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Eric Collins: I Don’t Care If Opposing Fans Like How I Call A Game

“To me, it’s a joyride and I want people to come along.” 

Ricky Keeler

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Whenever a fan watches or listens to their team’s broadcast, some might look for the play-by-play announcer to bring the same enthusiasm for the team that fans do. Well, Charlotte Hornets fans have that person with the voice of the team on Bally Sports Southeast, Eric Collins. 

Collins was a guest this past week on The Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe. He mentioned that being that excited for a slam dunk or a buzzer-beater is something that is easy for him. 

“I am a jumpy guy, I’m an excitable guy and I just decided at some point I love doing it, it makes me happy and I get a real enjoyment out of it and I get into the game. If I can get into the game this way, I sure hope it transcends to the TV screen and other people can get into it. To me, it’s a joyride and I want people to come along.” 

When Collins first started calling professional games, he was the road announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2009-2013. Since Vin Scully was calling the home games, Eric Collins never got to call a walk-off win. When he started with the Hornets, he was hoping for buzzer-beaters. That did not happen for a while.

“After 5 years with the Dodgers, I come to the Hornets. I think there were 14 consecutive games decided by 1 possession and the Hornets lost. It was miserable because I was getting so excited. I had all this pent up energy and 14 consecutive times, they would spit the bit. When the tide finally turned, there was an eruption.” 

Eric Collins told Lowe fans of opposing teams might not like his broadcasting style very much. That doesn’t mean he is willing to change.

“My broadcasting style is physical. Any sport that I do. In football, I can’t even sit down. Football has to be a standing situation. I stun the people I am around frequently because I kind of forget there’s actually human beings who are paying to sit courtside and are relatively close to me. Sometimes I will jump and I’ll raise a hand…Some people will look at me and kind of sneer. It doesn’t deter me.”

Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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