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Ley, Emrick Headline Sports Broadcast Hall Of Fame Class

“Joining those two for induction will be Bud Collins, Steve Anderson, Mary Ellen Carlyle, Bob Fishman, Jerry Gepner, Roger Penske, Doug Wilson and Ken Woo.”

Jack Ferris

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Bob Ley, Doc Emrick and 8 other broadcasters will be immortalized in the Sports Broadcast Hall of Fame this December.  Joining those two for induction will be Bud Collins, Steve Anderson, Mary Ellen Carlyle, Bob Fishman, Jerry Gepner, Roger Penske, Doug Wilson and Ken Woo.

Bud Collins made his name calling tennis matches for 35 years on NBC before working for ESPN and the Tennis Channel.  The Army veteran and Boston University graduate passed away 3 years ago at the age of 86.

Doc Emrick has become synonymous with playoff hockey, having called 14 Stanley Cup Finals while working for NBC, FOX, Versus and ESPN.  To compliment his his unrivaled list of adjectives, Emrick has racked up six Emmys for Outstanding Sports Personality for play by play.

For four decades, Bob Ley was the face of hard news for ESPN.  Ley was the face of Outside The Lines from the day it launched in 1990 until his retirement earlier this summer.  Before committing himself to investigative journalism, Ley spent plenty of time as a play by play man and regular Sportscenter anchor.

Since 2007, the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame has recognized executives, producers, directors and talent that have impacted the industry over decades of work.  The 2019 class will be inducted December 17th at the New York Hilton Hotel in Manhattan.  

Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

Jordan Bondurant

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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