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College Football Conferences & Networks Extend Scheduling Decisions

“ESPN, FOX Sports, and CBS Sports have agreed that they will not stick to the June 1 deadline of scheduling games for the early weeks of the season.”

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“Nobody knows anything about what will happen this fall.”

That is how John Ourand of Sports Business Journal summed up a joint statement from FBS college football conferences and their media partners that was sent out on Tuesday.

ESPN, FOX Sports, and CBS Sports have agreed that they will not stick to the June 1 deadline of scheduling games for the early weeks of the season. That date is a standard deadline most years for determining the how the first two weeks of games will be laid out. While matchups are set, it is the kickoff times that are yet to be determined.

Seven games are scheduled for the traditional “Week 0,” which is set for August 29. The real question marks surround the first full Saturday of games. The TV networks will likely be keen to spread out kickoffs for Alabama vs USC, Michigan vs Washington, and Florida State vs. West Virginia. There will also be a focus put on making it easier for fans to watch nationally recognized brands like Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Oregon.

“These kickoff times and network designations will be announced at a later date as we all continue to prepare for the college football season,” the statement reads.

Ourand translated that message in a tweet by simply saying “TV nets and leagues are hoping a few more weeks will bring some clarity.”

With no centralized authority to make nation-wide decisions, college football conferences have been determining their return dates one-by-one. Many schools in the SEC and Big 12 have already set dates and guidelines for players to return to campuses and begin using facilities. Other conferences are being more cautious and patient in their decision making process.

Sports TV News

Miami Marlins Continue Broadcast Changes, Drop J.P. Arencibia

The former big league catcher worked the club’s opening road series and more than 60 games for Bally Sports Florida.

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After announcing last week that Miami Marlins play-by-play announcer Glenn Geffner wouldn’t return to the booth next year, the club continues to make changes. J.P. Arencibia won’t return as an analyst for the club in 2023.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Arencibia was informed he will no longer work on either the team’s television or radio broadcasts next season. The former big league catcher worked the club’s opening road series and more than 60 games for Bally Sports Florida. It was his first season as a television analyst. According to Jackson, the reason for Arencibia’s departure is “unclear”, adding a reason “was not offered”.

The club will continue to use a rotation of analysts in 2023, with Jeff Nelson, Gaby Sanchez, Rod Allen, and Tommy Hutton working in the booth.

Arencibia was brought on for the 2022 season after the Marlins dropped former Rookie of the Year Todd Hollandsworth from the clubs televisions broadcasts after the previous season concluded.

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Sports TV News

Rebecca Lobo Signs Extension With ESPN

She has served as the analyst for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the National Championship Game.

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ESPN and Rebecca Lobo have signed an extension to keep the women’s basketball legend with the network.

Lobo joined ESPN in 2004 as a WNBA and women’s college basketball analyst. She has served as the analyst for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the National Championship Game.

“I am thrilled to continue doing what I love, calling women’s basketball games,” said Lobo. “It is an honor to be a part of the soundtrack for the games played by these incredible female athletes.”

Lobo had a storied career at UConn before winning an Olympic Gold Medal. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

“Rebecca is one of the best in the business. She excels on both game coverage and studio coverage,” said Patricia Lowry, ESPN Vice President, Production. “Her knowledge, history, and passion for the game and its growth continue to make us better.  She is a true asset and a highly valued member of our team.”

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Sports TV News

ESPN Reaches Extension To Remain Home of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

“It’s a sports calendar and Fourth of July staple, one of those classic, timeless events we know fans look forward to every year.”

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ESPN and the International Federation of Competitive Eating have agreed to a deal that will see the network remain the home of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July.

The Major League Eating contest has aired on the network since 2004. The new contract will see the event take place on ESPN through the 2029 event.

“You can’t beat the spectacle that is the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest,” said ESPN Director of Programming & Acquisitions John Suchenski. “It’s a sports calendar and Fourth of July staple, one of those classic, timeless events we know fans look forward to every year. It has had memorable moments over the years, and we’re ecstatic that many more will be on our platforms for the foreseeable future.”

The event has risen to prominence during its tenure with the Disney-owned network, seeing the rivalry between Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut grow into one of national prominence. The rivalry even sparked an ESPN documentary on the subject. Chestnut has grown into an American celebrity for his performance during the contest, winning his 15th mustard-yellow belt in 2022.

“We’re thrilled to extend our agreement with ESPN and ensure that viewers will continue to join in this great July Fourth tradition. ESPN is a fantastic broadcast partner and they capture the spirit of the event perfectly.”

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