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Steve Stone Returns To White Sox For 2020

“The 1980 AL Cy Young Award winner signed on to join the White Sox broadcast team in 2008.”

Brandon Contes

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The Chicago White Sox continued their busy off-season by re-signing TV color analyst Steve Stone. Stone has been with the team for more than a decade and will remain their color commentator for “multiple years.”

“The Sox signed a minor free agent just now,” Stone tweeted Monday afternoon. “He won’t help the pennant chase and he can’t hit or even pitch anymore. It makes me very happy to announce that Jason [Benetti] has a partner for multiple years and our Twitter war can continue unabated. I’m aboard for the great years ahead.”

The 72-year old Stone, a native of Ohio, was a Major League pitcher from 1971-1981, with more than half of his career being played in Chicago for the White Sox and Cubs. The 1980 AL Cy Young Award winner signed on to join the White Sox broadcast team in 2008. 

From 1983 – 2004, Stone worked as an analyst for the Chicago Cubs, partnered with Hall of Fame play-by-play voice Harry Caray, until the announcer passed away in 1998. With the White Sox, Stone worked alongside soon to be Hall of Famer Hawk Harrelson for more than a decade and is currently partnered with 36-year old sportscaster Jason Benetti. 

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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NBC Sports Announces Olympic Commentators for Swimming, Diving, Track and Gymnastics

In swimming, Dan Hicks, covering his 14th Olympics, will once again work with Rowdy Gaines.

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Logo for the 2024 Paris Olympics on NBC

U.S. Olympic Team Trials for swimming, diving, track & field and gymnastics will be taking place from June 15-June 30 for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Those trials will be presented across NBC, Peacock and USA Network. With that, NBC Sports also announced its roster of announcers who will call those sports during the Olympics.

In swimming, Dan Hicks, covering his 14th Olympics, will once again work with Rowdy Gaines. The pair will have Elizabeth Beisel, working her second Olympics and Melissa Stark who will be working her fourth Olympics.

Jason Knapp will also provide swimming play-by-play and he will do so with Amy Van Dyken and Heathe Olson as analysts.

In diving, Ted Robinson will call the play-by-play and work with analysts Cynthia Potter and Laura Wilkinson. Andrea Joyce will serve as a reporter. Robinson will be working his 14th overall Olympics and 13th with NBC.

Track & Field will have Leigh Diffey, Paul Swangard and Bill Spaulding calling the play-by-play. Analysts for track include Ato Boldon, Sanya Richards-Ross, Kara Goucher, Trey Hardee, Lewis Johnson, Dawn Harper-Nelson and Shannon Rowbury.

Terry Gannon and Rich Lerner will be on play-by-play for gymnastics. Gannon will work the primetime show with analysts Tim Daggett, Samantha Peszek, John Roethlisberger and Zora Stephenson. Lerner will be teamed with Laurie Hernandez and Justin Spring.

The Olympics will conclude on August 11.

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ESPN Platforms Set for Men’s College World Series Coverage; ABC to Air First Ever Game

ESPN Sunday Night Baseball voice Karl Ravech will rotate with Mike Monaco calling play-by-play duties with Ravech calling the Finals.

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Graphic for the 2024 Men's College World Series
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN

The 2024 Men’s College World Series is set to begin tomorrow, and ESPN Platforms will have exclusive coverage as they have throughout the NCAA Division I Men’s College Baseball Tournament. The dual double-elimination brackets will conclude on Thursday, June 20 before the best-of-three MCWS Finals begins on Saturday, June 22.

Game 2 of the MCWS on Sunday, June 23 is set to be aired by ABC which will mark the first ever CWS game on the network. ESPN will also use ESPN2 for a game and all games will stream on ESPN+.

ESPN Sunday Night Baseball voice Karl Ravech will rotate with Mike Monaco calling play-by-play duties with Ravech calling the Finals. Analysts include former LSU All-American Ben McDonald, 2001 SEC Player of the Year Chris Burke, former MLB player Eduardo Perez and Omaha native Kyle Peterson. Reporters Kris Budden and Dani Wexelman will also be part of the crew in Omaha. Ravech, Peterson, Burke and Budden will make up the primary team.

ESPN has presented the Men’s College World Series since 2003 and actually started televising the event in 1980.

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NTT IndyCar Series Reportedly Nearing Media Rights Deal with FOX Sports

Terms of the agreement remain unknown, but it has been reported that IndyCar was looking to have one partner for its full season within its forthcoming media rights cycle.

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NTT IndyCar Series
Courtesy: NTT IndyCar Series

The NTT IndyCar Series, which includes the Indianapolis 500 and other races throughout the year, is reportedly closing in on signing a media rights deal with FOX Sports, according to a new report from Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal. The deal is reportedly expected to be announced “within days,” a development that comes after IndyCar expert Tony Donohue reported that FOX Sports offered IndyCar a complete network television package starting with the 2025 season and beyond. Potential occupants for IndyCar Rights are said to have been down to FOX and NBC in recent weeks, the latter of which is in the final year of its three-season contract with the open-wheel car racing league.

Terms of the agreement remain unknown, but it has been reported that IndyCar was looking to have one partner for its full season within its forthcoming media rights cycle. If this ends up being the case, it would presumably end the property’s relationship with NBC following the conclusion of the racing season in September. Penske Entertainment owns the NTT IndyCar Series, which attains a reported $20 million per year in media rights fees from NBC Sports.

News of the reported agreement between IndyCar and FOX Sports comes after the Indianapolis 500 averaged 5.34 million viewers on NBC and Peacock despite a four-hour weather delay. The broadcast marked the largest audience for the Indy 500 in the last three years and was also up 8% year-over-year from the 2023 iteration of the race.

INDYCAR removed the local blackout of the race in Indianapolis, Ind. and secured an 18.15 household rating and 54 share in the locale. The first six races of the 2024 IndyCar season averaged a total audience delivery of 1.95 million viewers, five of which were televised on NBC while the other one was on USA Network.

NASCAR announced new seven-year media rights deals with FOX Sports, NBC Sports, Amazon’s Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery beginning in 2025, collectively worth a reported total of $7.7 billion. FOX Sports will no longer air the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend because of how the new NASCAR media rights deal is structured, with the race moving to Prime Video.

Media rights for Formula 1 are currently held by ESPN and expire following the 2025 racing season, and there is reported interest from Apple to bid $2 billion per year for exclusive global rights to the property. FOX Sports previously broadcast Formula 1 races through its SPEED Network for 17 years through the conclusion of the 2012 season.

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