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Mike Breen Not Sure Gambling Talk Becomes Common On Game Broadcasts

“Neither Eagle nor Breen is a sports bettor.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: David Payne Purdum

Betting content is becoming more and more ingrained within sports broadcasts as the practice gets legalized across the country. The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch caught up with Mike Breen and Ian Eagle to see how the two approach the topic.

Neither Eagle nor Breen is currently a sports bettor, but the former had a great story about a bet he placed years ago and his current job with CBS.

“The last bet I made was on Monday Night Football 1987, the Chargers and the Raiders,” Eagle told Deitsch. “Ironically, Dan Fouts was my partner for CBS and is one of my truly closest friends in the world. I bet on the Chargers, and they took an early lead on the Raiders. It looked like it was going to win $250, which in 1987, I would have lived like a king for the entire semester. The Raiders came back, won the game. The Chargers didn’t cover. 

“Years later when I’m working with Dan, I said, ‘You know, I bet on you in 1987 to win that Monday Night Football game.’ He goes, ‘What are you? An idiot? Like, why would you do that? Who told you to do that? That’s your fault, schmuck.’ So he crushed me. I’m not a gambler. I’ve never had that interest level in it.”

Eagle says that he already puts so much time into every other aspect of a solid broadcast that the gambling lines and over/under don’t cross his radar. Yet, he’d be open to incorporating the information.

“I’m worried enough about the biographical information, the statistics, the storylines, that it doesn’t even enter my train of thought,” Eagle said. “If that’s a variable and I’m told that that’s important to the network and we need to incorporate it, I’ll be open to it. I’ll be a professional. I’ll figure out a way to do it. But to be perfectly frank, it’s not something that’s really on my radar game in and game out.”

Breen is more bearish; he doesn’t think the language will ever be commonplace on national broadcasts because not everyone watching the game gambles.

“We’ll read sponsorships,” Breen said. “This spot is sponsored by DraftKings or whatever it is. But I don’t think they’ll ever have the actual play-by-play and analyst announcers getting involved in point spreads or why a team is favored in terms of that point spread. At least I hope that because I don’t think it belongs. Again, for people that want to do it, more power to them; Like Ian, I’m not a gambler. But I don’t think it’ll ever be part of what we do during the course of the game.”

For the full interview with Eagle and Breen, click here.

Sports TV News

ESPN Accused Of Data Sharing Without Consent In Class Action Lawsuit

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act.

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According to a potential class action lawsuit, user data from ESPN.com and ESPN+ has been allegedly shared with Meta Platforms without users consent.

Corrado Rizzi of ClassAction.org has proposed the suit, alleging that ESPN “uses a pixel installed on the back end of its website to track when website and app users take certain actions, such as clicking on an ad or viewing video content”. That “pixel” is used by Facebook to capture “a subscriber’s Facebook ID, with which anyone can ‘quickly and easily’ locate, access, and identify a particular Facebook account and a file containing details of a watched video and its corresponding URL.”

Rizzi adds that ESPN.com and ESPN+ subscribers aren’t told their data could be shared. He also shares that while ESPN could create its website to information isn’t immediately shared with Facebook, it benefits financially from utilizing the “pixel” on its website.

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act. The VPAA, according to ClassAction.org, “prohibits ‘video tape service providers’ from knowingly disclosing without consent consumers’ personally identifiable information, including that which identifies someone as having requested or obtained specific video materials”.

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Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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Sports TV News

LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

Jordan Bondurant

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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