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Dr Fauci Endorses Fan-Free Sports

“A recent study by Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business found that 72% of Americans said they would not attend an event in person if sports resumed without a vaccine for the coronavirus.”

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America’s top infectious disease expert sees a path to the return of live sports. Dr. Anthony Fauci says that Major League Baseball’s plan to house players in a single location and play in empty stadiums makes a lot of sense.

“Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [the players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled,” Fauci told Snapchat’s Peter Hamby. “Have them tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”

A recent study by Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business found that 72% of Americans said they would not attend an event in person if sports resumed without a vaccine for the coronavirus. Fauci pointed to that study and noted that the results don’t mean that people don’t want to watch games.

Fauci is a sports fan himself. He grew up in Brooklyn as a Yankee fan and now counts himself as a fan of the Washington Nationals, whom, he told Hamby, he wants to see get to work defending their World Series title.

There will be two more parts of Dr. Fauci’s conversation with Peter Hamby released later this week. They can be found on YouTube.

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3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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