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Jim Hughson Announces Retirement

“Hughson has been on the mic for a dozen Stanley Cup Finals and the men’s hockey tournament at both the 2006 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Rogers Sports and Media

A staple in Canadian broadcasting is retiring. 

Rogers Sports and Media announced that Jim Hughson is retiring after a 42-year career in the industry. Hughson called his first hockey game in 1979 and has been the voice of the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and national hockey broadcasts on Hockey Night in Canada. The writing was on the wall after reports surfaced that he would not be returning to the Sportsnet booth.

“It’s been a fantastic run, and I’d like to thank Sportsnet, Hockey Night in Canada, and all my friends and colleagues over the years for the tremendous support and countless memories,” Hughson said in a press release. “This is a decision I made in consultation with my family, and I’m very much at peace with it. My only goal in this industry was to work at the highest level and on the last day of the season. I’ve had that opportunity a number of times and will always be grateful for it.”

Hughson has been on the mic for a dozen Stanley Cup Finals and the men’s hockey tournament at both the 2006 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games. He was also a contributor on the Toronto Blue Jays broadcast team during their championship runs in 1992 and 1993.

“Jim ranks amongst the greatest play-by-play announcers of all-time,” said Bart Yabsley, President of Sportsnet. “His contributions to the sport of hockey in this country have been immense. He has brought tremendous passion, knowledge, grace, and care to every single game he’s called, which is a testament to his longevity in this business. He is leaving behind incredibly big shoes to fill after a legendary career.”

Hughson amassed quite the trophy cabinet during his run. The Hockey Hall of Fame awarded Hughson the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2019, honoring his contributions as a hockey broadcaster. He is also a four-time Best Sports Play-by-Play Announcer recipient at the Canadian Screen Awards.

“It’s been an honor, privilege, and pleasure to join Canadian hockey fans in watching so many fantastic games over the years,” Hughson added. “I look forward to continuing watching together, but from the same side of the television.”

Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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NFL Studio

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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Sports TV News

ESPN Assigns Broadcast Teams for MLB Wild Card Round

In preparation for the postseason, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

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Wild Card
David Berding/Getty Images

There are just a few games left in the MLB season and the postseason begins this weekend with the Wild Card round. In preparation, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

Andrew Marchand reports that the team assigned to the presumptive New York Mets Wild Card series will be Karl Ravech, David Cone and Eduardo Perez. The Mets still mathematically can win the NL East but they trail the Braves by two games with three to play.

He also reports that the St. Louis Wild Card series will be called by Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. The Cleveland series will be broadcast by Boog Sciambi and Doug Glanville while the Toronto series will be called by Dave Flemming, Jessica Mendoza and Tim Kurkjian.

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Sports TV News

Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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