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FOX, ESPN Set Crews For Joint Coverage Of Wilder vs Fury III

The two fighters battled to draw in their opening bout, and Fury got the best of Wilder in the second edition.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Fox Sports and ESPN

ESPN and FOX Sports unveiled their broadcast team for the Wilder v. Fury III fight that is just days away. The two networks are doing a rare team-up on one of the biggest pay-per-view draws of the entire year.

Deontay Wilder takes on Tyson Fury with their legacies and the world heavyweight title on the line. The two fighters battled to draw in their opening bout, and Fury got the best of Wilder in the second edition. Now they settle the score once and for all on Saturday, Oct. 9.

Another heavyweight legend is commentating on all of the action as Lennox Lewis joins analyst Andre Ward and play-by-play man Brian Kenny in the broadcast booth. At the analysts desk is FOX Sports host Kate Abdo, along with two-time welterweight champion Shawn “Showtime” Porter and ESPN personality and boxing commentator Max Kellerman.

FOX Sports and ESPN will have reporters covering all of the chatter ringside. FOX PBC reporter Heidi Androl will join ESPN commentator Bernardo Osuna as they handle reporting duties for fight night. Osuna is also serving as the interpreter on fight night. International Boxing Hall of Famer Larry Hazzard is back for another fight as an unofficial scorer and rules expert.

FOX and ESPN aren’t rolling out any run-of-the-mill-style production. FOX is outfitting the arena with a pair of JitCam cranes on opposite sides of the rings. The cranes allow for wide-scale shots along a 100-foot track from one side of the arena to the other.

The crowd might notice a Dynamicam flying above them during the fight. The mini three-axis cable cam system, functioning as a wired “drone” on the reverse side of the ring, is flying over the audience throughout the evening. The production crew is outfitting a revolutionary lens on the reverse side of the ring. The ultra-slow-motion camera is producing cinematic replays for the telecast.

The Megalodon camera is in the plans as well. The hyper-focused shots were made famous on FOX Sports’ NFL coverage last year.

Sports TV News

After Losing Out On Big Ten Rights, ESPN Turns Focus to NCAA Championships

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024.

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After reportedly losing out on the Big Ten’s television rights, ESPN is reportedly turning to securing the NCAA Championship rights from hitting the open market.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024. Those 29 championships include everything from Women’s basketball to ice hockey, wrestling, softball, and baseball. The network pays a reported $34 million for the rights to broadcast those championship events.

However, according to a study commissioned by the NCAA reveals that the women’s basketball tournament could be worth anywhere from $81 million to $112 million per year by its lonesome. The NCAA is reportedly considering selling the women’s basketball tournament rights as a standalone product in the next negotiation.

Sources told Front Office Sports ESPN remains interested in striking deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 media rights, as well as renewing a deal for the College Football Playoff.

The news comes after Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported ESPN declined a final offer from the Big Ten for a portion of the conference’s media rights. The reported deal was seven years and $380 million per year.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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