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ESPN Gives Mendoza Analyst Role

Jason Barrett

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A very good summer for women in sports continues to get better with the announcement that Jessica Mendoza will be an analyst for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball for the rest of 2015.

ESPN PR broke the news of Mendoza’s new role Friday on Twitter.

Mendoza will be filling the role that has previously been held by Curt Schilling. The former Major League Baseball All-Star was officially taken off of the network’s telecasts for the remainder of this season Thursday following a controversial tweet he sent out last month, per ESPN.com.

This seems like a move ESPN has been contemplating since Schilling was taken off television last month, as Mendoza made history as the network’s first in-booth female broadcaster during an August 24 game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In an interview with Renee Jacques of Allure magazine that ran the day of her first broadcast, Mendoza said she wanted to bring her own perspective to the game and the job (via Paul Casella of MLB.com):

“I just want to make sure I do a really good job. I’m assuming the average baseball viewer is going to notice and think, OK, this is a female voice. I haven’t heard this before. I want to come in and do my thing. I want to be who I am—I don’t want to change that—but I want to make sure I am extra knowledgeable and prepared so I can maybe bring something extra. I’d love for someone listening to be like, Wow, I didn’t know that.”

Mendoza has been working her way through the broadcasting ranks since her softball career ended. She’s been an analyst on Baseball Tonight since June 2014 and moved in the broadcast booth for the Women’s College World Series this summer.

This promotion for Mendoza comes in a summer when Becky Hammon coached the San Antonio Spurs’ NBA Summer League team to a title, Nancy Lieberman was hired as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings and Jen Welter just ended a stint as a training camp/preseason intern coaching inside linebackers with the Arizona Cardinals.

There is still a long way for women to go before their voice simply becomes an everyday part of the sports conversation instead of major news, but their prominence in various roles this summer suggests a natural evolution that’s been long overdue.

Credit to the Bleacher Report who originally published this article

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Sports TV News

Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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