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ESPNU, SiriusXM End Partnership, Channel 84 Rebrands as SiriusXM College Sports Radio

“Beyond the name and branding, nothing else for the channel has changed.”

Jordan Bondurant

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SiriusXM still has a college sports radio station on its platform. It’s just called something different now.

A report from Cord Cutters News confirmed that ESPNU and SiriusXM have ended their partnership. Channel 84, which used to be known as SiriusXM ESPNU Radio, is now known as SiriusXM College Sports Radio.

ESPNU had been with the satellite radio provider since 2017. The channel itself, which has been on the Sirius lineup since 2010, was called SiriusXM College Sports Nation when it first launched.

Beyond the name and branding, nothing else for the channel has changed. Listeners can still tune in to hear hosts like Danny Kanell, Dusty Dvoracek, Rick Neuheisel and EJ Manuel, as well as live college sports play-by-play broadcasts.

The move doesn’t end ESPN’s partnership with Sirius. Cord Cutters noted that College GameDay will still be fully simulcasted on channel 81, which is ESPN Xtra.

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Scott Kaplan Signs Multi-Year Extension with ESPN Los Angeles

“More than anything, I am just happy to be part of this team. ESPN LA and Good Karma Brands do things right, it’s a great partnership.

Barrett Sports Media

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Graphic with the logo for ESPN LA and a photo of host Scott Kaplan making an announcement about his contract extension
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN LA

It has been a week of announcements so far for ESPN LA. Earlier this week the station announced it would be the flagship station for USC Trojans football and men’s and women’s basketball games. Yesterday, the station announced a new contract extension for afternoon drive co-host Scott Kaplan.

If you listen to or know about the programming at ESPN LA, you can imagine they have had some fun with these announcements. Kaplan’s contract situation coinciding with the Lakers searching for a new head coach allowed for some crossover conversation and a tongue-in-cheek announcement quote that read, “I have decided NOT to take the Lakers head coaching job, and keep my talents at ESPN LA.”

Chris Morales did the honors on the air after teasing the big announcement.

“It is an honor and a privilege to say that Scott Kaplan has finally done what is right,” he said. “And we open up the major announcement case and we say…Congratulations Scott Kaplan on a multi-year deal that will keep you on the LA Afternoon Drive Takeover…and at 710 ESPN for years to come.”

A standing ovation and hugs followed.

BSM spoke with Kaplan, and he said, “More than anything, I am just happy to be part of this team. ESPN LA and Good Karma Brands do things right, it’s a great partnership. I love what we have and will continue to do build.”

Kaplan, who had a 19-year run at the Mighty 1090 in San Diego that ended in April 2019, has been with ESPN LA since August 2020. Kaplan also previously worked at WQAM in Miami and WNEW in New York and also has done work with CBS Sports and Westwood One.

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Baseball Legend Willie Mays Dies at 93, 680 The Fan to Air Interview Wednesday

“I want to thank you all from the bottom of my broken heart for the unwavering love you have shown him over the years. You have been his life’s blood.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Willie Mays
Courtesy: San Francisco Giants on X

Willie Mays, regarded by many sports fans as the one of the greatest baseball players to ever take the field, passed away peacefully at the age of 93 on Tuesday. The San Francisco Giants organization announced the news on behalf of the Mays family and released a statement in addition to Mays’ son, Michael. Mays began his professional career in the Negro Leagues with the Birmingham Black Barons, playing games at historic Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala. Major League Baseball is preparing to play a game at the ballpark for the first time this Thursday featuring the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.

“My father has passed away peacefully and among loved ones,” Michael Mays said in a statement. “I want to thank you all from the bottom of my broken heart for the unwavering love you have shown him over the years. You have been his life’s blood.”

“Today we have lost a true legend”, Greg Johnson, chairman of the San Francisco Giants, said in a statement. “In the pantheon of baseball greats, Willie Mays’ combination of tremendous talent, keen intellect, showmanship, and boundless joy set him apart. A 24-time All-Star, the Say Hey Kid is the ultimate Forever Giant. He had a profound influence not only on the game of baseball, but on the fabric of America. He was an inspiration and a hero who will be forever remembered and deeply missed.”

