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Chad Ford Launching Podcast Through Locked On

“Chad Ford’s NBA Big Board will premiere Monday, March 30.”

Brandon Contes

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NBA Draft expert and former longtime ESPN contributor Chad Ford is joining the Locked On Podcast Network, with a new show set to debut later this month.

Ford and his more than quarter-century of draft expertise will host twice weekly on the growing platform that features an extensive network daily NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and NCAA shows. Titled Chad Ford’s NBA Big Board, the host will provide basketball fans with an informed “deeper look” into the draft. The “deeper look” will feature guests that include NBA agents, players and front office personnel. 

After more than 16 years with ESPN, Ford was let go by The Worldwide Leader as part of their April, 2017 round of layoffs that also included about 100 additional employees. Ford has kept a low profile in recent years, but joins Locked On in a year that will include one of the most unique NBA drafts in league history. With limited scouting and no March Madness this year, NBA front offices will have increased difficulty on determining the best available player.

“Chad Ford is among the most thorough and trusted voices on the NBA draft,” says Utah Jazz radio play-by-play voice and Locked On founder, David Locke. “His deep roots in draft coverage give him the perspective to not only know the players but also behind the scenes dealings with agents and teams. We are ecstatic to add Chad Ford’s NBA Big Board as our fifth national NBA podcast on the Locked On Podcast Network.” 

Chad Ford’s NBA Big Board will premiere Monday, March 30. In addition to preparing for the upcoming draft, Ford will also look to the past, providing listeners with a weekly series of re-drafts.

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Dan Le Batard: NBA Broadcast Studio Shows ‘Exist to Get to the Next Batch of Commercials’

“You’re there giving 90 seconds of analysis and getting out. It seems like a waste of time.”

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Dan Le Batard

As playoff contests around the NBA started over the weekend, fans from around the world tuned in for coverage of the action on national platforms, including ABC, ESPN and TNT. Dan Le Batard watched some of the NBA Playoff games over the weekend, including the studio shows that preceded them, and made mention of a storyline that has emerged pertaining to former center and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins.

Perkins, who appeared this weekend on NBA Countdown, conjectured that the Miami Heat could shoot 100% from the field and still get swept by the Boston Celtics in the best-of-seven series.

This point, which co-host Jon “Stugotz” Weiner claimed was ridiculous, led Le Batard to elaborate on ESPN’s coverage of the games. Despite an early audio glitch in the Orlando Magic contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Le Batard believes that the game coverage was great. Shoulder programming surrounding those broadcasts, however, was an entirely different matter.

“I’m talking about the games, but the studio shows in general – that’s something that Adam Silver and the NBA has had a problem with, almost the entire time that I’ve known of ESPN and that they’ve had studio shows, because it’s always compared against the standard, which is [Charles] Barkley and TNT, and it always pales compared to that,” Le Batard said, referring to Inside the NBA.

“But you’re just filling a lot of studio shows with noise and noise in tight spaces, and so some dumb things are going to be said because you just exist to get to the next batch of commercials. You’re there giving 90 seconds of analysis and getting out. It seems like a waste of time.”

This season marks the first year with host Malika Andrews and analyst Bob Myers, who stepped in after Mike Greenberg focused on his other ventures and Jalen Rose was laid off by the company. Prior to that, NBA Countdown had included personalities such as Michelle Beadle, Paul Pierce and Jay Williams.

“It’s an unfair comparison or standard, isn’t it, from Adam Silver, to compare what ESPN is doing against TNT,” Weiner said. “It is the greatest pregame show in the history of pregames.”

“I’m just telling you the reason they’ve had so much turnover over the years with those studio shows is at least in part because of the NBA’s dissatisfaction with those studio shows,” Le Batard said. “They’ve wanted something better.”

