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Networks Pay Tribute To John Madden In Week 17

“Madden worked for all four networks during his TV career, so nearly everyone in a booth or in the studio had something to say.”

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No one has had a bigger impact on the way football is presented on television than John Madden. It makes total sense then that in the NFL would take time out during the first games after his death to pay tribute.

Moments of silence were held in every stadium where games were played in Week 17. Fans watching at home saw a variety of tributes as well. Madden worked for all four networks during his TV career, so nearly everyone in a booth or in the studio had something to say.

No network owes its sports presence to the influence of John Madden more than FOX. The network replaced its own logo on Sunday with the drawing of Madden used on his video games and as the promotional image for the recent All Madden documentary.

Both of the network’s pregame shows also paid tribute to the Hall of Famer.

There may be no booth in history as beloved as Madden and his longtime partner Pat Summerall. While no one can replace that duo, Jim Nantz and Tony Romo may hold the “most beloved” distinction today. The CBS duo paid their respects, talking about Madden’s impact on both the network and sports television.

FOX had a tribute to Madden as a broadcaster as well.

One of the most impactful tributes came from Al Michaels. He and John Madden were partners on ABC’s Monday Night Football and then worked together on NBC when the network won the rights to Sunday Night Football.

In a video essay, Michaels described Madden as “a thoughtful listener” and “a terrific teacher” both on the field and behind the mic.

While John Madden never worked for ESPN, he was part of Monday Night Football from 2002 until 2005. Between the regular broadcast and ESPN2’s Manningcast, it is certain that there will be more tributes to the late coach and broadcaster when the Steelers play host to the Cleveland Browns in Week 17’s final game.

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ACC Network Adds Chelsea Gray as Women’s Basketball Analyst

“I’m honored to be coming back home to the ACC. This conference proves its greatness year after year and I’m thrilled to be a part of it again.”

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ACC Network just added another talent to its growing roster, this time adding three-time WNBA champion and former Duke Blue Devil Chelsea Gray as a women’s college basketball analyst.

Gray will make her ACC Network debut on Sunday, Dec. 10 when her alma mater takes on the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles live at Cameron Indoor Stadium at noon E.T.

“I’m honored to be coming back home to the ACC,” Gray said. “This conference proves its greatness year after year and I’m thrilled to be a part of it again.”

This won’t be Gray’s first rodeo when it comes to live game analysis. During the 2021-22 season, Gray was a key member of ACCN’s Nothing But Net studio coverage. She also called seven regular season games and three NCAA Tournament games throughout the year.

Along with her on-screen duties, Gray still plays as a member of the Las Vegas Aces, where she helped guide the team to back-to-back WNBA Championships in 2022 and 2023.

“We are very excited to welcome Chelsea back to the ACC Network as a game analyst. She’s competed and won championships at the highest level so her experience and knowledge of the game will be such an asset to our already strong women’s basketball coverage,” said Sara Gaiero, vice president of production at ESPN.

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Prime Video, Premier Boxing Champions Agree to Multiyear Rights Deal

“With live coverage of PBC action throughout the calendar year, Prime Video continues to bring viewers in the U.S. and around the world the best in sports.”

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Amazon Prime Video and Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) just announced a multiyear rights agreement, which will deliver year-round boxing championship matchups featuring some of the sport’s biggest stars.

Prime Video will distribute PBC’s industry-leading pay-per-view (PPV) events in the U.S., with the first event anticipated for March 2024. PBC PPV fights will be available for all viewers to purchase, regardless of Prime membership. Additionally, in the U.S. and select countries, Prime Video will exclusively stream a PBC Championship Boxing series of events, showcasing top matchups among boxing’s current and rising stars.

“We are thrilled to join with Premier Boxing Champions to bring the best boxers in the world to Prime Video, and to give more fans than ever the chance to experience these must-see events,” said Marie Donoghue, VP of U.S. sports content & partnerships, Amazon. “With live coverage of PBC action throughout the calendar year, Prime Video continues to bring viewers in the U.S. and around the world the best in sports.”

Some past matchups hosted by PBC include David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant, Gervonta “Tank” Davis vs. Ryan Garcia, Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford, and Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo. Details on specific cards, dates, and locations will be announced at a later date.

In addition to the live PBC events, Prime Video will continue to grow its Original sports content offerings, with behind-the-scenes PBC docuseries, live weigh-ins, and on-demand access to previous events, highlights, archival footage, and more.

“Premier Boxing Champions is very proud to partner with Prime Video to showcase our world-class boxers and events. With Prime’s incredible reach and unprecedented marketing power, we’re very excited to reach new audiences for our sport as we continue to present the most exciting, competitive and biggest fights in Boxing,” said Bruce Binkow, CEO, Integrated Sports, exclusive agency for PBC.

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ESPN, TNT NBA Collaboration ‘First Step’ in Bigger Partnership, Execs Say

The two companies will cross promote the NBA In-Season Tournament during Thursday’s programming.

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The inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament concludes in Las Vegas this weekend, and one of the unique elements of the semifinals tonight will be the crossover coverage between TNT and ESPN.

ESPN will have the first semifinal of the evening. The game tips off at 5 PM Eastern. Mike Breen and Doris Burke will be joined by Reggie Miller on the broadcast. Lisa Salters will be the sideline reporter for the game.

For TNT’s game at 9 PM Eastern, Kevin Harlan and Candace Parker will be joined by Doc Rivers. Allie LaForce will handle sideline reporting.

Additionally, both networks are going to collaborate for extended segments in their respective pregame show windows. Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will join ESPN NBA Countdown with Malika Andrews, Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Bob Myers and Adrian Wojnarowski before the early game. Everyone will get together again when Inside the NBA gets viewers ready for the late game.

Font Office Sports reported that as the NBA prepares to negotiate a new media rights deal with both ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery, network leaders see other chances for crossovers down the road.

“This is the first step in something that potentially could create other opportunities [in] the future,” TNT Sports executive vice president and chief content officer Craig Barry said.

ESPN head of event and studio production David Roberts said something similar.

“This is just a starting point,” he said.

The NBA’s current media rights contract concludes at the end of the 2024-25 season.

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