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30 For 30 Returning This Fall

Jason Barrett

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Six years after the launch of 30 for 30, ESPN Films’ Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series will return in October with 30 for 30 Volume III. The first five documentaries in the 30-film flight will premiere this fall, every Tuesday in prime time on ESPN, for five straight weeks beginning October 13.

Film topics include the rise and fall of USC football under head coach Pete Carroll, a city and its mayor fighting against the odds to keep the Kings in Sacramento, the ultimately tragic story of the turbulent relationship between Olympic wrestling stars Mark and Dave Schultz and multimillionaire John du Pont, an exploration of Bill McCartney and his controversial approach running the University of Colorado football program on the way to a national championship, and Evander Holyfield’s years of waiting to fight the famed Mike Tyson and make history. The30 for 30 fall slate film trailer, released today, can be watched here: http://bit.ly/30for30Vol3.

“Through six years and two volumes, 30 for 30 has become a leading brand for storytelling,” says ESPN Films Vice President and Executive Producer John Dahl.  “And we’ve got more compelling stories that we’re lining up for Volume III. The run this fall includes four first-time directors for the series and films that will continue to capture the essence of what 30 for 30 is all about – transcending sports and engaging audiences everywhere.”

30 for 30 films will debut on ESPN as follows (all times ET):

Tuesday, Oct. 13, 9 p.m. – “Trojan War”

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 9 p.m. – “Down in the Valley”

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 9 p.m. – “The Prince of Pennsylvania”

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 9 p.m.  – “The Gospel According to Mac”

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 8 p.m. — “Chasing Tyson”

*Advance press screeners for all films available upon request*

And, with the anniversary of 9/11 approaching, the next installment in ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts series will look at President George W. Bush’s ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium to kick off Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, just seven weeks after the September 11 attacks. The 23-minute film, directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Angus Wall and executive produced by Jim Gray, relives that anxious October night and the days leading up to it with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews from President Bush, Derek Jeter, Condoleezza Rice, Joe Torre, Rudy Giuliani, Billy Crystal, George Tenet, Bush family members, Cabinet officers and Secret Service agents. “First Pitch” will premiere on Friday, Sept. 11, on SportsCenterimmediately after the national moment of silence, as well as on Grantland.com and ESPN.com. It will also air that evening at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

Additional information including film clips and director statements and bios will be available on the 30 for 30 website espn.com/30for30; Follow 30 for 30 on Facebook (facebook.com/espn30for30) and Twitter (@30for30).

Sports TV News

Curt Menefee to Call Two Seahawks Preseason Games

FOX NFL studio host Curt Menefee will be on the TV play-by-play for the preseason opener on August 13 and the finale on August 26.

Jordan Bondurant

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Curt Menefee

The 2022 NFL preseason is going to kick off in earnest later this week, and the Seattle Seahawks have revealed their broadcast crews for two of the team’s three preseason contests.

FOX NFL studio host Curt Menefee will be on the TV play-by-play for the preseason opener on August 13 and the finale on August 26. He’ll be joined in the booth by former Seahawk Michael Robinson. The games will air locally on KING 5, the city’s NBC affiliate.

Additionally for the TV broadcasts, Paul Silvi and Ray Roberts will host the pre and postgame shows, with former Seahawk Michael Bennett working as an analyst.

On the radio, Steve Raible and Dave Wyman will call all three games. Jen Mueller will be the sideline reporter. Michael Bumpus will be the studio host and will be joined by former players Jordan Babineaux, Paul Moyer, Roberts, Marcus Trufant and Robert Turbin.

Radio broadcasts air on Seattle Sports 710 AM and KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM and are distributed across Washington on the Seahawks Radio Network.

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Sports TV News

After Losing Out On Big Ten Rights, ESPN Turns Focus to NCAA Championships

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024.

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After reportedly losing out on the Big Ten’s television rights, ESPN is reportedly turning to securing the NCAA Championship rights from hitting the open market.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024. Those 29 championships include everything from Women’s basketball to ice hockey, wrestling, softball, and baseball. The network pays a reported $34 million for the rights to broadcast those championship events.

However, according to a study commissioned by the NCAA reveals that the women’s basketball tournament could be worth anywhere from $81 million to $112 million per year by its lonesome. The NCAA is reportedly considering selling the women’s basketball tournament rights as a standalone product in the next negotiation.

Sources told Front Office Sports ESPN remains interested in striking deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 media rights, as well as renewing a deal for the College Football Playoff.

The news comes after Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported ESPN declined a final offer from the Big Ten for a portion of the conference’s media rights. The reported deal was seven years and $380 million per year.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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