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Panthers Hire Doug Plagens

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The Panthers hired Doug Plagens to be their new radio voice Thursday morning.

Plagens replaces long-time radio play-by-play announcer Randy Moller, who recently joined the television broadcast as the Panthers’ analyst on Fox Sports Florida. It was Moller, the vice president of broadcasting for the Panthers, who basically chose his successor out of 120 applicants since the position became available eight days ago.

“My lifelong goal has been to call hockey games in the NHL and this is a great place to do it,’’ said Plagens, 30, via conference call Thursday.

Plagens, who grew up in hockey-crazed Detroit and played “stay-at-home’’ defense for Trenton High School’s state championship team, received his Masters’s Degree in broadcast journalism at Syracuse University where he called his first professional hockey game (Syracuse Crunch of AHL) in 2007.

Plagens has spent the previous four seasons with Cavaliers Operating Company, serving as the radio and television play-by-play broadcaster for the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters and Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators. Plagens also was selected as an announcer for the 2015 AHL All-Star Game and served as a feature reporter for Access Cavaliers on Fox Sports Ohio.

“We made the decision very quickly,’’ Moller said. “We got a rising young superstar that South Florida hockey fans are going to love. Not only with his on-air personality, but with the way he calls the games, but also the way he’s integrated with the fans and media and all the organizations he’s been with.’’

Plagens will do radio play-by-play for 82 regular season games and playoff games if the Panthers qualify. He will co-host pre- and post- intermission in-game spots as well as produce and host a weekly network radio show on the team’s flagship station, WQAM-560.

Plagens is quite aware of Moller’s colorful personality and unique goal calls in which he utilizes pop culture references and movie lines.

“You can’t duplicate what Randy did and I just hope to bring the same enthusiasm to every broadcast, every time I’m on the mike,’’ Plagens said. “This is the best job in the world and my goal is to make everybody enjoy listening as much as I enjoy calling the games because there’s nothing else I’d rather do.’’

Plagens’ season in the AFL is over and he said he will head to South Florida after Labor Day. Panthers rookie camp begins on Sept. 11 and training camp starts on Sept. 18.

The television crew includes Moller, in-game co-host Drew Goldfarb, color analyst Denis Potvin and play-by-play announcer Steve Goldstein.

Credit to the Sun-Sentinel who originally published this article

Sports TV News

Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC

“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”

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ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.

This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.

Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.

“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”

ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.

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