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John Forslund Named Seattle Kraken TV Play-By-Play Man

“Forslund spent nearly 30 years with the Carolina Hurricanes franchise and two-and-a-half decades as their play-by-play voice, following the team’s move south from Hartford in 1997.”

Brandon Contes

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John Forslund

After what has been a strange year for John Forslund, the broadcaster will be back as the lead voice of an NHL team next season, joining the Seattle Kraken as the organization’s first television play-by-play announcer. 

2021 will be the inaugural season for the Kraken, the NHL’s 32nd team beginning next fall. With Everett Fitzhugh already named the team’s radio voice and the first Black play-by-play broadcaster in NHL history, the organization also landed a prime announcer for their telecasts on ROOT Sports. 

Forslund spent nearly 30 years with the Carolina Hurricanes franchise and two-and-a-half decades as their play-by-play voice, following the team’s move south from Hartford in 1997. Last summer, Forslund and the Hurricanes were stuck in a contract dispute that went unresolved. In addition to his local work, Forslund also calls NHL games for NBC Sports. 

“It is an honor to join the Seattle Kraken as their inaugural television voice,” Forslund said in the press release. “I am looking forward to reuniting with (general manager) Ron Francis and working alongside (radio play-by-play broadcaster) Everett Fitzhugh. Throughout my career, I have cherished my connection with fans. To get the chance to create that bond and tell the Kraken story from Day One is a magnificent opportunity. I would like to thank the Seattle Kraken for this chance.”

The last 12 months have been unique for everyone, Forslund included. Not only did he see his nearly three-decade long tenure with the Hurricanes come to a close, but Forslund was also one of the first sportscasters impacted by COVID-19. 

Last March, Forslund self-quarantined after he happened to stay in the same Detroit hotel room that was previously used by Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. Later that week, Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, jumpstarting the suspension of most American sports. 

But having landed a new gig in Seattle, 2021 is already off to an exciting start for Forslund.

Sports TV News

LIV Golf Nearing TV Deal With The CW Network

“LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.”

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LIV Golf

According to a report from Front Office Sports, LIV Golf has laid out a deal with The CW Network for television carriage in the United States.

The deal is a multi-year agreement that will see the tour own real estate in lesser-viewed time slots on the network. A revenue-sharing relationship between the tour and the television network is expected to be struck.

LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.

After a standup comedy show in West Palm Beach last week, Feherty reportedly told the crowd “Have you heard of CW? I might get fired for this, but…,” according to report from Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post.

Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand had previously reported a deal between the Saudi-backed breakaway golf tour and the network was likely.

Nexstar Media Group — the nation’s largest television owner — is the majority owner of The CW Network. There are around 220 affiliates of the network on over-the-air television stations. Rumors of an acquisition of LIV Golf’s rights come on the heels of The CW Network being linked to the potential launch of a college football bowl game that would air exclusively on the network.

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Sports TV News

Stephen A. Smith: ‘I Don’t Feel Obligated To Agree With Black Community’

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Stephen A. Smith is out promoting his new memoir Straight Shooter. He recently sat down for a conversation with Men’s Health magazine.

Interviewer Rachel Epstein covers a wide variety of topics with Smith. Some are about what can be found in the book. Some are about the First Take star’s public perception.

She asked how Smith balances the responsibility of representing the Black community with his brand. On ESPN, Smith is known for being unique and unapologetic for his sometimes over-the-top persona.

“Number one by being fair,” he said. “By trying to gather as much information and educate myself on issues as much as I possibly can.”

He added that he has never felt pressure to think a certain way or say a certain thing. Even if pressure existed, he prides himself on not giving in to it.

“I never feel an obligation to agree with my community. I believe we all have a right to think the way we want to think. But I do feel a responsibility to make sure that the perspective emanating from my community is heard, even if I disagree.”

Stephen A. Smith is one of the highest-paid and most visible employees at ESPN. He said that a certain responsibility comes along with that status. He wants the Black community to know that even if he doesn’t agree, he will make sure people know what he is hearing when he is on TV talking about an important subject.

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Sports TV News

Kathryn Tappen Joining NBC’s Big Ten Coverage

“Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.”

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NBC has tabbed Kathryn Tappen as its sideline reporter for the network’s upcoming coverage of Big Ten football, according to a report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.

According to Marchand, Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.

Tappen has hosted Notre Dame football’s studio coverage and Peacock Sunday Night Football Final. She also worked as NBC’s lead interviewer for its coverage of the PGA Tour, but left that broadcast team at the end of 2022 as part of the network’s larger shakeup of its golf coverage.

The appointment of Kathryn Tappen conceivably concludes the Big Ten on NBC broadcast crew. Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge are expected to pair as the network’s play-by-play announcer and color analyst, respectively. NBC has yet to officially unveil its coverage plans for the 2023 college football season.

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