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ESPN+ Tom Brady Docu-Series Debuts Next Week

“The series is exclusively available to ESPN+ subscribers and will stream every episode on the platform.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: ESPN

NFL fans can’t seem to get enough Tom Brady, and they’ll get another big fix next week when ESPN debuts Man in the Arena: Tom BradyThe multi-part documentary directed by Gotham Chopra debuts on Nov. 16.

The series is exclusively available to ESPN+ subscribers and will stream every episode on the platform. Religion of Sports is producing the documentary on Brady’s Super Bowl runs.

“Man in the Arena is more than a series of career highlights compiled together,” said Brady in a press release. “This series shows what an incredible journey it has been for me these past 22 years and the incredible people that have impacted me on this amazing ride. It is an inside look into how this journey has helped shape me into the man I am today.”

The series zooms in on each of Brady’s 10 Super Bowl appearances starting with Super Bowl XXXVI to this past February—when Brady brought the Buccaneers their second Super Bowl in franchise history.

“Tom Brady has been a dominant force in the NFL, and in the broader culture, for two decades now. No player in recent memory has been more analyzed or debated, more beloved or reviled,” said director Gotham Chopra. “Man in the Arena is an examination of his impact on and off the field, and I’m eager for that discussion to continue around the series.”

The project features exclusive interviews with key figures from Brady’s life and career, including Julie Brady, Maureen Brady, Nancy Brady, Tedy Bruschi, Gisele Bündchen, Drew Bledsoe, Julian Edelman, Alex Guerrero, Rob Gronkowski, Rodney Harrison, Peyton Manning, and more.

“Tom Brady went from being selected 199th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft to leading one of the greatest dynasties in sports, and he still isn’t done. That’s just the kind of story we love to tell: one that’s epic and sweeping on one hand, and human and complex on the other,” added Brian Lockhart, senior vice president, ESPN+ Original Content and ESPN Films.

The show will also have a weekly podcast companion hosted by Chopra available on all major podcast platforms.

Sports TV News

National Press Club Slams Nexstar For LIV Golf Partnership

“We call on Nexstar employees — many of whom are journalists — to demand management explain why they have partnered with the murderers of a journalist.”

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LIV Golf

Reactions were mixed Thursday after the rumored partnership between The CW network and the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour was officially confirmed The National Press Club is very clear on where it sits on the matter.

In a statement, the National Press Club shared its displeasure with Nexstar, the nation’s largest television ownership group, and majority owner of The CW.

“We are deeply disappointed that a company that makes money from news like Nexstar would agree to participate in such a shameful PR stunt as LIV Golf, which is fundamentally designed to rehabilitate the Saudi reputation, tarnished irreparably by the state-ordered gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018,” said National Press Club President Jen Judson to CNN’s Oliver Darcy. “We are left to wonder what, if anything, Nexstar stands for. You cannot have a brand in news and act this way.

“Saudi Arabia murdered a Washington Post journalist and cut him up with a bone saw. Riyadh wants to use golf to get Americans to forget about murder. We must not let them get away with it.”

Judson continued by saying “we call on Nexstar employees — many of whom are journalists — to demand management explain why they have partnered with the murderers of a journalist. We urge Nexstar to do the right thing and cancel their bloody golf show. And if they don’t drop the program here is what we can do: don’t watch it; and write each sponsor asking them not to sponsor.”

LIV Golf is scheduled to make its American television debut next month. The network will carry LIV’s competition at the Mayakoba Resort’s El Camaleón course in Mexico from February 24th-26th. The newly-struck television deal includes live coverage on The CW on weekends, with Friday event coverage streaming exclusively on The CW app and website.

Events held in 2022 by LIV Golf aired live on its website and YouTube after failing to find a suitor for its television rights. The organization attempted to strike deals with several different entities before being turned away. LIV Golf is financed by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. Critics have said the Saudi Arabian government is utilizing the fund and LIV Golf to “sportswash” its poor record on human rights.

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Sports TV News

FOX Leading All Networks For College Basketball Coverage This Season

“According to Front Office Sports, college basketball on FOX averages 1.25 million viewers. That figure is up 35% year over year.”

Jordan Bondurant

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While CBS and Turner will lead the way in viewership come March Madness in a couple months, FOX is the leader in the clubhouse for regular season viewership.

According to Front Office Sports, college basketball on FOX averages 1.25 million viewers. That figure is up 35% year over year.

FOX had its best viewership for a conference matchup since 2017 last weekend when UCLA and Colorado squared off in a Pac-12 contest. The game, which went head-to-head against the Chargers/Jaguars NFL playoff game, drew in 1.98 million.

With ESPN losing out on Big Ten rights as part of the new media deal struck last year, FOX is optimistic in overtaking The Worldwide Leader for college hoops viewership moving forward.

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Sports TV News

Bill Walton To Anchor Alternate Broadcast On NBA League Pass

“We are set for blastoff and the volcanic eruption on Monday night January 23. Seven o’clock Pacific time, be there. Miss this at your own peril.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Bill Walton is going to be the star of his own show on Monday night when the San Antonio Spurs and the Portland Trail Blazers tip off.

Walton will be the focus of the first of several upcoming alternate broadcasts on NBA League Pass called Throw It Down with Bill Walton. Walton will be joined by Jason Benetti of FOX Sports for the maiden broadcast.

“We’ve got the NBA intergalactic platform,” Walton told Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. We’ve got the world’s greatest basketball players. We’ve got the business. We’ve got the entertainment…I’m the luckiest guy in the world. We are set for blastoff and the volcanic eruption on Monday night January 23. Seven o’clock Pacific time, be there. Miss this at your own peril. You’ve been suitably warned. I’m fired up.”

Walton said having Benetti join him will be a real treat.

“He is a phenomenal conversationalist, quick-witted as can be and interesting, intriguing, inspirational, fun, all the things that I look for in life,” he said.

As for what fans can expect to see when they tune in to this special alternate broadcast of the game, Walton said it will be like nothing anyone’s experienced before.

“It will be like an incredible book. It will be a phenomenal concert,” he said. “It will be an extraordinary basketball game. It will represent everything that’s good in life, in sports, the NBA business, in the world.”

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