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Nick Buoniconti Dies At Age 78

“It was the late 70s when HBO tagged Buoniconti as it’s new Inside the NFL cohost, a position he held until 2001.”

Jack Ferris

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Former NFL linebacker and Inside the NFL co-host Nick Buoniconti died this week at the age of 78.  By any measure, listing “professional athlete” and “national television personality,” are two impressive bullet points to list in an obituary, but it just scratches the surface in describing Buoniconti’s life.

The former Notre Dame star earned a law degree while playing with the Boston Patriots, which he would later put to use as a sports agent.  After 7 years in New England, Buoniconti was traded to the Dolphins where he won two Super Bowls and helped Miami to the league’s only undefeated season in 1972.

Buoniconti’s fame and personality helped earn him the role of president of the US Tobacco Company, and in the late 80’s he started The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis after his son was paralyzed in a college football game.

It was the late 70s when HBO tagged Buoniconti as it’s new Inside the NFL cohost, a position he held until 2001.  It was also that year that the former 1963 13th Round pick was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

The story of Buoniconti was documented this with an HBO documentary entitled The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti.

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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Sports TV News

Michael Smith Joining Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football Studio Coverage

“It’s a full-circle moment. It’s back to my roots in many respects. I always wanted to be a part of a national telecast … and here I am,” said Smith.

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Michael Smith is joining Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football coverage, he tells USA Today.

“It’s a full-circle moment. It’s back to my roots in many respects. I always wanted to be a part of a national telecast … and here I am,” said Smith.

He will work as a “news analyst” for the streaming platform’s studio show, a role he similarly held for ESPN‘s NFL Sunday Countdown. Former Countdown producer Amina Hussein is the head of on-air sports talent development for Prime.

Smith becomes the latest of a growing cast Prime Video has assembled for Thursday Night Football coverage. Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit will work in the broadcast booth, Kaylee Hartung will work the sidelines, Charissa Thompson will anchor the studio show with Tony Gonzalez, Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib, and Andrew Whitworth, and Taylor Rooks will work as a feature reporter. Dude Perfect, a comedy group famous for social media “trick shot videos”, will reportedly offer a Manningcast-style alternate broadcast.

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Report: ESPN Declines Final Offer From Big Ten

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports ESPN declined a seven-year, $380 million per year offer from the Big Ten to remain a media partner of the conference.

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What came as speculation Monday night is now being reported as fact: ESPN is out of the Big Ten media rights negotiations.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports ESPN declined a seven-year, $380 million per year offer from the Big Ten to remain a media partner of the conference. ESPN has owned, at least a portion, of Big Ten football and basketball rights for 40 years.

The Big Ten is expected to announce a partnership with Fox, CBS, and NBC that will see three conference games air on network television each Saturday. Fox will air the Big Ten during their Big Noon Kickoff timeslot, CBS will replace the SEC with the Big Ten at 3:30 eastern, and NBC will feature a Big Ten game in primetime.

Several reports put the Big Ten’s latest television rights deal at or exceeding $1 billion per year. CBS is expected to pay roughly $350 million for the Big Ten package.

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