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Michelle Beadle: ‘What I Accomplished Made It Easy To Leave ESPN’

“It was my dream job for a while and I did it. It was good. I know we did a good show and I rest thinking that.”

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Some people never get the chance to get multiple goodbyes at the same place of employment. However, Michelle Beadle worked for ESPN on two different occasions. Her most recent stint ended when she decided to leave in 2019. 

This week, Beadle was a guest on The Ariel Helwani Show to talk about her time at ESPN, working for the San Antonio Spurs, and starting her own podcast at The Athletic called What Did I Miss? After her time at ESPN ended, Beadle did think for a time that she might not ever go back to working in the media.

“The thing that sort of stopped that I guess was I didn’t have a plan B. In fairness, I never had a plan A. I was like, well what will I do? I came back to Texas and was like I could drive Uber, I could wait tables again. Nothing sounded fun and I think that’s what it was.”

While Michelle Beadle said she would have been devastated in the past about leaving ESPN, she says she was at peace with the decision when she made it two years ago.

“I think because I did what I did and I reached what I wanted to reach and I was financially good, I think all of that combined really let me relax because I had worked so hard for so many years…I had never really taken a ‘break break’ from it. I didn’t care if I was seen again because it was on my own terms. Had I been fired or had it been just a little bit different of an ending, maybe I would have been a little more angry or a little more feeling I have to get out there.

“It was like a breakup. When you break up, you walk away cool. You have a clean conscience, you’re like I did what I did, said what I said. It was my dream job for a while and I did it. It was good. I know we did a good show and I rest thinking that. It was almost the best-case scenario for leaving something like that rather than jumping back into something that you didn’t want to do.” 

One of the things that Beadle did at ESPN in her second act there was be a part of Get Up. It is a decision that she does not regret. However, she told Helwani she did not like the way the show was changing: 

“No. That decision was good for my bank account. What we signed up to do under John Skipper was very much a show we all wanted to do. People leave, things get changed, other people come in and it becomes something else so that’s ok.” 

She did not like that Get Up was turning into every other show and she mentioned that since she was hosting NBA Countdown, it was easier for her to leave Get Up. That, unfortunately, meant leaving Mike Greenburg, who Michelle Beadle clearly enjoyed being around.

“Greeny is a lovely man. Our personalities could not be more different. I am obnoxious and loud. He is not. He is a dream for hosting television because he doesn’t get you in trouble, he is not going to say anything controversial even though I never thought I said anything controversial. He’s a good person.”

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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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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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