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ESPN, Big West Extend Partnership

The two sides began their relationship in the late-80s.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Big West

The Big West and ESPN have struck a new multi-year, multi-platform media rights agreement.

The conference is continuing its relationship with the league for years to come. 600-plus live events are airing on ESPN+, and the networks are continuing their coverage of the semifinals and finals of the men’s basketball tournament. Additionally, nine regular-season events are being broadcasted on ESPN and ESPN2, including five men’s basketball games.

“The Big West has been a mainstay of our men’s basketball programming for decades, and we’re excited to further highlight the conference, its student-athletes, and member institutions with this new, dynamic media rights agreement,” ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions Dan Margulis said. “ESPN platforms will now be the destination for the best of the Big West’s 18 sponsored sports.”

The conference houses schools like the University of Hawaii, Long Beach State, and many of the University of California School System campuses. The Big West Conference was formed in 1969 and is a part of NCAA Division I with 11 academic institutions. The conference sponsors 18 sports at the NCAA Division I level.

“The exposure generated in this agreement sets a new standard by delivering a tenfold increase in the number of Big West games and content available to our fans on ESPN networks,” Big West Commissioner Dan Butterly said. “Aligning the Big West with the strongest and most innovative sports media company in the world, as well as the creativity and storytelling of Disney, is an unmistakable opportunity for us to engage our fan base with compelling content both live and on-demand.”

The Big West has been a part of the ESPN family of networks for nearly forty years, with the relationship beginning in the late-80s. The Big West Men’s Basketball Championship has been a consistent mainstay during ESPN’s Champ Week. Now it’ll be in that rotation for years to come.

Sports TV News

CBS: Calling Meeting With Tony Romo ‘Intervention’ is ‘Complete Mischaracterization’

“We meet regularly with our on-air talent.”

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An opening question in broadcasting circles is ‘What happened to Tony Romo?’, with even CBS reportedly pondering the issue.

During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast earlier this week, The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand claimed CBS attempted “an intervention” with its lead NFL analyst.

The intended mission of several alleged meetings with CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and CBS NFL producer Jim Rikhoff was to return Romo to his previous heights, which were widely regarded as the best NFL analyst in the business.

CBS Sports has responded to the insinuation that the meetings would be classified as an “intervention” with a strong denial.

“To call this an intervention is a complete mischaracterization, we meet regularly with our on-air talent,” CBS Sports spokeswoman Jen Sabatelle told Marchand

Marchand added that CBS Sports officials plan to attempt to rectify the issues it sees with Romo again this offseason. Romo — who signed a 10-year, $180 million contract with CBS Sports in 2020 — is slated to call Super Bowl LVIII in 2024 with Jim Nantz.

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Sports TV News

Cameron Maybin Joining Detroit Tigers TV Booth

“All of us at Bally Sports Detroit are energized about this upcoming season and watching all the excitement unfold.”

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After being dropped from the New York Yankees booth on YES Network, Cameron Maybin has a new television home with the Detroit Tigers.

The 35-year-old Maybin had three separate one-year stints with the Tigers during his 15-season big league career. Maybin was drafted by the franchise with the 10th overall selection of the 2005 MLB Draft.

A report from the Detroit Free Press adds that the Tigers will rely on Craig Monroe as its primary color commentator alongside play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard. Monroe played six of his nine MLB seasons in Detroit and was a member of the team’s 2006 World Series club.

Additionally, former Tigers relief pitcher Todd Jones will also join the broadcast crew on Bally Sports Detroit as an analyst for the 2023 season. Jones pitched for Detroit from 1997 through 2001 and also from 2006 through 2008.

“Tigers baseball is always a winner,” Bally Sports Detroit Senior Vice President and General Manager Greg Hammaren said Thursday in a statement. “All of us at Bally Sports Detroit are energized about this upcoming season and watching all the excitement unfold.

“Our crew behind the scenes and our engaging talent on camera are the best in the business. Starting with spring training, we are committed to bringing Tigers fans the absolute best coverage all season long.”

The news of Maybin and Jones joining the Bally Sports Detroit booth comes on the heels of the network failing to reach an agreement with Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris to return to the network. The Free Press report claims Morris was offered a reduced role with the television broadcaster, but declined.

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Sports TV News

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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