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Burke Magnus Says the Longhorn Network Will Fold Into the SEC Network

“Ultimately, that (LHN) will be folded into the SEC Network,” Magnus said.

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Burke Magnus

ESPN president of Programming and Original Content Burke Magnus spoke recently with John Ourand and Andrew Marchand about ESPN’s outlook on future collegiate programming. In that conversation, Magnus mentioned that when the Texas Longhorns land in the SEC, their institution-centric network, the Longhorn Network, would merge with the SEC Network.

Currently, Texas and Oklahoma are slated to join the SEC in 2025. As part of the recent media deal negotiations, it appears Texas is prepared to depart with their channel. On The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media podcast, Magnus detailed how that would look:

“Ultimately, that (LHN) will be folded into the SEC Network,” Magnus said. All that content that you find on the Longhorn Network is sometimes called third-tier, sometimes called institutional. It is the content that, like any other SEC institution, would be expressed through the SEC Network. So what we don’t know there is the precise timing on Texas and Oklahoma. Obviously, if they run their course, which we’re perfectly fine with, it’s 2025. If it’s something before that, that has to change your timing on that process at well. But at its essence, those two things come together.”

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CBS Sports Shares Details of Spongebob-Themed NFL Broadcasts

Noah Eagle and Nate Burleson return to the booth for both games alongside Dylan Schefter and Young Dylan.

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Super Bowl LVIII CBS Nickelodeon

Get ready for some Turtles on Christmas and some SpongeBob on Super Bowl Sunday. CBS Sports and Nickelodeon are teaming up to deliver two alternate NFL broadcasts this year — one for the Monday night “Nickmas” game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, and then a second, SpongeBob Squarepants-themed broadcast for Super Bowl LVIII.

Noah Eagle and Nate Burleson return to the booth for both games alongside Dylan Schefter and Young Dylan. The live-action hosts will be joined by two groups of Nicktoons depending on the game.

SpongeBob and Patrick (voiced by Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke, respectively) will join Eagle and Burleson in the booth for Super Bowl LVIII, while Sandy and Larry the Lobster will provide some additional flair from the sidelines. The Bikini Bottom crew will be joined by Dora the Explorer and Boots the Monkey, who will explain penalties to the younger viewers. During the “Nickmas” Game on Dec. 25, the crew will be joined by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s Raphael in the booth, while Donatello will join Schefter on the sidelines.

The Christmas Day game will be Nickelodeon’s first regular-season game, as previous Nick alternate broadcasts were all during Wild Card Weekend. Last year, Nick aired an alternate broadcast of Cowboys/49ers, which drew an audience of 41 million viewers. The games have also become a social media phenomenon from adult viewers watching tongue-in-cheek.

The Nickelodeon Super Bowl telecast and Nickelodeon NFL Nickmas Game are produced by CBS Sports in association with Nickelodeon Productions.

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Pat McAfee Calls Out Roger Goodell For Not Appearing on His Show

“Hey Rog? Don’t be scared, Rog. Put your big boy pants on. It’ll be good, Rog.”

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Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee still wants a “white whale” guest on his show — and it’s becoming harder and harder for that guest to resist an interview feasibly.

On today’s The Pat McAfee Show, McAfee mentioned that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will appear on the program on the Dec. 6 episode, crediting ESPN for making it possible. McAfee then rifles off other commissioners that have appeared on his show, including NHL commish Gary Bettman and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and mentions that MLS commissioner Don Garber was interested in coming on the show.

Notably, three of these four leagues mentioned currently maintain a broadcasting relationship with ESPN, with the fourth (MLS) previously having one before leaving for the bosom of Apple TV+.

One league partner’s commissioner who hasn’t appeared is Roger Goodell, the NFL’s controversial commish who rarely makes media appearances outside of the NFL sphere. McAfee has long desired an interview with Goodell and called out to the commissioner personally to come on — as only he can.

“Hey Rog? Don’t be scared, Rog,” McAfee said. “Put your big boy pants on. It’ll be good, Rog.”

Among the crew egging Goodell on was New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers, who was in the studio with McAfee and gang. The QB hasn’t been one to mince words lately and seemed more than willing to join in on the Goodell teasing to bring him on his friend’s show.

Should the crew plus Rodgers be together to speak with Goodell, it could create an interesting dichotomy for Goodell. One outspoken current player and potentially multiple former players (McAfee, along with former Colts teammate Darius Butler and Rodgers’ former Packers teammate A.J. Hawk) would provide a unique interview experience for Goodell, who is used to very controlled, one-on-one interviews with more muted individuals on the other side.

For the record, McAfee and company also pointed out that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred hasn’t appeared either, but the guys don’t seem too torn up about it.

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NBC Won’t Broadcast XFL/USFL After Merger

“We wish them success with the new league and their new partners.”

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NBC Sports broadcasted USFL games in its first two seasons since its resurrection, but that won’t continue in 2024.

As the two leagues prepare to merge, the new season won’t begin until March 30th. Due to pre-existing contracts for PGA Tour and other golf events, the network wasn’t able to commit to broadcasting the spring football league.

“We enjoyed our relationship with the USFL and Fox, but the new earlier schedule made it impossible for us to continue,” NBC Sports Executive Vice President of Communications Greg Hughes told Sports Business Journal. “We wish them success with the new league and their new partners.”

With the departure of NBC Sports, ESPN and FOX Sports will be the two television partners for the league.

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