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Dick Vitale Uses Colleagues For Strength In Cancer Fight

“Doctors will treat Vitale with steroids before starting a six month chemotherapy plan.”

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ESPN Images

Dick Vitale is in the middle of another battle with cancer. The face of ESPN’s college basketball coverage revealed earlier this month that he is dealing with lymphoma.

Doctors will treat Vitale with steroids before starting a six month chemotherapy plan. It is a scary proposition for anyone. Fortunately for Vitale, he has friends and colleagues in the broadcast industry to draw strength from. He shouted out two in particular in a tweet on Wednesday.

Holly Rowe, who Vitale mentioned first, received her last round of chemotherapy three years ago. She had been diagnosed with melanoma in 2016. She continued working while receiving treatment.

TNT’s Ernie Johnson also got a nod from Dick Vitale. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2003. He did not begin chemotherapy treatments until 2006.

“The medical experts tell me it has a 90-percent cure rate,” Vitale said when announcing his diagnosis just over a week ago. “They say I can continue to work so I will have to manage my work schedule around my chemo schedule as they will monitor my test results along the way.”

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3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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