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Kenny Albert Believes Hockey Is Easiest Sport To Announce

“Baseball to me is the most challenging if you don’t do it every day because there is so much down time in between pitches and you have to rely even more so on the analyst.”

Ricky Keeler

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On Wednesday night, the NHL on TNT will begin its second season with a doubleheader of action. In Game 2 of the doubleheader, Kenny Albert will be on the call with Eddie Olczyk, Keith Jones, and Jackie Redmond as the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche host the Chicago Blackhawks (9:30 PM ET).

Albert was a guest on the latest episode of The Wormcast: How Sports Media Happens Podcast on Tuesday and he said NHL on TNT in its first year went very well and mentioned how having ex-players ask questions to current players before the game made for better answers.

“I thought year 1 went very, very well. I loved some of the things that Turner decided to do with the pregame crew. Those guys would do the interview with players before the games on the ice for example. Those of us in the booth can ask the same 2-3 questions to a player before the game and you might get the same stock answers. What are the keys tonight? What are the biggest challenges against your opponent? When you have a Wayne Gretzky or a Rick Tocchet or an Anson Carter or a Paul Bissonette asking the questions, the players certainly react to that.”

Going into that first season, Albert mentioned that they wanted to take the great work that NBC did in the prior 15 years and add to it.

“I think the mantra was to take what NBC had done over the decade and a half and move forward and enhance the broadcast. I thought both networks did an outstanding job.”

Albert has one of the unique distinctions of having been a play-by-play announcer for all four major sports (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA). To the surprise of many, Albert said that hockey is the easiest one to call and if you don’t call baseball everyday, it will be a challenge.

“There are similarities to all 4, but also major differences. To me, hockey is the easiest and most people think it would be the hardest…On the radio, you have to be so descriptive and give the time and score a lot more often no matter what the sport is. Hockey, on radio in particular, you are just calling the game for 60 minutes. Football is the most rhythmic. Baseball to me is the most challenging if you don’t do it every day because there is so much down time in between pitches and you have to rely even more so on the analyst.”

Sports TV News

DirecTV Accuses FOX Sports Of ‘Scare Tactics’ As Contract Expiration Looms

FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch indicated that this is just the first of a string of current negotiations that are upcoming.

Jordan Bondurant

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Cable and satellite TV subscribers should by now be accustomed to threats of seeing some channels disappear from their lineup due to contract disputes. The warnings by FOX Sports to viewers on DirecTV are no different, but the nation’s largest satellite provider isn’t appreciative of efforts by the network to make viewers aware.

FOX is currently coming up on the end of its current contract with DirecTV. With no new agreement between the two sides in place right now, FOX network, FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network and FOX-owned local affiliates will be blacked out to viewers at 3 a.m. on December 2.

As is customary with these sorts of situations, FOX has instituted a crawl on the above networks making viewers aware that they could soon see the channels gone and encouraging them to tell DirecTV not to let these channels go.

For sports fans, blackouts could be massively disruptive for football fans and soccer fans. The World Cup is currently airing on FOX and FS1,while the NFL and college football also occupy time on those same channels.

Still, DirecTV has accused FOX of utilizing the crawl to use “the same old, tired programmer scare tactics,” according to a statement to Deadline.

Earlier in the fall, ESPN and Dish were in a similar situation. The negotiation deadline passed, and viewers, college football fans in particular, were unable to catch any games on TV for a day.

FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch indicated that this is just the first of a string of current negotiations that are upcoming.

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Sports TV News

FOX Doubles Ad Price For Premiere US World Cup Matches

FOX has capitalized by charging $600,000 per 30-second commercial during its coverage of USA/England.

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The 2022 World Cup is underway and the opener received a gigantic ratings increase for FOX Sports. Now, according to a report from Front Office Sports, the network has doubled its ad price for the USA match versus England.

USA/England will air in a lucrative window, at 2:00 PM ET on Black Friday, and FOX has capitalized by charging $600,000 per 30-second commercial during its coverage of the match. That price, according to Front Office Sports reporters Michael McCarthy and Doug Greenberg, is double what the network had asked for from advertisers for other matches.

While the event opener saw a sharp increase, the first match featuring the United States saw a decline from previous World Cup openers for the country. 11.71 million watched the match in the US between FOX Sports and Telemundo. In 2014, 11.1 million watched on ESPN and in 2010 13 million watched the first US match on ABC.

Analysists have predicted FOX Sports could garner nearly $125 million in ad revenue for the duration of the tournament.

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Sports TV News

Telemundo’s Miguel Gurwitz Announcing World Cup, NFL Thanksgiving Games For 18 Straight Hours Thursday

With the game expected to end at 2:00 AM local time, that means Gurwitz will be announcing games for over 18 hours on Thursday.

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With the World Cup happening at an unprecedented time, there were bound to be scheduling conflicts. The conflicts for Telemundo’s Miguel Gurwitz, however, might be the real unprecedented nature of the event being played in November.

Gurwitz works on Telemundo’s coverage of the World Cup while calling matches as the secondary play-by-play announcer. Beginning at 11:00 AM in Doha, Gurwitz will work the network’s coverage of the event.

But as the soccer day turns to tonight, Gurwitz will call Telemundo’s broadcast of the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings game from Qatar. With the game expected to end at 2:00 AM local time, that means Gurwitz will be announcing games for over 18 hours on Thursday.

He will also do the feat again on Sunday, as he’ll broadcast World Cup matches for the network during the day and then announce the Packers and Eagles game for Sunday Night Football.

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