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NBA Analyst Doris Burke Agrees to Multi-Year Extension With ESPN

“Her passion for the craft combined with her ability to connect and build trust with the audience is as good as anyone in the business.”

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ESPN is making sure analyst Doris Burke is a part of its NBA coverage for years to come.

On Tuesday, the network announced that Burke had agreed to a multi-year extension which will keep her on top NBA broadcasts for ESPN and ABC during the regular season and playoffs. Often paired with Mark Jones or Ryan Ruocco on play-by-play, Burke is the first woman to be a full-time national NBA game analyst for a network.

Additionally, Burke will continue as the color commentator for the NBA Finals on ESPN Radio, a role she’s had since 2020.

“Doris is recognized and admired across the media industry and in the NBA for her ability to educate, inform, entertain, and teach the game,” said ESPN senior coordinating producer Tim Corrigan.

“Her passion for the craft combined with her ability to connect and build trust with the audience is as good as anyone in the business. Doris is a star and we are thrilled to continue with her trailblazing career.”

Burke has covered basketball for ESPN since 1991, beginning with broadcasting WNBA and women’s college basketball telecasts before moving to men’s college basketball. She became part of the network’s NBA coverage for the 2003-04 season, working as a sideline reporter before moving to color commentary and analysis on NBA Countdown. Burke has been in her current role as game analyst since the 2017-18 season.

In 2018, Burke was honored with the Curt Gowdy Media Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Prior to becoming a broadcaster, Burke was a star at Providence College, where she finished her career as the school’s single-season leader in assists and free throws (with which she also held the program’s career record). She was an assistant coach for the Friars for two seasons before moving to the broadcast booth, where she called Providence games on radio.

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.

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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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