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Rachel Nichols Finalizes Exit From ESPN

“The former host of The Jump and NBA Countdown is officially a free agent after finalizing a settlement with ESPN according to The New York Post.”

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Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Is there another job out there waiting for Rachel Nichols? She is free to find out.

The former host of The Jump and NBA Countdown is officially a free agent after finalizing a settlement with ESPN according to The New York Post.

Last year was a tumultuous one for Rachel Nichols. She complained about being passed over for NBA Finals assignments in favor of Maria Taylor in a private conversation that was recorded without her knowledge. On the recording, Nichols can be heard saying that she believed Taylor was chosen because she is Black.

Rachel Nichols apologized for the comments, but it didn’t make much of a difference. ESPN first pulled her off of all her playoff assignments in July before ultimately removing her from NBA programming entirely the following month.

According to Andrew Marchand, Nichols made “in the neighborhood of $1.5 million to $2 million per year” at ESPN. It will be very interesting to see if there is a market for her services that dictate that kind of paycheck now that some see her as “damaged goods.”

For what it is worth, it seems that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had more criticism for ESPN’s handling of the situation than for Rachel Nichols. He has also noted that he doesn’t “anyone’s career should be erased by a single comment”.

Sports TV News

3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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