It is undeniably strange to have ESPN’s College GameDay heading to Augusta National Golf Club later this month to do a show live from The Masters. One person that thinks it is a perfect pairing though is Scott Van Pelt. The SportsCenter host is an avid college football fan and the network’s go to anchor for golf coverage.
On a conference call held Tuesday, Van Pelt told reporters that he is excited to see one of his favorite shows participate in The Masters festivities.
“I love that the club was on board and interested in having and hosting this very unusual marriage of time on the calendar to put the two together,” he said.
Asked if he thought that the show would be an appropriate fit for the usually quiet and reserved atmosphere that Augusta National is during Masters week, Van Pelt said that he has no doubt College GameDay will strike the right tone.
“I say all the time and I mean it. Like I think College GameDay is the best show we do at ESPN and Rece Davis is as good a host as there is in television. And so you have people that are going to have reverence and understanding and appreciation for the venue where they are.
“So you’re not going to see them show up and have marching bands up and down the fairways and things of that nature. You know where you are. You’re at one of the most storied golf venues on the plant and at an event that there’s a certain level of decorum that’s understood.”
Van Pelt said that College GameDay has not been the same in 2020 because live crowds have not been permitted on site as in years past. That should quell any fears of the show bringing noise and a raucous party to Augusta.
He also wanted to make it clear that he hopes Lee Corso will still be allowed to be Lee Corso. When asked if he expected the former coach and GameDay analyst to show up in vintage golf apparel, Van Pelt said he had no idea, but he wouldn’t rule it out.
“What an amazing job they have done with Lee, last week for Halloween. So I’m sure they will come up with something. I don’t know, I haven’t asked them, and like you, I look forward to finding out.”
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.