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Charles Barkley Pushes Back On NCAA Critics, Says Free Education Matters

“Last week, #NotNCAAProperty was trending on Twitter as the extremely valuable college basketball tournament began and its players wanted to highlight that they’re still prohibited by the organization from profiting off their own name.”

Brandon Contes

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Never one to miss a chance at voicing his opinion, current March Madness analyst Charles Barkley spoke out against anyone who devalues a free education for student-athletes.

Barkley is once again part of this year’s NCAA Tournament coverage for Turner Sports and CBS. And although he doesn’t follow college basketball closely during the regular season, his boisterous opinions make him a valuable asset to the broadcast. 

“Education, to me, that’s my biggest gripe. When these people on television talk about who should get paid or not. Listen, I get sick and tired of people telling these young kids getting a free education is nothing,” Barkley said. “That’s total BS in my opinion. The NCAA got some issues and they’re not perfect, but to tell kids especially young Black kids that getting a free education is nothing is ridiculous and stupid.”

March Madness alone brings in more than $800 million per year for the NCAA from its TV deal. The event’s most important asset, the players, are left without any of it, sparking debate of whether student-athletes should be better compensated. But while acknowledging the NCAA has flaws, Barkley still wants a free education to be valued. 

Last week, #NotNCAAProperty was trending on Twitter as the extremely valuable college basketball tournament began and its players wanted to highlight that they’re still prohibited by the organization from profiting off their own name. 

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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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

Jordan Bondurant

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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Sports TV News

Return of Bob Iger Puts Pac-12 ‘Not Exactly In A Great Place’

“I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12.”

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The Pac-12 is currently in a media rights negotiation with partners for its next TV deal after the departure of USC and UCLA. The conference has remained committed to the stance that it feels it can match the dollar amount given to the Big 12 from FOX and ESPN. However, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post isn’t so confident.

During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Marchand said the recent return of Bob Iger as Disney CEO, coupled with recent layoffs from Amazon, could spell bad news for the PAC 12’s quest to match what the Big 12 received.

“Do I still think they can get the same number as the Big 12? I do, but you start thinking about where this is going and that’s not exactly a great place to be if you’re the Pac-12. They might get the number, but the idea that they’ll get a lot more than the Big 12 — which I’ve already said is not gonna happen — I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12…I think there’s some rough waters out in the Pacific.”

Marchand said if the University of California Board of Regents won’t allow UCLA to join the Big Ten as expected, the conference would then set its sights on Washington and Oregon, which would continue to decimate the Pac-12.

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