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NFL Network Adds Gerald McCoy, Chase Daniel Among New Talent

The move coincides with the premiere of the new season of NFL Total Access on Tuesday night.

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NFL Network
Courtesy: National Football League

NFL Network is welcoming six new analysts to its on-air talent roster across programming and live events ahead of kickoff for the 2023 National Football League regular season. The move coincides with the premiere of the new season of NFL Total Access on Tuesday night featuring hosts Kimmi Chex and Mike Yam. Additionally, insiders Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo will appear on the program, along with analysts Michael Robinson and David Carr.

Veteran NFL quarterback Chase Daniel will appear on the Friday editions of the show, the next step in his career after he worked as a guest analyst on NFL GameDay Final last season. The 14-year pro is the University of Missouri’s all-time total yards leader and a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist.

Former All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will regularly join the NFL GameDay Morning show on Sundays at 9 a.m. EST/6 a.m. PST. In the new role, he will sit alongside Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci and Kurt Warner among others to provide his insight and opinions on everything pertaining to the league. The 11-year NFL veteran played nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and retired from the sport in April 2023.

Pep Hamilton, a former offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, is joining NFL Network and will appear on various studio shows, including NFL GameDay Live. He had a coaching career that lasted more than 20 years at various levels of professional football.

In addition, the network is adding former Stanford head coach David Shaw, cementing him as part of its coverage after joining for the NFL Draft each year. The former wide receiver became the head coach of his alma mater in 2011 and helped the program win two Rose Bowls. Shaw voluntarily resigned from the role following discussions with his family about his future and ultimately reached the conclusion that the time had arrived.

The league-owned broadcast entity added another former head coach and Super Bowl champion in Leslie Frazier. Having coached more than 30 years in the NFL, including as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, he will bring expertise and firsthand perspectives on the dynamic nature of the sport to the airwaves such as NFL GameDay Live.

Lastly, NFL Network further bolstered its roster with the addition of Super Bowl champion running back Robert Turbin, who will contribute on various studio shows and NFL Draft programming. The eight-year NFL veteran captured a victory with the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII and ended up returning to the team in 2019 after stints elsewhere.

NFL Network did not divulge whether or not Michael Irvin will rejoin its coverage on NFL GameDay Live, nor has there been any information about his future with the vertical from which he was suspended. Irvin is embroiled in litigation after allegations of misconduct were raised at Super Bowl LVII, stemming from an interaction he had with an employee at a local hotel. Irvin recently joined Skip Bayless on the new iteration of Undisputed on FOX Sports 1, presumably ending his time on First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim.

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Kendrick Perkins: Bill Walton Was Authentic, ‘Nothing Fake About Him’

“I remember the first time I met him – I was 18 years old, and we literally had a two-hour conversation, and he was telling me what it means to be a Boston Celtic…”

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Bill Walton
Courtesy: Shane Ware, ESPN Images

Bill Walton, a two-time NBA champion and adept basketball commentator, passed away on Sunday at the age of 71, the National Basketball Association announced on Monday. The league attributed his death to colon cancer, which he had been fighting for the last year. Walton won two college championships at UCLA under head coach John Wooden and continued what ended up being an 88-game winning streak for the team. The three-time national player of the year was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the first pick in the 1974 NBA Draft.

Three seasons later, he won his first NBA title but endured injuries throughout his career. Walton ended up securing another NBA title as a sixth man on the 1985-86 Boston Celtics and retired from the sport in the next year. From there, Walton began to assimilate into sports media as a live game analyst for NBA and college games across several networks. ESPN, his most recent employer for college basketball games, took time on Tuesday morning to remember Walton and commemorate his legacy.

“I remember the first time I met him – I was 18 years old, and we literally had a two-hour conversation, and he was telling me what it means to be a Boston Celtic, but it was one of the best two hours of my life because it wasn’t one of those boring conversations,” ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins said on Tuesday’s edition of First Take. “Everything was like nail-to-the-tee. It was full of [authenticity], and when you think about Bill, the one thing I can say about him that I love was that he was the same person every time you [saw] him, and there wasn’t nothing fake about him.”

Perkins acknowledged that Walton will be missed by many people, as was evidenced by messages and memories on social media throughout the day on Monday. Moreover, he realized that Walton left a “legendary mark” on the world and is frequently associated with the sentiment of joy. Former Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem, who has been making guest appearances on ESPN of late, concurred and expressed how Walton was a kind person. Despite not knowing Walton, he remembers having a discussion with him in which he received a vote of confidence when he was trying to break into the NBA as an undrafted player.

“I was raised to treat the janitor the same way that you treat the CEO, and I think Bill Walton lived by that,” Haslem said. “I’ve never seen a moment where he didn’t take time out to speak to everybody – ‘Hello. How you doing? Please. Thank you,’ – just things that people don’t do nowadays, so I was blessed and I was thankful just to have that interaction with him.”

Shannon Sharpe conveyed that Walton was a special person and shared memories of his playing career while in Portland. Sharpe recognized Walton to be a skilled big man who was able to score, rebound, pass and block shots. At the same time, he expressed his personality, ostensibly rendering him as a predecessor to the vivacious, ebullient personality of Shaquille O’Neal. Although Sharpe never got a chance to meet Walton, he always enjoyed watching him express his personality and knows that he will be missed. Molly Qerim, host of First Take, closed the segment by responding to Sharpe’s answer and sharing her own memories of Walton.

