Connect with us

Sports TV News

‘MLB Central’ Adding One Hour With 9 A.M. ET Start on MLB Network As of April 7

Starting earlier gives MLB Network a chance to not only react to the previous night’s action but set the conversation for the day to come as fans get into their workday.

Published

on

With the return of Major League Baseball, MLB Network is giving fans more of its morning show to enjoy. As reported by The Big Lead’s Kyle Koster, MLB Central will add an hour to its daily runtime, starting at 9 a.m. each weekday beginning on April 7, the 2022 season’s Opening Day.

Since its 2015 debut, MLB Central has been a three-hour program led by Robert Flores, Lauren Shehadi, and Mark DeRosa, airing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. The show features plenty of analysts, correspondents, players, managers, and figures throughout Major League Baseball and baseball media, in addition to feature segments.

As Koster notes, expanding MLB Central is part of MLB Network’s effort to increase live programming throughout the day. With the additional hour, MLB Network will air live shows for a 17-hour span each day during the regular season. Other programs in that live block of programming include High Heat, MLB Now, Intentional Talk, and MLB Tonight.

Adding an hour to MLB Central also should give MLB Network an opportunity to reach fans in the early-morning block that’s become increasingly popular with sports TV viewers.

Shows like NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, ESPN’s Get Up, FS1’s First Things First, Peacock’s Pro Football Talk Live, and simulcast radio programming such as Keyshawn, JWill, and Max on ESPN2 and CBS Sports Network’s telecast of Boomer & Gio have shown the appetite for live sports talk (with some irreverence) in the early morning, something that MLB Network has missed out on with re-airings of Quick Pitch and MLB Tonight.

MLB Central has been on in mid-mornings, up against the likes of ESPN’s First Take and FS1’s Undisputed, but this gives MLB Network a chance to not only react to the previous night’s action but set the conversation for the day to come as fans get into their workday.

Additionally, there’s some catching up to do. Fans who may have turned away from baseball, fed up with the labor dispute between team owners and players, now need to catch up on what their teams did before the lockout and the frenzy of offseason moves since that was resolved. More MLB Central provides more information for fans to consume before April 7.

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

Published

on

Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

Published

on

F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Published

on

Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.