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ESPN, TNT Prepare For Bidding War Over Wade

“Wade has contributed to ABC’s NBA Finals coverage in the past, but hasn’t given any indication as to what he plans to do professionally next year.”

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Now that Dwyane Wade’s playing days are over he will need a new job. Both ESPN and TNT are hoping to become his next employer according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

Marchand reports that Wade has never explicitly stated that he is interested in going into the broadcast industry, but that is not stopping both of the NBA’s major television partners from readying pitches for his services, and each one is looking at Wade as the start of something new.

ESPN is reportedly considering using Wade as part of a major overhaul to its NBA studio coverage. Marchand notes that despite her big contract, Michelle Beadle may have lost some fans at ESPN and Maria Taylor and Rachel Nichols could be in line for the studio host role should the network make a change.

Jalen Rose could also be moved off the show as his morning workload grows. Chauncy Billups has received rave reviews for his game analyst work during the playoffs. Even if he doesn’t remain in that role ESPN could still lose him to a front office role with the Timberwolves.

ESPN reportedly sees Dwyane Wade as a potential new face for their pregame show. As for who he could work with, Marchand notes that teaming him with Paul Pierce could be interesting given all Pierce has had to say about how the two’s careers compare. Wade’s former coach Stan Van Gundy could be an option as well.

As for TNT, Marchand reports its pitch to Wade could be a little more flexible. Charles Barkley claims he will retire from Inside the NBA at age 60. He is currently 56-years-old. The network could use Wade in a role that lets him come and go as he pleases until it’s time for him to take over Barkley’s chair full time.

There is no timetable on when the pitches will take place or when a decision will be made. Dwyane Wade has contributed to ABC’s NBA Finals coverage in the past, but hasn’t given any indication as to what he plans to do professionally next year.

Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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