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Robert Griffin III Details What Happens In Broadcast Audition

“Griffin had tryouts with both ESPN and FOX but ultimately went with the worldwide leader.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: ESPN

Robert Griffin III is used to bursting onto the scene in a big way, and he’s doing that again in sports media. The Baylor star captured his school’s first and only Heisman Trophy in 2011, then made a statement by winning the NFL Rookie of the Year Award the next season.

A decade later, RGIII didn’t quite live up to the hype he built during that stretch, and he chatted with The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch all about his journey into broadcasting last week.

“This offseason, I didn’t want to take that same approach,” Griffin said about only focusing on returning to the NFL. “So I continued to train every day but I started knocking on some other doors. It all started with an audition with Fox. I never thought that broadcasting (games) would be the avenue for me. I thought it would be more studio. But I called a game (as part of an audition process) for Fox and ESPN found out about it. Then I called a (practice) game for ESPN. The rest is history. I’m now on this wild ride and it’s been a lot of fun.”

Griffin had tryouts with both ESPN and FOX but ultimately went with the worldwide leader. Deitsch picked his brain on what exactly happens in high-scale broadcast auditions.

“They give you a recipe of how many different teams it could be and you just have to study all those different teams,” Griffin told Deitsch. “They don’t give you the exact game because they don’t want you trying to predict what’s going to happen because you’ve already seen said game. We called a full game and then I did some studio work with Kevin [Burkhardt]. You just have to rely on your experience and the things that you see and how you see the game. That’s what they are most focused on.

Deitsch confirmed that the two competitors both made offers to RGIII. Griffin weighed plenty of different factors before making his decision.

“Yeah, they both made offers. It was a lot of back and forth. It was a tough discussion. Because it was not only just which network to go to and what was the best opportunity right now, but it was also making sure you go about it the right way and don’t burn any of those bridges and keep that communication open because you never know what could happen in the future. 

“On top of that, I’m still 31. It was a little bit of concern that I would go back and play. But for me right now, we’re over halfway through the season and I have a job. My job is to be the best broadcaster I can possibly be for ESPN.”

Check out the full conversation between Deitsch and Griffin here.

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Sports TV News

Stanley Cup Playoffs: First Round NHL Games on ESPN Up 65%

The Washington Capitals-New York Rangers game, which the Rangers won 4-1, is now the most-viewed Game 1 of a first round NHL playoff series ever on cable.

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The Stanley Cup playoffs got underway this weekend in the NHL and ESPN is off to a hot start in terms of audience. Sunday’s first round games on ESPN and ESPN2 averaged 1.04 million total viewers, up 65% over 2023’s Game 1 average.

The Washington Capitals-New York Rangers game, which the Rangers won 4-1, is now the most-viewed Game 1 of a first round NHL playoff series ever on cable, averaging 1.3 million viewers. The game peaked at 1.5 million viewers.

The Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets played their first game on ESPN with the Jets taking a wild 7-6 win over the Avalanche. That game is now ESPN2’s most-viewed first round NHL playoff game ever and the third most-viewed Game 1 of a first round NHL Playoff series ever on cable, averaging 1.1 total viewers and peaking at 1.4 million viewers.

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Report: ESPN, TNT Have NBA Matching Rights

“Although the exclusive negotiating period has ended, we are still in discussions with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery regarding our media deals.”

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As the NBA’s exclusive negotiating period came to an end last night, new information about the agreement has come to light. Sports Business Journal’s Austin Karp is reporting both ESPN and TNT have matching rights for any deal presented to the NBA. The report says this goes for the linear broadcasts as well as streaming.

A source at the NBA told Karp, “Although the exclusive negotiating period has ended, we are still in discussions with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery regarding our media deals.”

Alex Sherman of CNBC had reported last week the exclusive negotiating window, which started on March 9, would most likely expire without a deal in place. Karp’s report says he believes the deal was 75% done prior to the window beginning.

Numerous reports have indicated that the league is looking to add a streaming element into its next deal and is looking for an increase in rights fees. Amazon, Apple, YouTube TV, Comcast (NBCUniversal/Peacock) and Netflix have all expressed potential interest.

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Tegna, Indiana Fever Partner for Local TV Package

“This is an exhilarating moment for women’s sports. The WNBA and Fever are leading the charge with this groundbreaking local broadcast rights agreement.”

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Logos for Tegna and the Indiana Fever and a picture of Caitlin Clark
Photo Courtesy: ESPN

The Indiana Fever and superstar Caitlin Clark will be seen on television a lot, both nationally and now locally as well. The Fever and Tegna announced a partnership earlier today to air 17 games between local NBC affiliate WTHR and MeTV affiliate WALV.

“So many new fans are tuning in to watch the world’s best basketball players compete in the WNBA, and the Fever have built a roster of incredible young talent that has caught the attention of basketball fans all over the globe,” Rick Fuson, CEO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said in a release. “Tegna and WTHR have been amazing local partners for years, and we are excited that more fans than ever before will get the chance to watch these amazing athletes play.”

The release also noted Tegna was working on expanded access outside of Indianapolis.

“This is an exhilarating moment for women’s sports. The WNBA and Fever are leading the charge with this groundbreaking local broadcast rights agreement,” Dave Lougee, President and CEO of Tegna, said in a release. “The remarkable journey of Caitlin Clark and her teammates has captured the hearts and minds of millions. We’re thrilled to deliver all the Fever action to every household in the Indianapolis region.”

The national TV package for WNBA games, which is aired on ABC, ESPN, Prime Video, CBS Sports Network, NBA TV and Ion will carry 36 of the Fever’s 40 games. The four games not being carried will be covered by the local package with Tegna. Several games will air on both a national and a local station.

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