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Gerould Will Call His Final Race This Sunday

Jason Barrett

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In Sacramento, Gary Gerould is best known as the radio voice of the Kings. Around the rest of the country, he’s better known for his coverage of motor sports on TV.

After 37 years covering every type of motor sports, from Formula One to hydroplane boat racing, he’s hanging up his headphones. His last broadcast will be Sunday on ESPN for the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona.

“It’s been a combination of things,” Gerould said. “The NHRA is going to a new platform next season, taking things in-house, and they have a new contract with Fox Sports. Plus, I’m 75 years old. I’m going to slow it down and become more of a fan.”

Gerould has no plans to step away from his duties calling Kings games, which he has done since the team arrived in Sacramento in 1985, making him one of the NBA’s longest-tenured announcers. The NBA season has overlapped with his motor sports duties, forcing him into some frantic travel.

“It won’t hit me until next May when hoops is over,” Gerould said. “It will probably be tough to handle. I’ve been with ESPN for 11 years and have developed a lot of great relationships. This weekend may be the last time I see a lot of them. I’m a little melancholy in a sense.”

Gerould also has worked in the booth for NBC’s pro football coverage and was a member of NBC’s broadcast team for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

Gerould started his broadcasting career at KHSL-TV and radio in Chico in 1962 after graduating from Anderson University in Indiana. He joined KCRA in 1965 and left in 1977 to pursue freelance auto racing assignments, and he since has been busy as a radio and TV reporter and announcer.

“I spent 25 years doing IndyCars coverage, and I’ve had the privilege of being in the pace car twice,” Gerould said. “When you look back over your shoulder at the field of 33 cars and see 400,000 race fans … man, the hair stands up on my arms now just thinking about it.”

Gerould has seen the world with his wife, Marlene, often by his side. He said the golden age of network TV sports coverage allowed him to travel in style, and his bosses had no problem springing for Marlene’s tickets and accommodations, too. That era is over as fragmentation of TV sports has led to smaller and smaller production budgets, Gerould said.

Gerould, who said he will call Kings games as long as the team wants him, is giddy about calling games at the Golden 1 Center downtown next season. But he’ll also continue to glance at the TV to see who is the fastest NHRA qualifier that week or who is leading the points chase in NASCAR and IndyCar.

“What a ride it’s been,” Gerould said.

Read more at the Sacramento Bee which is where this article was originally published

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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Sports TV News

Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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