Connect with us
Executive Editor Ad
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports TV News

Cole Cubelic, Roman Harper Starting New SEC Network Show

“Cole and Roman paired together creates instant fireworks.”

Published

on

Cole Cubelic; Roman Harper
Courtesy: ESPN Images

With Week 1 of the college football season quickly approaching, the SEC Network has announced a new Monday program that will recap the weekend around the Southeastern Conference. Read & React pairs Cole Cubelic and Roman Harper together to discuss the latest news around the conference, keeping viewers informed, entertained and ready for the upcoming week of action.

Cubelic, who has been with ESPN since 2011, recently inked a new contract with the company and will remain situated as its field analyst for SEC Saturday Night. In this role, he will continue to work with Tom Hart and Jordan Rodgers on the lead commentary team. Harper has been on the SEC Network since 2020 and now expands his studio responsibilities, maintaining his roles on SEC Nation and SEC Now. The new program will make its debut on Monday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST.

The studio lineup will also add analyst Takeo Spikes as co-host of Out of Pocket alongside Alyssa Lang, who signed a new, multi-year deal with the SEC Network ahead of the season. Spikes is a 15-year NFL veteran and former linebacker who joined the SEC Network last year after watching the network from afar. He will bring his energy and enthusiasm to the program that will air on Wednesdays keeping viewers prepared for the forthcoming week.

“We’re thrilled to add Cole, Roman and Takeo to our revamped studio slate this fall,” Pete Watters, ESPN coordinating producer and SEC Network studio production lead, said in a statement. “Cole and Roman paired together creates instant fireworks. They’re both competitive, love debate and when you add that Auburn-Alabama rivalry to any conversation, it’s entertaining and exciting.”

Spikes and Lang are familiar with one another having worked on the SEC Network and are set to work together on the revamped program, which returns on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST. Lang will also continue to host SEC Now with Dari Nowkah and Peter Burns featuring a rotating analyst lineup that includes Matt Stinchcomb. It was announced that both Lang and Stinchcomb have re-signed with the SEC Network.

“Adding Takeo to Out of Pocket alongside Alyssa provides the former player perspective to a show that is known for humanizing the athletes and coaches who fans see every Saturday,” Watters said. “We’re excited for SEC Network viewers to experience a different side of Takeo, and for his and Alyssa’s friendship to play off each other on air.”

SEC Network also announced that several shows will hit the road again, including SEC Nation and Marty & McGee. The Saturday evening show SEC Football Final will recap the storylines and highlights of the weekend and continues to include Nowkhah with analysts Chris Doering and Benjamin Watson. Both analysts signed multi-year renewals with the network ahead of the show’s return on Saturday, Sept. 2.

The rest of the lineup remains largely intact, highlighted by the four-hour daily program, The Paul Finebaum Show, which is simulcast on ESPN Radio. The “Voice of the SEC” will continue bringing consumers his unabashed opinions on the conference and distinguished interactions with callers. SEC Network is one year away from celebrating its 10th anniversary on the air, coinciding with ESPN securing the exclusive media rights for the conference as part of a 10-year deal worth a reported $3 billion.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports TV News

Mina Kimes: Deshaun Watson ‘Bailed Out Our Entire Industry by Being Bad’

“If he was playing well, I would be inundated by hate mail right now because that’s what happens

Published

on

Mina Kimes
Courtesy: ESPN Images

Mina Kimes was not alone in condemning the Cleveland Browns for signing Deshaun Watson to a record guaranteed contract as he was facing dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct. This is the first full season Watson has played for the Browns and he has been less than impressive through the first two weeks of the season.

Kimes says that in a strange way, it something she and her colleagues should be happy about.

“This dude just bailed out our entire industry by being bad,” she said this week on Pablo Torre Finds Out.

She said that she has talked to a number of fellow NFL analysts and writers that feel “a little bit of relief” that there is nothing about Watson to celebrate right now.

