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Turner Gets 3 Stanley Cup Finals & Winter Classic

Other details of the agreement include as many as 72 exclusive regular-season games per year, which will air on TNT and its sister channel TBS. Half of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each year can also be found on both stations.

Kate Constable

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Having announced a seven-year deal with the NHL on Tuesday, Turner officially joined ESPN as one of the league’s TV partners. The deal will begin this fall with the 2021-22 season.

According to Awful Announcing, Turner did not release the yearly fee their paying but noted that Sports Business Journal estimates the total cost at $1.575 billion over the seven years, or $225 million per year.

When adding the $400 million per season that ESPN is paying, the NHL is raking in $625 million per year, which is more than double what NBC – who had been the league’s only national TV partner for the last 10 years before being replaced – and ESPN had currently been paying, as noted by Awful Announcing.

A report by Sportico notes that “TNT will televise the three Stanley Cup Finals not already claimed by fellow newcomer ESPN, as well as the Winter Classic.”

Other details of the agreement include as many as 72 exclusive regular-season games per year, which will air on TNT and its sister channel TBS. Half of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each year can also be found on both stations.

TNT will also have streaming and simulcast rights for HBO, although Sportico notes that WarnerMedia News & Sports chairman Jeff Zucker and his team won’t rush into bringing hockey “over-the-top.”

“We’re really focused on the Turner networks, TNT and TBS, given their full distribution,” Zucker said during a call with sports reporters on Tuesday. “We’re excited to have the optionality to put these games on HBO Max as well, and that will happen in years to come as HBO Max continues to grow. We’re going to skate where the puck is going… but it’s not imminent, and it’s not going to happen this year.”

The report also notes that Turner is assembling a studio show and NHL broadcast team but, between the NBA, MLB and March Madness games, it’s undecided as to which night will serve as the weekly hockey telecast.

An NHL studio show similar to Inside the NBA is also in the works, according to Sportico.

“Obviously, there’s a style to Turner Sports, and we want to bring that same approach to the NHL,” Zucker said, before saying that the show that bows next fall will be “innovative, fun and dynamic.”

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Ian Rapoport: I Have Never Thought It is Me vs Adam Schefter

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows.”

Jordan Bondurant

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In terms of NFL insiders, Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are the two biggest names out there. And sometimes it can be a race between the two to get the biggest scoops first. Especially now with the NFL coaching carousel in full swing.

This week two teams hired new head coaches – the Broncos traded two first round picks to the Saints to acquire the rights to Sean Payton and the Texans signed DeMeco Ryans.

Rapoport tweeted that Denver had pursued Ryans up until the day they announced the trade for Payton.

Not even 15 minutes later, Schefter appeared to clarify the information out there with the two teams.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday, Pat McAfee referred to the conflicting information as a “source off.”

Ian said he stood behind what he put out there.

“I know it’s fun to call it a source off or whatever, but for me I reported what I had based on the best information I can get – based on talking to many, many people throughout the course of the last month,” Rapoport said from the Senior Bowl. “And then whatever happens as a result of this I don’t really mind.”

In terms of any sort of rivalry between him and Schefter, Rapoport doesn’t view it as a head-to-head matchup.

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows,” he said. “And everyone can sort of judge for themselves whichever way to go.”

McAfee gave kudos to Rapoport for his reporting on the Ryans situation. He also said it’s a good thing Rapoport doesn’t worry himself too much about what other insiders are doing.

“I think you should feel good about it, but I do like a good source off,” McAfee said. “And I appreciate the fact that you don’t view it as you versus Schefter. But you two are at the top of the game. So that’s a compliment more so than anything.”

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Sports TV News

AEW Considers Launching Streaming Service

“It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.”

Jordan Bondurant

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All Elite Wrestling is looking into launching its own streaming service.

According to reporting from Bloomberg, a source “familiar with management’s thinking” said AEW is looking to strike a deal with broadcast partner Warner Bros. Discovery.

Since launching in 2019, AEW now puts on two weekly shows on Warner channels TBS and TNT and airs two shows on YouTube.

Last year AEW acquired Ring of Honor from Sinclair Broadcast Group. As part of that deal, AEW took ownership of RoH’s extensive content library Honor Club. So much like WWE did with WWE Network when it launched in 2014, AEW could launch its streaming service and have all of Ring of Honor’s content in a one-stop shop.

It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.

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NBC Officially Unveils Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge as New Big Ten Booth

“With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

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It’s officially official: Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge, and Kathryn Tappen will join the Big Ten on NBC booth when the network begins airing the conference’s football package in 2023.

NBC made the announcement Thursday, after weeks of speculation about the moves.

“We are excited to showcase Big Ten Saturday Night on the NBC Sports’ primetime marquee,” said NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood. “When you hear Todd’s voice, you know it’s a big college football game. It has been that way for decades.

“Noah is one of the industry’s rising young play-by-play commentators, who has excelled calling numerous sports across multiple platforms for a wide range of audiences. We are thrilled to pair him in the booth with Todd.

“Kathryn has told the stories of so many memorable Notre Dame Football moments over the last decade in her on-field reporting and interviews,” Flood continued. “With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

Blackledge joins NBC after working as a college football analyst for the network for the past 17 seasons. Previously, he was the an analyst for CBS and ABC, making 2023 his 30th consecutive season covering college football as an analyst.

Eagle is the son of broadcasting legend Ian Eagle, and currently serves as the radio voice of the Los Angeles Clippers. He comes to NBC after calling college football games for FOX Sports in 2022.

Tappen has spent the past nine seasons working NBC’s college football coverage with Notre Dame. Eight of those nine seasons were spent as the network’s sideline reporter before anchoring the studio coverage from South Bend in 2022.

2023 will mark the beginning of a seven-year contract for NBC to air Big Ten football games in primetime. The move is one of the biggest notable expansions in the college football arena for the network since its partnership with Notre Dame began in 1991.

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