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NFL Network Sets Schedule Release Special For Thursday

“In order to reach a wider audience, in addition to traditional television, the special can be streamed through the NFL Network app on smartphones, tablets and web connected televisions.”

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Fresh off of the success of the NFL Draft which saw viewership numbers reach a record high 55 million, the NFL, in conjunction with the NFL Network, has announced that the 2020 schedule will be released on Thursday, May 7 at 8 p.m.

The NFL Network will follow with a three hour special entitled Schedule Release ’20 with Verizon Wireless acting as the title sponsor for the show. During the ensuing three hour time slot, NFL Network analysts, which include former NFL players and executives, will break down the schedule for all 32 teams in the league, highlighting Primetime games and other key matchups throughout the season. In all, dates and times for all of the NFL’s 256 regular season games will be revealed.

In order to reach a wider audience, in addition to traditional television, the special can be streamed through the NFL Network app on smartphones, tablets and web connected televisions. NFL Network subscribers can also stream the show on the official NFL website.

Many personalities on the NFL Network have promoted the event on their twitter accounts, including reporter James Palmer and NFL Red Zone host Scott Hanson. The NFL Network also updated the header image on its official twitter account with the date and time of Schedule Release ’20 to make the information more readily accessible to their 3.9 million followers.

Several other outlets are reporting the NFL Network’s pending coverage of the 2020 schedule release, including the Sporting News, which adds that the event can also be accessed by Canadian viewers via live stream on the paid subscription service DAZN.

The COVID- 19 virus will alter the schedule slightly. The NFL has decided to move the five international games set for the United Kingdom and Mexico back to U.S. soil, the league announced in a press release on May 4. The NFL raised over 100 million dollars for COVID-19 relief efforts through the 2020 NFL Draft and will continue to promote that campaign during the Schedule Release ’20 special. 

Story written by BSM contributor Jacob Conley. Follow him on Twitter @GWUJake.

Sports TV News

Former Hulu Exec Michael Schneider Hired To Run Bally Sports+

“Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.”

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Sinclair Broadcast Group and Diamond Sports Group have tapped Michael Schneider as the chief operating officer and general manager of Bally Sports+ when it launches this year.

Schneider will oversee the direct-to-consumer platform that will also be the hub for Bally Sports live programming.

Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.

“Throughout his career, Michael has successfully launched and developed DTC streaming and service platforms and created immersive engagement experiences,” said Sinclair COO and president of broadcast Rob Weisbord. “He is a terrific addition to the team as we build out the Bally Sports+ offering, its exclusive content and passionate fan community.”

Even before Hulu, Schneider had a hand in streaming. He was a founding member of the PlayStation Vue launch team.

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Sports TV News

Marquee Sports Network Weighs Streaming Options Outside of Bally Sports+

“Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.”

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As Sinclair Broadcast Group prepares to launch Bally Sports+, its direct-to-consumer platform that will be home to Bally Sports live events, the Chicago Cubs are weighing their options for Marquee Sports Network, which the team co-owns with Sinclair.

Despite being under the Sinclair umbrella, Marquee is its own free-standing RSN from the rest of the Bally Sports networks across the country.

Marquee is readily available on a number of cable providers, but the only thing that’s really missing is its own standalone streaming platform for games. Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.

“We’re always interested in being on the cutting edge with the ultimate deliverable to our consumer,” McCarthy said. “But there isn’t any contractual clock ticking to make us feel that way. It’s how we’ve approached things from the beginning. Between our two ownership groups, there’s a lot of aggression to get it right. And I think you’ll see something along those lines shortly.”

The TV ratings will always be of top interest for MLB, especially regional ratings. But as the league has worked to embrace more streaming options for games, striking deals with Apple and Peacock for rights this season, it’s all about providing what the fans and viewers want.

“We now have the ability to do so much more, to properly tell the story of a 162-game season,” said Crane Kenney, Chicago Cubs president of business operations. Kenney was instrumental in the launch of Marquee. “We love baseball, we love the game, and we love the opportunity we have to share it with our fans in really deep ways.”

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Sports TV News

Laura Rutledge Celebrates Chemistry Of NFL Live

“It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”

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Laura Rutledge is very happy with where NFL Live is as the current lineup gets set to enter its third season together. She told The Big Lead that there is genuine chemistry between herself, Marcus Spears, Mina Kimes, and Dan Orlovsky and that is why she doesn’t feel the need to emulate any of sports television’s many debate shows.

“You don’t want to see people yelling at each other all the time and I’m really proud of the chemistry that we have struck and just letting that breathe on air and having so much fun. It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”

The 2022 NFL season will have a very different feel for ESPN. The addition of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for Monday Night Football adds new expectations to the network.

Rutledge said that the attention on the network means that she and her colleagues have to raise their respective games, but that shouldn’t be hard. There is always material to work with in this league.

“We’ve seen this offseason, we saw the previous offseason, how the NFL news cycle never stops. It’s funny because the news cycle becomes such a big piece of the story, but we’re like, we can’t wait for the games,” she said.

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