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TBS Eyeing Bob Costas To Anchor NLCS Coverage

“The sportscasting legend has stayed busy since stepping away from NBC in 2018.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Brett Davis USA TODAY Sports

Bob Costas could be back hosting coverage at a major sporting event very soon. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that TBS and Bob Costas are working towards a deal that has the veteran broadcaster hosting coverage of the 2021 National League Championship Series this fall.

The NLCS is Turner’s prized MLB property, and they are seeking veteran help on the venture from Oct. 15-24. Ernie Johnson would normally host the show, but Turner wants to alleviate some of his workload as the NBA season, and Inside the NBA, tips off on Oct. 19.

Johnson won’t miss the MLB playoffs entirely. Marchand said sources still expect the 65-year-old broadcasting point guard to handle his normal playoff hosting duties before the NLCS. He held the role last year after former host Casey Stern stepped away to deal with family issues.

Costas has backed away from the bright lights of NBC sports coverage, but he still loves baseball and is calling divisional-round games for MLB Network. Costas won’t have any rust to shake off if the NLCS agreement is finalized.

The sportscasting legend has stayed busy since stepping away from NBC in 2018. He is involved with MLB coverage as mentioned above and also signed with CNN as a contributor last year. 

“Bob Costas is a legendary, respected voice across the spectrum of sports and beyond,” said CNN President and WarnerMedia News and Sports Chairman Jeff Zucker when the network hired Costas last year. “As the world continues to change amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are confident that Bob’s insightful analysis will help our viewers better understand what the future holds as the sports and teams we love evolve to meet this moment.”

Zucker and Costas have known each other since the former’s first TV job as a researcher during the 1988 Olympics. Costas also hosts Back on the Record for HBO, another facet of the WarnerMedia empire.

Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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NFL Studio

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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Sports TV News

ESPN Assigns Broadcast Teams for MLB Wild Card Round

In preparation for the postseason, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

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Wild Card
David Berding/Getty Images

There are just a few games left in the MLB season and the postseason begins this weekend with the Wild Card round. In preparation, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

Andrew Marchand reports that the team assigned to the presumptive New York Mets Wild Card series will be Karl Ravech, David Cone and Eduardo Perez. The Mets still mathematically can win the NL East but they trail the Braves by two games with three to play.

He also reports that the St. Louis Wild Card series will be called by Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. The Cleveland series will be broadcast by Boog Sciambi and Doug Glanville while the Toronto series will be called by Dave Flemming, Jessica Mendoza and Tim Kurkjian.

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Sports TV News

Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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