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Rebecca Lowe Forced To Take Hiatus

Jason Barrett

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Seven weeks remain in an improbable Premier League season. If you are Rebecca Lowe, who very ably hosts NBCSN’s Premier League coverage, there is no better place to be these days than the network’s studio in Stamford, Conn.

But Lowe will have to watch the season’s final weeks from home. She is eight and a half months pregnant, and after Sunday’s eagerly awaited Manchester Derby between United and City, she will begin her maternity leave.

“The season is so long, and if you’re female and you want to have a baby, there’s never a good time,” she said. “The season is 10 months long. Of all the seasons in the Premier League, it’s typical that this is arguably been the best one and I won’t be there for the end.”

The baby, her first, is a boy. Lowe’s husband, Paul Buckle, who has two children from a previous marriage, coaches Sacramento Republic F.C. in the United Soccer League and will return to their home in Connecticut as often as possible.

“My mom is coming over next week,” Lowe said.

Since being hired in 2013 from ESPN UK, Lowe has become the defining face of the Premier League at the NBC Sports Group, part of the extensive British influence imported by the network. The coverage has been a critical and viewing success — an average of 530,000 viewers for each match window this season on NBCSN, NBC and USA, up 9 percent from last year at this time.

Last August, as NBC was about to start the final season of its current three-year deal, it retained the Premier League rights for another six years for $1 billion. Lowe signed a similarly long contract.

“My husband and I had a Plan A, if we kept the rights, and a Plan B if we didn’t,” she said. “We brought our lives to the U.S. and to NBC. We want to make this our life, and it would have been harder if we didn’t get the rights.”

Thirty-eight weeks of exposure on television have raised Lowe’s profile in the United States, but as a homebody who works outside Manhattan, she says she does not feel widely recognized.

In her absence this spring, Arlo White, the network’s lead play-by-play voice, will fill in for Lowe in the studio for two weeks. Steve Bower will fill in for five.

“It’s impossible to replace her,” said Pierre Moossa, coordinating producer of NBC Sports Group’s Premier League coverage. “She’s really the glue on the set with the announcers. She gets the best out of them. She has a great sense of story, and no one knows the material as well.”

 

 

To continue reading visit the NY Times where this article was originally published

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee: Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because The Show Comes First

“Energy, time, anything away from this show… we got a lot going on. This is my number one focus and it should remain as such…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Last week, it was announced that Pat McAfee would be hosting his own version of the popular Manning Cast only for college football games.

McAfee, co-host AJ Hawk, and the rest of his cast and crew from The Pat McAfee Show will host an alternate feed for six college football games this season.

McAfee was rumored to be in talks with Amazon about potentially hosting an alternate broadcast for its Thursday NFL games, and the former Colts punter had also reportedly talking with ESPN about potentially being featured on College GameDay.

McAfee said to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that ultimately the Amazon and GameDay deals didn’t come to fruition because it just didn’t make sense.

“I’ve had great conversations with both companies, we just weren’t able to get to a point where ‘the ask’ and ‘the business’ were where it needed to be to get a deal done on both fronts,” McAfee said.

McAfee on his show on Monday elaborated a bit further, trying to put to bed that he was being courted for Thursday Night Football.

“I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we were talking about, by the way,” he said. “I was never really approached for anything for Thursday Night Football. That was never really anything.”

Pat read from the full response to Marchand’s questions, posted under the Post story which appeared on the paper’s site Monday. He reiterated that his daily show and the small business he built around his show, take precedent over anything else.

“Energy, time, anything away from this show, this operation, this crew; we got families being built, we got houses being bought, we got 12 employees, we got a lot going on,” he said. “So this is my number one focus and it should remain as such because I have a brain, and also I care a lot about this operation. I love it, actually.”

Still, McAfee made it clear that just because no deal was signed with ESPN and Amazon for 2022 means the ship has sailed permanently. He’s keeping his doors open.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Reportedly To Lose Big Ten Media Rights For the First Time in 40 Years

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Jordan Bondurant

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BIG TEN, CBS, NBC, FOX SPORTS

After several months, it appears the Big Ten is nearing the finish line on a new media rights deal. And despite still reportedly being in negotiations with the conference, ESPN is looking set to lose out on media rights.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC are the frontrunners to join with FOX.

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Ourand reported his sources told him ESPN’s deal to keep the Big Ten was not as strong as the one offered by the other two networks.

It would mark the first time in four decades that ESPN didn’t have some involvement in Big Ten sports. But Ourand indicates the worldwide leader could pivot into bundling Big 12 and Pac-12 rights as an alternative. Additionally the network would then pursue keeping its deals with NCAA for championship coverage as well as being the home for the College Football Playoff.

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Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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