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Megan Olivi Felt Slighted By Stephen A. Smith Tweet

According to MMA Junkie, as one of the only recurring members of UFC pay-per-view broadcast team not to be mentioned, Olivi felt slighted by being left out of Smith’s tweet and said it messed with her emotions.

Kate Constable

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After last month’s UFC 260, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith posted a tweet praising the quality of the broadcast and the on-air talent. While his tweet gave credit to a number of people, it didn’t include broadcaster Megan Olivi. She was bothered that Smith left her out, according to MMA Junkie.

Olivi replied to Smith’s tweet telling him he forgot one very important person.

As one of the only recurring members of UFC pay-per-view broadcast team not to be mentioned, Olivi felt slighted by being left out of Smith’s tweet. She said it messed with her emotions.

“That was actually tough for me,” Megan Olivi told reporters and MMA Junkie during a Q&A following Friday’s UFC 261 weigh-ins. “I don’t love social media in general, but then to play such a big role in terms of pre- and post-fight interviews, like, I’m the one onsite doing them. Then to do all the hits on the broadcast and be a part of this team and literally the only women on the pay-per-view team – there’s no other desk host, there’s no one on the pre- or post-show. It’s literally just me. And I’ve worked to be here. I wasn’t handed this. It’s been a very long journey, as people who have seen me 10 years ago I’m sure can attest to. I’ve done everything the right way to get here, and to not get the acknowledgement as my male colleagues got, I genuinely was so hurt. It was nice to see the MMA community have my back on that.”

MMA Junkie also noted that Olivi said she doesn’t believe Smith intended any malice when posting the tweet, but rather his lack of in-depth education for the sport may have played into it.

It will be interesting to see how Smith responds. ESPN and the UFC earned high marks for this past weekend’s UFC 261 pay-per-view. Let’s see if Smith and others give Megan Olivi credit for the role she played.

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Sports TV News

Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Sports TV News

Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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