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Bevacqua Named NBC Sports Group President

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Pete Bevacqua has been named to the newly created position of President of NBC Sports Group. His new duties will include overseeing programming, marketing and digital strategy for the company’s regional sports networks and all golf properties. He comes to NBC from PGA of America. He had been that organization’s president since 2012.

Mark Lazarus, NBC’s President of Broadcasting and Sports and Bevacqua’s direct boss, said in a press release, “With the expansion of NBC Sports Group over the last seven years, and our continuing investments in new and existing businesses, adding Pete to our already strong management team will help us organize for future growth.”

Bevacqua’s golf background will be important to NBC, which also operates Golf Channel. During his tenure as president of the PGA of America, Bevacqua oversaw the Ryder Cup amongst other events and spearheaded the effort to move the PGA Championship from August to May. That move happens next year. Before that, Bevacqua served as the Global Head of Golf at CAA Sports.

For Bevacqua, the new job was too good to pass up. “The opportunity to join NBC Sports Group, and the larger Company of Comcast NBCUniversal, which holds media rights to the world’s biggest events and an incredible assortment of assets, was too good to be true.”

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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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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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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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