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ACC Network Plots Coverage For Both Men’s & Women’s Final Four

“ESPN announced Thursday that its signature ACC Network shows Nothing But Net and ACC PM will be on location telling the story of the Miami men and the Virginia Tech women.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The ACC will be represented this weekend at both the men’s Final Four and the Women’s Final Four, and ACC Network will be on top of everything in Houston and Dallas.

ESPN announced Thursday that its signature ACC Network shows Nothing But Net and ACC PM will be on location telling the story of the Miami men and the Virginia Tech women. Nearly 20 hours of programming will be dedicated to the national semifinals and potentially the national championships.

Nothing But Net will be live from American Airlines Center in Dallas at the Women’s Final Four. Kelsey Riggs hosts, with Lexie Brown, Ivory Latta and Muffet McGraw joining her. Joel Berry II, Carlos Boozer and Luke Hancock will be at NRG Stadium in Houston at the men’s Final Four. Kelly Gramlich will also be adding women’s coverage.

Mark Packer and Taylor Tannebaum will be hosting ACC PM live in Houston today and potentially Monday if the Hurricanes make the title game.

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Charles Barkley ‘Was so Mad’ at ESPN Coverage of LeBron James

“We all love LeBron, [but] he didn’t say he was retired yet. It should’ve been all about the Denver Nuggets.”

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When the Denver Nuggets advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in the 47-year history of the franchise, ESPN showed the team’s celebration for all of four seconds. It then quickly switched to a shot of LeBron James, stoic but obviously disappointed, walking through the tunnel back to the Los Angeles Lakers locker room.

Tuesday on ESPN’s First Take, JJ Redick criticized the network’s NBA coverage for highlighting larger markets and a small faction of players considered to be “superstars.” There’s no way to tell if Charles Barkley was watching, but Redick’s point is one he agreed with.

That night on Inside the NBA, Barkley said he was annoyed with the amount of attention put on LeBron James after the game. He wanted to see the reactions of Nuggets stars Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray and head coach Michael Malone to making the NBA Finals. Instead, he and other viewers were inundated with more content centered around the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I was so mad this morning I actually turned the TV off,” Barkley said last night on Inside the NBA, “because the Denver Nuggets sweep and get to the Finals for the first time. We all love LeBron, [but] he didn’t say he was retired yet. It should’ve been all about the Denver Nuggets.”

James, for the record, did not even say that he was seriously considering retiring. In a post-game press conference following the Lakers’ elimination, he said he “had a lot to think about” in the offseason.

The Walt Disney Company has reported its most-watched NBA playoffs on ESPN platforms in the last 11 years, according to data provided by Nielsen Media Research. The games have averaged approximately 5.6 million viewers, a 9% increase from the year prior. Moreover, Game 4 between the Nuggets and Lakers peaked at around 11.5 million viewers from the 11 to 11:15 p.m. EST quarter hour window, and averaged 8.2 million over the duration of the contest.

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ESPN Layoffs Resume, NFL & NBA Talent Likely To See Biggest Cuts

“The company is beginning its latest phase of layoffs this week with Vice President of Research, Insights and Analytics Barry Blyn receiving a pink slip Wednesday morning.”

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ESPN will look to slash $30 million in salary as The Walt Disney Company’s layoffs continue, with a majority of it coming from talent covering the NFL and NBA. The network’s goal is to have the layoffs completed by the end of June according to a report by Front Office Sports.

Through it all, Max Kellerman’s afternoon television show This Just In could be canceled in order to slot Pat McAfee’s show into the daily programming lineup. Kellerman’s show airs from 2 to 3 p.m. EST, meaning more moves could be on the way to hold McAfee’s statement that his show will air immediately following First Take, which concludes at noon.

Employee morale at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol is reportedly quite low, with people questioning why the company chose to pay McAfee and lay off a litany of its dedicated and longtime staffers.

The company is beginning its latest phase of layoffs this week with Vice President of Research, Insights and Analytics Barry Blyn receiving a pink slip Wednesday morning. More names are surely to follow as The Worldwide Leader looks to do its part to contribute to Disney cutting $5.5 billion in costs. The final round is expected to impact 2,500 employees in different areas of the company.

The company expects to report its own earnings for the first time this November, and sources have stated that the numbers will be impressive. Conducting the layoffs in separate rounds and saving on-air talent for last, however, has certainly played a role in public perception of the moves, and this week’s round will largely impact executives and other personnel behind the scenes.

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Eli Manning: ‘People Enjoy’ When ManningCast Has to Apologize for Language

“We get a lot of curse words, some from Peyton, some from guests.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The ManningCast on ESPN has become appointment viewing for select Monday Night Football games. Eli Manning loves the fun, laid-back nature of the show he and brother Peyton put on for fans.

But with live TV, sometimes unpredictable things happen, and sometimes people use profanity. Eli, speaking on Tuesday at the 4se sports and entertainment event in New York City, said viewers get a kick out of when the two let occasional profanities slip and have to scramble to say sorry.

“We get a lot of curse words, some from Peyton, some from guests,” he said. “I feel like we’re apologizing for a lot of things on the show, but I guess people enjoy that part.”

Manning has said previously that the goal is for viewers to get the sense that Peyton and Eli are right there with them on their couch watching the game. Eli said it’s been fun getting to show some authenticity now that he’s retired.

“When I was playing, there was a conscious effort; I didn’t want either my fans or coaches to think I had a life outside of football,” he said. “Once I retired, I realized I didn’t have to hold back.”

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