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NBA To Utilize ESPN Studio For Virtual Draft

“While NFL commissioner Roger Goodell invited fans into his home for the NFL Draft, Adam Silver has chosen to be on site. He will be joined in Bristol by the league’s Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum.”

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The NBA is following the NFL’s lead this year and going with a virtual event for its annual draft. ESPN announced today in a press release that the network’s Bristol studios will be the origination point for the event.

While NFL commissioner Roger Goodell invited fans into his home for the NFL Draft, Adam Silver has chosen to be on site. He will be joined in Bristol by the league’s Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum.

Select draftees will appear virtually on the broadcast. It is probably safe to assume we will see a number of media setups similar to what ESPN and the NFL provided first round picks back in April. The network will reveal more details including talent assignments at a later time.

Sports TV News

Thom Brennaman: Fans Want Me Back On TV

“Brennaman is hosting a podcast nowadays and calling high school football for a local Cincinnati outlet.”

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Courtesy: Bally Sports

Former Fox Sports play-by-play voice Thom Brennaman is paying the price for saying an anti-gay slur during a Cincinnati Reds broadcast last season. Brennaman lost his job over the comment but not the love of the people, according to him.

The broadcaster spoke with David Halberstam of the Sports Broadcasting Journal and said “90%” of fans still want him in the booth when they talk to him in public.

“If I’m in the grocery or getting a cup of coffee at the local convenient shop, 99% of those I bump into, I’ll hear, ‘We wish you were back, we miss you!’ Let’s say it’s even 90%,” Brennaman said when asked how fans in Cincinnati treat him in public. “Are execs going to make a decision to appease the 10%? Wouldn’t you listen to the massive 90%?”

The fateful night went down on Aug. 19, 2020, when Brennaman didn’t realize he spoke on a hot mic.

“On the TV pre-game show,” Brennaman began. “When I wasn’t aware that we were on the air, but when my mic was hot, I made a homophobic remark. Although it wasn’t on-air, the clip made its way to the internet and went viral from there. There’s no defending the word I used in any form or fashion. I’ve owned up to it every second since.

“The moment it left my lips, I knew it was over. It was just a matter of time. I anticipated a suspension and lots of backlash.”

To his credit, Thom Brennaman has made a real effort to understand the community his slur targeted. Evan Millward, a television news man in Cincinnati, met with Brennaman in September and introduced him to other members of the city’s LGBTQ community. That included local activist Ryan Messer.

Messer said that while he didn’t believe Brennaman’s claim that a microphone just happened to catch the one time the broadcaster ever used that word, he did want to help Brennaman grow and educate himself.

Brennaman is hosting a podcast nowadays and calling high school football for a local Cincinnati outlet. A sport he told Halberstam he misses the most.

“Football,” Brennaman confessed. “I liked the broadcast team with which I worked. I loved Chris Spielman like my own brother.”

Read the full interview with the former Fox Sports and Cincinnati Reds broadcaster here.

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Sports TV News

Drinks With Binks Renewed At FuboTV

The new series will premiere with two new episodes on September 18th.

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Drinks with Binks is returning for a fourth season. The show hosted by Julie Stewart-Binks was renewed by Fubo Sports Network on Tuesday.

The new season starts with two new episodes on September 18th. Dan Patrick will be a guest on the season debut.

Stewart-Binks has had numerous notable guests in the past ranging from athletes to media personalities to celebrities including Kenny Mayne, Michael Rapaport, Cari Champion, Jemele Hill, and many others.

Stewart-Binks has built up numerous relationships with some of her former coworkers turned guests over the years during her time at FS1, ESPN, and Barstool Sports.

Topics on previous episodes of Drinks With Binks range very widely from in depth sports analysis from former professionals of said sport, to personal and professional stories from some of the top personalities within the sports industry.

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Sports TV News

Is ESPN Creating a Problem For Itself With The Manningcast?

”I think it does a tremendous disservice to Levy, Griese, and Riddick” said Lewis referring to the traditional Monday Night Football booth.

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The alternate Manningcast on ESPN2 for the debut of Monday Night Football was met with a mixed bag of reactions. Mostly praise on the premise that it was very entertaining. The Mannings certainly have a certain charisma for the camera.

However purists of the game may find that this alternate cast is not for them, for a number of different reasons.

It is more of a fluff over substance kind of feel to it. The Mannings have plenty of stories to tell, along with some real insight, but if you are a fan of either team it may become a bit distracting.

Andy Masur made a great point when looking at the Manning Cast, people with a vested interest in the game may not want to tune into this alternate cast. He also added that as a play-by-play broadcaster himself, it did make him question what the future holds for that position.

One concerning thing for ESPN is that they have have indirectly created competition within their own company.

Jon Lewis aka Paulsen of SportsMediaWatch.com had plenty to say on his podcast about this, saying

”I think it does a tremendous disservice to Levy, Griese, and Riddick” said Lewis referring to the traditional Monday Night Football booth.

Though Griese was asked about this and said that he didn’t think that it did create competition. Lewis added that it is a slap in the face for ESPN to put so much attention into the alternate cast over the main cast.

Griese may be offering his honest opinion. As Masur said, there will be plenty of people that never think twice about watching the Manningcast over the traditional ESPN broadcast. While it isn’t one-for-one though, it is still another product that his own company is promoting. In that sense, Peyton and Eli are competition for Griese, Levy and Riddick in the same way that whatever is on Disney Channel or Freeform at 8:30 pm Eastern on Monday is competition for them.

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