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Icarus Wins An Oscar For Best Documentary

Brandon Contes

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A sports film won the Oscar for best documentary for the second straight year. Last year, the five-part 30 for 30 miniseries, O.J.: Made in America earned the award, the year’s winning film was Icarus.

Written, directed and produced by Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan, among other contributors, Icarus exposed the Russian doping scandal. The documentary, which was available on Netflix, began by Forgel attempting to expose how easy it is do beat a drug test. During the production, Fogel connected with Russian Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov and uncovered one of the biggest doping scandals in sports history.

After winning the Oscar Fogel said, “We dedicate this award to Dr Grigory Rodchenkov our fearless whistleblower who now lives in grave danger. We hope Icarus is a wake-up call, yes about Russia but more than that about the importance of telling the truth”

Rodchenkov managed doping and test tampering for Russian athletes at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Rodchenkov, who currently lives in the United States under the protection of the U.S. Department of Justice, broke the story to The New York Times in May 2016.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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Miami Marlins Offer Two Months of Bally Sports+ as Diamond Sports Group Ch. 11 Bankruptcy Continues

“It’s not summer without Marlins baseball, and we want to ensure that Marlins fans have access to watch our games whether at loanDepot park, at home or on-the-go.”

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Bally Sports Logo
(Illustration) | Courtesy: Diamond Sports Group

As Diamond Sports Group moves closer to a confirmation hearing in late-July amid its Ch. 11 bankruptcy, the Bally Sports RSN operator will need to provide its league partners with documentation of its carriage agreements with certain distributors, albeit with restrictions to safeguard against divulging sensitive information. Attorneys for Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League will be given access to Diamond Sports Group contracts with Cox, Charter and DirecTV with strict levels of confidentiality following a ruling by Judge Christopher Lopez within U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The most-favored nation clauses within these deals will be released in an anonymized manner to be reviewed by non-staff counsel of the leagues.

Diamond Sports Group and Comcast Corporation were unable to come to terms on a new carriage agreement before the expiration of the deal at the end of April, limiting the consumer footprint in certain marketplaces. Comcast had moved several of its regional sports network partners to its “Ultimate TV” tier in the past, which requires consumers to pay a premium to receive those channels. As the bankruptcy proceedings continue, the Miami Marlins have introduced an offer to pay for consumers to receive two months of games through Bally Sports+, the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming service.

“It’s not summer without Marlins baseball, and we want to ensure that Marlins fans have access to watch our games whether at loanDepot park, at home or on-the-go. With thanks to our ownership, we are proud to offer two months of Bally Sports+ for our fans to catch every pitch of Marlins Baseball,” Caroline O’Connor, Marlins President of Business Operations, said in a statement. “With this incredible offer, fans can catch our games and follow along throughout the summer months – on us.”

Bally Sports+ provides fans a means to watch the games without a television provider and currently has direct-to-consumer broadcast rights for five of the 12 MLB teams it carries on linear television. Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. testified in bankruptcy court last year that Diamond Sports Group threatened bankruptcy and the subsequent selective rejecting of contracts if the league did not grant it direct-to-consumer broadcast rights to strengthen the Bally Sports+ offering. Manfred declined this proposal and established a local media department, which began producing and disseminating games for the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks following the teams being dropped by Diamond Sports Group.

Diamond Sports Group agreed to a streaming deal with Amazon that would make Prime Video the means for consumers to purchase direct-to-consumer access to stream local regional sports networks and live game broadcasts. Earlier this year, Diamond was approved to receive $450 million in debtor-in-possession financing, and Amazon agreed to pay $115 million in convertible notes, some of which are expected to be used to pay back the DIP financing it receives. Junior creditors would then assume operations of the subsidiary if it is able to emerge and successfully execute its restructuring support agreement (RSA).