Chris Dimino, radio host at 680 The Fan in Atlanta, Ga., had the opportunity to interview Mays about his career and baseball a few years ago. The station will air several portions of the interview throughout Wednesday morning, and following the Braves game this afternoon, the conversation in its entirety. The interview aired two weeks ago as part of the Saturday morning baseball show, Hardball, in which Dimino speaks with legends of the game and chronicles their careers.

Mays, who was known as the “Say Hey Kid” throughout his career in baseball, won the 1951 National League Rookie of the Year award as a member of the New York Giants. During his 23 seasons playing professional baseball, he showcased his skills as a five-tool player with his abilities to hit, field and run. His 24 All-Star selections are tied for the most all-time, and he helped lead the Giants to the 1954 World Series championship by hitting .345 with 41 home runs and 110 runs batted in. After 21 years with the Giants organization, Mays played the final two seasons of his career with the New York Mets and ultimately had his No. 24 retired by both franchises.

“All of Major League Baseball is in mourning today as we are gathered at the very ballpark where a career and a legacy like no other began,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Willie Mays took his all-around brilliance from the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League to the historic Giants franchise. From coast to coast in New York and San Francisco, Willie inspired generations of players and fans as the game grew and truly earned its place as our National Pastime.”

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Sean McDonough: Lack of Energy Criticism ‘Bothered Me’

“I hope people who’ve heard me over the years know that’s not the way I usually sound, and maybe I shouldn’t have tried to power through it.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Sean McDonough
Courtesy: Joe Faraoni, ESPN Images

The Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers have faced off in an intense, hard-fought Stanley Cup Final series. Broadcast by ESPN on ABC and streaming on ESPN+, the games have featured the NHL on ESPN commentary team of play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough, analyst Ray Ferraro, reporter Emily Kaplan and rules analyst Dave Jackson.

During the broadcast of the Stanley Cup Final last Thursday, viewers felt that McDonough sounded under the weather, an observation that ESPN confirmed to be the case the next day. Nonetheless, McDonough was able to call the Panthers’ 4-3 victory in Game 3 and went behind the microphone two days later for the fourth game of the series. In a recent interview on Schein on Sports on SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio, McDonough explained how he was feeling and being able to execute his role.

“I’m still a little under the weather, but we’re powering through it,” McDonough said. “It’s the playoffs – everybody’s playing hurt, certainly all the players are. It’s a grind – [the] playoffs started two months ago. We’re on the charter coming back from Edmonton here to Fort Lauderdale yesterday, and I would say as you walked up and down the aisle on that plane, half the people were coughing or clearing their throat or sneezing, so a lot of stuff going around.”

McDonough expressed his gratitude for Oilers head athletic therapist T.D. Forss and their doctor with how they helped to have him ready to call Game 4. By the time the game started, he felt a lot better and ended up calling an 8-1 Oilers victory to extend the series to a fifth game. Schein remarked that McDonough sounded incredible, which led the ESPN play-by-play announcer to mention a criticism he has been receiving from fans on social media.

“Well you know what, it just kind of bothered me – not that you should pay attention [to it] – but people [said], ‘Well, you’ve got a lack of energy,’” McDonough conveyed. “Yeah, I’m really not excited to call a Stanley Cup Final game. I’ve been doing this for, I don’t know, 30-something years now. I hope people who’ve heard me over the years know that’s not the way I usually sound, and maybe I shouldn’t have tried to power through it.”

McDonough divulged that it was a collaborative decision to have him try to call Game 3 of the series and is glad that it is behind him at this point. Schein was incredulous towards the criticism, remarking how McDonough has excelled in big spots on monumental events in the past such as the World Series, Michigan-Michigan State game and Monday Night Football. McDonough remarked that he read an article instructing consumers how to call a goal in the Stanley Cup Final, leading him to question if the author watched Game 2 of the series. He tries not to let it bother him and felt that by discussing the narrative, they were giving it more life.

“We do this to do the biggest games at the biggest moments, and the fun part, one of the many fun parts of the job, is when the big moments come, either you nail them or you don’t, and that’s what I love about it,” McDonough said, “and I’ve been lucky to be in the right place at the right time for a lot of really exciting games over the years.”

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