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John Canzano: ESPN’s PAC-12 Coverage ‘A Low-Budget’ Disappointment

Multiple sources told Canzano that ESPN used saved money by utilizing “low budget” trucks to carry the signal on Saturday night.

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It appears that the Pac-12 has the disservice of getting stuck with the short end of the stick at ESPN, and John Canzano of The Oregonian and 750 The Game in Portland has had enough of it.

The longtime columnist wrote a piece yesterday about the quality of broadcast that the Pac-12 has been receiving on ESPN compared to Pac-12 Network broadcasts. He says the difference is pretty clear, calling the ESPN broadcast “a fuzzy, low-budget disappointment.”

Jon Wilner of The San Jose Mercury News captured two different screenshots, one from a broadcast on the Pac-12 Network, and one from an ESPN broadcast this Saturday night.

On the left is the Pac-12 Network and on the right is ESPN’s broadcast last weekend. Anyone who knows anything about cameras or production can clearly see that the ESPN broadcast is just not up to par with what should be the standard nowadays of high definition for a nationally televised college football game.

Multiple sources told Canzano that ESPN used saved money by utilizing “low budget” trucks to carry the signal of Oregon’s win over Washington State on Saturday night.

It appears that ESPN did this simply because they knew that they can get away with it. Pac-12 games are on at 10:30 ET which is typically the lowest viewed game on the network on most college football Saturdays. Canzano reached out to ESPN on the production quality and has yet to hear a response back on the matter.

Canzano hosts a syndicated radio show The Bald Truth across Oregon. With the Oregon Ducks in the thick of the College Football Playoff discussion for the first time in years, it makes sense that he was so agitated by the production of the product.

His biggest takeaway is that the PAC-12 has to be a better advocate for its schools and its football product.

“The Pac-12 needs to take note of this and ensure that it doesn’t happen with future TV contracts,” John Canzano wrote. “Raise the number of minimum cameras at the stadiums. Ensure that the crews are staffed and ask that pylon cameras and isolated camera operators who can better follow the action are mandatory. Also, require ESPN to use a truck that will give viewers a quality picture on their television vs. the low-budget rig it sent to Eugene on Saturday.”

Regardless this type of quality should be unacceptable in 2021 for any major network and the Pac-12 may seriously want to consider this when they do their next round of media right negotiations.

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Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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USA Today

Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer

“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”

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According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.

Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.

The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.

The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options. 

NFL+ would make NFL Media more valuable. The league is trying to sell an equity stake in its linear TV and digital media properties. Amazon and Apple are considered the most likely to make a deal. 

A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.

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