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Brian Boucher Prefers Being Inside The Glass

“I’m a team player. If ESPN wants me in studio, I’ll do studio. If they want me at the game, I’ll do the game.”

Ricky Keeler

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Former NHL goalie Brian Boucher has been either calling games or in the studio as an analyst since 2013 with either NBC Sports Philadelphia, NHL Network, NBC Sports, and currently at ESPN. While Boucher is comfortable doing any role for ESPN, there is one place he prefers to be.

Boucher was a guest on the You Know I’m Right podcast with Nick Durst and Joe Calabrese and he said while he would never say no when ESPN asks him to work in the studio, he prefers to be at the game as an analyst because he could interact with players and former teammates who might now be coaches.

“I like doing the games, but I’m not going to say no to doing studio work either. I’m a team player. If ESPN wants me in studio, I’ll do studio. If they want me at the game, I’ll do the game.”

The key for Boucher when he is in the studio is he wants to still listen to the broadcast because it allows him to get the right tone of the game as if he were actually at the arena:

“In the studio, you have to really pay attention. I like to listen to the broadcast personally because what they are saying is important. You want to play off what the play-by-play and color guy is saying. If there’s a narrative they are saying or there is a tone to the game, you want to make sure you have it. You can’t be distracted. Imagine you are at the game.”

Last year, Boucher wasn’t inside the glass on games for ESPN as much as he was for NBC Sports. When he was on the ice, he told the guy it was tougher to see the play develop because of what is going on as he tries to analyze everything.

“Last year, I didn’t do a lot of Inside the Glass for ESPN. I was upstairs. The difference between those two things is on the ice, you miss some stuff. There’s stuff off to the side, the benches are in the way, it’s fast down there. You need another set of eyes upstairs that can help you out. Upstairs, you see the play develop a lot easier from a bird’s eye view. I think it is easy to analyze from up there.”

While in this era of social media allows fans to think broadcasters have a bias against their team, Boucher doesn’t care what people say about the broadcast or who wins the game.

“When you are analyzing the game, it’s all encompassing, it’s both teams. There is no bias. I know fans get mad on Twitter and say you are cheering for one team. I don’t care who wins, I really don’t. Sometimes, I don’t even remember who won the game a day or two later. All I care about is we do as good a job as we can in the production, our replays are on point, we are factual, and we document the game as it should be documented.”

Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

Jordan Bondurant

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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Sports TV News

Return of Bob Iger Puts Pac-12 ‘Not Exactly In A Great Place’

“I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12.”

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The Pac-12 is currently in a media rights negotiation with partners for its next TV deal after the departure of USC and UCLA. The conference has remained committed to the stance that it feels it can match the dollar amount given to the Big 12 from FOX and ESPN. However, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post isn’t so confident.

During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Marchand said the recent return of Bob Iger as Disney CEO, coupled with recent layoffs from Amazon, could spell bad news for the PAC 12’s quest to match what the Big 12 received.

“Do I still think they can get the same number as the Big 12? I do, but you start thinking about where this is going and that’s not exactly a great place to be if you’re the Pac-12. They might get the number, but the idea that they’ll get a lot more than the Big 12 — which I’ve already said is not gonna happen — I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12…I think there’s some rough waters out in the Pacific.”

Marchand said if the University of California Board of Regents won’t allow UCLA to join the Big Ten as expected, the conference would then set its sights on Washington and Oregon, which would continue to decimate the Pac-12.

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