It isn’t lost on Kimes that maybe not having to talk about Deshaun Watson like he is any other star in the NFL isn’t necessarily a good thing.

“We never had to reckon with, and maybe we will. You know, it’s been two weeks, but we certainly haven’t, so far, had to reckon with that cognitive dissonance in what it would have entailed,” she said.”

Winning and outstanding performance can scrub clean a lot of scandal in the minds of the public. Kimes noted that even mentioning the allegations against Watson would be met very differently if he weren’t struggling.

“Right now, because he’s playing bad, because he’s playing poorly, if you were to put a clip of me saying something about the fact that he was accused of all these sexual crimes and misdemeanors and whatnot, and if you put that out now, I would not get heat,” she said. “That’s what I want to drill down on here. Like, if you aggregated this and put it out, I would not get hate mails. If he was playing well, I would be inundated by hate mail right now because that’s what happens.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Shannon Sharpe: Skip Bayless and I ‘Barely Talked’

“It was really like a heavyweight fight.”

Published

on

Shannon Sharpe; Skip Bayless
Shannon Sharpe - Courtesy: Kevin Mazur, Getty Images for We The Best Foundation | Skip Bayless - Courtesy: FOX Sports

As Shannon Sharpe gave a heartfelt goodbye to his longtime Undisputed co-host Skip Bayless, it marked the end of a near seven-year run together on FOX Sports 1. For two-and-a-half hours each morning, Sharpe and Bayless would debate the sports topics of the day and help define an era of debate television. Directly opposing them for most of that time was First Take on ESPN, a show that they had both been a part of in varying capacities over the years.

Stephen A. Smith, working alongside analyst Max Kellerman and host Molly Qerim, engaged in a similar format before the show adopted a new format in late 2021. As Smith utilized the deep ESPN talent pool to have experts on different topics oppose him, the show grew in popularity and, at times, left Undisputed significantly behind in the ratings.

Sharpe is now a member of First Take and is contributing to the program on Mondays and Tuesdays throughout the football season. At the same time, he is building Shay Shay Media with his flagship Club Shay Shay Podcast on The Volume and working to produce content in tandem with the media brand.

Nonetheless, he misses working with FOX Sports 1 on a daily basis because of all the people on the lot aside from the show itself. From the security guard that would walk him to and from his car every day to those in wardrobe, props and in the cafeteria, no longer being able to see them for 240 days throughout the year has been a difficult thing to come to terms with.

“People don’t understand just how hard I worked at that job,” Sharpe said in a recent interview on The Stephen A. Smith Show. “What they saw was the two-and-a-half hours a day, but they didn’t see the prep – the six-seven hours of prep time I actually did to get ready for the show [and] the re-watching of the entire show to try and get better.”

After Sharpe completed his protracted answer to Smith about the things he misses most regarding FOX Sports, the First Take featured commentator elocuted an observation he made therein.

“You do understand that in that lengthy answer that you just gave to my question, you did not mention Skip Bayless one time,” Smith said. “You do know that.”

There were reportedly growing tensions between Sharpe and Bayless that ultimately led to the latter’s exit from the network. When Sharpe officially departed, Bayless and FOX Sports 1 management began work on compiling a new cast and format for the program, which relaunched earlier this month. Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson, Richard Sherman, Rachel Nichols, Josina Anderson and Lil’ Wayne have all appeared on the show as contributors, facing off against Bayless, an institution and influential professional in the format.

Sharpe has gone on the record numerous times to thank Bayless for everything he did to welcome him to the network and create a stellar program. The part that he revealed to Smith was that they did not have much of a relationship off of the set, even within the corridors of the production facility.

“Skip would get to work; I would get to work,” Sharpe described. “I was in my dressing room; he was in his dressing room. It was really like a heavyweight fight. We barely talked…. [and] it was not a carry on a conversation and then, all of a sudden, we get up there and do what we do…. It was very little communication.”

