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Browns’ QB RV is Off Limits to Hard Knocks

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Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield purchased an RV before the start of training camp. The two have told the media that it is off limits to everyone except for Browns quarterbacks. It seems that “everyone” includes the cameras that will be filming training camp for HBO’s Hard Knocks.

Drew Stanton ordered Mayfield to buy the RV and bring it to training camp so that quarterbacks would have a place to relax. Mayfield told ESPN that relaxation to him means no cameras ever. He apparently can do that because the RV is Mayfield’s property and Mayfield has the right to restrict access to his home.

Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing says he hopes that Hard Knocks will make a storyline out of being shut out of the RV.

It would be fascinating to see if HBO could get around this somehow. The quarterbacks seem to be having a good time with their secret space (although they’ve said any offensive player can enter and linemen are given “VIP access”) but it would be fun to see HBO try to get in each week in new, creative ways to find out what really goes on in there.

Players in the past have restricted Hard Knocks’ access to them or to their routines. The most notable was James Harrison in 2013 when the show followed the Cincinnati Bengals.

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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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