Last week, Jessica Mendoza began her third season as an analyst for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast. While we’re beginning to see more women cover sports, it’s occurring at a slower rate than it should be.
Typically, sports are targeted towards men 25-54, but they might be ignoring a large percentage of the population that would be attracted to sports if provided more diverse coverage.
“Women that don’t watch sports, I think, would want to watch sports if they felt like they were being spoken to more,” Jessica Mendoza told The Washington Post.
Mendoza’s comments echoed what we heard from ESPN personality Sarah Spain at last week’s BSM Programming Summit in Chicago. As BSM President Jason Barrett noted during the summit, there are 425 Monday – Friday sports radio hosts in the country in the Top 20 markets, 87% of them are white males. Although many deserve to be in their positions and are doing an excellent job, it’s an eye-opening statistic that has remained stagnant for too long. That lack of diversity is not only seen in radio, but in sports media across all platforms.
Are men between the ages 25-54 the target because they’re the group that most likes sports? Or are consumers of sports coverage not more diverse because those presenting the coverage lack diversity?
“We prefer to still not to attract 50% of the population of women [and another more than 30% that are minorities] because we’re worried the white audience that we have might go away if we force them to listen to someone who is mildly different from them,” Sarah Spain told the group of sports radio programmers attending the BSM Summit.
People of all backgrounds like sports, creating diversity will attract a broader audience, not alienate its current target. “If you speak to us, if you give us someone that’s a little bit more relatable,” Mendoza told The Washington Post, “it allows us to feel connected to games.”
During the BSM summit, Spain spoke of creating avenues for more diversity within sports media. “Pipelines exist in every business for white males, but we need to create pipelines for everyone else,” said Spain.
Spain said she has no issue getting hired because she’s a woman. She understands the need to encourage others to seek opportunities within sports media.
“I will be that woman and I will kick ass and inspire other women to create that pipeline for others to get these kind of opportunities.”
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.