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ESPN to Bring ACC Football, College Football Playoff to Movie Theaters

“We believe that theaters have the ability to generate excitement around live sporting events.”

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Theater Sports Network; ESPN
Courtesy: ESPN; Theater Sports Network

ESPN has announced a new agreement with the Theater Sports Network for new ways to disseminate college football content. While the network has worked with Cinemark over the last two seasons to televise the College Football Playoff semifinals and CFP National Championship games in movie theaters, it will now present part of its portfolio on a larger scale. Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) games airing on ESPN platforms will be available in away team markets throughout the 2023-24 college football season, an innovative means to view the action.

The deal covers the New Year’s Six slate of bowl games, which includes the Capital One Orange Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and Vrbo Fiesta Bowl. Additionally, the CFP Semifinal games at the Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl Game, along with the CFP National Championship Game are part of the agreement, which includes nearly 75 games in total. The price for this in-person direct-to-consumer viewing option will be determined by participating movie theaters, which will soon be announced to the public.

“We believe movie theaters are the next great frontier for live sporting events, and we are elated with this unprecedented agreement with ESPN,” Scott Daw, president and chief operating officer of Theater Sports Network, said in a statement. “We look forward to bringing these games to ACC football fans [and] believe that theaters have the ability to generate excitement around live sporting events.

“These events will replicate the feel of a football stadium experience as fans gather and fill theaters to watch the games on the big screen. As we move forward, we hope to add games from additional college football conferences as well as other live sporting events.”

Theater Sports Network is partnering with MetaMedia to distribute these live streams of sporting events. The company is a revolutionary global, cloud-based entertainment secure delivery vertical that services out-of-home venues, including drive-in movie theaters and cinemas.

“We believe that Theater Sports Network has identified an unmet demand for families and fans to view live sports on massive movie theater screens,” Jason Brenek, chief executive officer of MetaMedia, said in a statement. “[We] are thrilled to be selected as their distribution technology partner.”

Entering the college football season, ESPN will televise games from the ACC, Southeastern Conference (SEC), Big 12 and Pac-12 – the latter of which does not have a rights agreement for 2024 and beyond. The Pac-12 will lose eight of its 12 current member teams, headlined by USC and UCLA moving to the Big Ten Conference.

Starting on Thursday, the Big Ten will start regular season live game broadcasts under a record-breaking seven-year media rights contract worth more than $1 billion annually. Additionally, the Big 12 will add Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah, bringing the conference to 18 teams. According to league commissioner Brett Yormark, its media rights deal with ESPN has a pro rata clause that will pay the conference more money when it adds teams.

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Sports TV News

‘NFL Total Access’ Comes to an End After 21 Years on NFL Network

“Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network.”

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NFL Total Access

‘NFL Total Access’ has been a part of the NFL Network since 2003 and today it is set for its final episode. The news of the show coming to an end came down earlier this month. Many of the current show participants took to social media to post their thoughts including hosts Mike Yam and Kimmi Chex along with analyst Chase Daniel.

“Tonight marks the last ever episode of NFL Total Access,” said Chex. “I was 7 years old when this show aired meaning that I spent my life watching. Co-hosting our flagship program this past season has been the honor of my career. I’m not going anywhere but for now, it’s goodbye TA.”

Yam said, “It’s been an absolute thrill hosting NFL Total Access. Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network. “Thank you” isn’t nearly enough to express the gratitude I have for the team. See you at 7est for 1 more run.”

A report from The Athletic said the show would be replaced “at least in the interim” by Insiders with Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero.

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NBCUniversal Names Olympic Hosts for USA, CNBC and E!; Kathryn Tappen Headlines

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games.”

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NBC Olympics Logo and photos of Cara Banks, Laura Britt, Trenni Casey, Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno, and Kathryn Tappen

NBCUniversal announced its hosts for coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on USA Network, CNBC and E! Cara Banks, Laura Britt and Trenni Casey will all be a part of the coverage on CNBC and E! Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno and Kathryn Tappen will all take part in the USA Network coverage.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics is Friday, July 26 on NBC, Peacock, and Telemundo.

Coverage on USA Network, CNBC, and E! is expected to include Team USA men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and volleyball, as well as swimming, gymnastics, and track & field, and more.

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games,” said Rebecca Chatman, Vice President and Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics Production in a release.

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Mike Tirico, Danica Patrick Return to Host Indy 500 for NBC Sports

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

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Logos for Indy 500, NBC Sports and photos of Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick
Photos Courtesy: NBC Sports

With less than two weeks until the event, NBC Sports has officially announced its team of race and studio commentators for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500. For the sixth year in a row, we can expect to see familiar faces such as host Mike Tirico and studio analyst Danica Patrick contributing to pre-race, in-race, and post-race coverage.

The race will air at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 26, on both NBC and Peacock.

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe will call the race for the sixth consecutive year. Marty Snider, Dillon Welch, Dave Burns, and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters. Former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and Kim Coon will serve as roaming reporters.

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