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Gary Cohen: I Have A Truly Special Bond With Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling

“When they put us together in 2006, none of us really had any idea what we were doing.”

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Gary Cohen

When the New York Mets season begins on March 30, Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez will begin their 18th season calling Mets baseball on SNY. Once the first pitch is thrown, the trio will be the longest-running broadcast crew in Mets history, passing the great trio of Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy, and Ralph Kiner.

Cohen was a guest on the latest episode of the Starkville podcast as part of The Athletic Baseball Show: A show about MLB with Jayson Stark and Doug Glanville. He said that the trio have formed a great bond since that first season when none of them had an idea as to where the TV journey would take them.

“I think that Keith, Ron, and I have had a really special bond and I think it started from Day 1 because honestly when they put us together in 2006, none of us really had any idea what we were doing. I was a radio guy moving to TV, Keith had kind of dabbled, but he hadn’t taken it seriously and Ron had done one year in Washington with very little direction and really was not particularly accomplished. I think we all leaned on each other from Day 1.”

So, what has been the key to their success? Cohen thought it was because none of them looks to be the star of the broadcast and that they want everyone else to do well.

“Nobody wants to be the star. Everybody allows everybody else to shine. We genuinely get along with each other and we have a lot of fun. I think being in a dark room when we started and not really knowing what direction we were going, we kind of had to hold hands to find our way and I think we’ve done that.”

Cohen told Stark and Glanville that he does take the time to talk to young broadcasters and he tries to be helpful and honest with his advice. He has been impressed at the amount of talent that has entered the business over the years.

“One of the things that has really impressed me over the last dozen years or so is how much young talent is coming into our business. I think there was a while there where I felt as though some of the people who would be best suited to be broadcasters were choosing other fields. I think because of the spread of different cable networks and the greater availability of sports on radio and TV has attracted more really bright talented young people into the business. I really enjoy talking to them and I try to do as much as I can for them.”

Before SNY, Cohen was in the radio booth calling Mets games on WFAN for 17 years and he got to call games with Bob Murphy, which he still can’t believe.

“I grew up listening to Bob, Lindsey, and Ralph. They were the soundtrack of summers and they were the voices that meant Mets baseball. Just to have the opportunity to sit next to Bob Murphy for 15 years in the radio booth, I pinch myself every day that this was actually happening.”

Cohen told the duo that when he got to SNY, he never thought that it would have gone as well as it has.

“I was a radio chauvinist and I really had no intention of ever moving over to TV. But, when SNY started, they courted me and I reluctantly accepted. I never could have dreamed it would have gone this well.”

The trio of Cohen, Hernandez, and Darling have established themselves as one of the more informative and entertaining broadcast booths in all of baseball and it brings a lot of Mets fans joy to hear them call the games on a nightly basis as they reach this historic landmark together. 

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Report: Netflix Looking for Production Partner for NFL Christmas Day Game Broadcasts

The report also indicates that there could be “more resistance among current NFL partners to help out Netflix” because the company may be looking to become a long-term media rights partner for the league in the future.

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Netflix will stream two National Football League games on Christmas Day this year as part of a new deal with the league that was inked ahead of the official release of the regular-season schedule. The company is starting to prepare for these matchups by reportedly reaching out to broadcasters in an effort to find a partner to produce these matchups, the first of which is an AFC tilt between the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers at 1 p.m. EST. Some of the broadcasters with whom Netflix has reportedly spoken with are ESPN, NBCUniversal and CBS Sports, according to a new report from Lillian Rizzo and Alex Sherman of CNBC.

The Walt Disney Company, which has a majority ownership stake of ESPN, will reportedly not produce these games since it has college football matchups on the same day, according to people familiar with the situation. CBS Sports and FOX Sports produce several games in different regions every week, which could make producing games with Netflix somewhat of a burden. The report also indicates that there could be “more resistance among current NFL partners to help out Netflix” because the company may be looking to become a long-term media rights partner for the league in the future. The NFL is able to opt out of its current media contracts following the 2029-30 season.

Over the years, Netflix has produced a variety of sports-related content in the form of documentaries and live specials. The company signed a media rights agreement with World Wrestling Entertainment to become the new broadcast home of the WWE Raw series beginning in 2025 reportedly worth $5 billion over 10 years.

Netflix also released the trailer for Receiver, the NFL docuseries following players on and off the field throughout the 2023-24 season, which is produced by NFL Films, Omaha Productions and 2PM Productions. The eight-episode series, which is a sequel to Quarterback, will feature Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Amon-Ra St. Brown.

