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Bellator and DAZN Announce Streaming Rights Deal

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Bellator MMA is coming to your smart phones and connected devices courtesy of DAZN. The Viacom owned sports streaming service, which by the way is pronounces as “Da Zone,” has a new five year agreement with Bellator. Awful Announcing is reporting that the five-year deal is worth “well into nine figures” and includes streaming rights for up to 22 events per year. 15 of those events will also be simulcast on Viacom’s Paramount Network. Seven will be DAZN exclusives.

Last month DAZN announced a $1 billion deal with Matchroom. The eight-year deal allows DAZN to stream 32 boxing cards per year.

The CEO of DAZN’s parent company Perform, Juan Delgado, says that combat sports are the corner of the streaming world where DAZN sees the most opportunity in the United States.

“We are now going to corner the fight sports category in the U.S. with this Bellator partnership,” Delgado told Awful Announcing. “It’s a big commitment from us. Viacom is very behind Bellator, and we’re going to continue to build the franchise and continue to build the fight sports category in the U.S.”

DAZN’s first MMA fight card includes legendary names like Rampage Jackson and Wanderlei Silva. It will stream live from San Jose. The fights will also be simulcast on Paramount Network.

Delgado says DAZN will offer a special package to fight fans. He didn’t give an exact price point, but said that it would coast less than $200 per year. He also says the investment from Viacom will be used in the future to stage DAZN’s own pay-per-view events in both boxing and MMA.

From Bellator’s perspective, Delgado says the deal is important for growth.

“We hope with this partnership, this investment, they are actually going to be a very clear competitor to UFC in terms of acquiring talent, in terms of the quality of fight cards they put together, and ultimately the fan base they build around the franchise.”

Bellator’s deal with DAZN comes on the heels of its top competition, the UFC, announcing its own streaming rights deal with ESPN+.

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Michael Kay: Vin Scully Was ‘A Gift From The Gods’

“No one can come close to his talent and his ability to communicate so easily with his audience.”

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As sports media figures continue to mourn the passing of Vin Scully, Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay penned a special op-ed to Scully in The New York Post.

Kay noted the sheer length of Scully’s career — pointing out he announced games for Jackie Robinson and Gil Hodges just as he did for Clayton Kershaw — and how his style “transcended generations”.

“If you listen to how some called a game in the 50s, you can question if they would even be hired by today’s execs or, more importantly, accepted by today’s audience,” Kay said. “Scully was just as good and relevant in 2016 as he was in 1950. There is an incredible genius to that accomplishment.”

The two baseball broadcasters both graduated from Fordham University, which Kay said bonded them after they were introduced to one another in 1999 by Scully’s friend Keith Olbermann.

Kay also echoed a sentiment shared by many the day following Scully’s passing: that he was the greatest sports broadcaster of all time.

“In an era of hot takes where debate shows argue about the greatest this and the greatest that, there is no debate that Scully is simply the greatest sports broadcaster who ever lived,” Kay definitively said. “No one can come close to his talent and his ability to communicate so easily with his audience.”

He later added Scully’s ability “was a gift from the Gods. A lovely, soft, easy voice and a disarming manner that made him sound like a friend and not an authority figure giving you the score.”

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NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt Will Host Podcast With Omaha Productions

Among other duties, Brandt will be hosting a podcast distributed by ESPN called Kyle Brandt’s Basement.

Jordan Bondurant

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You’ll soon be able to hear NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt on your favorite podcast platform.

Brandt, who co-hosts Good Morning Football, signed on with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions according to Adam Schefter.

Among other duties, Brandt will be hosting a podcast distributed by ESPN called Kyle Brandt’s Basement.

“I’m thrilled about this show, and I’ll be shot out of a cannon every single day,” said Brandt. “It’s in my own basement and I’ve got games, toys and takes. I can promise one thing: it will not be boring.”

Caesars Sportsbook will be supply all betting lines for Brandt’s show. Caesars will also present Brandt’s weekly gambling segment Caesars Picks: This Time It’s Personal where Brandt will risk his own personal items around his basement when picking games based on Caesars Sportsbook spreads.

Brandt’s show joins a lineup of six other podcasts originally announced back in June.

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DirecTV Strikes Deal with Amazon to Carry Thursday Night Football in Bars and Restaurants

. Owners were being faced with the choice of having to upgrade their video systems to handle streaming video. Some are not currently equipped to do so.

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DirecTV Amazon

This season, Thursday Night Football moves over to Amazon’s streaming service for the first time. That might be good for consumers at home, but that left a drastic issue still with bars and restaurants carrying the games.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that Amazon has agreed to allow DirecTV co carry its games to bars and restaurants. Owners were being faced with the choice of having to upgrade their video systems to handle streaming video. Some are not currently equipped to do so. Some establishments that have upgraded their equipment recently have run into issues syncing the video to go to different televisions from the stream.

DirecTV is also entering its last season with NFL Sunday Ticket.

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