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Chargers Announce TV Deal With CBS 2 In LA

“CBS 2 takes over for the Chargers previous television partner KABC channel 7.”

Brandon Contes

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The Los Angeles Chargers will have a new home next season as Sofi Stadium is expected to open, but they’ll also have a new television home. Thursday afternoon, the Chargers announced a multiyear broadcast partnership with CBS 2 Los Angeles. 

The agreement makes CBS 2 a year-round media partner and the official preseason TV home of the Chargers. CBS 2 takes over for the Chargers previous television partner KABC channel 7.

“Everyone at CBS 2 is thrilled to reestablish our partnership with the Chargers,” president and general manager of CBS 2, Jay Howell said in the press release. “Jim Hill and many of our other employees have long had a great working relationship with the Spanos family, as well as Chargers players, coaches and front office staff. It’s great for us to grow our partnership with the team as it prepares to move into SoFi Stadium and start an exciting new chapter in franchise history. The Chargers are the perfect fit for CBS 2 and our viewers, as this new partnership agreement includes preseason game rights that dovetail nicely with CBS Sports’ rights to AFC regular season and playoff games.”

Already staffed with Chargers’ flavor, CBS 2 sports anchor Jim Hill is a former NFL defensive back, having played with the Bolts from 1968-1971. A broadcaster for more than four decades, Hill will provide Chargers coverage during CBS 2 newscasts and weekend additions of Sports Central.  The network will also air a weekly 30-minute Chargers show beginning at 6:30pm, Saturdays during the NFL season.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with CBS 2 as we open our SoFi Stadium home this year and enter a new era of Los Angeles Chargers football,” Chargers president of business operations A.G. Spanos added. “This truly is the perfect partnership on a number of levels. Not only did CBS 2 carry 11 of our 16 regular season games last season but Jim Hill, prior to becoming the sports broadcasting icon that he is here in Los Angeles, is a former first-round draft pick of ours and a beloved Chargers alum. When you consider Jim’s increased involvement with the franchise, the year-round coverage, first-rate preseason telecasts, in-depth features, off-field community collaboration and extensive postgame analysis of regular season contests, we simply can’t wait for the 2020 season to kick off and have CBS 2 right there with us.”

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

Sports TV News

Al Michaels: Condensed Prep Time For Thursday Night Football ‘A Downside’

“It’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us.”

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There were bound to be unexpected hiccups and unintended consequences as Al Michaels moved to Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime Video.

He told The Boston Globe Thursday that one of the downsides of the week’s schedule is less prep time with the teams playing in the game.

“When we go to see the teams, it’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us,” Michaels said. “And all the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve built some great relationships with coaches and players and GMs and owners and you name it, and I don’t get that much time to spend with them anymore. That’s a downside part of it for me. Some of the best stories you get come from those relationships.”

Michaels has raised eyebrows this season while not being shy about his disdain for some poor matchups early in the schedule. However, he now understands that there are quality games as the season approaches its close.

“The schedule was a little leaky with the Carolina-Atlanta game and a couple of other games that we’ve had, but now we’re positioned for a nice run down the stretch,” said Michaels.

The 78-year-old was also asked how he remains energetic and passionate for the job he’s held for so long.

The games are exciting. I love sports. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no script. And unscripted television is the greatest.”

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Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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