Some of the public perception of Sharpe’s time on FOX Sports 1 and the split he had with the network adopted the notion, “Skip Bayless made Shannon Sharpe.” The remark perturbs Sharpe, who was a three-time Super Bowl champion and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame before he started working at the network. As one of the most accomplished tight ends in the history of the National Football League, he had already been enshrined in the history of the game and sports as a whole in perpetuity. The aspect of his being that FOX Sports 1 helped him with was in becoming more popular and well-known, and it is something he owes to Bayless and the program itself.

“Skip Bayless did not make Shannon Sharpe relatable. Skip Bayless did not make Shannon Sharpe the storyteller that he is [and] Skip Bayless did not make Shannon Sharpe the football player that can break down plays,” Sharpe articulated. “….I miss debating him, but it had gotten to the point over the last six-seven months – and I won’t allow it to ruin the six great years that we had – but it had gotten to the point that we needed to go our separate ways.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Rick Cordella Named President of NBC Sports

“Rick has been at the epicenter of NBC Sports for years with a proven track record of growth and innovation…”

Published

on

Rick Cordella NBC

Three months after Pete Bevacqua stepped down as the chairman of NBC Sports to become the new athletic director at the University of Notre Dame, his alma mater, the company has decided on its next leader. Rick Cordella, who has been with NBCUniversal since 2006 serving in a variety of different roles, has been promoted to the role of “President, NBC Sports,” and will report directly to Mark Lazarus, the chairman of NBCUniversal Media Group.

Cordella most recently served as the president of programming for NBC Sports and Peacock Sports, a role in which he oversaw strategy for the sustained growth of both platforms. Peacock will be the exclusive home of a game within the NFL Wild Card round on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, marking the first time such an occurrence is taking place. Cordella was an integral member of the founding team for Peacock and served as the chief commercial officer for the over-the-top (OTT) streaming service. Under his leadership, NBC Sports garnered the accolade for the most-streamed Olympics and Super Bowl in history as the platform more than doubled its subscriber count year-over-year (YoY) to 24 million.

The six-time Sports Emmy Award winner began his tenure with the company within its fantasy sports properties, specifically overseeing Rotoworld and a variety of additional websites under its purview. Cordella was also a board member of FanDuel and represented NBC Sports on behalf of its investment in the sportsbook and gambling company. Additionally, he also has experience in digital media and has worked on the launch of several direct-to-consumer and online services, including NBC Sports Gold, ProFootballTalk and NBCSports.com, while also outlining content and editorial strategy.

“Rick has been at the epicenter of NBC Sports for years with a proven track record of growth and innovation across all platforms, particularly our flagship NBC network as well as Peacock, where he helped architect our leadership role in sports and streaming,” Lazarus said in a statement. “Rick will oversee the evolution of our business as we continue to offer the best experiences and content to our viewers, as well as be the best partner to leagues and rights holders.”

NBC is in the second year of a $20 billion media rights contract with the National Football League, primarily centered on its Sunday Night Football property. The lead broadcast booth of Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth and Melissa Stark is in its second season working together. NBC also started broadcasting Big Ten Conference football games this fall with its new B1G Ten Saturday property featuring Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge and Kathryn Tappen.

The company recently reacquired the rights for WWE SmackDown, which will air weekly starting in Oct. 2024 on USA Network, and will produce four specials in prime time each year as part of the deal. NBC is paying $7.75 billion to broadcast the Olympic Games through the 2028 festivities in Los Angeles, Calif., and has been working with Major League Baseball to present an exclusive Sunday morning contest on Peacock each week. These properties, plus other aspects of its business, will be under the leadership of Lazarus, Cordella and other executives at the company.

“It’s a continuation of what we’ve been doing,” Cordella told John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. “It’s less about this being the start of a new day and more about how we’re going to keep executing the way we have.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2023 Barrett Media.