Monday’s episode of First Take was a buzz-worthy one to be sure. Laker legend and former Director of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson was candid about his reasons for leaving the team. The newsworthy interview drew a lot of eyeballs.
First Take’s opening hour experienced a 54% ratings jump over the same date one year ago. The hour averaged 652,000 viewers. The peak came in the hour’s final segment with 677,000 viewers.
The entire episode was also up from the May 20, 2018 episode. It was 27% jump for the entire two-hour show on ESPN.
Miami Marlins Continue Broadcast Changes, Drop J.P. Arencibia
The former big league catcher worked the club’s opening road series and more than 60 games for Bally Sports Florida.
After announcing last week that Miami Marlins play-by-play announcer Glenn Geffner wouldn’t return to the booth next year, the club continues to make changes. J.P. Arencibia won’t return as an analyst for the club in 2023.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Arencibia was informed he will no longer work on either the team’s television or radio broadcasts next season. The former big league catcher worked the club’s opening road series and more than 60 games for Bally Sports Florida. It was his first season as a television analyst. According to Jackson, the reason for Arencibia’s departure is “unclear”, adding a reason “was not offered”.
The club will continue to use a rotation of analysts in 2023, with Jeff Nelson, Gaby Sanchez, Rod Allen, and Tommy Hutton working in the booth.
Arencibia was brought on for the 2022 season after the Marlins dropped former Rookie of the Year Todd Hollandsworth from the clubs televisions broadcasts after the previous season concluded.
Rebecca Lobo Signs Extension With ESPN
She has served as the analyst for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the National Championship Game.
ESPN and Rebecca Lobo have signed an extension to keep the women’s basketball legend with the network.
Lobo joined ESPN in 2004 as a WNBA and women’s college basketball analyst. She has served as the analyst for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the National Championship Game.
“I am thrilled to continue doing what I love, calling women’s basketball games,” said Lobo. “It is an honor to be a part of the soundtrack for the games played by these incredible female athletes.”
Lobo had a storied career at UConn before winning an Olympic Gold Medal. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.
“Rebecca is one of the best in the business. She excels on both game coverage and studio coverage,” said Patricia Lowry, ESPN Vice President, Production. “Her knowledge, history, and passion for the game and its growth continue to make us better. She is a true asset and a highly valued member of our team.”
ESPN Reaches Extension To Remain Home of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
“It’s a sports calendar and Fourth of July staple, one of those classic, timeless events we know fans look forward to every year.”
ESPN and the International Federation of Competitive Eating have agreed to a deal that will see the network remain the home of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July.
The Major League Eating contest has aired on the network since 2004. The new contract will see the event take place on ESPN through the 2029 event.
“You can’t beat the spectacle that is the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest,” said ESPN Director of Programming & Acquisitions John Suchenski. “It’s a sports calendar and Fourth of July staple, one of those classic, timeless events we know fans look forward to every year. It has had memorable moments over the years, and we’re ecstatic that many more will be on our platforms for the foreseeable future.”
The event has risen to prominence during its tenure with the Disney-owned network, seeing the rivalry between Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut grow into one of national prominence. The rivalry even sparked an ESPN documentary on the subject. Chestnut has grown into an American celebrity for his performance during the contest, winning his 15th mustard-yellow belt in 2022.
“We’re thrilled to extend our agreement with ESPN and ensure that viewers will continue to join in this great July Fourth tradition. ESPN is a fantastic broadcast partner and they capture the spirit of the event perfectly.”