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Cubs Optimistic About Plans For TV Network

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Saturday night’s Chicago Cubs loss to the Mets averaged 7.9 million total viewers on TBS, the largest audience the network has ever had for an NLCS Game 1. In fact, the game was the most-viewed program on all of TV — broadcast or cable — for the night, according to Nielsen.

Cubs executives say the club’s ratings success shows their competitive young playoff team is ready not only for prime time but also the planned launch of its own regional sports network five seasons from now.

“It really sets the stage for a launch of the Cubs-only network (for the 2020 season), when all of these core players will be in their prime, and our expectations for on the field performance will be just as good as it is today,” Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney said Friday.

The Cubs opted out of a longer-term agreement with Tribune Media’s WGN-Ch. 9 two years ago, restructuring TV deals to sync up expiring broadcast and cable rights after the 2019 season, when the team will look to launch its own regional sports network.

Kenney said the team’s strong performance gives it a “tail wind” as its discussions with four potential partners are ongoing, with an announcement expected no later than 2018.

The current contracts reduced WGN’s portion of the schedule to 40 games, while ABC-owned WLS-Ch. 7 picked up 25 games. Comcast SportsNet Chicago — a regional sports network launched in 2004 by Comcast partnering with the Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks and Bulls — carries the bulk of the Cubs schedule.

National cable channel WGN America dropped local sports this season, ending nearly four decades of beaming Cubs baseball to far-flung places across the country.

There are indications that the prices that cable subscribers are willing to pay for local sports may have peaked with the Los Angeles Dodgers deal. For two full seasons, a majority of Los Angeles-area viewers couldn’t watch Dodgers broadcasts because other cable and satellite operators refused to pay a premium for the regional sports network.

The broader trend of cord cutting continues to gain traction, with pay television services losing 625,000 subscribers in the second quarter, and more declines projected ahead, according to SNL Kagan. Sports are the most expensive component of the cable bundle.

ESPN charges $8.80 per subscriber, the most of any national cable network, according to SNL Kagan. But ESPN lost 3.2 million subscribers in just over a year, according to Nielsen, as viewers dropped cable or downgraded to less expensive packages.

To read the full article visit the Chicago Tribune where it was originally published

 

Sports TV News

Kay Adams Confirms She Is Leaving Good Morning Football

“Kay Adams did not have any news to share about where she may pop up next.”

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There have been plenty of rumors surrounding the future of Kay Adams. One thing we can now say for certain is that she is leaving Good Morning Football on the NFL Network.

Adams said on Thursday’s show that her last episode will be Friday.

“I really want it to be a bit of a party, but tomorrow guys, is my last show,” she said.

Kay Adams did not have any news to share about where she may pop up next. She has been linked to Amazon. She remains a favorite to be a part of studio coverage of Thursday Night Football. It has also been reported that FanDuel has interest in working with her.

“It feels good,” Adams said when she was asked how she felt to share the news. “I feel proud of our show. You go back and look at those clips from 2016 and it’s this little ‘what is this?’ and it’s me and Kyle trying to get through segments of people we’ve never heard of and these awkward moments and to get to where it is now, this credible, reputable Emmy-nominated, should be Emmy-winning program is a really big accomplishment for the four of us.”

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Maria Taylor Elevated To Host of Football Night In America

“Taylor joined NBC just before the 2021 NFL season.”

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Maria Taylor will be the new face of Football Night in America on NBC. She will be the show’s new host. Last year, she shared co-hosting duties with Mike Tirico, who is moving into the play-by-play booth on Sunday Night Football.

“Maria is the perfect choice to carry the legacy forward of anchoring the most-watched studio show in sports,” NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood said in a press release.

Taylor joined NBC just before the 2021 NFL season. She left ESPN after that year’s NBA Finals.

In addition to her work on Football Night in America, NBC has also used Maria Taylor in coverage of the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo and Beijing. She is also currently serving as the executive producer of an eight-part documentary about black quarterbacks, which is set to debut on Peacock.

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Ros Gold-Onwude Lands Contract Extension From ESPN

“Her next assignment will be in the studio for ESPN Radio during Game 6 of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.”

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ESPN is hanging onto Ros Gold-Onwude. The network has agreed to a multi-year extension with its NBA reporter and analyst.

Gold-Onwude has been all over the place for ESPN’s NBA coverage. She has served as a sideline reporter on television for both that league and the WNBA. She has also been on the radio, serving as the studio co-host for the NBA Finals.

On Twitter, she expressed her gratitude and excitement.

Previous stops for Ros Gold-Onwude include TNT and NBC Sports Bay Area. Her next assignment will be in the studio for ESPN Radio during Game 6 of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.

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