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Dick Vitale Cleared To Be Courtside For Top Ten Matchup

“I’m jumping for joy knowing I’ll be sitting next to Jon Sciambi and talking hoops instead of chemotherapy and blood counts.”

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(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

Much of this season for longtime college basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale will be up in the air, as he received his second diagnosis of cancer back in October.

However Vitale received some good news today from his medical team. The legendary broadcaster will return courtside this weekend to call the game between No. 6 Villanova and No. 2 Baylor.

Vitale tweeted out the news to his supporters last night that he was back in action for ESPN. He will be joined by Jon Sciambi and Kris Budden on the call for the game.

“After receiving my positive news, about blood counts from my medical team, headed by Dr. Rick Brown. I’ve been cleared to be courtside for No. 6 Villanova at No. 2 Baylor Sunday on ABC. I’m jumping for joy knowing I’ll be sitting next to Jon Sciambi and talking hoops instead of chemotherapy and blood counts. It will be fun to also share stories with our reporter Kris Budden on the sidelines. Its my first ever trip to Waco since I began at ESPN on Dec. 5, 1979, and it is sure to be special. Thank you to all for the continued phone calls, messages, prayers and positive energy, it truly lifts me up!” said Vitale

Vitale tweeted out that he will receive bloodwork following the game on Sunday to see how his body reacts to being back on the air for ESPN. This will likely play a role into how much Vitale will be on ESPN for the rest of the season, so let’s all hope for the best for Vitale moving forward.

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David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”

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David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”

Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.

“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”

December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.

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NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”

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The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.

Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.

NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”

In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.

As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.

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NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’

“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

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A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.

“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.

The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.

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