The worst kept secret in sports media has been confirmed by ESPN. The network will be adding rotating guests to its struggling morning show Get Up! for football season. The lineup of both NFL and college football guests was announced yesterday in a series of tweets from @ESPNPR
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) August 22, 2018
The ratings struggles of Get Up! have been well documented, so there is no sense in delving into that again. What is notable about this move is that it is a clear sign that the network is counting on football season to bring a new surge in viewership. ESPN is clearly ready to give new viewers more of what it wants, and that is football talk.
On the Thursday edition of Get Up! co-host Michelle Beadle announced that she wouldn’t be watching any college or pro football, saying that Ohio State’s decision to suspend Urban Meyer instead of firing him is another instance of the sport marginalizing women. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post says he doesn’t disagree with Beadle’s reasoning, but it still creates a big problem for the show.
Why ex-president John Skipper didn’t take this into consideration when putting Beadle on the show is another mystery of Skipper’s disappointing tenure.
If you are a panelist on a sports talk show that is pivoting fully to football — “Get Up!” announced its college and NFL analysts Wednesday — it is hard to see how you can be a regular part of the conversation. At a reported $5 million a year, Beadle maybe doesn’t care.
Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing is not impressed by the guest analyst lineup and wonders if Get Up! will enjoy the uptick in viewership ESPN is hoping this move provides.
This is all well and good, but the question still remains: why should I watch this show? All of these analysts pop up on ESPN’s airwaves all week (especially Finebaum, who hosts a daily radio simulcast, and Schefter, the network’s top NFL reporter). If I’m a huge Finebaum guy, am I really going to make sure to watch Get Up on Wednesday in addition to watching/listening to his radio show?
Furthermore, the only one of these analysts that people seem to have strong feelings for (either positive or negative) is Finebaum. I’m curious if ESPN really thinks that people are going to suddenly start tuning in to Get Up because they know Ryan Clark, or Jesse Palmer, or Marcus Spears is going to be on the show that day.
It is interesting to note that ESPN seems to be trying everything to make football work wonders for Get Up! In addition to headliners like Paul Finebaum, Rex Ryan, and Adam Schefter, Get Up! will also make room for new additions to the ESPN family like Dan Orlovsky and Victor Cruz. A number of the announced regulars have already spent time this summer filling in as a guest host of the show.
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.