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NBC Officially Unveils Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge as New Big Ten Booth

“With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

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It’s officially official: Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge, and Kathryn Tappen will join the Big Ten on NBC booth when the network begins airing the conference’s football package in 2023.

NBC made the announcement Thursday, after weeks of speculation about the moves.

“We are excited to showcase Big Ten Saturday Night on the NBC Sports’ primetime marquee,” said NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood. “When you hear Todd’s voice, you know it’s a big college football game. It has been that way for decades.

“Noah is one of the industry’s rising young play-by-play commentators, who has excelled calling numerous sports across multiple platforms for a wide range of audiences. We are thrilled to pair him in the booth with Todd.

“Kathryn has told the stories of so many memorable Notre Dame Football moments over the last decade in her on-field reporting and interviews,” Flood continued. “With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

Blackledge joins NBC after working as a college football analyst for the network for the past 17 seasons. Previously, he was the an analyst for CBS and ABC, making 2023 his 30th consecutive season covering college football as an analyst.

Eagle is the son of broadcasting legend Ian Eagle, and currently serves as the radio voice of the Los Angeles Clippers. He comes to NBC after calling college football games for FOX Sports in 2022.

Tappen has spent the past nine seasons working NBC’s college football coverage with Notre Dame. Eight of those nine seasons were spent as the network’s sideline reporter before anchoring the studio coverage from South Bend in 2022.

2023 will mark the beginning of a seven-year contract for NBC to air Big Ten football games in primetime. The move is one of the biggest notable expansions in the college football arena for the network since its partnership with Notre Dame began in 1991.

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Holly Rowe Signs Long-Term Extension With ESPN

“I feel like I am living my best life and I am so grateful to ESPN for letting me keep doing this.”

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ESPN reporter Holly Rowe has signed a multi-year extension to remain with the company.

Rowe works as a sideline reporter for ESPN/ABC’s coverage of college football — including the College Football Playoffs, the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and the Women’s College World Series, among other high-profile assignments.

“I feel like I am living my best life and I am so grateful to ESPN for letting me keep doing this,” Rowe told The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch.

Earlier this year, Rowe was named the 2023 Curt Gowdy Media Award winner from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for her electronic media work.

Rowe joined ESPN in 1998, and signed her last contract extension with the network in 2018 shortly before she announced she had undergone her final chemotherapy treatment in August of that year after a melanoma diagnosis in 2016.

According to Deitsch, Rowe’s contract was set to expire next month.

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Mike Florio: The NFL Will Have Games 7 Days a Week & Will Expand To Make it Happen

“So if you wanna increase the total number of games so you can have games Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Friday night, Saturday night, at some point you need more teams to get more games.”

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Could you picture NFL games on every night of the week from September to January? ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio thinks it’ll happen in his lifetime.

In an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, Florio said it’s inevitable that we’ll see the league play games every night.

“I think sooner than later we’re gonna have Tuesday Night Football, we’re gonna have Wednesday Night Football,” he said. “It’s gonna be hopefully in my lifetime a seven day a week, primetime event. There’s too much money to be made.”

“I would love to have football on every night of the week,” Florio added. “It would be nice to have a night or two off. Like Friday night and Saturday night would be nice, but I’d be fine with Tuesday and Wednesday.”

How does Florio think the NFL will get to the point of playing seven days a week during the season? Expansion. And the league has already expressed interest in establishing franchises in Europe.

“I think they’re gonna start moving that number from 32 to in time 34, 36, 38 eventually 40,” Florio said. “Quarterbacks is the key. Is there ever gonna be enough quarterbacks to have 40 NFL teams? But I think that would be the ultimate maximum number.”

Even McAfee added that an 18th NFL regular season game will be coming sooner rather than later. Florio said in order to justify the need for one more game, expansion is the answer.

“When it comes to the inventory, 18 games is the most they’re gonna get away with,” Florio said. “So if you wanna increase the total number of games so you can have games Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Friday night, Saturday night, at some point you need more teams to get more games.”

“If the money’s there to be made by the owners, they’ll deal with it,” he added.

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Nick Khan: We Hope Pat McAfee Wants To Do More With WWE

“The world is his oyster.”

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Pat McAfee continues to be on hiatus from his obligations to WWE. As the media star and father-to-be weighs options for the future of his daily sports show and other dealings, WWE’s CEO wants McAfee to keep wrestling in the mix.

Appearing on The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, WWE CEO Nick Khan said with the company’s signature live event this weekend, WrestleMania, don’t expect McAfee to show up like he did in January at the Royal Rumble.

“We have no plans to have him there this weekend,” Khan said.

Co-host Andrew Marchand asked how WWE handles talks with McAfee, who is believed to be ending his relationship with FanDuel two years into a four-year $120 million contract. WWE has a relationship with NBCUniversal, with WWE Network and its massive library of content being absorbed into Peacock in 2021. McAfee has since been replaced at the SmackDown announce table by former WWE superstar Wade Barrett.

“The world is his oyster,” Khan said. “He’s 36 years old and look at his relevancy factor when you talk to young children, as I have two young children. When I talk to them it’s often McAfee, McAfee, McAfee. That’s what’s in the wheelhouse for them. So if you look at any of the traditional buyers, what do they want? They want a young, diverse audience. What does McAfee bring? He brings a young, diverse audience.”

Khan noted how McAfee tends to not get overly political or controversial with his show and how he’s developed relationships with athletes like Aaron Rodgers and gives them a platform to speak freely without condemnation.

“He’s not looking to annihilate anybody, or crucify them,” he said. “He’s looking to have good content, and his content has been terrific. He’ll determine ultimately where he wants his home to be. And our hope is that he does more with us.”

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