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Nickelodeon Taking on Golf Next With ‘Slime Cup’ Celebrity Tournament

“This is really about making a fun, entertaining golf show. I think you know a lot of dads play golf, and getting to watch this with your kids really will be fun.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Nickelodeon

After the success of its kids-themed broadcasts of NFL Wild Card playoff games during the past two years, Nickelodeon is looking at taking a leap into the world of golf and putting its own spin on the sport.

As reported by Variety‘s Brian Steinberg, the ViacomCBS network plans to air a one-hour special this summer entitled Nickelodeon Slime Cup.

Several PGA and LPGA players, including Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, and Lexi Thompson have already signed on to participate in the contest. Also joining in on the fun will be NFL players Saquon Barkley and Justin Herbert, and several Nickelodeon starts including Isaiah Crews, Kate Godfrey, Jaidyn Triplett, and Tyler Wladis.

The athletes will team alongside stars from the network in a two-round tournament, which will feature Nickelodeon-themed holes and physical challenges. The tournament’s final round, called “The Unfairway,” will be contested at the Rose Bowl stadium, with the winners receiving a slime-green blazer and getting slime dumped on them.

“This is really about making a fun, entertaining golf show,” Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon CEO Brian Robbins told Variety. “I think you know a lot of dads play golf, and getting to watch this with your kids really will be fun.”

Nickelodeon’s Gabrielle Nevaeh Green, who was part of the broadcast team for the kids-themed NFL playoff games, will be providing commentary for the match. Other participants could be named at a later date, as production is set to begin sometime this month at a Los Angeles-area golf course.

Sports TV News

Al Michaels: Condensed Prep Time For Thursday Night Football ‘A Downside’

“It’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us.”

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There were bound to be unexpected hiccups and unintended consequences as Al Michaels moved to Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime Video.

He told The Boston Globe Thursday that one of the downsides of the week’s schedule is less prep time with the teams playing in the game.

“When we go to see the teams, it’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us,” Michaels said. “And all the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve built some great relationships with coaches and players and GMs and owners and you name it, and I don’t get that much time to spend with them anymore. That’s a downside part of it for me. Some of the best stories you get come from those relationships.”

Michaels has raised eyebrows this season while not being shy about his disdain for some poor matchups early in the schedule. However, he now understands that there are quality games as the season approaches its close.

“The schedule was a little leaky with the Carolina-Atlanta game and a couple of other games that we’ve had, but now we’re positioned for a nice run down the stretch,” said Michaels.

The 78-year-old was also asked how he remains energetic and passionate for the job he’s held for so long.

The games are exciting. I love sports. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no script. And unscripted television is the greatest.”

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Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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