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Sportsbooks Expected To Bid For NBA Rights

“They could want the kind of exclusivity that ESPN and TNT enjoy right now, or they could be looking to secure the rights to alternate, gambling integrated broadcasts.”

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ESPN and TNT will have some competition for the NBA in the next round of media rights negotiations and it won’t be coming from the usual places. According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, multiple sportsbooks have expressed interest in bidding for the rights to air live games when the league begins taking bids for its next contracts.

In his report, McCarthy mentions that “gambling giants” are expected to get involved. He mentions FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars Sportsbook specifically, but implies that there could be others. What kind of rights those companies are looking for remains to be seen. They could want the kind of exclusivity that ESPN and TNT enjoy right now, or they could be looking to secure the rights to alternate, gambling integrated broadcasts.

ESPN and TNT have split the NBA’s media rights since 2002. The NBA would like to generate around $8 billion annually from its next rights deals. That may require some non-traditional media partners or new revenue streams. As TV audiences change, the NBA has seen its ratings slip in recent years. Gunning for a major increase in revenue from media rights fees is unlikely within the current parameters.

Multiple sportsbooks already have sponsorship deals with the NBA. MGM became the league’s first official gaming partner in 2018. Since then, DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill, PointsBet, Sportradar, and Genius Sports have all signed deals too.

The NBA has not specified when it will begin taking bids for the next round of media rights. The contracts would start in 2025. With the 2021-22 season having just tipped off, it seems likely that those talks could begin soon.

Sports TV News

Golf Channel, Brandel Chamblee Facing Defamation Lawsuit From Patrick Reed

During a Golf Channel broadcast, Chamblee had reportedly accused Reed of cheating during the Hero World Challenge after being assessed a two-stroke penalty for improving his ball placement in a bunker.

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Golf Channel and analyst Brandel Chamblee are being sued by golfer Patrick Reed after Reed alleged “misreporting information with falsity and/or reckless disregard of the truth” by the network and Chamblee.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Reed claims Golf Channel, Chamblee, and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan have conspired against him since he joined the PGA Tour while trying to “destroy his reputation, create hate and a hostile work environment for him”.

Reed, who has faced cheating allegations dating back to his college golf days, had his legal representation send a cease-and-desist letter to Chamblee in 2020. During a Golf Channel broadcast, Chamblee had reportedly accused Reed of cheating during the Hero World Challenge after being assessed a two-stroke penalty for improving his ball placement in a bunker. Reed claimed he did not intend to improve his lie.

Reed, 2018 winner of The Masters, alleges that Chamblee’s allegations have caused fans to heckle him and label him a cheater at events.

Patrick Reed defected from the PGA Tour in June to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf organization. He is seeking $750 million in damages.

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Sports TV News

Joe Girardi Joining Marquee Sports Network

“I’m excited to join Marquee and look forward to working alongside Boog, JD, and Taylor this weekend at Wrigley Field,” said Girardi.

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Marquee Sports Network has announced that former Chicago Cubs catcher, and Marlins, Yankees, and Phillies manager Joe Girardi is joining the network as a game analyst. Girardi will work this weekends series between the Cubs and Brewers, as well as a series against the Marlins in September.

Girardi has previously worked as an analyst for YES Network, MLB Network, and Fox Sports.

“I’m excited to join Marquee and look forward to working alongside Boog, JD, and Taylor this weekend at Wrigley Field,” said Girardi. “Growing up a Cubs fan and then having the chance to play for the team for a number of years, I’m honored to now have the opportunity to broadcast from the historic television broadcast booth.”

After a three-time World Series winner as a player, Girardi spent 15 seasons in the big leagues, seven of which came with the Cubs. The former catcher has spent parts of 14 seasons as a manager with the Marlins, Yankees, and Phillies. Girardi was fired as the manager of the Phillies on June 3rd.

“We’re pleased to welcome Joe Girardi to the Marquee Sports Network team,” said Marquee Sports Network General Manager, Mike McCarthy. “His insights as a long-time Cubs player and big league manager will be a valuable addition to the broadcasts. Welcome Joe!”

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Sports TV News

ACC Network Expands Women’s Basketball, Baseball Tournament Coverage

A report from Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal says ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips was the driving force in the move to ACC Network.

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ESPN and Raycom have struck a deal to make ACC Network the television home of the women’s basketball and baseball tournaments, beginning with the 2023 season.

A report from Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal says ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips was the driving force in the move to ACC Network. Previously, the championship events had been distributed on Bally Sports South, which confused viewers.

“We are thrilled. This is a significant moment that will enhance these premier events and provide much-needed access to our fans,” Phillips said. “We appreciate ESPN, Raycom Sports, and Bally for mutually agreeing to make this happen.”

ESPN or ESPN2 will continue to carry the championship games for both the women’s basketball and baseball tournaments.

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