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Emily Austin Named Social Presenter for Haney-Garcia Fight on DAZN

The Haney-Garcia PPV bout will be broadcast by DAZN on Saturday night live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Emily Austin
Courtesy: Emily Austin on Instagram

There has been considerable anticipation surrounding the upcoming fight between WBC junior welterweight championship Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia, which has resulted in engagement across multiple platforms. Garcia is coming off a knockout win against Oscar Duarte and arrived to Friday’s weigh-in 3.2 pounds over the 140-pound limit, which disqualifies him from winning the super-lightweight world title. Nonetheless, the card will still take place from Barclays Center broadcasting live on DAZN and PPV.com. It will also mark the DAZN event debut for sports reporter Emily Austin, who has reported on a variety of boxing fights in the past.

Austin has been working with DAZN throughout the week, contributing to its social media coverage as the matchup’s social presenter. During the broadcast itself, DAZN will air content created by Austin showcasing the event as a whole. Outside of DAZN, Austin also hosts The Hoop Chat podcast where she has interviewed several NBA players, including Monte Morris, Zach Collins and Miles McBride. Additionally, she appears on news programming and is the owner of People’s Beauty, a skincare company that sells several consumer products.

The main card for Saturday’s DAZN event, which is being presented by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, is available to watch online for $69.99 utilizing the DAZN platform and on PPV.com. Earlier in the week, Fuse Media announced that it had agreed to a partnership with Golden Boy Promotions and the El Rey Rebel FAST Channel to commence a new Friday Night Fights series beginning on Friday, May 3 at 8 p.m. EST.

“We couldn’t be more excited that 10-time world champion Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions are bringing some of the most epic fights in modern boxing history to El Rey Rebel, Miguel Roggero, chairman and chief executive officer of Fuse Media, said in a statement. “With these thrilling matches, ‘Friday Night Fights’ will be a cornerstone franchise for El Rey Rebel, unleashing the types of raw emotion and adrenaline that the channel’s growing number of viewers are craving.”

The series will look back at memorable fights, beginning with the review of a matchup between De La Hoya and Luis Ramon “Yori Boy” Campas that took place on the same day in 2003. This doubleheader fight presentation concludes with the 2009 matchup between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton. Some of the other fights that will be showcased as part of the series will include bouts part of other partnerships from Fuse Media, including Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts franchises Combate Global MMA and BYB Bare Knuckle Fighting.

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Malika Andrews: “Giants Have Sat in this Seat Before Me”

“I’ve always had a deep appreciation for that.”

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Graphic of the SI Media with Jimmy Traina Podcast and picture of Malika Andrews
Courtesy: ESPN

Malika Andrews was the featured guest on a new episode of the SI Media with Jimmy Traina podcast. Andrews is entering her first playoff season as host of NBA Countdown, a position she took over from Mike Greenberg. Andrews filled in for Greenberg on various editions of the program throughout the 2022-23 regular season, largely due to Greenberg’s busy schedule. 

As Traina pointed out Andrews will have to be on almost every night coming up she said, “I usually don’t think of it in those terms. I get to be on every night versus I have to be on every night.” She later added about the upcoming schedule, “This is new to me. I have never experienced this sort of schedule before.”

Traina asked Andrews about when she found out she had gotten the new gig and whether or not she had an idea it was coming. Andrews said because she had filled in and had a taste of NBA Countdown, “I hoped that someday I would have the opportunity to host NBA Countdown. Giants have sat in this seat before me, and I’ve always had a deep appreciation for that.”

Andrews told Traina about a text she received from Greenberg upon the announcement of her getting the position. “He wanted to make sure that I heard from him, and he said, ‘You’re so ready and you’re going to be so great in this role. I don’t have the least bit of concern, and neither should you. My only advice is keep having fun with it and pace yourself, because it’s a long season. If you need some rest, take it. And I’m looking forward to watching you. I am a text away if you need anything.’

“That meant the world to me, getting that text from him in that moment because he has done so much and continues to do so much. I felt at that point there are a couple of people that see something in me so now I’m going to try and fulfill whatever that is even if I’m a little bit nervous.”

Andrews talked about working on the show and some of the unique personalities show is on with, including Stephen A. Smith. “I always knew that Stephen A. was a machine in terms of the work that he puts in, but I think sitting next to him I’ve definitely grown to have a new appreciation for it…There is nobody who works harder. His work ethic is really unparalleled. I admire his ability to jump sport to sport on First Take and then really know basketball.”

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