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Amazon Prime Video to Broadcast Weekly NHL Whiparound Show in Canada

“We are thrilled to work with NHL Productions on this new concept for hockey offering the ultimate destination for all the NHL action.”

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Courtesy: National Hockey League, Prime Video & Amazon MGM Studios

The National Hockey League and Amazon’s Prime Video have announced the creation of NHL Coast To Coast, a new weekly whiparound live look-in show airing on Thursday nights in Canada. This new program will feature live views, highlights and analysis of every NHL game on the schedule as Prime Video prepares to embark on a two-year sublicensing deal with the league and Rogers Communications to present live games on Monday nights. The series is produced by NHL Productions in collaboration with Prime Video, and more information, including details surrounding the talent and production for the show, will be revealed at a later date.

“We are thrilled to work with NHL Productions on this new concept for hockey offering the ultimate destination for all the NHL action,” Magda Grace, head of Prime Video, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement. “NHL Coast To Coast will provide fans with a comprehensive look at the latest key moments in games, as-they-happen highlights, interviews and analysis from the world of hockey featuring top players, coaches and commentators. The show will bring innovation and offer more to fans of the game than ever before, all in one place with their Prime membership.”

Earlier in the month, Prime Video and NHL Productions unveiled an untitled docuseries with Box to Box Films that will provide consumers with access to compelling players from around the league at different stages of their careers all trying to win the Stanley Cup. The series will include interviews with players, their rivals and those in their inner circle, trying to accurately depict what life is like for these players on and off the ice.

Amazon and the NHL have worked together since 2021 on their cloud-based delivery system, which has facilitated the delivery of in-game analytics and video highlights to enhance the overall fan experience. Among these ventures is the NHL Edge IQ stats portfolio that implements advanced analytical outputs to engender a better understanding of the on-ice action.

NHL Coast To Coast is yet another example of Amazon’s extraordinary investment in hockey programming and commitment to delivering an enhanced viewing experience for hockey fans,” Steve Mayer, senior executive vice president and chief content officer of the National Hockey League, said in a statement. “We are impressed with Amazon’s all-in approach to hockey and the NHL. Together with our amazing team at NHL Productions, Amazon continues to build on its mission to serve hockey fans across Canada with whiparound coverage that will make Thursday nights appointment viewing.”

Over the last several years, Amazon has expanded its presence in sports media through the acquisition of broadcasting rights within the National Football League, NASCAR, National Women’s Soccer League and Overtime Elite. The company is reportedly set to acquire media rights within the National Basketball Association’s new broadcasting deal, which is also said to include The Walt Disney Company (ESPN/ABC) and NBCUniversal, although no deals have currently been announced.

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NBC Sports Announces Olympic Commentators for Swimming, Diving, Track and Gymnastics

In swimming, Dan Hicks, covering his 14th Olympics, will once again work with Rowdy Gaines.

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U.S. Olympic Team Trials for swimming, diving, track & field and gymnastics will be taking place from June 15-June 30 for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Those trials will be presented across NBC, Peacock and USA Network. With that, NBC Sports also announced its roster of announcers who will call those sports during the Olympics.

In swimming, Dan Hicks, covering his 14th Olympics, will once again work with Rowdy Gaines. The pair will have Elizabeth Beisel, working her second Olympics and Melissa Stark who will be working her fourth Olympics.

Jason Knapp will also provide swimming play-by-play and he will do so with Amy Van Dyken and Heathe Olson as analysts.

In diving, Ted Robinson will call the play-by-play and work with analysts Cynthia Potter and Laura Wilkinson. Andrea Joyce will serve as a reporter. Robinson will be working his 14th overall Olympics and 13th with NBC.

Track & Field will have Leigh Diffey, Paul Swangard and Bill Spaulding calling the play-by-play. Analysts for track include Ato Boldon, Sanya Richards-Ross, Kara Goucher, Trey Hardee, Lewis Johnson, Dawn Harper-Nelson and Shannon Rowbury.

Terry Gannon and Rich Lerner will be on play-by-play for gymnastics. Gannon will work the primetime show with analysts Tim Daggett, Samantha Peszek, John Roethlisberger and Zora Stephenson. Lerner will be teamed with Laurie Hernandez and Justin Spring.

The Olympics will conclude on August 11.

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