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Bob Costas, Joe Buck Not Interested In Being Cardinals TV Voice

Whoever they hire should be a very good baseball broadcaster who can give them 20, 30 years.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The St. Louis Cardinals will have a new voice calling play-by-play on TV beginning in 2023. Greats like Bob Costas or Joe Buck won’t be among the pool of candidates.

Bally Sports Midwest, the team’s regional sports network, mutually parted ways with broadcaster Dan McLaughlin recently after McLaughlin was arrested and charged with his third DUI.

McLaughlin had called Cards games on television for 24 seasons, so the opening is the first in quite a while. But those pining for guys like Costas and Buck to consider taking the role will have to look elsewhere.

“It’s not the right time in my life,” Buck said according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Buck is concluding his first season as the voice of Monday Night Football on ESPN. Buck had apparently already been approached about doing select Cardinals games, but he said he knew this opportunity requires and all or nothing approach.

“I don’t think it’s fair to do just a few games, you have to be committed to this,” he said.

Buck’s father Jack called Cardinals games for 47 years, so when news of the vacancy spread, the minds of many went right to Joe considering the familial ties.

Costas added that at one point in time the Cardinals play-by-play job was one he’d love to have, but now at 70 years old he just can’t do it.

“If there ever was a local team whose games I would have done, it’s the Cardinals,” he said. “But that time long since has passed. It’s not going to happen.”

“Whoever they hire should be a very good baseball broadcaster who can give them 20, 30 years,” Costas added.

Plenty of names have been floated around as potential candidates, but one thing for sure is that the team and Bally are going to fill the spot with someone who will be in it for the long haul and someone who can deliver the quality broadcasts Cardinals fans have come to expect.

“We’re in the early stages,” Bally Sports Midwest general manager and senior vice president Jack Donovan told the Post-Dispatch. “This role is important to Cardinals fans, so we’ll be open-minded and thorough with the goal of having a play-by-play announcer in place before spring training. We’re working closely with the Cardinals to identify great candidates and find the best fit.”

Sports TV News

3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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