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NFL Sunday Ticket, Apple Partnership ‘Not A Lock’

“I think the fact that this is going on for so long suggests that it’s not a lock with Apple.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The light is at the end of the tunnel for the NFL in finding a new suitor for its NFL Sunday Ticket platform, with negotiations with Apple taking longer than expected.

DirecTV’s run with Sunday Ticket will end at the end of this season, and Apple has long been viewed as the frontrunner to secure the rights.

But John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal doesn’t believe all signs point to the Silicon Valley giant.

“I think the fact that this is going on for so long suggests that it’s not a lock with Apple,” Ourand told Jimmy Traina on the SI Media Podcast. “Roger Goodell has suggested that it’s gonna go to a digital provider.”

Ourand added that a deal should be finalized by the end of this year, something he says NFL executives have remained consistent on. But he did say that you shouldn’t count out other big tech players just yet.

“Amazon could re-engage, Google has been some sort of outlier,” he said. “People have been throwing Disney’s name out there, but I don’t think that’s been a really serious bid.”

Ourand also suggested that if the asking price for Sunday Ticket gets too high or they don’t get exactly what the league is looking for from its potential new partner, you could see the league keep Sunday Ticket remain in house on the NFL app.

“If they don’t get the price that they want, or negotiations go too much, they could say for a season or two they’ll just put it on the NFL app and build that up as well,” he said.

Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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Sports TV News

NFL Flex Scheduling Forces ESPN To Change Bowl Schedule

Jordan Bondurant

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The NFL flex scheduling an upcoming Las Vegas Radiers game out of Sunday Night Football on December 18 has forced ESPN to make a slight adjustment with its college bowl season schedule. But the change was something the worldwide leader was prepared to make.

The Raiders were originally scheduled to play the New England Patriots in the primetime window a week before Christmas, but with both teams losing ground in terms of the AFC playoff picture, NBC opted to go with a different game that night instead. Now fans will be tuning in to see the rematch between the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders.

The shift out of the Sunday night window for the Raiders forced ESPN to swap kickoff times for the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl the day before on December 17. Florida and Oregon State will play in Vegas at 2:30 p.m. eastern, with BYU and SMU facing off in Albuquerque at 7:30 p.m.

The switch allows workers at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas enough time to switch the venue over from college bowl game to Raiders home game.

“We are accustomed to flexibility and we anticipated having to maneuver our event schedules based on the possibility of the Raiders game being flexed,” said ESPN Events vice president Clint Overby.

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Sports TV News

FOX Scores Most-Watched PAC-12 Championship Game Ever

Jordan Bondurant

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Friday night’s Pac-12 championship game between Utah and USC drew the largest audience in the game’s history, according to FOX.

Over 6.2 million tuned in to watch the Utes dominate the Trojans 47-24 and dash USC’s hopes at making the College Football Playoff.

The network said viewership was up 45% compared to the 2021 title game, which aired on ABC and also featured Utah. The Utes won the conference crown in convincing fashion that year too, posting a 38-10 victory over Oregon.

The Pac-12 will be without USC and UCLA as member schools following the 2023 season. The Trojans and the Bruins will join the Big Ten in 2024.

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