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Carlos Beltran’s YES Network Gig Would Benefit From Addressing Astros Scandal

Beltran stands to benefit by talking about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal far more than he would suffer.

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Last week, YES Network announced that Carlos Beltran was being added to the roster of analysts for New York Yankees telecasts. The former Yankees slugger is expected to call 36 games, making up for David Cone’s decreased workload after joining ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball crew.

More than calling games for his former team and taking a broadcast gig that has been a springboard to national baseball broadcasts, Beltran working for YES is being viewed in some circles as an attempt to redeem his reputation.

The veteran outfielder was considered the “ringleader” of the 2017 Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme in Major League Baseball’s investigation. That association with one of baseball’s worst cheating scandals in decades resulted in Beltran being fired as New York Mets manager before he could begin the 2020 season.

According to the New York Post‘s Ken Davidoff, the Yankees aren’t requiring Beltran to address the sign-stealing scandal as a condition of the job. But in the columnist’s view, YES could be missing out on an opportunity for some media goodwill and potential TV ratings.

What if Beltran held a press conference before spring training to answer questions from reporters about his role in the Astros’ scandal? What if YES aired a special with Beltran answering questions from one of the network’s reporters, like Jack Curry? That could presumably settle any concerns or quiet down any snark viewers might have about Beltran’s analysis.

If the Yankees end up signing free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa — who was a protégé of Beltran’s on that 2017 Astros team — after the MLB lockout ends, the matter will already have been addressed. Correa would still face questions about the sign-stealing, of course, since Houston defeated the Yankees in the 2017 American League Championship Series. But Beltran Could give Correa something to lean on.

Then there’s the larger-picture reason that Beltran may want to answer questions about the 2017 sign-stealing scandal. He’ll be on the 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. With a .270 career avearge, .837 OPS, 2m725 hits, 435 home runs, 1,587 RBI, and 312 stolen bases, Beltran presents a strong case for election, especially in a year when no other first-timers stand out while Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are no longer on the ballot.

As Davidoff points out, Beltran stands to benefit by talking about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal far more than he would suffer. Rip off the Band-Aid quickly and move on.

Sports TV News

Netflix CEO: ‘We’re Not Anti-Sports, We’re Just Pro-Profit’

“He characterized expensive media rights as a “loss leader” in the streaming world and noted that Netflix doesn’t view sports as a necessity to grow.”

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Netflix will not join Apple and Amazon in the rush to gobble up live sports rights. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos addressed the streaming giant’s disinterest at the UBS Global Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Wednesday.

He characterized expensive media rights as a “loss leader” in the streaming world and noted that Netflix doesn’t view sports as a necessity to grow.

“We’re not anti-sports,” Sarandos said according to Deadline. “We’re just pro-profit. We have yet to figure out how to do it. But I’m very confident we can get twice as big as we are without sports.” 

Questions about the interest the company has in carrying live sports have come up several times in the past. Sarandon made similar comments last year when asked about it.

Reed Hastings, Sarandos’s co-CEO at Netflix, has a slightly different view. In 2021, he indicated that Netflix could be interested in F1 rights someday thanks to the success of its documentary series Drive to Survive, but that would be a special case. Any league interested in doing business with Netflix, he said, would have to allow Netflix to control all of its content.

Ted Sarandos echoed that sentiment in his most recent comments. He said that the company does not see a way to profit by “renting big-league sports.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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