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DC Sports Broadcasters Launch Charity Campaign

“Comprised of fourteen local broadcasters from the Washington Capitals, D.C. United, Nationals, Redskins and Wizards, the group announced their initiative, Voices of D.C. Sports: Helping to Feed the City.”

Brandon Contes

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With live sports suspended indefinitely, broadcasters have added free time on their hands. We’ve seen announcers offer to hone their skills by commentating on fan submitted videos. Now, Washington D.C. based broadcasters are stepping up to use their voices for coronavirus relief. 

Comprised of fourteen local broadcasters from the Washington Capitals, D.C. United, Nationals, Redskins and Wizards, the group announced their initiative, Voices of D.C. Sports: Helping to Feed the City.

For a minimum donation of $25, the sportscasters will use the personalized video shoutout platform Cameo, to send requested messages to fans. Instead of taking the profits paid out by Cameo for themselves, the participating broadcasters will donate the proceeds to benefit DC Central Kitchen, the Capital Area Food Bank and Martha’s Table.

“We didn’t want it to be anything outrageous,” Capitals radio play-by-play voice John Walton said in an interview with The Washington Post. “We wanted a lot of people to be able to do it. We’re cut off from the fans just like they’re cut off from us. It’s something that we can do that would be fun for people out there who probably need a smile, and at the same time raise money for the people who need it the most. There are a lot of people in this town who are doing hero’s work. We want to help give them the tools to keep doing that.”

Participating broadcasters include:

Washington Capitals:
Joe Beninati, NBC Sports Washington Capitals play-by-play announcer
Al Koken, NBC Sports Washington Capitals reporter and host
Craig Laughlin, NBC Sports Washington Capitals analyst
Alan May, NBC Sports Washington Capitals studio analyst
John Walton, Capitals Radio play-by-play announcer

Washington Nationals:
Dave Jageler, Nationals Radio play-by-play announcer
FP Santangelo, MASN Nationals color analyst
Charlie Slowes, Nationals Radio, play-by-play announcer

Washington Redskins:
Larry Michael, Washington Redskins play-by-play announcer

Washington Wizards:
Caron Butler, NBC Sports Washington Wizards analyst
Glenn Consor, NBC Sports Washington and Wizards Radio analyst
Drew Gooden – NBC Sports Washington Wizards color analyst
Dave Johnson, Wizards Radio play-by-play broadcaster 

D.C. United play-by-play announcer
Justin Kutcher, NBC Sports Washington Wizards play-by-play announcer

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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YES Network

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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