Sports TV News
Stephen A. Smith, Jay Williams Get Heated Over Kyrie Irving Video
“Smith has been a staunch critic of Irving’s stance around why he won’t receive the shot.”
Things got heated for the second day in a row on First Take. Debaters Stephen A. Smith and Jay Williams had a fiery back and forth about Kyrie Irving’s decision to sit out the NBA season because he won’t receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Smith has been a staunch critic of Irving’s stance around why he won’t receive the shot. Smith was even more confused about the star player’s motivations after Irving posted an explainer video on Instagram Wednesday night.
Irving spoke for about 20 minutes on the platform and left plenty of people scratching their heads once he logged off. At one point, Irving said that he “won’t necessarily remain unvaccinated.”
On the other side was Williams, who has defended every NBA player’s right to choose whether to get the shot or not. Williams believes the league is in a great place with a vaccination rate above 95%.
“You’re trying to tell me this is about basketball?” Williams asked Smith on ESPN’s First Take. “This is about winning a championship, not about making the right decision for my family? And I know what the right decision is for me and my family Stephen A, I would talk to Kyrie about how I felt about all this.”
“You’re asking questions and then talking. Which one’s it gonna be? You’re asking questions and then answering,” an agitated Smith fired back. “I’M TRYING TO ANSWER YOU! YES! Yes. Damn it, yes!”
“If 6.2 billion people have taken it, I’m sorry – has the vaccine killed anybody? Has that been the reason people died?” Smith asked. Moderator Molly Qerim Rose reined things back in before they went down the slippery slope of debating science on a sports talk show.
In the middle of all of this, literally, was Kendrick Perkins who tried to offer a level-headed response between the two spectrums.
“What Kyrie Irving does with his body is his personal decision,” Perkins said. “But after his Wednesday night Instagram Live session, it is still unclear what stance Kyrie Irving is making.”
Russ Heltman is a daily news writer for BSM. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH. He also works in gameday communications for FC Cincinnati and additionally contributes to the AllBengals blog for Sports Illustrated. Russ can be found on Twitter @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at Heltmandm@yahoo.com.
Sports TV News
Steve Rosenberg Out As President of Diamond Sports Group
“John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that a memo went out to the company on Monday morning announcing the change.”
A company declaring bankruptcy is never good for the people at the top. Steve Rosenberg is experiencing that right now. He is out as the president of Diamond Sports Group.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that a memo went out to the company on Monday morning announcing the change. In it, Diamond CEO David Preschlack wrote that CFO David DeVoe will assume Rosenberg’s responsibilities for now.
Steve Rosenberg joined Sinclair in 2020. He replaced Jeff Krolik as the company’s president of local sports.
Last week, Diamond Sports Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company intends to work out new deals with the NBA and NHL for its Bally Sports RSNs in hopes that it will remain in tact. Ourand writes that an attempt to do the same with Major League Baseball has not yielded meaningful results as of yet.
“With the recent appointments we have made to the senior leadership team, and the talented staff we have throughout the organization, I am confident in this team’s ability to work together to execute our strategic goals at this time,” Preschlack wrote in his memo.
Sports TV News
Variety Predicts Sports Betting Broadcasts Future of RSNs
“With the state of the RSN business a little hazy for some networks, closer integration with gambling is something that VIP+ expects to be leant into more in an effort to engage the most passionate local fans.”
The sports betting market grew in 2022. With five new states legalizing mobile wagering last year, that is not a surprise. The overall take for sportsbooks was $93.4 billion. That is a whopping 84% growth over 2021.
With so much money coming from new markets, Variety wanted to get an idea of how much the sports betting industry is actually growing versus how much of the growth is artificial.
The study from the publication’s VIP+ shows that in markets with a full year of mobile wagering on the books before 2022, the growth is slower but still significant at 19%. Writer Gavin Bridge suggests that the statistic could hold the answer for the future of regional sports networks.
“While winning money was the most popular reason for sports betting, data provided by VIP+’s research partner CRG Global in our ‘Sports Gambling & Media‘ report show that one of the most popular reasons was that betting ‘makes the games I watch more exciting,’ with several other reasons relating to watching televised games also important to some betters,” he writes.
With regional sports networks looking for a new model in the face of serious economic uncertainty, Bridge points to Comcast’s regional NBC Sports networks as a reasonable path forward.
Through its partnership with PointsBet, NBC offers alternate broadcasts of the local teams it covers that have a gambling focus. The alternate feed have not been available for every game on the RSNs, but Bridge writes that we could see more of that in the future.
“With the state of the RSN business a little hazy for some networks, closer integration with gambling is something that VIP+ expects to be leant into more in an effort to engage the most passionate local fans. Ultimately, sports betting overlays and alternative game feeds can be anticipated for most major sports in the coming years as media partners look for new revenue streams and ways to engage fans for longer.”
Sports TV News
NCAA Tournament Delivers Highest-Rated Round of 64 Ever
“ For the first round on Thursday and Friday of last week, games accomplished a total audience delivery of 9.2 million viewers.”
The first two rounds of the 2023 NCAA tournament are in the books, and the TV ratings indicate historic viewership.
For the first round on Thursday and Friday of last week, games accomplished a total audience delivery of 9.2 million viewers. This was for contests on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV in addition to streaming on March Madness Live.
Action on Thursday averaged 8.4 million, up 2% compared to 2022.
On Friday, game broadcasts averaged 9.3 million, making it the most-watched first round ever.
The Sweet 16 tips off on Thursday this week.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.