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Mike Gorman Reducing Schedule, ‘Not Going Anywhere’

“The folks at NBC (Sports Boston) have said to me ‘Whatever you wanna do, you can do, and we’ll fill in around that.’ “

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NBC Sports Boston play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman is reducing his schedule for the network’s coverage of the Boston Celtics for the 2022-2023 season, but says he isn’t retiring anytime soon.

The longtime announcer told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich he is scaling back, but has signed an agreement to stay with the network’s coverage.

“Well, in general, I’m only going to do home games,” Gorman said. “There are some exceptions. I’ll definitely go to New York City this weekend and do the Knicks. I’ll be there when we go to Brooklyn the first time. I’ll go to the Philadelphia games.

“Here’s the thing — and this has been a wonderful experience — but I wanna make this up front: I am the one making the call on what games I’m going to and not. I’m not being forced into any situation. In fact, it’s the opposite. The folks at NBC (Sports Boston) have said to me ‘Whatever you wanna do, you can do, and we’ll fill in around that.’

“So it’s me who’s calling that shot. And I don’t mean that from a sense of power, I just don’t want anyone thinking ‘He’s getting squeezed’. That said, I’ll probably end up doing 48 games this year. We lose 12 games to networks, that gets us up to 60. I’m not gonna make the West Coast trips, but I will go to Phoenix because that’s where my daughter lives, and I became a grandfather this summer for the first time.

“I’m too old to be throwing snow off my car at 3:30 in the morning from an airport space. It’s just not what I want to do with my life right now. I have just reached an agreement to do this for the next two years on the basis of what we’ve just said, so I’m not going anywhere.”

Gorman has worked Boston Celtics TV broadcasts since 1981, pairing with Tommy Heinsohn to form one of the longest tenured broadcast partnerships in major sports history, until Heinsohn died in 2020.

Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

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The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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