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Denver Nuggets, Make-A-Wish Give Broadcasting Hopeful a Shot on Altitude TV

Chris Marlowe offered the board he uses for all of the player information during the broadcast. But the youngster declined, saying he already knows the players pretty well.

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Thursday’s Phoenix Suns-Denver Nuggets telecast on Altitude TV featured a cool moment for an aspiring broadcaster, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Nuggets welcomed 16-year-old Levi Lips for a tour of Ball Arena, taking the stage at a press conference, and getting some shots on the court. He was also interviewed on Altitude TV’s pregame show and announced the game’s starting lineups.

But most importantly for the broadcasting hopeful, via Awful Announcing, Levi got to sit with play-by-play announcer Chris Marlowe and analyst Katy Winge during the second quarter of the Nuggets telecast. Marlowe teased Levi about wanting to take his job, which he’s not ready to give up yet, before turning the mic over for calling some play-by-play.

Just before Levi took over the call, however, there was a funny exchange in which Marlowe offered the board he uses for all of the player information during the broadcast. But the youngster declined, saying he already knows the players pretty well.

Winge teased Marlowe about giving up the mic during a free throw, when there’s not a whole lot of action on the court. But that was probably an astute move by the veteran play-by-play broadcaster, giving Levi a chance to survey who was on the court and get his bearings.

Levi quickly learned just how much you have to talk while calling play-by-play, more than a fan might guess. And he was surely nervous, as most any non-professional would be in that situation. But the high school senior showed his potential with a nice call on DeMarcus Cousins’ three-pointer.

Altitude posted Levi’s interview with Winge on Twitter, giving a wider audience a chance to see it on social media.

As detailed on the Levi’s Prayer Warriors Facebook page, Lips required brain surgery at just 10 months old to prevent him from a number of seizures he was experiencing. In 2019, Levi had a seizure for the first time in 14 years. A subsequent seizure caused a fall resulting in a concussion. An exam revealed a brain tumor.

During surgery to remove the tumor, Levi suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on his left side. Since then, he’s undergone physical and occupational therapy to regain function and control.

Judging from the videos above, Levi appears to be recovering very nicely and he’ll attend Utah State in the fall to study broadcast journalism. And thanks to Make-A-Wish, the Nuggets, and Altitude TV, he got to experience a special evening. Hopefully, it’s just the first step in a properous life and broadcasting career. Many of us will be able to say this is the first time we saw and heard Levi Lips on the call.

Sports TV News

Former Hulu Exec Michael Schneider Hired To Run Bally Sports+

“Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.”

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Sinclair Broadcast Group and Diamond Sports Group have tapped Michael Schneider as the chief operating officer and general manager of Bally Sports+ when it launches this year.

Schneider will oversee the direct-to-consumer platform that will also be the hub for Bally Sports live programming.

Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.

“Throughout his career, Michael has successfully launched and developed DTC streaming and service platforms and created immersive engagement experiences,” said Sinclair COO and president of broadcast Rob Weisbord. “He is a terrific addition to the team as we build out the Bally Sports+ offering, its exclusive content and passionate fan community.”

Even before Hulu, Schneider had a hand in streaming. He was a founding member of the PlayStation Vue launch team.

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Marquee Sports Network Weighs Streaming Options Outside of Bally Sports+

“Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.”

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As Sinclair Broadcast Group prepares to launch Bally Sports+, its direct-to-consumer platform that will be home to Bally Sports live events, the Chicago Cubs are weighing their options for Marquee Sports Network, which the team co-owns with Sinclair.

Despite being under the Sinclair umbrella, Marquee is its own free-standing RSN from the rest of the Bally Sports networks across the country.

Marquee is readily available on a number of cable providers, but the only thing that’s really missing is its own standalone streaming platform for games. Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.

“We’re always interested in being on the cutting edge with the ultimate deliverable to our consumer,” McCarthy said. “But there isn’t any contractual clock ticking to make us feel that way. It’s how we’ve approached things from the beginning. Between our two ownership groups, there’s a lot of aggression to get it right. And I think you’ll see something along those lines shortly.”

The TV ratings will always be of top interest for MLB, especially regional ratings. But as the league has worked to embrace more streaming options for games, striking deals with Apple and Peacock for rights this season, it’s all about providing what the fans and viewers want.

“We now have the ability to do so much more, to properly tell the story of a 162-game season,” said Crane Kenney, Chicago Cubs president of business operations. Kenney was instrumental in the launch of Marquee. “We love baseball, we love the game, and we love the opportunity we have to share it with our fans in really deep ways.”

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Sports TV News

Laura Rutledge Celebrates Chemistry Of NFL Live

“It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”

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Laura Rutledge is very happy with where NFL Live is as the current lineup gets set to enter its third season together. She told The Big Lead that there is genuine chemistry between herself, Marcus Spears, Mina Kimes, and Dan Orlovsky and that is why she doesn’t feel the need to emulate any of sports television’s many debate shows.

“You don’t want to see people yelling at each other all the time and I’m really proud of the chemistry that we have struck and just letting that breathe on air and having so much fun. It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”

The 2022 NFL season will have a very different feel for ESPN. The addition of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for Monday Night Football adds new expectations to the network.

Rutledge said that the attention on the network means that she and her colleagues have to raise their respective games, but that shouldn’t be hard. There is always material to work with in this league.

“We’ve seen this offseason, we saw the previous offseason, how the NFL news cycle never stops. It’s funny because the news cycle becomes such a big piece of the story, but we’re like, we can’t wait for the games,” she said.

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