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Big 12 Will Make Decision On Football Season By Mid-Summer

“Even with an abundance of caution, Bowlsby says that there is no reason to assume everything goes off without a hitch.”

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The NFL is plowing ahead with plans for its 2020 season. For college football though, it isn’t so easy. There is no commissioner in college sports, no central authority that can lay out a blanket ruling all conferences and schools must follow. Instead, it is up to individual conferences and their commissioners to make decisions on the upcoming football season.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told Emily Caron of Front Office Sports that he intends to have a decision by June or July. He acknowledges that the ability to play football will largely depend on state lawmakers in the conference’s footprint.

“We have tried to coordinate with public health officials, and we’ve tried to coordinate with governor’s offices because ultimately, that’s where these decisions are going to be made,” Bowlsby said on Front Office Sports’ video series Fundamentals. “They’re going to empower university presidents and chancellors and boards of trustees to go and make their own decisions as to how they’re going to operate their university. I think most of the decision dates for our schools are somewhere between early June and late July in terms of just exactly what the fall is going to look like. Those of us that are involved in the athletics enterprise are going to have to be responsive. I don’t think we can drive those decisions. That’s the tail wagging the dog, I think.”

Bowlsby described the window between mid-June and early July as “the sweet spot” for making a decision. He doesn’t foresee there being enough information to determine whether or not it is safe to resume practices before then. His goal is still to begin the season on Labor Day weekend.

Finally, Bowlsby made it clear that he wants fans to be prepared for an untraditional season. He told Caron that he expects changes in a number of areas including facility operations, travel, sanitation, health, and wellness testing, fan experience adjustments, and venue spacing.

Even with an abundance of caution, Bowlsby says that there is no reason to assume everything goes off without a hitch.

“I just think college campuses are Petri dishes for infectious diseases. They always are. There are lots of people, and they’re living in close quarters, and they’re partying and interfacing, and there’s just lots going on. Some of that is going to find itself in the athletics population.”

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3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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