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ESPN Re-Signs Sam Ravech

“Ravech is likely to receive other assignments over the life of the new contract. Sam did not want to speculate on what those assignments might be.”

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The suits in Bristol like being in the Ravech business. That is why ESPN has signed Sam Ravech to a new multi-year contract. Barrett Sports Media has learned the new deal will see the younger Ravech calling college sports and the upcoming Little League World Series.

That is a very personal assignment for Ravech. Not only has growing up around baseball given him a level of appreciation for all levels of the game, but getting to call regional action in Bristol means that he will have some very personal memories about the venue he will be broadcasting from.

“I’m getting to broadcast a Little League regional in Bristol at the Giamatti Center, and I grew up going there during summer camps to play Little League Baseball,” he told BSM. “It was our team’s dream to go play there. When we were in Little League. We just never made it that far. We were one step away.”

Since joining ESPN in 2018, Sam Ravech has called a number of events on multiple platforms for the network. Last year, BSM’s Tyler McComas wrote about Sam and his father Karl Ravech calling college basketball games simultaneously on different ESPN networks.

Not unlike Mike Golic Jr., Sam has been accused of nepotism leading to his opportunity at ESPN. Mike Golic Sr. used to joke that maybe nepotism explains the first contract, but it doesn’t explain why ESPN chose to get rid of him and keep Junior.

Ravech’s situation is different though. Any time someone suggests on social media that Sam is only where he is because of nepotism, plenty of others from across the industry are quick to say that clearly the accuser has never seen Sam’s work. It’s a response that the younger Ravech is grateful for and says no one should be surprised that he wanted to go into broadcasting.

“I think a lot of people grow up wanting to be just like their dad or their mom. It just so happens that my dad works for ESPN and I grew up wanting to be like him,” he says. “You know, he was my hero growing up. So I think a lot of kids, a lot of people can relate to that. I’m not entirely sure why all the nepotism gets thrown my way. Like, I don’t think it’s a really a crazy idea when you’re a kid growing up to want to do that. But it just so happened that it turned out to work out for me. And I like to think I’m pretty good at what I do.

An ESPN spokesman says Sam Ravech is likely to receive other assignments over the life of the new contract. Sam did not want to speculate on what those assignments might be. He told BSM that right now, it is hard to even say what ESPN’s strategy will be in five years with the broadcast industry constantly changing.

“I don’t think anyone knows what the next five years will look like. But I do think that ESPN is in a very unique position to be the leader in that. And they have been for a long time.

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David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”

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David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”

Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.

“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”

December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.

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NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”

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The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.

Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.

NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”

In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.

As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.

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NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’

“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

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A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.

“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.

The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.

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