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Brian Custer: ESPN Knows I’m Not Giving Up Showtime Boxing Gig

“I told them that’s non-negotiable. I’m under contract there and I plan to be there for as long as they want me.”

Ricky Keeler

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Earlier this month, it was announced that former FS1 announcer and current Showtime Boxing host Brian Custer would be joining the ESPN family as an anchor on SportsCenter.  Custer will also be on the call for college basketball and football games on the network.

This week, Custer was on The Adam Schein Podcast to talk about his latest career news. Custer and Schein used to work together at SNY so they were able to look back at their days doing Jets Postgame Live together in 2006. 

Schein tells Custer during the interview that it has been “a real treat” hearing him do play-by-play on FS1. In the past, Schein usually associated Custer with doing studio shows because of how natural he was when he hosted The Wheelhouse, Jets Postgame Live, and SportsNite. For Custer, part of being seen only as a studio host led him to wanting to go to a different direction that gave him more of an opportunity to do other things.

“I’ve always prided myself with being a five-tool player,” Custer said. “I never wanted to be pigeon-holed into one thing.”

While Custer is heading over to ESPN, he is not leaving his job at Showtime and he never intended to.

“I told them that’s non-negotiable. I’m under contract there and I plan to be there for as long as they want me. I feel like we are the preeminent leader when it comes to the sport of boxing and there’s nobody better at what we do. There was no way I was going to give that up.

“I think ESPN realized how passionate I was about it. They understood me doing my podcast and that I will always interview fighters. They knew I was really passionate about it and there was no way I was going to give that up. 

Schein mentions that when the two of them met at SNY, he thought Custer would be a great SportsCenter anchor and Custer explained what the honor of eventually hosting the iconic show means to him.

“WAs a kid, I envisioned myself doing SportsCenter. They say timing is everything. When they called, the timing was right and there was no way I could pass it up. The offer was too good and the opportunity more than anything was too great.” 

Sports TV News

Peter King: Sean McVay Wants to be a Star, ‘Not Just Some Guy on TV’

“I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

Jordan Bondurant

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L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay will remain at his post for the 2023-24 season. The team tweeted that news Friday afternoon, seeming to, at least for now, put the rumors of McVay leaving coaching for a TV job to rest.

ProFootballTalk’s Peter King wrote in Football Morning in America on Monday that McVay understands the kind of position on television he’s looking for may not necessarily be there for him.

“I don’t think that was the only thing about TV that appealed to him, but I don’t think McVay was interested in being Just a Guy on TV,” King wrote. “I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

King noted that McVay has been told to “Do what makes you happy” by folks with the Rams. He also said he believes coaching is what Makes McVay happy. Especially with a chance to shake up his coaching staff and being involved in trying to bring the team back from a 5-12 season in their follow-up campaign to winning the Super Bowl.

“He wants to be challenged, and this staff wasn’t doing it,” King said. “Offensive coordinator Liam Coen may not have been what McVay wanted in an OC—a coach who would challenge him and bring new ideas to him—and that could be why he’s going back to the University of Kentucky as a coordinator.”

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Sports TV News

Lisa Salters Makes Monday Night Football History Completing 11th Season on Sideline

“Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday night’s Cowboys/Bucs wild card playoff game set a new milestone for ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

The network tweeted that Salters completed her 11th season in that role. That makes her the longest tenured reporter in Monday Night Football history.

Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.

“When I first got the call to do Monday Night Football, I would have never thought that 10 years later I would still be doing it,” Salters said last year in a video reminiscing on ten years on Monday Night Football. “I was at home and I got a phone call from my boss Vince Doria and he said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football‘, and I couldn’t believe what he just asked me.”

Salters is also featured on network coverage of the NBA, something she’s been doing since 2005.

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Sports TV News

No Conspiracy Behind ESPN Monday Night Playoff Game Selection

“The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN has only carried NFL playoff games on Monday night for two seasons but has been a part of wild card weekends dating back to the 2014-15 campaign.

With the exception of one season, a 4-seed versus 5-seed matchup has always been covered by the Monday Night Football broadcast team in that stretch of nine seasons. That continued with Cowboys/Bucs this year.

In 2021-22, with the NFL expanding the playoff field to seven teams, the first Monday night playoff game was played. The Rams cruised past the Cardinals 34-11.

Last week, the decision was the source of much speculation. TV executives shared a number of theories about why ESPN landed the game that had the most star power in the Super Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post wrote that no speculation was necessary. The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience. The new format, the games that have a likelihood of altering seeding for the divisional rounds have already been played.

The 4/5 games this weekend proved to be pretty entertaining. The Jaguars rallied from down 27 to beat the Chargers. Al Michaels and Tony Dungy were ripped on social media for how they called a particularly exhilarating game for NBC. So it turns out Joe Buck and Troy Aikman would’ve called either one of the weekend’s best games.

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