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Scott Hanson Signs Multi-Year Deal To Keep Hosting NFL RedZone

The host has been quarterbacking NFL Redzone since it debuted in 2009.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: NFL.com

Don’t worry NFL Redzone fans; Scott Hanson isn’t going anywhere. Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy and A.J. Perez reported that the longtime host of the whip-around football channel has signed a new multi-year extension to keep hosting the show.

The 50-year-old host famously avoids bathroom breaks and has never missed a show since the channel launched on Sept. 13, 2009. Hanson is on a streak of 200-plus episodes hosted consecutively.

“You guys wanna watch football together for next few years?” Hanson wrote on Twitter. “Fired up to pop that #octobox / hit the #witchinghour / and call out “7 HOURS OF COMMERCIAL-FREE FOOTBALL” come @NFL Week 1. #NFLRedZone

The NFL is investing in Hanson despite cutbacks on their whole media operation from NFL.com to NFL Network. FOS reported that around 10% of the entire NFL media workforce is being let go, but Hanson is too valuable for them to let walk. Mark Kriegel and Mike Silver are among the talents not being retained by NFL media as they slim down their workforce to make themselves more palatable for investment.

NFL Network spokesman Andrew Howard didn’t confirm or deny Hanson’s new deal to FOS: “We are still formulating all of our plans for on-air talent and will communicate those at the appropriate time.”

The Redzone channel has had a massive effect on the football viewing public and sports at large. Hanson commented on the impact of the medium in an interview with FOS last December.

“People have told me they could go without sex on Sunday — but they couldn’t go without NFL RedZone,” Hanson said to FOS. “People have tweeted me different iterations of, ‘Sex is great. But have you ever tried NFL RedZone?’ … Fans have told me if their TV only had one channel, they’d be happy if it was just NFL RedZone.” 

Sports TV News

Al Michaels: Condensed Prep Time For Thursday Night Football ‘A Downside’

“It’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us.”

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There were bound to be unexpected hiccups and unintended consequences as Al Michaels moved to Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime Video.

He told The Boston Globe Thursday that one of the downsides of the week’s schedule is less prep time with the teams playing in the game.

“When we go to see the teams, it’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us,” Michaels said. “And all the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve built some great relationships with coaches and players and GMs and owners and you name it, and I don’t get that much time to spend with them anymore. That’s a downside part of it for me. Some of the best stories you get come from those relationships.”

Michaels has raised eyebrows this season while not being shy about his disdain for some poor matchups early in the schedule. However, he now understands that there are quality games as the season approaches its close.

“The schedule was a little leaky with the Carolina-Atlanta game and a couple of other games that we’ve had, but now we’re positioned for a nice run down the stretch,” said Michaels.

The 78-year-old was also asked how he remains energetic and passionate for the job he’s held for so long.

The games are exciting. I love sports. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no script. And unscripted television is the greatest.”

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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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YES Network

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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