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Ernie Johnson, Curtis Granderson Join TBS Playoff Coverage

“As for the play-by-play booths, TBS will use two man booths in the division series. One will feature Brian Anderson and Ron Darling. The other will be Dan Orsillo and Jeff Francoeur.”

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TBS is making some changes to its studio team for the Major League Baseball playoffs. Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reports that Ernie Johnson and Curtis Granderson will replace Casey Stern and Gary Sheffield respectively. Pedro Martinez and Jimmy Rollins will remain in place.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed, but I’m so proud to have worked with my teammates on set and an incomparable crew in studio,” Stern told Marchand. “We will always be family. With the trauma I’ve been through and witnessed with my own family over the past two years, perspective is easy to find.”

The trauma he alludes to involves his ex-wife and her boyfriend being charges with multiple felony counts of cruelty to Stern’s children.

Granderson made some guest appearances on TBS last year. This will be his first full-time broadcasting opportunity though. While Granderson has proven to be comfortable in front of the camera, Marchand speculates that he will be “less likely to let it rip like Sheffield.”

Johnson is certainly a known commodity to Turner Sports executives. He leads TNT’s Inside the NBA throughout the season and has been part of postseason Major League Baseball coverage since TBS began carrying playoff games.

As for the play-by-play booths, TBS will use two man booths in the division series. One will feature Brian Anderson and Ron Darling. The other will be Dan Orsillo and Jeff Francoeur. Francoeur will move into the booth with Darling and Anderson for the LCS.

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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