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NBC To Take Over British Open From ESPN

Jason Barrett

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NBC Sports Group and ESPN have agreed to transition the U.S. broadcasting rights for the British Open a year early, with NBC and Golf Channel taking over coverage next year.

In June, the R&A announced it had signed a 12-year deal with NBC Sports Group to air the game’s oldest major, as well the Senior British Open and Ricoh Women’s British Open. In a similar competitive process, U.K.-based Sky Sports earned the international broadcast rights, taking over for long-time partner, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). With Sky set to take over in 2017, like NBC and Golf Channel, the BBC agreed to a buy out of its final year of coverage, making possible the early switchover from ESPN to NBC and Golf Channel.

“We have had a wonderful and rewarding relationship with Peter Dawson and the R&A and it has been our distinct honor to be their partner,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president for programming and production. “The Open is a unique treasure but given the impending change in rights ownership we were open to having them move forward with NBC. We wish them all the best in the future.”

The 2016 Open at Royal Troon will mark NBC’s return as a major broadcaster, replacing the U.S. Open, whose broadcasting rights the Peacock lost to Fox Sports as part of a 12-year deal with the USGA announced in 2014. Golf Channel will also air live coverage of the British Open, marking the first time the network has aired a men’s major championship.

The announcement brings an official end to the 53-year relationship between the R&A and ESPN and its parent company ABC, which had aired the British Open in some fashion since 1962. ESPN took over all four rounds of the Open in 2010, airing the championship in high definition for the first time and eventually offering an original broadcast which rarely relied on BBC cameras.

The NBC golf team, including Johnny Miller and newly signed David Feherty, will be on the call at Royal Troon in July.

Credit to Yahoo Sports who originally published this article

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Sports TV News

Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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