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Tiger Woods Turned Down NBC Offer To Join US Open Coverage

Woods has been recovering from a major car crash since February.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Getty Images

Tiger Woods had an opportunity to be a part of this year’s U.S. Open without playing in it, but the 15-time major champion turned down the offer. Dan Hicks revealed that NBC Sports reached out to make Woods an analyst during next week’s event at Torrey Pines in Southern California.

“Yeah, in fact, that’s exactly the line that I was thinking,” Hicks said on the NBC Sports media conference call. “We were all thinking is how good that would be, who better, if he couldn’t be there to play it, to voice it and have him a part of the show. But we were rebuffed.”

Hicks dove deeper into the discussion with reporters. He gets why Woods wouldn’t want to make the trip to the course where he famously won the 2008 U.S Open.

“He didn’t want to do it, and I totally understand his situation. There is a lot going on in his world right now, and there’s also a part of Tiger that doesn’t want to become this, I don’t want to, for lack of a better word, a sideshow at an event where we should be concentrating on what’s happening.”

Woods has been on the mend over the past few months due to the February car crash he was involved in that required major surgery on his right leg. Steve Stricker has asked Woods to be a vice-captain on the September Ryder Cup team, but that is still up in the air. Golf’s most famous figure is slowly making his way back to normal life, let alone playing the sport he loves.

“Also, I really believe that if you said yes to something, it would just be a non-stop parade of asks, and he would have to just, you know, start telling everybody no,” Hicks said. “So, yeah, it would have been fantastic to have Tiger a part of it in that sense, but I understand that what’s going on in his world that he wanted to kind of keep it low-key and stay out of the limelight for this one.”

Sports TV News

ESPN Creates ACC/SEC Challenge

The series will begin for the 2023-2024 season, launching with 28 games played between the two sports.

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ESPN, in conjunction with the ACC and SEC, is slated to announce the creation of the ACC/SEC Challenge for men’s and women’s basketball.

The series will begin for the 2023-2024 season, launching with 28 games played between the two sports. That number will grow to 30 contests when the SEC expands for the 2025-2026 season.

Every game in the challenge will be aired on an ESPN platform, with each side hosting the same amount of home games.

The creation of the event comes on the heels of the Big Ten’s new media rights deal with FOX, NBC, and CBS, ending a nearly four-decade relationship with ESPN. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge began in 1999, with the SEC/Big 12 Challenging beginning in 2013. Both events will cease to exist following this season.

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Sports TV News

FOX Sports Sees Record-Setting Ratings Weekend

The World Cup matchup between the U.S. and England on Black Friday and Michigan/Ohio State on Saturday saw tens of millions of viewers tuning in.

Jordan Bondurant

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FOX Sports has been home to a number of record-setting games in terms of viewership over the last several days.

In addition to FOX Sports setting a new mark for a Thanksgiving and regular season NFL audience, the World Cup matchup between the U.S. and England on Black Friday and Michigan/Ohio State on Saturday saw tens of millions of viewers tuning in.

The network reported the U.S./England match in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup averaged 15.377 million. It was the most-watched English-language soccer game in the U.S. ever, topping the 1994 World Cup final between Italy and Brazil.

Viewership of the match was up 11% compared to the second group stage contest for the U.S. team in 2014 against Portugal. The audience peaked at 19.646 million from 3:30-3:45 p.m.

FOX Sports also reported the Michigan/Ohio State game on Saturday drew in 17 million, which made it the most-watched regular season college game on the network ever. That figure was also the highest of any regular season contest since 2011. That game also saw the audience peak at 19.6 million.

Viewership for the game was up 3% compared to last year.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Bowl Plans Could Be Altered By NFL Flex Scheduling

“While this situation poses a challenge, we are accustomed to flexibility and having to maneuver our event schedules.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN could be forced to adjust its upcoming bowl season schedule if the NFL decides to flex a Las Vegas Raiders game a week before Christmas.

ESPN announced its contingency plans for two bowl contests, the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl. The Las Vegas Bowl is currently planned to kick off from Allegiant Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on December 17. The Raiders right now are still planning to play in the Sunday night game the next night against the Patriots.

Should the NFL decide to flex the Raiders out of the SNF window, ESPN will swap kickoff times between the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl. That would mean the game in sin city will kick off at 11:30 a.m. local time, with the contest in Albuquerque starting at 5:20 p.m. local time that evening.

“The SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl and New Mexico Bowl are both owned and operated by ESPN Events, so this change is a solution that will work for all parties,” ESPN Events vice president Clint Overby said. “While this situation poses a challenge, we are accustomed to flexibility and having to maneuver our event schedules. We are more than prepared to move forward with this revised schedule if necessary.”

Kickoff times will be determined well enough ahead that the schools taking part in both games shouldn’t be adversely affected.

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