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ESPN Re-Signs Sam Ravech

“Ravech is likely to receive other assignments over the life of the new contract. Sam did not want to speculate on what those assignments might be.”

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Richmond Flying Squirrels

The suits in Bristol like being in the Ravech business. That is why ESPN has signed Sam Ravech to a new multi-year contract. Barrett Sports Media has learned the new deal will see the younger Ravech calling college sports and the upcoming Little League World Series.

That is a very personal assignment for Ravech. Not only has growing up around baseball given him a level of appreciation for all levels of the game, but getting to call regional action in Bristol means that he will have some very personal memories about the venue he will be broadcasting from.

“I’m getting to broadcast a Little League regional in Bristol at the Giamatti Center, and I grew up going there during summer camps to play Little League Baseball,” he told BSM. “It was our team’s dream to go play there. When we were in Little League. We just never made it that far. We were one step away.”

Since joining ESPN in 2018, Sam Ravech has called a number of events on multiple platforms for the network. Last year, BSM’s Tyler McComas wrote about Sam and his father Karl Ravech calling college basketball games simultaneously on different ESPN networks.

Not unlike Mike Golic Jr., Sam has been accused of nepotism leading to his opportunity at ESPN. Mike Golic Sr. used to joke that maybe nepotism explains the first contract, but it doesn’t explain why ESPN chose to get rid of him and keep Junior.

Ravech’s situation is different though. Any time someone suggests on social media that Sam is only where he is because of nepotism, plenty of others from across the industry are quick to say that clearly the accuser has never seen Sam’s work. It’s a response that the younger Ravech is grateful for and says no one should be surprised that he wanted to go into broadcasting.

“I think a lot of people grow up wanting to be just like their dad or their mom. It just so happens that my dad works for ESPN and I grew up wanting to be like him,” he says. “You know, he was my hero growing up. So I think a lot of kids, a lot of people can relate to that. I’m not entirely sure why all the nepotism gets thrown my way. Like, I don’t think it’s a really a crazy idea when you’re a kid growing up to want to do that. But it just so happened that it turned out to work out for me. And I like to think I’m pretty good at what I do.

An ESPN spokesman says Sam Ravech is likely to receive other assignments over the life of the new contract. Sam did not want to speculate on what those assignments might be. He told BSM that right now, it is hard to even say what ESPN’s strategy will be in five years with the broadcast industry constantly changing.

“I don’t think anyone knows what the next five years will look like. But I do think that ESPN is in a very unique position to be the leader in that. And they have been for a long time.

Sports TV News

3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

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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

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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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Sports TV News

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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