We are one step closer to Sinclair launching its over-the-top streaming service. The company has secured a $600 million loan to support the platform’s launch.
More importantly, Bloomberg reports that the company is close to closing a deal with the NBA, though the league did not respond to a request for comment. Sinclair’s Bally Sports networks have the regional broadcast rights to sixteen of the league’s teams.
Last month, Sinclair and the NHL reached a deal that will give twelve hockey teams a presence on the new streaming platform. That would be enough to create a strong position in the market, but creditors have still been skeptical.
Major League Baseball has the potential to throw a wrench in the deal. First, the league demanded an ownership stake in any Sinclair streaming product. Less than a week later, word leaked that the league may be considering launching its own streaming service.
The players involved in the deal all declined to comment. That includes Sinclair as well as the loan’s creditors, which are bound by non-disclosure agreements.
Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams
In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.
There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.
The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:
#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale
Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.
Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’
“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.
Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.
After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.
Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.
“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”
“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.
“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.
“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”
“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.
“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.
“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.
It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.
Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth
It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence.
When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer, Frazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts.
Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.”
The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.