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Fox Sports Adds Steve Lavin

Jason Barrett

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Former St. John’s and UCLA head coach Steve Lavin joins FOX Sports for the network’s extensive college basketball coverage beginning this fall with the 2015-16 season. The announcement was made today by John Entz, FOX Sports President, Production and Executive Producer.

Lavin primarily serves as a studio analyst for college basketball coverage on FOX broadcast network and FS1, appearing on pregame, halftime and postgame shows plus the weekly FS1 program INSIDE THE BIG EAST. He also calls select games for FOX Sports throughout the season and makes appearances on FS1 signature programs AMERICA’S PREGAME and FOX SPORTS LIVE.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Coach Lavin to the FOX Sports family,” said Entz. “Steve is a successful coach and engaging teacher with great television presence. He has been a friend to FOX Sports since we began covering the BIG EAST IN 2013, and we could not be happier to bring him on full-time.”

“It’s a true privilege to join the FOX Sports family,” Lavin said. “I’m eager to contribute as an analyst on our college basketball coverage. My 17 years of coaching experience in the Big East and Pac-12 make this opportunity with FOX Sports an ideal fit in terms of having both a familiarity and affinity for these two outstanding conferences.”

Lavin enters his 28th consecutive year associated with college athletics, having previously served as head coach at St. John’s and UCLA and as a broadcaster with ESPN and ABC. At St. John’s from 2010 to 2015, he led the Red Storm to 20 or more wins on three occasions, including NCAA Tournament appearances in 2011 and 2015. He missed the 2011-12 season while recovering from cancer treatment.

As head coach at UCLA from 1996 to 2003, Lavin led the team to six seasons with 21 or more wins, and six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (1997-2002). He guided the Bruins to five Regional Semifinals in a six-year span (1997-98-00-01-02) and signed two top-ranked recruiting classes.

In 11 years as a head coach, Lavin led teams to 10 postseason appearances, including eight NCAA Tournament berths, nine seasons of 20 or more wins and posted a career record of 226-131 (.633). Sixteen of his student-athletes were drafted into the NBA.

Between his coaching stints at UCLA and St. John’s, Lavin worked at Disney Corporation from 2003 to 2010 as an ESPN/ABC college basketball and NBA Draft color commentator.

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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Sports TV News

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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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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