Sports TV News
Rece Davis: NFL Draft on ABC Is Much Different Than ESPN
“It has been shown according to research that at least a significant portion of the ABC audience is not necessarily hardcore football guys.”
Over the past few years, Rece Davis has hosted the NFL Draft coverage on ABC with the rest of the College GameDay crew. This year will be the fifth year that Davis leads the coverage that is a little different than the traditional broadcast on ESPN because it dives into the journeys of the players that are having their dream become a reality.
On the latest episode of the ESPN College GameDay podcast, Davis mentioned that the broadcast has received some criticism in recent years with some saying the stories have become way too sad and there were a lot of difficult stories.
“We got some criticism a couple of years ago because they said everything was sad and despondent in terms of the backstories. I think what happens is when you go in and interview players and you dig stuff up and you ask them ‘What’s the most significant thing in your life? What has led you to this moment?’, the human mind automatically goes to some type of obstacle that you’ve overcome. Because of that, we ended up with a lot of difficult stories about losing a loved one or some type of family problem that a player had had coming up.”
Davis mentioned that the ABC broadcast is designed to be different than ESPN because of research that has been done that people who watch the broadcast aren’t necessarily die-hard football fans.
“The traditional coverage on ESPN is more ‘He’s a three-technique, he’s going to fit into that scheme, they will use him this way’. On ABC, our mandate and charge has been to put more of the focus on the personal backstories and telling you a little bit about the guys because it has been shown according to research that at least a significant portion of the ABC audience is not necessarily hardcore football guys. They tune in to watch Grey’s Anatomy or something and goodness the draft is pre-empting my show and you want to give them a reason to watch as well.”
Due to hearing some of the criticism, Davis said that more of the stories are going to have a positive tone to them, in addition to the ones where players have to overcome obstacles to achieve their ultimate goal.
“We learned from that and so many more of the stories will be uplifting and fun in addition to telling stories about obstacles and problems that players have overcome to reach that dream night of hearing their name called in the NFL Draft. It will also be an opportunity for you to get to know them on a personal level a little bit and certainly, we will talk about how they fit in with your favorite team.”
The 2023 NFL Draft will take place in Kansas City, Missouri on Thursday, April 27.
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Sports TV News
Neil Everett Exits ESPN After 23 Years
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life.”
Neil Everett’s SportsCenter days are over. Front Office Sports reports that the anchor has chosen to say goodbye to ESPN after 23 years at the network.
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life,” Everett said. “Time to write a new chapter.”
The network reportedly offered Everett a new deal. Had he agreed to it, the anchor would have taken a salary reduction.
This is a significant moment for SportsCenter. Everett moving on means one of the show’s longest-tenured partnership comes to an end. He had worked with Stan Verrett since 2009.
Everett’s exit comes in the same week that it was revealed Chris Chelios would not return to the network’s NHL coverage next season. The Walt Disney Company is currently in the middle of trying to cut 7000 jobs to save $5.5 billion.
As for the future, Everett says he will seek to increase his TV role with the Portland Trail Blazers. He has been part of the team’s broadcast crew on NBC Sports Northwest for the last two years.
Sports TV News
Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica To Make FOX TV Debut on Belmont Coverage
“Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”
As the college football season was winding down, fans found out one of the foundational members of the College Gameday staff would be leaving ESPN. Chris “The Bear” Fallica left the network and has been working for FOX since the new year. This weekend during the network’s coverage of The Belmont Stakes, he will finally make his TV debut for his employers.
“It’s been great. This will be my first TV appearance, so I’m excited,” Fallica said in an interview with FOXSports.com. “But we’ve been cranking out content on the digital side since January, and I’m very happy with how the USFL picks have been going (4-0 last week for those of you counting at home). Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”
Fallica, who worked for ESPN for nearly three decades, is going to be a major presence in FOX’s gambling content both on air and online. Making picks is nothing new. He had been doing it on College GameDay for years prior to his exit.
In addition to making football picks, horse racing is going to be a major part of what The Bear does for FOX. While this will be his TV debut on FOX, Fallica put the spotlight on one of his colleagues.
“It was a great decision to bring Tom [Durkin] back for this call. His voice is synonymous with the sport for a generation of racing fans, so it will be a treat to hear him call a race again.”
Durbin is coming out of retirement to call the race. This is the first year that the Belmont is airing on FOX as part of a rights deal with the New York Racing Association.
Sports TV News
FOX Reportedly Considering Replacing Reggie Bush on Big Noon Kickoff
“Marchand writes that the favorite to replace the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram II is expected to retire from the NFL and join FOX.”
It looks like changes are coming to FOX’s college football coverage. Andrew Marchand reports that the network is considering replacing Reggie Bush on Big Noon Kickoff.
Bush and the network reportedly argued over money before the 2022 season. FOX kicked the tires on multiple options, including Desmond Howard and Robert Griffin III of ESPN. Eventually, it decided to bring Bush back on a one year deal. With that deal set to expire and the two sides again at an impasse, FOX is eyeing other options.
Marchand writes that the favorite to replace the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram II is expected to retire from the NFL and join FOX.
If Ingram does join the show, he would be the first analyst from outside of the conferences FOX carries. Ingram played his college football at Alabama. He has since amassed more than 8000 yards over 13 seasons in the NFL.
FOX declined to comment on the report. Marchand reports that with no deal finalized, there is an outside shot that Ingram returns to the NFL, Bush returns to FOX and there is no change at all. That, however, is considered a long shot.