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Rece Davis’ Goal at ESPN Wasn’t To Host College GameDay

“I love Gameday and I think I have the best job in television, but Chris [Fowler] was hosting that show and I didn’t feel like I had to have that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Photo Credit: ESPN

Rece Davis has been at ESPN for over 25 years and has had the opportunity to cover a variety of sports over his great career. In recent years, the broadcaster who was born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has become the main voice on the network synonymous with hosting college football and college basketball for ESPN.

Davis was a guest on the Gramlich and Mac Lain podcast and he talked about what his goal always was in the industry. It wasn’t necessarily to be the host of College GameDay:

“My goal was always to have the most prominent position that I could in college football and college basketball. I’ve been asked many times if GameDay was my goal. It wasn’t. I love Gameday and I think I have the best job in television, but Chris [Fowler] was hosting that show and I didn’t feel like I had to have that.”

“I had what I considered to be as enjoyable a run as I could imagine in-studio for all those years, particularly (no disrespect to all of the other guys I worked with that are great) that decade-long run with Lou Holtz and Mark May. Mark and I were together for several years before Lou came and joined us . I cherished that time as well. It was time to make a change of some sort, whether it was into the booth or as it turned out to GameDay and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”

In his early years at ESPN, Davis was hosting shows such as NBA 2Night and RPM2Night and he covered soccer and horse racing as well. While some of these sports weren’t Davis’s expertise, it did prepare him for the role that he is in now:

“I did soccer and horse racing, all things that were completely out of my wheelhouse and I think it helped me long-term to not only learn how to prepare things that you don’t know or don’t have any preconceived notions about, but it gives you some confidence to execute things that are outside your field of interest.”

Since becoming the host of College GameDay in 2015, Davis and the GameDay crew have tried to improve the broadcast more in terms of getting the crowd more involved in the show:

“I think the thing that hopefully we’ve gotten better at over the years is capturing what’s going on in the crowd rather than just using it as a backdrop. They are like another character on the show. That was probably the biggest adjustment,” said Davis.

Even though the atmosphere for GameDay can be electric, Davis mentioned one of the biggest challenges for the show is trying to highlight the games of the day and not just the game they are at:

“Finding the balance between capturing the essence and energy of where you are and not allowing Gameday to turn into a pregame show simply for that game is one of the things that’s a challenge every week. You want to give the venue its due, but it’s also the pregame show for the entire day in college football.”

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Sports Online

Report: Amazon Prime Video Paying $120M to Stream NFL Playoff Game

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting Amazon and the NFL have reached agreement on a $120 million deal for Prime Video to have exclusive rights to stream an NFL playoff game at the end of the 2024 season.

Amazon had passed on the opportunity to air the game this past season. It subsequently aired on Peacock in a deal which was valued at $110 million. The AFC Wild Card round matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs made sports media history, garnering an average minute audience (AMA) of 23.0 million viewers, making the contest the most-streamed live event in the history of the United States.

NBCUniversal also revealed that the contest reached 27.6 million total viewers and peaked at an average of 24.6 million viewers during the second quarter. Engagement with the playoff game accounted for the largest internet event in history with 30% of internet traffic prioritizing the game at this time.

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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VSiN Host Jonathan Von Tobel Announces New Lineup Changes; ‘Hardwood Handicappers’ Discontinued

Von Tobel says he’s ‘Looking forward to being on the lineup M-F once again!’

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The Vegas Sports and Information Network (VSiN) just made some changes to its lineup in time for spring, adding a new host to an established show but sunsetting another. According to VSiN host Jonathan Von Tobel, he will be joining VSiN Primetime as a full-time host alongside Tim Murray and Britton Hess, but Hardwood Handicappers will be discontinued.

In response, Kelley Bydlon said “THANK YOU to everyone who listened and supported along the way,” via his X account, while Zachary Cohen (@BettingOnX) simply retweeted Von Tobel’s post. It’s unknown what will happen with Bydlon but Von Tobel mentioned that he and Cohen will continue to write daily columns for the operation.

Recently, our Derek Futterman spent a day with the VSiN team, observing shows and learning what it takes to build a content enterprise solely around sports betting.

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Eric Hosmer Launches Media Company, New Podcast After MLB Retirement

“I’ll have the opportunity to give the fans some insight on my perspective and my experiences on what might be going on.”

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Eric Hosmer
Courtesy: Adam Hunger, Getty Images

Longtime first baseman Eric Hosmer has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball, concluding a 13-year career in which he won four Gold Glove awards and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2016 MLB All-Star Game. In 2015, Hosmer served as an integral member of the World Series championship run by the Kansas City Royals, helping the team hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy after a 4-1 series victory over the New York Mets. After departing the Royals in free agency, Hosmer played parts of five seasons with the San Diego Padres before concluding his career with stints as a member of the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs.

Concurrent with his official retirement, Hosmer and former minor-league teammate Anthony Seratelli are launching MoonBall Media. The media and production company will produce and disseminate original, unscripted programming in addition to social media content and free ad-supported television (FAST) channels. The company will begin operations with the Diggin’ Deep podcast, a new offering hosted by Hosmer and featuring former major-league reliever Peter Moylan and current process and development coach Justin Su’a. Seratelli, who played a decade of professional baseball in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, is slated to produce the show.

“I feel like I have so many fun stories that I want to give back, especially these last couple of years of my career when I got to experience the big-time markets, being in Chicago, being in Boston,” Hosmer said in an interview with Forbes. “I think this podcast is something where I can really have enjoyment and dig deep into other people’s processes and how that helped them succeed.”

Becoming involved in the sports media space became more appealing to Hosmer as he continued through his major-league career. He expressed how the baseball space lacks players sharing insights and perspectives, comparing it to the rise of athlete-driven media among National Football League and National Basketball Association players.

On the podcast itself, Hosmer aspires to cultivate a setting in which interviewees are comfortable expounding and extrapolating on subject matter, deviating from what is done by traditional media in major-league clubhouses.

“That insight from a player’s perspective – that’s what I’m really looking forward to because there are some situations where a player wants to really have his own voice to explain a situation, but you really just can’t in the baseball world because players are wired to be tight-lipped and it’s all about the team and stuff,” Hosmer said. “I’ll have the opportunity to give the fans some insight on my perspective and my experiences on what might be going on. It will be a unique perspective that maybe we’ll be able to give fans a different look and insight.”

The first six episodes of the show have already been produced with an initial focus on baseball; however, the program will aim to broaden its horizons by including guests from other sports. The nature of these interviews will be more reflective rather than trying to reveal news or rumors, something he believes will be unique in the media space as well. Hosmer further explained his decision on the premiere episode of the program, which was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday morning.

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