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Harrelson To Work Reduced 2016 Schedule

Jason Barrett

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Chicago White Sox TV play-by-play announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson confirmed Monday that he plans to cut back on his 2016 schedule.

Harrelson, who has been in the Sox TV booth for 31 seasons, said by phone he didn’t want to give further information because the deal hadn’t been finalized and he wanted to wait for the team to provide details.

Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM 670 reported that Harrelson will only work road games, along with a limited slate of home games, including opening day and the Cubs series at U.S. Cellular Field.

Harrelson, 74, commutes from his home in Granger, Ind., to Sox home games, approximately 100 miles one way, and he said that is among the reasons he would cut back. He said spending more time with his family also is a factor.

Harrelson originally said he was going to cut back on broadcasts last season before working an almost full schedule. He is a two-time finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award, given to broadcasters for major contributions to baseball.

A Sox spokesman said the club is not yet ready to announce their broadcasters for the 2016 season. Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson are expected back in the Sox radio booth as broadcasts move to WLS-AM 890 next year.

Credit to the Chicago Tribune who originally published this article

Sports TV News

FOX Leading All Networks For College Basketball Coverage This Season

“According to Front Office Sports, college basketball on FOX averages 1.25 million viewers. That figure is up 35% year over year.”

Jordan Bondurant

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While CBS and Turner will lead the way in viewership come March Madness in a couple months, FOX is the leader in the clubhouse for regular season viewership.

According to Front Office Sports, college basketball on FOX averages 1.25 million viewers. That figure is up 35% year over year.

FOX had its best viewership for a conference matchup since 2017 last weekend when UCLA and Colorado squared off in a Pac-12 contest. The game, which went head-to-head against the Chargers/Jaguars NFL playoff game, drew in 1.98 million.

With ESPN losing out on Big Ten rights as part of the new media deal struck last year, FOX is optimistic in overtaking The Worldwide Leader for college hoops viewership moving forward.

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Sports TV News

Bill Walton To Anchor Alternate Broadcast On NBA League Pass

“We are set for blastoff and the volcanic eruption on Monday night January 23. Seven o’clock Pacific time, be there. Miss this at your own peril.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Bill Walton is going to be the star of his own show on Monday night when the San Antonio Spurs and the Portland Trail Blazers tip off.

Walton will be the focus of the first of several upcoming alternate broadcasts on NBA League Pass called Throw It Down with Bill Walton. Walton will be joined by Jason Benetti of FOX Sports for the maiden broadcast.

“We’ve got the NBA intergalactic platform,” Walton told Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. We’ve got the world’s greatest basketball players. We’ve got the business. We’ve got the entertainment…I’m the luckiest guy in the world. We are set for blastoff and the volcanic eruption on Monday night January 23. Seven o’clock Pacific time, be there. Miss this at your own peril. You’ve been suitably warned. I’m fired up.”

Walton said having Benetti join him will be a real treat.

“He is a phenomenal conversationalist, quick-witted as can be and interesting, intriguing, inspirational, fun, all the things that I look for in life,” he said.

As for what fans can expect to see when they tune in to this special alternate broadcast of the game, Walton said it will be like nothing anyone’s experienced before.

“It will be like an incredible book. It will be a phenomenal concert,” he said. “It will be an extraordinary basketball game. It will represent everything that’s good in life, in sports, the NBA business, in the world.”

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Sports TV News

Pac-12 Sources Express Concern With No TV Deal

“If we know anything about college sports, it’s that you can’t assume the status quo will last.”

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Pac 12

Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff has been unwavering in his timeline for finalizing the conference’s television rights deals. However, many inside the conference are growing impatient.

A report from Jon Wilner of The Mercury News details conference sources growing in worry about the unresolved rights deals.

“The Pac-12 cannot get overconfident,” one source told Wilner. “If we know anything about college sports, it’s that you can’t assume the status quo will last.”

Kliavkoff’s lack of urgency is explained by his belief that Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah won’t receive enough revenue from the Big 12 to explore a move to that conference, while the Big Ten reportedly remains reluctant to poach Oregon, Washington, Cal, and Stanford. The recent departure of Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren only cements that position.

The Pac-12 is the only Power 5 conference with remaining football inventory until 2031, giving it a position of strength. Wilner posits if Turner, Amazon, or Apple want Power 5 television rights, “there’s only one place to turn”.

However, sources inside the conference are worried about overplaying its hand.

“If you slow-play it,” the source told Wilner, “you become vulnerable to the unknowns.”

The conference reportedly sent “robust” proposals to ESPN and Amazon Prime Video to secure the conference’s television rights, but nothing has been finalized.

In the past, Kliavkoff has believed the conference’s women’s basketball schedule is an important factor in the television rights negotiations.

“I think women’s basketball is our fastest-growing television sport,” Kliavkoff said in November. “Ratings are increasing faster than any other sport. And I think it’s one of the sports that has been undervalued traditionally, in media rights. I think that provides a great opportunity.”

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