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ESPN Declares December 4 Stuart Scott Day

“A limited edition Stuart Scott t-shirt will be on sale starting Dec. 4, with all of its net proceeds benefiting the V Foundation for Cancer Research.”

Brandon Contes

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ESPN announced they’ve officially designated Dec. 4 “Stuart Scott Day” in honor of the late SportsCenter anchor. 

From Tuesday Dec. 3 through Dec. 14, ESPN celebrates their 13th annual V Week For Cancer Research. Throughout the initiative, the network will work to raise awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research across all ESPN platforms. 

One of the week’s new aspects is honoring Stuart Scott, who passed away from cancer in 2015. According to the press release, ESPN will present content to highlight Scott’s love of life and perseverance in his fight with cancer. A limited edition Stuart Scott t-shirt will be on sale starting Dec. 4, with all of its net proceeds benefiting the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

“‘V Week’ leverages ESPN platforms and partners to drive awareness of the continued fight against cancer and generates donations to the V Foundation,” Kevin Martinez, vice president, ESPN Corporate Citizenship, said in a statement. “This year, we celebrate our dear friend and colleague, and the 2014 Jimmy V Perseverance Award winner Stuart Scott, by honoring his courageous spirit to ‘Fight Like Hell.’

“We’re honored to once again celebrate ‘V Week’ and inspire fans to help support the V Foundation to one day eradicate cancer,” Martinez added.

Scott joined ESPN to help launch ESPN2 in 1993. He quickly became one of the most popular and recognizable personalities on the network, helping to bring a fresh sound to sports coverage, while inspiring others to do the same.

Scott was first diagnosed with cancer in Nov. 2007. Following several battles with the disease, the star sportscaster passed away at the age of 49 on Jan. 4, 2015. Just six months earlier, while accepting the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs, Scott gave a speech that would further cement his legacy as one of the network’s most iconic personalities.

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live,” Scott said in the speech. “So live. Live. Fight like hell and when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”

Through the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, the Stuart Scott Foundation and the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award, his legacy continues to make an impact on the world beyond sportscasting. Scott was survived by his two daughters, Taelor and Sydni.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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FOX Sports Moving UFL Games to Friday Nights in 2025

“The regular season average television audience of 816,000 was more than 30% higher than the pace from the previous year.”

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The United Football League logo

FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks recently confirmed a report from Deadline last month that said United Football League games would move to Friday nights in 2025. The Deadline report had said FOX planned to replace WWE Smackdown with sports coverage from college football and basketball as well as games from the UFL.

Shanks’ comments were made during a Zoom with reporters about the news of their new agreement with the NTT IndyCar Series. SI’s Mike Mitchell reported that the UFL worked with FOX to move the games so they could complete their auto racing deal.

Shanks said many of FOX’s UFL games would be moved to Friday night when asked about the change but did not provide more detail.

The UFL was split between FOX and ABC/ESPN this season. The regular season average television audience of 816,000 was more than 30% higher than the pace from the previous year and the recent conference championship games were up 57% over the averages from the USFL and XFL last season. According to Mitchell, the league saw a large increase in the 18-49 demographic on FOX compared to USFL programming in 2023.

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Report: WNBA Could Quadruple Media Rights Fees

Under the current structure, the WNBA makes a reported $60 million annually from its media rights deals with The Walt Disney Company, Amazon’s Prime Video, CBS and Ion.

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(Illustration) | Courtesy: Women's National Basketball Association

The NBA is reportedly in the process of formalizing new media rights deals with The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal and Amazon’s Prime Video expected to be worth a collective $76 billion over the course of the deal. At the same time, the NBA is also negotiating media rights for the WNBA in which it has an ownership stake of approximately 60%. The WNBA could quadruple its annual media rights fee within these negotiations, according to a new report from Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.

Under the current structure, the WNBA makes a reported $60 million annually from its media rights deals with The Walt Disney Company, Amazon’s Prime Video, CBS and Ion. Throughout the season thus far, the WNBA has seen its ratings increase, drawing more than 1 million viewers across several matchups throughout the regular season. Moreover, discussion surrounding the league is further assimilating into the sports vernacular surrounding stars such as Caitlin Clark, A’ja Wilson, Sabrina Ionescu and Breanna Stewart.

Ben Strauss of The Washington Post outlined how the NBA is in the process of considering one total bid from media companies that combines the value of media rights for the NBA and WNBA. With the league itself determining the value of media rights for the WNBA, he argues that it could either be “rocket fuel” for the league or that its augmented popularity “is more of an afterthought.” The possibility exists that it could be a combination of both extremes as well, but by having the league negotiate its media rights deal, quantifying the true value could be a more difficult task.

In a report from earlier in the year, McCarthy stated that the WNBA is likely to negotiate its own separate media rights deal if it is not receiving the remuneration that it wants. The WNBA attained its most-watched opening month in league history, averaging 1.32 million viewers for games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, CBS, Ion and NBA TV. Moreover, the league had its most-attended opening month in its 26-year history with 400,000 fans at games through the end of May and a rise in sales of WNBA-branded merchandise by 236% year-over-year.

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NBA Finals Game 3 Up 2% on ABC and ESPN

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Game 3 of the NBA Finals series which saw Boston take a three games to none lead in the series was up 2% from last year’s Game 3. The game averaged 11,426,000 viewers and peaked at 13,926,000 at 10:45 p.m. ET.

The game was the top draw in all of television for the night and took the top spot in all of the key demographics. So far through three games, the series is even with the television numbers from 2023.

NBA Countdown, the show which airs right before the game begins, was also up two percent compared to the same show a year ago. NBA Countdown averaged 4,330,000 viewers. Through three games, the show is up five percent from last season’s pregame shows.

The Celtics will look to secure their 18th NBA Championship when the two teams meet again for Game 4 tonight at 8:30 ET. If a Game 5 is necessary, it would be played on Monday, June 17.

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