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Big Ten Playing Conference Games Only This Fall

“Every team’s schedule will be reduced from twelve games to ten. That means everyone will add one conference game.”

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The Big Ten is the first of college football’s Power 5 conferences to make a major move to change the complection of the season. The conference has decided its teams will only play conference games this fall according to a report from ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Heather Dinich.

Every team’s schedule will be reduced from twelve games to ten. That means everyone will add one conference game. It isn’t the move several schools wanted according to Dinich and Schlabach.

“Some Big Ten schools preferred playing only conference foes with one additional non-league game — which would preserve some of the marquee non-Big Ten matchups — but there is overwhelming support for a 10-game conference-only schedule, the sources said.”

Amongst the marquee non-conference games being lost are Ohio State’s visit to Oregon, which would most certainly feature a matchup of two top ten teams, and Michigan’s visit to Washington, which likely would have been a top 25 matchup.

The teams that were set to play non-conference games against Big Ten opponents are certainly left scratching their heads today. Six schools will lose two games, as they had multiple games scheduled against Big Ten schools.

TV networks will also feel the effects of the change. FOX is the primary rights holder for Big Ten football. The network’s Big Noon Saturday package will certainly feature plenty of conference games later in the season, but given FOX’s relationships with the Big 12 and the Pac-12, there were plenty of non-conference games that likely also would have been a part of those broadcast plans.

ESPN also holds rights to Big Ten games. The cable network and ABC will both be effected by a smaller schedule.

The obvious media loser in all of this is the conference’s own network. The Big Ten Network is a join venture of the conference and FOX Sports. It is also the regular home for games between conference members and teams from smaller conferences.

None of the media partners have announced how the conference’s decision will effect their plans this fall.

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FOX Sells Out Super Bowl Ad Time

Some advertisements were sold for more than $7 million, while the average price slotted between $6 and $7 million.

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FOX Sports has reportedly sold out its allotment of Super Bowl ads, with some fetching $7 million for a 30-second spot.

According to a report from Deadline, the average price per ad was between $6 and $7 million, per FOX Sports Executive Vice President of Ad Sales Mark Evans.

Evans also told Deadline the ad slots for the event sold out two weeks ago. Volatility with some advertisers — like cryptocurrency brand FTX — and economic conditions were listed as reasons for why it took until three weeks before the event to sell out.

“As things have now settled down a bit and people feel better about the economic trajectory, a few of those units that were available picked up in earnest,” Evans said.

FOX claimed in September it had sold 95% of its available ad space for television’s largest event.

The $7 million price-tag for a 30-second commercial is in line with what first-time Super Bowl ad buyers paid for in 2022 when the event aired on NBC. That network’s reported asking price for commercials was between $5.8 and $6.2 million, with 40 advertisers joining the fray for Super Bowl LVI.

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Kevin Harvick Joining NASCAR on FOX Booth in 2024

“Getting the chance to step into the booth with Mike and Clint in 2024 is an honor.”

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NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick is retiring from the sport after the 2023 season, but he won’t be leaving completely. Sunday, Harvick announced he’ll join the NASCAR on FOX booth next season.

Harvick will join Mike Joy and former teammate Clint Bowyer for FOX’s portion of the NASCAR schedule.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the FOX NASCAR team full-time,” Harvick said. “I’ve enjoyed the experience in the booth the last several years because it has given me valuable insight into what being in the booth is all about. Getting the chance to step into the booth with Mike and Clint in 2024 is an honor and a great way to stay connected to the sport and NASCAR fans.”

Harvick has been a regular contributor to the network’s coverage of NASCAR’s lower series’ — the Craftsman Truck Series and the Xfinity Series — since 2015. He’ll make appearances in the FOX booth for select races in both of those series’ telecasts during the 2023 season in preparation for his full-time role in 2024.

“I can’t overstate how thrilled we are for Kevin to be an official member of the FOX Sports family,” FOX Sports President of Productions and Executive Producer Brad Zager said. “This is a marriage eight years in the making — since he first stepped into our NASCAR Xfinity Series booth with more presence and poise than most newcomers dream of. It has been fun to watch Kevin learn the TV ropes, and we cannot wait to hear him, Mike (Joy) and Clint (Bowyer) call their first race together.”

Harvick has raced in NASCAR’s top series since 2001, having the unenviable task of replacing legend Dale Earnhardt after his death during the 2001 Daytona 500.

The 47-year-old Harvick has won 60 races during his career. He won all four of what would be considered NASCAR’s “crown jewel events”, the Daytona 500 (once), the Coca-Cola 600 (twice), the Southern 500 (twice), and the Brickyard 400 (three times). He also took home the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series Championship, in addition to two Xfinity Series Championships.

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Carlos Beltran Leaving YES Network For Mets Front Office

Beltran was preparing to shift from a game analyst to a studio analyst for the 2023 season at YES Network.

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Carlos Beltran will leave his broadcasting position with YES Network to return to the New York Mets organization, a report from The New York Post reveals.

Beltran was preparing to shift from a game analyst to a studio analyst for the 2023 season at YES Network, but will instead be rejoining the Mets organization in a yet-to-be-announced front office position.

The Mets hired Beltran in 2019 to serve as the team’s manager, but fired him before the season after he was named as one of the leaders of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season. In the report from MLB, Beltran was the only Astros player implicated as a conspirator behind the plot to steal opposing teams’ signs and relay them to batters by banging on trash cans.

The 45-year-old played for the New York Mets for seven of his 20 Major League seasons.

YES Network has now experienced several changes to its Yankees coverage this offseason. Cameron Maybin was not retained for the 2023 season. He has subsequently joined the television booth of the Detroit Tigers, where he’ll announce select games. Meanwhile, YES Network strongly courted Don Mattingly this offseason before the Yankee legend ultimately decided to join the coaching staff of the Toronto Blue Jays. The network reportedly continues to chase after Yankee legend Derek Jeter for a broadcasting role, as well.

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