date that it expects him in the broadcast booth.

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Sports Radio News

Tim Allen Joins 97.3 The Game

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It took Tim Allen just over 24 hours to find a new job after being laid off by 1250 The Fan‘s during Audacy’s round of cuts.

Allen tweeted he’s joining iHeartMedia’s 97.3 The Game to continue his long running Milwaukee Brewers postgame shows. Allen worked for 1250 The Fan for 17 years before being cut Tuesday.

97.3 The Game announced this news this morning during The Steve Czaban Show.

“It has been a crazy few days. I will just say that,” Allen said during his appearance. “Change is something that people handle a little bit differently and, man, what a run. It really was…I’m excited for this change.”

Bill Schmid noted how influential Allen was in starting his career. Schmid also said when he got the news of Allen’s departure from 1250 The Fan, he sent a text to his boss that just said “Tim Allen” and Allen’s phone number.

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