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Dan Patrick: I Refused To Name Branded Stadiums On SportsCenter

“I just said ‘let’s go to Baltimore,’ ‘let’s go to Chicago,’ wherever it might be.”

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The Lakers and Clippers will not be playing in the Staples Center by the time the calendar turns to 2022. The company is giving up the lifetime naming rights deal it had with the Los Angeles arena. Crypto.com will take over as the name sponsor.

Dan Patrick welcomed Darren Rovell to his radio show on Wednesday to discuss the value of the deal. Monetarily, the price tag is $700 million. That will get Crypto.com the naming rights to the arena for twenty years.

Patrick wanted to know how the company could ensure it got its money’s worth. He admitted that when he was at ESPN, he would make a point to stand in the way of that.

“I know when I did SportsCenter, I purposely did not mention a stadium that had naming rights,” he said. “I just said ‘let’s go to Baltimore,’ ‘let’s go to Chicago,’ wherever it might be.”

Would such a practice fly now at ESPN where several segments of SportsCenter carry their own corporate sponsorships?

Rovell answered Dan Patrick by saying value is somewhat relative. Crypto.com may have ideas beyond ESPN anchors saying the company’s name during broadcasts to get the most out of its $700 million investment.

“You know what? I think it’s always up to the individual company to make the value work, right?” he said. “Like, so are they going to have like ATMs where you put in your dollars and then you get a receipt that you’ve turned it into Bitcoin? Are they going to incorporate points into what the Etherium and Bitcoin price is?”

Dan Patrick had an idea for a different sponsor that he wanted to see get the naming rights. He thought the ideal sponsor for the arena would have been TNT broadcaster and Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal, who has become a real advertising force since leaving his playing days behind.

“I thought Shaq should have gotten involved and called it ‘The Shaq.’ People would have had fun with that,” the recent inductee into the Radio Hall of Fame joked.

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Kentucky and Missouri Stations Switch Formats, Add FOX Sports Radio

Withers switched the two stations to sports talk from oldies and classic country.

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports radio listeners in western Kentucky and southeast Missouri can rejoice, thanks to a recent decision by Withers Broadcasting to switch formats.

Folks in the Paducah area of Kentucky can now find FOX Sports Radio on 95.9 FM, while listeners in Cape Girardeau, Missouri can find FSR on 97.3.

Withers switched the two stations to sports talk from oldies and classic country.

Among the lineup of hosts that can be heard on the stations include Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, Jason Smith, Ben Maller and Outkick 360 hosted by Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow, and Paul Kuharsky.

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Kevin McNamara to Host Two-Hour Show on 790 The Score in Rhode Island

“I think, because it’s new, I’d encourage people to give it a shot,” McNamara said. “It will be very different from the Boston-based sports radio that we’ve become used to.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Kevin McNamara

Two months after announcing its triumphant return to the Rhode Island airwaves, Sports Radio 790 The Score is set to go live next week.

And in addition to the station’s lineup of national hosts and sports betting shows, former Providence Journal writer Kevin McNamara will be hosting the station’s only local show.

McNamara will host his show from 5-7 pm, sandwiched between You Better You Bet and Bet MGM Tonight.

McNamara, who hosted a one-hour show on WPRO, saw his time extended an hour. He said this is a great opportunity to get listeners involved early.

“In one hour I tried to be as newsy as I could,” McNamara told Bill Koch of The Providence Journal. “It’s basically a three-segment show — we’d try to have three different subjects. Now we’ll try to hit those three different subjects, but we’ll have a real avenue for calls.” 

The second hour of McNamara’s show will be simulcasted on WPRO.

The Score, which was last on the air in the market in 2008, will carry Providence men’s basketball, Brown men’s basketball and football, the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics and the New York Yankees.

The station hopes to eat at some of the market share in Rhode Island currently held by both Boston sports stations, WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

“I think, because it’s new, I’d encourage people to give it a shot,” McNamara said. “It will be very different from the Boston-based sports radio that we’ve become used to.”

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Joel Utley, College Basketball’s Record Holder for Most Games Called, Retires

Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record.

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Joel Utley

Joel Utley has announced he is retiring from broadcasting and as the voice of the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers.

Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record. He broadcast 1,933 Kentucky Wesleyan games during that span, also a record for total games called. He began his career on December 2, 1961 when KWC defeated California State University – Northridge, 100-64. 

Utley also is the only broadcaster in the nation to call 12 NCAA Basketball Championship games (all levels) including eight Division II titles.

Joel Utley interviewing Rupp

“It was a tough decision to make, but the timing is right to step down,” Utley said. “What I have done as a broadcaster reflects my love for KWC. My career has been beyond any dreams I ever had.”

He is a member of the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame and in September, Utley will be inducted into the Kentucky Broadcaster Association Hall of Fame.

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