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Bomani Jones To Host ‘Game Theory’ On HBO, Contribute To ESPN

“While HBO will be Jones’s new home on television, he may not totally be done with ESPN.”

Demetri Ravanos

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Idris Talib Solomon-HBO

Earlier this week, it was reported that Bomani Jones was likely to leave ESPN when his contract expires in March. That won’t be the case after all, and Bomani’s work load won’t be reduced anytime soon.

HBO announced today that Jones has been hired to host a new late night show on the network called Game Theory with Bomani Jones. The show will be filmed in New York and cover the newsworthy topics from the sports world each week. Jones will serve as an executive producer alongside Adam McKay, Stuart Miller, and Seth Weitberg

“I have been dying to work with Bomani for years now,” McKay said in a press release. “He’s one of the sharpest and funniest truth-tellers anywhere in the sports world.”

Bomani and HBO have a good working relationship. He is currently a contributor to Back on the Record with Bob Costas. Prior to that, the journalist has made appearances in two HBO Sports documentaries – The Battle for Tobacco Road: Duke vs. Carolina and Runnin’ Rebels.

“This is, literally, my professional dream, to have a show like this one on HBO,” said Jones. “I’d feel that way with anyone behind it, but working with a top-notch group like Seth, Stu, Todd, Adam and Nina has me more excited than I can express. We have a chance to do something that hasn’t been done before, and I can’t wait to share our work with the world.”

While HBO will be Jones’s new home on television, his relationship will continue with ESPN too. The network and Jones announced earlier a new agreement which will see Jones continue hosting his podcast, The Right Time with Bomani Jones, under the ESPN umbrella. Jones will also remain involved as a contributor on ESPN’s TV shows Around The Horn and Debatable.

A release date for Game Theory with Bomani Jones has not yet been set. The HBO press release noted only that the show will start production in 2022.

“This is an entirely different gig, and it’ll be serving a largely different audience than I have at ESPN,” Jones told BSM of the move to a late night TV format. “They got me for my thoughts, but performance is going to be much more important, and I look forward to that challenge.”

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee: Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because The Show Comes First

“Energy, time, anything away from this show… we got a lot going on. This is my number one focus and it should remain as such…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Last week, it was announced that Pat McAfee would be hosting his own version of the popular Manning Cast only for college football games.

McAfee, co-host AJ Hawk, and the rest of his cast and crew from The Pat McAfee Show will host an alternate feed for six college football games this season.

McAfee was rumored to be in talks with Amazon about potentially hosting an alternate broadcast for its Thursday NFL games, and the former Colts punter had also reportedly talking with ESPN about potentially being featured on College GameDay.

McAfee said to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that ultimately the Amazon and GameDay deals didn’t come to fruition because it just didn’t make sense.

“I’ve had great conversations with both companies, we just weren’t able to get to a point where ‘the ask’ and ‘the business’ were where it needed to be to get a deal done on both fronts,” McAfee said.

McAfee on his show on Monday elaborated a bit further, trying to put to bed that he was being courted for Thursday Night Football.

“I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we were talking about, by the way,” he said. “I was never really approached for anything for Thursday Night Football. That was never really anything.”

Pat read from the full response to Marchand’s questions, posted under the Post story which appeared on the paper’s site Monday. He reiterated that his daily show and the small business he built around his show, take precedent over anything else.

“Energy, time, anything away from this show, this operation, this crew; we got families being built, we got houses being bought, we got 12 employees, we got a lot going on,” he said. “So this is my number one focus and it should remain as such because I have a brain, and also I care a lot about this operation. I love it, actually.”

Still, McAfee made it clear that just because no deal was signed with ESPN and Amazon for 2022 means the ship has sailed permanently. He’s keeping his doors open.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Reportedly To Lose Big Ten Media Rights For the First Time in 40 Years

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Jordan Bondurant

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BIG TEN, CBS, NBC, FOX SPORTS

After several months, it appears the Big Ten is nearing the finish line on a new media rights deal. And despite still reportedly being in negotiations with the conference, ESPN is looking set to lose out on media rights.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC are the frontrunners to join with FOX.

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Ourand reported his sources told him ESPN’s deal to keep the Big Ten was not as strong as the one offered by the other two networks.

It would mark the first time in four decades that ESPN didn’t have some involvement in Big Ten sports. But Ourand indicates the worldwide leader could pivot into bundling Big 12 and Pac-12 rights as an alternative. Additionally the network would then pursue keeping its deals with NCAA for championship coverage as well as being the home for the College Football Playoff.

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Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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