Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, today officially announced the hiring of sportscaster Leila Rahimi as its newest on-air talent member for the network’s signature nightly sports news program, SportsNet Central. Rahimi will primarily handle anchoring duties, along with providing a variety of local professional, collegiate and high school sports feature reports. In addition, Rahimi, who will begin her on-air duties Thursday night (Oct. 29) on Comcast SportsNet, will also participate in a variety of digital initiatives that will be showcased on CSNChicago.com. The announcement was made by Kevin Cross, Senior Director of News & Original Content for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
“Leila joins us with a deep knowledge of the regional sports network business, along with a true passion for the local sports scene,” said Cross. “Her acclaimed experience in our industry will certainly benefit both our network and our viewers. Leila will be a terrific addition to our stellar talent line-up.”
Rahimi most recently was an anchor/host/reporter at Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, where she anchored SportsNet Central and provided field reports for the Phillies (MLB), Eagles (NFL), Flyers (NHL), 76ers (NBA), along with Villanova and Temple from a collegiate standpoint. Plus, she also hosted magazine-style programs for the regional sports network. In addition, Rahimi was also recently an anchor/host for the MLB Network’s Strike Zone Channel, which provides commercial-free whip-around coverage of live games from around the league.
Prior to her time in Philadelphia, Rahimi served as an anchor, reporter, sideline reporter and host at Comcast SportsNet Houston (2012-14) where provided sideline/beat reporting duties for the network’s Rockets basketball and Astros baseball telecasts, along with hosting pre/postgame shows, anchoring SportsNet Central, and hosting an hour-long, weekly high school football show. A multiple Emmy-award nominee, Rahimi covered numerous large-scale events, including the Rockets’ trip to Asia for the 2014 NBA Global Games and the 2013 MLB All-Star Game in New York.
Rahimi also served as the field reporter for Fox Sports San Diego’s Padres baseball telecasts in 2012, along with producing/hosting a weekly Padres magazine-style program. From 2007-12, she was a sports reporter at KXAN-TV, the NBC affiliate in Austin, TX, covering the University of Texas and local high schools. Additional stops along Rahimi’s career path included a producing, then reporting role at Fox Sports Southwest in Dallas, TX, along with sports reporter/anchor duties at KXII-TV, the CBS affiliate in Sherman, TX. Earlier in her career, Rahimi also spent four years as an update anchor/reporter at Sports Radio 1130 AM, “The Ticket,” in Dallas.
Rahimi, a native of Denton, TX, graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Texas with a degree in journalism.
Credit to CSN Chicago who originally published this article
Greg Olsen To Partner With Kevin Burkhardt For Super Bowl LVII
“Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.”
The deal isn’t done yet, but Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reports that Greg Olsen is on his way to joining Kevin Burkhardt in the top NFL booth at FOX. Although Tom Brady will take over that role after he retires and leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olsen will spend at least this season on FOX’s A-Team.
Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.
Earlier this year, the former Panther told The Mac Attack on WFNZ in Charlotte that he was disappointed he didn’t get to call a postseason game. He will more than make up for that in 2023. As Burkhardt’s partner, Olsen is in line to be the analyst for Super Bowl LVII.
Marchand writes that we could get a taste of what is to come in February. He speculates that if the Buccaneers are not in the Super Bowl, it is possible Tom Brady could make his FOX debut, either in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen or as part of the network’s studio show.
Now, FOX has to make a decision about it’s number 2 NFL booth. According to Marchand, Drew Brees is a candidate to be the analyst. Adam Amin and Joe Davis have emerged as candidates for the play-by-play role.
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.”
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.
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?”
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.