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Ken Rosenthal: ‘It’s Jarring to Be Known For TV’

“It is an elevated status and certainly, players and even minor leaguers when they come into the game, they know who I am just from television.”

Ricky Keeler

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Ken Rosenthal has been in the news lately after the report last week from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that MLB Network was not renewing his contract due to criticism Rosenthal had of commissioner Rob Manfred. Still, Rosenthal is with The Athletic and at FOX, a position he has had since 2005. 

Recently, Rosenthal was a guest on The Boone Podcast with former MLB All-Star Bret Boone. Now, it is important to note that Rosenthal’s dismissal at MLB Network was not mentioned on the podcast nor if this episode was recorded before or after that news. However, what Boone did ask Rosenthal about was how he ended up at FOX. 

Rosenthal did mention that he used to do appearances on ESPN’s Cold Pizza (now First Take) as he started to do television to go with the writing he was doing for The Sporting News. Then, he had offers from ESPN and FOX, but he said he ultimately went with FOX because of what the role there could be. 

“It wasn’t guaranteed that I would be able to do the job that I ultimately have done, which is dugout reporter and work an All-Star Game and a World Series and all of that. It was a bit of a risk because ESPN was obviously a safer bet and the role would have been clearer, but I was a little afraid honestly that they were going to have me do so much. Ultimately, I ended up working at that pace for FOX, but I didn’t know that was going to be the case at the time. Either choice would have been great, but I must say I definitely made the right choice and it’s been one of the great thrills I can have to work this long at FOX. I’m still there and loving it.”

Back in 2016, Rosenthal was unable to write at FOX Sports anymore because FOX Sports, like so many other sites at the time, pivoted to a video-only outlet. While he had to start posting stories on Facebook at that point, FOX did tell him that he was allowed to go somewhere else to write and still stay with the company.

Yes, Rosenthal is more well-known for breaking stories and his columns and articles in The Athletic, but he told Boone that a lot of players recognize him mainly for his work in the dugout for FOX. It is a position that Rosenthal says helped him in forming a good bond with the players.

“You are in a clubhouse, you see someone on TV, it makes you know him or her more than just some random byline in the paper unless it’s the beat writer covering your team. It is an elevated status and certainly, players and even minor leaguers when they come into the game, they know who I am just from television. They become more familiar with you. I noticed that right away and it was jarring to me.”

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ESPN Will Honor Vin Scully By Airing Iconic 1988 World Series Game 1 Tonight

ESPN will air an encore presentation of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series as a tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scull

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Vin Scully

ESPN will air an encore presentation of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series as a tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully. The network will air the game tonight, August 3 at 8pm ET on ESPN2.

The 1988 World Series was between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics. Scully was on the call for the classic game which is notable for an injured Kirk Gibson coming off the bench and hitting a walk-off home run.

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Matthew Berry Joins NBC Sports

Berry is expected to host a daily podcast and have his own Sunday fantasy football show.

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Matthew Berry

Matthew Berry, the fantasy football expert that helped to elevate the niche to mainstay programming surrounding the football season, is joining NBC Sports.

Berry, who left ESPN less than a month ago, is expected to host a daily podcast and have his own Sunday fantasy football show, sources told The New York Post. The show might go against Fantasy Football Now, his previous show that airs on ESPN2.

The show is also expected to be on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, as well as possibly on some NBC affiliates. Berry could also make appearances on Sunday Night Football.

NBC Sports declined comment.

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NBC Pushing for Big Ten/NFL Primetime Pairing in Media Rights Deal

“The Big Ten would have exposure in every TV home,” said one source to Front Office Sports. “It would also be a smart idea to follow the model of the most successful sports league in America.” 

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Big Ten media rights negotiations are getting closer to being completed. The results could mean a minimum of $1.25 billion annual distribution for the conference’s soon-to-be sixteen members. One of the bidders in the process, NBC, has an interesting idea to make the Big Ten the “NFL of college football conferences.”

NBC has reportedly pushed the idea of combining Big Ten broadcasts with its existing Notre Dame coverage and would feature the Big Ten in its primetime window. With CBS, ESPN/ABC also bidding on coverage packages, such a series of deals would make the Big Ten the only college football conference that would be seen across all of the American broadcast networks. Something only few entities have done, like the NFL.

NBC is also pushing the allure of having primetime Big Ten football on Saturday night and primetime coverage of Sunday’s only NFL evening game with Sunday Night Football.

“The Big Ten would have exposure in every TV home,” said one source to Front Office Sports. “It would also be a smart idea to follow the model of the most successful sports league in America.” 

The Big Ten’s current media rights deals expire after the 2023 season.

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