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Sean McDonough Signs Contract Extension with ESPN

Brandon Contes

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The ESPN Monday Night Football booth is undergoing an overhaul after Jon Gruden’s return to coaching and the network’s decision to replace play-by-play voice Sean McDonough

McDonough has been with ESPN since 2000, holding Monday Night Football play-by-play responsibilities for the last two seasons, but the network announced McDonough will transition back to the college football booth. Although rumored for weeks, the official announcement of McDonough leaving the MNF broadcast came with a multi-year contract extension to remain with ESPN, making the decision appear to be mutual.

“Over the past two years, as I watched college football on television, I realized how much I missed it,” said McDonough. “Being the ‘Voice of Monday Night Football’ was one of the great honors of my life, but I am grateful for the opportunity to return to the unique traditions, rivalries and pageantry of college football and to tell the stories of the participants. I look forward to reuniting with ESPN’s college football team where I have so many close friends in front of and behind the camera.”

The ESPN Monday Night Football booth is undergoing an overhaul after Jon Gruden’s return to coaching and the network’s decision to replace play-by-play voice Sean McDonough.

ESPN Monday Night Football producer Jay Rothman weighed in stating, “Sean is a Hall of Fame broadcaster and person. On behalf of our entire MNF family, I thank him for his outstanding work the past two seasons and wish him well as he returns to college football.”

While Peyton Manning reportedly declined ESPN’s offer to replace Jon Gruden on the MNF broadcast, the network has found their new play-by-play announcer. According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, Joe Tessitore, who joined ESPN in 2002 and was most recently their No. 2 college football voice, will take over for McDonough on Monday Night Football.  ESPN did not confirm Tessitore will move to MNF in their McDonough announcement.

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

Sports TV News

David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”

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David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”

Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.

“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”

December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.

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Sports TV News

NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”

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The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.

Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.

NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”

In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.

As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.

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Sports TV News

NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’

“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

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A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.

“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.

The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.

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