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Sports TV News

Kyle Brandt’s Tweet Draws Criticism, Debate From Media

“The debate will continue on social media for the foreseeable future.”

Ricky Keeler

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On Monday morning, the Miami Marlins’ home opener that was supposed to take place tonight was cancelled as a COVID-19 outbreak has taken place inside the organization according to Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers of ESPN. The Yankees-Phillies Monday night game was also postponed, as first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1287736207120781316

With this story taking center stage, it has caused many to question if college football or the NFL can take place safely without a bubble this fall. Some are skeptical that a full year can finish without it and that has caused others in the media to be upset that they perceive people want the season to fail. 

Check out this tweet from Kyle Brandt, who is one of the hosts of Good Morning Football every weekday on NFL Network. Brandt was not sure why some people, in his mind, root for the sport to fail when many depend on games to make a living in this industry.

https://twitter.com/KyleBrandt/status/1287756656663769090

This tweet has caused a bunch of reaction from Brandt’s colleagues in sports media. Mike Golic Jr. from Golic & Wingounderstood Brandt’s response, but made it clear no one wants the virus to win.

https://twitter.com/mikegolicjr/status/1287758699352793089

Peter Burns, who covers college football for the SEC Network, emphasized that the Marlins news does have to at least bring up the questions about how football is going to play on this fall: 

https://twitter.com/PeterBurnsESPN/status/1287763535263563778

One other important thing to note as Off the Ball Sports NFL analyst Cian Fahey questioned Brandt’s motives for the tweet.

https://twitter.com/Cianaf/status/1287767737557823488

Of course, there are writers such as Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal that said while Kyle is great on Good Morning Football, he did mention it is the journalist’s duty to seek truth and took a slight shot at Brandt:  

https://twitter.com/GregABedard/status/1287773490851053568

A couple of NFL writers replied to Brandt’s tweet, including Ralph Vacchiano. The NFL insider over at SNY said his tweet was offensive and completely wrong. Plus, Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News mentioned it is a reporter’s job to talk about what they see.

https://twitter.com/RVacchianoSNY/status/1287766653690875906
https://twitter.com/calvinwatkins/status/1287768353424183297

Of course, there are some who do believe the NFL will be in much better shape to control COVID-19 compared to Major League Baseball. Colin Cowherd took to Twitter on Monday and wrote to the “doomsday sports media” that the NFL is going to play and restrictions will help.

https://twitter.com/ColinCowherd/status/1287767512688373760

It is an issue that will continue to be talked about as the USA continues to try to contain COVID-19. It is clear the division is there and as former NFL player Ross Tucker put it, it depends on how people are from a positive/negative standpoint in terms of how they look at the latest news.

https://twitter.com/RossTuckerNFL/status/1287759997523435523

The debate will continue on social media for the foreseeable future. However, it is safe to say that the NFL and college football are under the microscope now as MLB had its outbreak just 4 days into the start of their season.  

Sports TV News

Al Michaels: Condensed Prep Time For Thursday Night Football ‘A Downside’

“It’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us.”

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There were bound to be unexpected hiccups and unintended consequences as Al Michaels moved to Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime Video.

He told The Boston Globe Thursday that one of the downsides of the week’s schedule is less prep time with the teams playing in the game.

“When we go to see the teams, it’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us,” Michaels said. “And all the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve built some great relationships with coaches and players and GMs and owners and you name it, and I don’t get that much time to spend with them anymore. That’s a downside part of it for me. Some of the best stories you get come from those relationships.”

Michaels has raised eyebrows this season while not being shy about his disdain for some poor matchups early in the schedule. However, he now understands that there are quality games as the season approaches its close.

“The schedule was a little leaky with the Carolina-Atlanta game and a couple of other games that we’ve had, but now we’re positioned for a nice run down the stretch,” said Michaels.

The 78-year-old was also asked how he remains energetic and passionate for the job he’s held for so long.

The games are exciting. I love sports. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no script. And unscripted television is the greatest.”

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Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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