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Dan Patrick To Appear On ESPN

Jason Barrett

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Ever since Dan Patrick left ESPN in 2007, there’s always been wonderment whether a situation would ever arise that would lead the former SportsCenter anchor to return to Bristol airwaves. Recent years have seen many former ESPNers welcomed back home with open arms like Michelle Beadle, Keith Olbermann, and Jason Whitlock. But when it comes to former Bristolites coming back home, DP is in many ways the holy grail of ESPN returns.

Not only was Patrick one of the faces of the network for some time, his exit from ESPN (and success in his post-Bristol life) has always made a return the most unlikeliest of all. When a potential SportsCenter reunion show was touted last week once again, Patrick said he would only appear for $100,000 and the ability to fire a person in management on the air.

All that will change on Monday night. With the new Scott Van Pelt centered SportsCenter debuting after the Ohio State-Virginia Tech game, the anchor announced his first guest on the program on Twitter. It will be none other than Patrick himself.

If Keith Olbermann’s return to ESPN was a “hell freezing over” type moment, Dan Patrick appearing on SportsCenter once again might just be hell freezing over and Santa Claus moving in to take over the reins from Satan himself.

The relationship between Patrick and ESPN has improved in recent years. After a lengthy period of time when no guests from ESPN could appear on The Dan Patrick Show, we’ve seen several Bristolites like Chris Berman, Bill Simmons (at least when he worked there), and Van Pelt make appearances. Given Van Pelt and Patrick’s relationship, this would be the time and place to welcome DP back onto ESPN airwaves.

Of all the front-facing personalities who have left ESPN over the last 20 years, you can easily make the case that Patrick has had the most success. In addition to his daily national radio show, he’s a mainstay on Sunday Night Football and NBC’s Olympic coverage. Patrick doesn’t really *need* to come back to ESPN and relive his glory days because he’s still in the midst of them. Nevertheless, it will be a cool piece of nostalgia to see him on SportsCenter once again. Too bad we missed out on that Olbermann reunion though.

Credit to Awful Announcing who originally published this article

Sports TV News

Al Michaels: Condensed Prep Time For Thursday Night Football ‘A Downside’

“It’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us.”

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There were bound to be unexpected hiccups and unintended consequences as Al Michaels moved to Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime Video.

He told The Boston Globe Thursday that one of the downsides of the week’s schedule is less prep time with the teams playing in the game.

“When we go to see the teams, it’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us,” Michaels said. “And all the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve built some great relationships with coaches and players and GMs and owners and you name it, and I don’t get that much time to spend with them anymore. That’s a downside part of it for me. Some of the best stories you get come from those relationships.”

Michaels has raised eyebrows this season while not being shy about his disdain for some poor matchups early in the schedule. However, he now understands that there are quality games as the season approaches its close.

“The schedule was a little leaky with the Carolina-Atlanta game and a couple of other games that we’ve had, but now we’re positioned for a nice run down the stretch,” said Michaels.

The 78-year-old was also asked how he remains energetic and passionate for the job he’s held for so long.

The games are exciting. I love sports. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no script. And unscripted television is the greatest.”

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Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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