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MLS Commissioner Won’t Confirm Or Deny If Apple Can Opt Out of TV Deal

“Reporting in The Athletic indicates that there is an opt-out clause in the contract that would allow Apple to terminate the agreement if a certain number of Season Pass subscribers isn’t met.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Apple, MLS Season Pass

The MLS deal with Apple has only just begun, but down the road should things not be panning out like expected, the tech giant reportedly has the option to walk away.

Last summer MLS announced a 10-year, $2.5 billion media rights deal that would make Apple TV+ the official TV home of the league. With so much invested, Apple has a goal to drive subscribers to the MLS paid season subscription “Season Pass.”

Reporting in The Athletic indicates that there is an opt-out clause in the contract that would allow Apple to terminate the agreement if a certain number of Season Pass subscribers isn’t met.

But MLS commissioner Don Garber wouldn’t confirm nor deny the existence of such a clause.

“We’ve never talked about what the specific terms are, and we’re not going to talk about it now,” he said. “It’s a 10-year partnership. We’re both very, very committed to that. I am wholeheartedly convinced that this company and our league are going to be together for a very long time.”

The 2023 MLS season kicked off two weeks ago.

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JJ Redick In War of Words with Barstool Podcaster Patrick Beverley

“I had a four year offer with player option for the same money to be a starter for a different team. FOH ‘saved my career’.”

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JJ Redick
Courtesy: ESPN Images

Just days after he was promoted to ESPN’s top NBA broadcast team, JJ Redick is in a war of words with Barstool Sports podcaster (and Milwaukee Bucks guard) Patrick Beverley over comments the former made about Doc Rivers. The same Doc Rivers who Redick just replaced on ESPN’s A team — and Beverley’s current head coach.

Earlier today on First Take, Redick called out Rivers for a lack of accountability throughout his career. “It’s always an excuse, it’s always throwing your team under the bus,” Redick said about Rivers. “There’s never accountability with that guy.” Rivers was Redick’s coach while both were members of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Beverley responded to Redick’s words via X with some harsh criticism, saying “This Man Doc actually saved your career. Started you when no one else wanted 2. And u retire go on TV and say that.”

Redick quickly responded to Beverley, casting doubt upon the guard’s words, and said he had another starting-caliber offer available to him when he chose to play for the Clippers, then dismissed Beverley’s comments.

Redick is no stranger to controversy since joining the sports media space. Redick went after fellow ESPNer Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo for comments the longtime WFAN host made about Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown. He also called Russo out for defending NBA stars like Bob Cousy who the former Duke guard said, “played against plumbers and firemen.”

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Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay To Serve as Lead Analyst for Mexico Open Coverage on NBC

Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay will serve as NBC’s lead golf analyst for the PGA Tour Mexico Open while his partner, Justin Thomas, takes the event off.

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Jim "Bones" Mackay providing golf analysis for NBC
Courtesy: Getty Images via Golfweek

NBC is adding another name to its tryout list to serve as a lead analyst on its golf coverage, and it’s current PGA Tour caddy Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay. Mackay will serve as NBC’s lead golf analyst for the PGA Tour Mexico Open while his partner, Justin Thomas, takes the event off.

According to USA Today’s Golfweek, Mackay isn’t keen on making this a full-time gig, something he made known to NBC brass before signing on. He’s committed to caddying for Thomas, who will take this week off after playing four of the last five PGA Tour events. Mackay has worked for NBC in the past, serving as an on-course reporter in 2017 and providing spot coverage at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship last season.

A spokesman for NBC Sports told Golfweek that Mackay will serve as an on-course reporter on Thursday, then move to the booth for the remaining three rounds alongside veteran pro Brad Faxon, with Steve Sands and Dan Hicks rotating as host.

NBC has been trying different voices in the booth since laying off Paul Azinger in November. Since then, multiple analysts have stepped into the booth for NBC. Former Tour winner Kevin Kisner stepped in for NBC’s first two events of the season, while Brandel Chamblee stepped in for its coverage of “The American Express.” Reports indicated NBC was interested in adding Geoff Ogilvy to its golf coverage, but the former U.S. Open winner hasn’t been featured on the network yet.

Before caddying for Thomas, Mackay served as Phil Mickelson’s caddy for 25 years. Mackay was by Mickelson’s side during all but one of his major championships, including all three of his Masters wins.

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Chris Caray Hired by NBC Sports California; Will be 4th Generation MLB Announcer

“Ever since I was a 12-year-old kid, I dreamed of becoming a Major League broadcaster.”

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Chris Caray
Courtesy: Chris Caray/NBC Sports Bay Area

NBC Sports California has announced Chris Caray has been added to the Oakland A’s broadcast team. Caray will join Jenny Cavnar, who was named last week as the primary play-by-play voice for the team, along with analyst Dallas Braden.  Caray, son of St. Louis Cardinals play-by-play voice Chip Caray, becomes the fourth generation of his family to serve as a Major League Baseball play-by-play announcer.

Caray had been doing play-by-play for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Double-A affiliate, the Amarillo Sod Poodles, along with the Arizona Fall League. He called those games with his identical twin brother, Stefan.

“Chris has tremendous skill as an announcer and a true passion for his craft, which is why he’s a rising talent in broadcasting,” said Matt Murphy, President & General Manager of NBC Sports California and NBC Sports Bay Area. “We are proud that Chris and Jenny are joining Dallas Braden as members of our talented A’s coverage team, and look forward to the season with them in the broadcast booth.”

Caray not only follows his father, Chip, but also his grandfather Skip and great-grandfather Harry into MLB broadcasting. Skip Caray most notably called games for the Atlanta Braves from 1976 to 2008. Hall of Famer Harry Caray spent time with the Cardinals, the A’s, the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs.

“Ever since I was a 12-year-old kid, I dreamed of becoming a Major League broadcaster,” said Caray. “Now, I’m thrilled that that dream has come true. I’m honored and proud to join a franchise with the rich history of the Oakland A’s, and I can’t wait to grow along with this young, exciting team and my new partners with NBC Sports California, Jenny Cavnar and Dallas Braden.”

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