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ESPN Signs Chipper Jones

“His first game in the booth will be Thursday, Mar. 26 as an analyst for ESPN’s telecast of the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers at 4pm ET.”

Brandon Contes

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ESPN announced the addition of Hall of Famer Chipper Jones to their Major League Baseball team of broadcasters. ESPN and Jones were reported to have mutual interest in a partnership earlier this year, now it’s official. 

Jones has always been an entertaining personality who was willing to speak candidly, last year he partnered with Jon “Boog” Sciambi for a game on ESPN, which impressed network executives. 

“We had the opportunity to work with Chipper in a guest analyst capacity last season and we were instantly impressed,” ESPN senior coordinating producer Phil Orlins in the press announcement. “In addition to his well-known hall-of-fame credentials, it was clear that he is a charismatic storyteller with an authentic and fun-loving personality. He has tremendous passion for the sport and he’s still very connected to the current game. He’s one of baseball’s all-time greats and he will strengthen our overall MLB coverage.”

After working one game last year, Jones will be featured on ESPN more regularly in 2020, contributing as an analyst on Opening Day, weeknight baseball and holiday coverage. His first game in the booth will be Thursday, Mar. 26 as an analyst for ESPN’s telecast of the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers at 4pm ET. 

An eight-time All-Star, and widely considered one of the best switch hitters in MLB history, Jones also hopes he can do his part to help baseball after the game was hit hard by the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal.  

“Hopefully, some of the game’s superstars take this opportunity to lift the game up and get everyone invigorated and captivated. I’m hoping I can help, too. Really, I always wanted to be on TV,” Jones told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “Now, I guess I get to see if I’m any good at it.”

Jones played his entire 19-season MLB career with the Atlanta Braves, retiring in 2012, and being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018, his first year on the ballot.

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Sports TV News

Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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