Sports TV News
Jim Nantz: Billy Packer One of the Great Analysts in Television History
Legendary college basketball analyst Billy Packer died earlier this week, and tributes began pouring in after the news was announced. Jim Nantz, who worked alongside Packer for many years, remembered his friend and colleague Friday morning.
During an appearance on CBS Mornings, Nantz told viewers Packer should be remembered as one of the all-time greats.
“I think Billy will go down in history as one of the greatest analysts in the history of sports television. I think that when you look at the pantheon of great analysts, you’ve got John Madden and you’ve got Billy Packer. You start right there. He blessed this network for a long time, from 1982 to 2008. One of my dearest friends. It’s been a restless night thinking of the Packer family, which I’m very close to. I got to speak to Billy the day before he died, and tell him I loved him.”
Nantz continued his praise for Packer — who announced 34 consecutive Final Fours, including each from 1991 through 2008 with Nantz — saying he was a steward of the game he loved so much.
“He was a genius. There was no one that could look at the field — in this case, the court — and see everything. He’s gonna be very much missed. He loved college basketball and he looked after it as a guardian of the sport. He’s just a giant. A giant heart, that’s all I can tell you.”
Sports TV News
NFL Network Cuts Continue With Willie McGinest
“McGinest is currently in the middle of a lawsuit resulting from an incident in a LA-area restaurant in December.”
Willie McGinest is the latest victim of cost reduction layoffs at NFL Media. The NFL Network analyst is out according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.
McGinest is currently in the middle of a lawsuit resulting from an incident in an LA-area restaurant in December. He is being sued and faces up to eight years in prison for allegedly attacking a fellow customer.
Since news of the investigation became public, NFL Network has kept Willie McGinest off the air.
McCarthy reached out to McGinest and NFL Network. Neither offered a comment at this time.
NFL Media has been busy this week as the company looks to reduce its expenses. Willie McGinest joins Jim Trotter and Rachel Bonnetta on the list of on-air talents that have lost their jobs at NFL Network.
Sports TV News
Holly Rowe Signs Long-Term Extension With ESPN
“I feel like I am living my best life and I am so grateful to ESPN for letting me keep doing this.”
ESPN reporter Holly Rowe has signed a multi-year extension to remain with the company.
Rowe works as a sideline reporter for ESPN/ABC’s coverage of college football — including the College Football Playoffs, the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and the Women’s College World Series, among other high-profile assignments.
“I feel like I am living my best life and I am so grateful to ESPN for letting me keep doing this,” Rowe told The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch.
Earlier this year, Rowe was named the 2023 Curt Gowdy Media Award winner from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for her electronic media work.
Rowe joined ESPN in 1998, and signed her last contract extension with the network in 2018 shortly before she announced she had undergone her final chemotherapy treatment in August of that year after a melanoma diagnosis in 2016.
According to Deitsch, Rowe’s contract was set to expire next month.
Sports TV News
Mike Florio: The NFL Will Have Games 7 Days a Week & Will Expand To Make it Happen
“So if you wanna increase the total number of games so you can have games Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Friday night, Saturday night, at some point you need more teams to get more games.”
Could you picture NFL games on every night of the week from September to January? ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio thinks it’ll happen in his lifetime.
In an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, Florio said it’s inevitable that we’ll see the league play games every night.
“I think sooner than later we’re gonna have Tuesday Night Football, we’re gonna have Wednesday Night Football,” he said. “It’s gonna be hopefully in my lifetime a seven day a week, primetime event. There’s too much money to be made.”
“I would love to have football on every night of the week,” Florio added. “It would be nice to have a night or two off. Like Friday night and Saturday night would be nice, but I’d be fine with Tuesday and Wednesday.”
How does Florio think the NFL will get to the point of playing seven days a week during the season? Expansion. And the league has already expressed interest in establishing franchises in Europe.
“I think they’re gonna start moving that number from 32 to in time 34, 36, 38 eventually 40,” Florio said. “Quarterbacks is the key. Is there ever gonna be enough quarterbacks to have 40 NFL teams? But I think that would be the ultimate maximum number.”
Even McAfee added that an 18th NFL regular season game will be coming sooner rather than later. Florio said in order to justify the need for one more game, expansion is the answer.
“When it comes to the inventory, 18 games is the most they’re gonna get away with,” Florio said. “So if you wanna increase the total number of games so you can have games Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Friday night, Saturday night, at some point you need more teams to get more games.”
“If the money’s there to be made by the owners, they’ll deal with it,” he added.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.