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Wasserman Acquires The Montag Group

“As more companies enter the live sports space, it is easy to see why The Montag Group was attractive to Wasserman.”

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It may be easier than ever for athletes to make their way to the broadcast booth when they retire. Wasserman, an agency that represents the likes of Russell Westbrook, Giancarlo Stanton, and other stars across multiple sports, announced on Wednesday that it had acquired The Montag Group.

Sandy Montag began his career as a traveling secretary for John Madden. His agency now represents some of the biggest names in broadcasting. Top tier play-by-play men Mike Tirico and Jim Nantz, network faces like Scott Van Pelt, and any number of analysts call The Montag Group home.

“Maury and I have long-respected Casey and Wasserman for how they approach the business and represent their clients,” Montag said. “This deal will allow us to maintain the excellence and service our clients have come to expect from The Montag Group, while also tapping into Wasserman’s resources, network, and influence across the industry to further benefit those whom we represent.”

For now, The Montag Group will still operate under its own identity. While Wasserman is based on the West Coast, The Montag Group will remain in New York, working out of offices in White Plains and Manhattan.

As more companies enter the live sports space, it is easy to see why The Montag Group was attractive to Wasserman. The acquisition should make it very easy for Wasserman clients to transition to a broadcast career. It could also lead to Wasserman representing and negotiating on behalf of entire broadcast teams.

IF Management, which became part of The Montag Group in 2017 is not part of the deal. That group will relaunch as a stand-alone company, although it will maintain a working relationship with Wasserman.

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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