Diamond also reached an amended management services agreement with Sinclair, its parent company, that was approved by Judge Lopez. The pact dropped litigation that Diamond had brought against Sinclair and provided the plaintiff a cash payment of $495 million, along with ongoing management and transitional services in support of its reorganization and partition from parent company operations.

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MLB at Rickwood Field Game Averages 2.346 Million Viewers on FOX

The telecast of the game peaked with 2.559 million viewers in the quarter-hour spanning from 8:45 to 9 p.m. EST.

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MLB at Rickwood Field Logo
Courtesy: Major League Baseball

The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals played from Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala. on Thursday night, marking the first time that the ballpark hosted a regular-season Major League Baseball game. The historic event paid tribute to the Negro Leagues and the life of Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Mays, who passed away peacefully on Tuesday at the age of 93. FOX Sports broadcast the game and attained its best performance for a Thursday night MLB regular season telecast since September 2022, averaging 2.346 million viewers for the event. Viewership data for the game is provided by Nielsen Media Research and Adobe Analytics.

The telecast of the game peaked with 2.559 million viewers in the quarter-hour spanning from 8:45 to 9 p.m. EST. Compared to last year’s regular season average for MLB telecasts on FOX, the contest was up 25%. Thursday night games on FOX averaged 1.665 million viewers last year, rendering the game from Rickwood Field an increase of 41%. The San Francisco, Calif. designated market area posted a 3.9 rating and 18 share for the game, the best for an MLB telecast on any network in the 2024 season in the area. Additionally, the St. Louis, Mo. designated market area had a 9.4 rating and 29 share for the game, also its best performance for an MLB telecast on any network amid the current season.

The broadcast of the game on FOX Sports featured play-by-play announcer Joe Davis, analyst John Smoltz and reporters Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci. During the FOX MLB pregame show, various special guests joined host Kevin Burkhardt and analysts Álex Rodríguez, David Ortiz and Derek Jeter, including Reggie Jackson, Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. Within the game, Rosenthal interviewed former Birmingham Black Barons pitcher Rev. Bill Greason, along with former Indianapolis Clowns second baseman Reggie Howard. FOX Sports broadcast half an inning of the game in black and white as well, replicating how baseball telecasts looked in 1954.

FOX Sports is currently in the third year of its seven-year media rights deal with Major League Baseball and will broadcast the MLB All-Star Game next month from Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The network will also present the World Series for the 25th consecutive year this October featuring the American League and National League Champions.

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ESPN Announces Coverage Plans for Inaugural Two-Day NBA Draft

The ESPN team will feature Malika Andrews, Andraya Carter, Jay Bilas and Richard Jefferson. ABC will have Kevin Negandhi hosting alongside Stephen A. Smith and Bob Myers.

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Logo for ESPN and the 2024 NBA Draft

The NBA is set to debut a new format for its draft. Instead of doing both rounds in one night, this year will be the first time the league has used a two-day format with night one coming up on Wednesday, June 26 followed by night two on Thursday June 27. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN and ABC.

On Wednesday, ESPN will begin with NBA Today starting at 3 p.m. ET, which will be hosted by Christine Williamson, Kendrick Perkins, Austin Rivers and CJ McCollum. They will be followed by a Red Carpet Special at 5 p.m. ET with Cassidy Hubbarth, Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson. Coverage of the draft begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

The ESPN team will feature Malika Andrews, Andraya Carter, Jay Bilas and Richard Jefferson. ABC will have Kevin Negandhi hosting alongside Stephen A. Smith and Bob Myers.

ESPN reporters and insiders Monica McNutt, Adrian Wojnarowski, Bobby Marks and Jonathan Givony are set to appear on both broadcasts.

For Round 2 on Thursday, ESPN will again start with NBA Today at 3 p.m. ET with Christine Williamson, Kendrick Perkins, Austin Rivers and Tim Legler. That will be followed by coverage of the draft beginning at 4 p.m. ET with Malika Andrews, Stephen A. Smith, Bob Myers, Adrian Wojnarowski, Bobby Marks and Jonathan Givony.

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