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Jacqui Oatley Joins FOX Sports’ FIFA World Cup Broadcast Team

FOX Sports announces that world-renowned commentator Jacqui Oatley will join the broadcast in a play-by-play capacity for the 2022 World Cup.

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Jacqui Oatley

The FIFA World Cup returns this Fall from Qatar and when it does, FOX Sports will have barrier-breaking Jacqui Oatley on the call.

Today, FOX Sports announced that Oatley will be a part of the network’s coverage of the event.

Oatley called the World Cup matches in summer of 2019 in France for the host broadcaster’s world feed. The year before she was a host for ITV’s FIFA World Cup coverage in Russia. Oatley also hosted the BBC’s 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup coverage in Canada. Before that, she provided play-by-play commentary for BBC Radio 5 Live at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

In over 20 years of broadcasting experience, she accomplished a few firsts as well. In 2005, she became the first woman to call a match on British network radio. Then 2007 she was the first female commentator on the BBC One’s flagship show, Match of the Day.

Most recently, she has commentated on the UEFA Champions League and is currently lead play-by-play announcer for Sky Sports’ Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage. She also calls Premier League matches for Sky Sports and the world feed.

“I’m so excited to be joining FOX Sports at this year’s World Cup,” said Oatley. “This will be my 16th major football tournament, and I’ve loved every minute of working on those events around the world. Teaming up with FOX Sports will be a new experience for me, and I’ve been told by various colleagues what a brilliant group of people they are to work with.”

David Neal, Executive Producer of FIFA World Cup on FOX and Vice President of Production for FOX Sports, welcomed Oatley.

“Jacqui’s passion for the game and experience in calling matches at the highest level is truly remarkable and as we began evaluating play-by-play announcers, we knew we wanted Jacqui to be part of our team,” said Neal. “We’re thrilled to have Jacqui joining FOX Sports in Qatar and look forward to hearing her insights when the tournament begins on Monday, November 21.”

Oatley joins returning lead play-by-play announcer John Strong as FOX Sports commentators for the World Cup.

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Sports TV News

Howie Schwab, Longtime ESPN Producer and Feature of ‘Stump the Schwab’, Dies

Many former ESPN colleagues, and those in the sports media at large, paid homage to Schwab’s memory after the announcement of his passing.

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A photo of Howie Schwab
(Photo: ESPN)

Longtime ESPN researcher and feature of the mid-2000s ESPN game show Stump the Schwab Howie Schwab has died.

Schwab joined ESPN in 1987 after serving as the editor-in-chief of College & Pro Football News Weekly. He then worked as a producer for ESPN.com before joining ESPN’s studio production team, working on shows like Outside the Lines and SportsCenter.

In 2004, ESPN launched a sports trivia game show — Stump the Schwab — hosted by Stuart Scott, which pitted contestants against Schwab in a test of sports knowledge. The program ran for four seasons, featuring 80 episodes in total, before ending in 2006.

Howie Schwab was part of widespread layoffs at ESPN in 2013. He then worked on Sports Jeopardy! alongside Dan Patrick as a writer beginning in 2014, and also briefly spent time at FOX Sports after his departure from ESPN.

Many former ESPN colleagues, and those in the sports media at large, paid homage to Schwab’s memory after the announcement of his passing.

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Report: ESPN Seems Likely to Renew NFL Draft Media Rights

ESPN has been broadcasting the NFL Draft since 1980.

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ESPN Logo, ESPN NFL Studio Bristol Headquarters

ESPN has been the broadcast home of the NFL Draft since 1980, and the property has become one of the network’s hallmark events within its overall coverage of the National Football League. Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. will return on the airwaves this year for the broadcast of the event, which will include separate feeds on ABC and ESPN on Thursday night.

ESPN has had the rights to the event for several years and attained improvements in ratings with an average of approximately 9.73 million viewers across networks on Day 1 last year. As a whole, the NFL Draft attained a total, unduplicated audience of 54.4 million viewers over the course of the three days on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NFL Network and additional digital platforms, and will make its return next Wednesday from Detroit, Mich.

John Ourand of Puck News reported that the deal for ESPN to broadcast the NFL Draft will expire in 2025. Within his report, he noted that ESPN is likely to renew its deal with the league, but other media companies could be interested in exploring potentially assuming the property. Some of the companies Ourand includes within his report are FOX, NBC and perhaps Amazon.

ESPN announced its plans for coverage of the 2024 NFL Draft earlier in the week, which will include two broadcasts on ESPN and ABC for the first two days. This year’s draft class contains several top-tier college quarterbacks who will be looking to make an impact at the NFL level, including USC star Caleb Williams. The Chicago Bears hold the first-overall pick for the 2024 NFL Draft and are projected by several insiders to select Williams after trading away quarterback Justin Fields earlier in the offseason.

ESPN and NFL Network will bring back a crossover element to the NFL Draft broadcast this year, something that both entities collaborated on in 2020 and 2023. On Tuesday, April 16, Kiper Jr. will appear on NFL Network for NFL Total Access. ESPN NFL insider Field Yates will appear on NFL Network Wednesday, April 17 for Path to the Draft while NFL Network analyst Steve Smith Sr. appears on SportsCenter. Both programs will last from 6 to 7 p.m. EST on their respective networks. Mina Kimes will appear on Move the Sticks Thursday, April 18 on NFL Network, while Kurt Warner and Daniel Jeremiah will be on Get Up and NFL Live, respectively, the following day.

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NBA TV Announces Playoff Coverage, Gus Johnson to Call Game 2 of Pacers-Bucks

Coverage of games throughout the NBA Playoffs on NBA TV will include pregame, halftime and studio coverage as well.

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NBA TV Logo
(Illustration) Courtesy: National Basketball Association, Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros. Discovery has announced coverage plans for the first round of the National Basketball Association Playoffs on NBA TV, which includes back-to-back nights of live game broadcasts beginning on Monday, April 22. The Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers will face off from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio featuring play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro, analyst Brendan Haywood and sideline reporter Lauren Jbara. This will mark Jbara’s playoff debut with NBA TV, which comes after officially joining TNT Sports last fall. Calabro, Haywood and Jbara will also return on Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. EST for Game 3 between the Magic and Cavaliers from Kia Center in Orlando, Fla.

The second game of the series between the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks will be presented on NBA TV at 8:30 p.m. EST and features the return of Gus Johnson behind the microphone for playoff action. Johnson, who serves as the lead play-by-play voice for college football and college basketball coverage for FOX Sports, will work with Jim Jackson and Dennis Scott on the call from Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisc.

Over the course of the 2023-24 NBA season, Johnson filled in on select New York Knicks game telecasts on MSG Networks, where he previously served as an announcer and studio host for 16 years. Coverage of games throughout the NBA Playoffs on NBA TV will include pregame, halftime and studio coverage as well.

NBA TV could televise up to nine games throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs depending on the outcomes of the individual series. Star players such as Paolo Banchero, Damian Lillard, Tyrese Haliburton and Donovan Mitchell are expected to participate across the matchups. The league-owned broadcast entity jointly managed by the NBA and Warner Bros. Discovery is coming off its most-viewed season since 2015-16.

TNT Sports will also present playoff games on TNT and available to stream utilizing the B/R Sports Add-On through Max. Coverage will conclude with the Western Conference Finals with a spot to compete for the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the balance.

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