“He’s a champion at every level, and to your point, he just inspires you to live life to the fullest – with joy, not taking things so seriously, and how precious every moment is – and Udonis, to your point, how important it is to always make time for people, treat people right [and] be present. Such a special, special guy and lucky to have spent some time with him here at ESPN.”

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Report: AEW CEO Tony Khan Disappointed with Current Renewal Offer from Warner Bros. Discovery

“We’re having great talks, and people should feel very confident about what that means for the wrestlers, the staff, and the fans.”

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logo for All Elite Wrestling

With all of the focus on the NBA media rights coming up and what, if any, role Warner Bros. Discovery will have moving forward, there is another sports media deal expiring soon that WBD has been working on. Tony Khan and All Elite Wrestling, which is now in its fifth year of existence trying to compete with the WWE, are currently in an exclusive window to negotiate with the TNT and TBS parent company, and that window closes in July.

Puck’s Matthew Belloni reports Khan is underwhelmed by the offer currently on the table from WBD. After AEW’s ‘Double or Nothing’ pay-per-view this weekend, Khan was quoted as saying, “I’m happy working for Mr. David Zaslav and I’m hoping we can do it for a long time.”

AEW currently airs five hours of television each week between three shows on TNT and TBS. The Wrestling Observer reports AEW signed a four-year, $175 million contract with WBD in 2020, prior to adding a two-hour Saturday night show.

“It’s a really exciting time for AEW,” Khan told Sports Illustrated earlier this year. “We’re in active negotiations for the AEW media rights. Warner Bros. Discovery continues to be the best possible partner, and they’ve helped us grow this brand. It’s going to be a very exciting remainder to this year, and we’ll find out where AEW is going to live.

“For everyone who cares about AEW all over the world, we’re in a great position. This is going to work out really well for AEW. We’re having great talks, and people should feel very confident about what that means for the wrestlers, the staff, and the fans. As a result of everyone’s hard work and endless support from the fans, there will be a tremendous deal for AEW. The outlook for the company is so bright moving forward.”

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Indy 500 Averages 5.34 Million Viewers on NBC and Peacock

The Indianapolis 500 broadcast performance occurs as INDYCAR’s three-year media rights deal with NBC is set to expire at the end of the season.

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Indianapolis 500; NBC Sports
(Illustration) | Indianapolis 500 Logo – Courtesy: Penske Corporation | NBC Sports Logo – Courtesy: NBC Sports | Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Courtesy: Chris Graythen, Getty Images

Despite enduring a four-hour weather delay, the 108th Indianapolis 500 accumulated a total audience delivery of 5.34 million viewers on NBC, Peacock and NBC Sports digital platforms on Sunday, along with a 2.6 rating, according to data from Nielsen Media Research and Adobe Analytics. The performance marks the largest audience for the Indy 500 in the last three years and is up 8% year-over-year from the 4.93 million the race averaged in 2023.

Josef Newgarden of Team Penske won the Indianapolis 500 for a second consecutive year and became the first driver to win consecutive iterations of the event since Helio Castroneves attained the feat in 2002. The event also set a record with 18 drivers leading at least one lap, and the outcome was ultimately decided in the final lap of the 200-lap, 500-mile race.

NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR broadcast team of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe called the action, with reporters Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Dave Burns, Dillon Welch, Jeff Burton and Kim Coon. Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick broadcast studio coverage for the sixth consecutive year and were joined by Jimmie Johnson for pre-race and race coverage from the Peacock Pit Box on Pit Lane.

The Indianapolis 500 on NBC peaked at 6.46 million viewers in the 15-minute broadcast window from 7:30 to 7:45 p.m. EST. Additionally, the competition is the most-streamed INDYCAR race ever, garnering an average minute audience of 286,000 viewers on Peacock and NBC Sports digital platforms. This is the most-watched Sunday sporting event for NBC Sports since the NFL playoffs in January when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ matchup against the Detroit Lions amassed a total audience delivery of 40.4 million viewers.

NBCUniversal also secured the most-streamed event in U.S. history in January with an average of 23 million viewers tuning in for the exclusive broadcast of the NFL Wild Card matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins on Peacock.

Six races have taken place within the 2024 NTT INDYCAR series and are collectively averaging a total audience delivery of 1.95 million viewers. Five of these broadcasts have been on NBC while one was on USA Network. Viewers can watch NBC Sports’ coverage of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on USA Network and Peacock on Sunday at 12 p.m. EST.

Throughout the weather delay, NBC Sports provided viewers with live updates and an encore presentation of the 2023 race. These programming adjustments ultimately resulted in more than nine hours of broadcast network coverage taking place throughout the day. INDYCAR removed the local blackout of the race in Indianapolis, Ind., which ended up securing an 18.15 household rating and 54 share. The race also coincided with the broadcast of the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 on FOX, which will move to Amazon’s Prime Video following the season.

The Indianapolis 500 broadcast performance occurs as INDYCAR’s three-year media rights deal with NBC is set to expire at the end of the season. NBC is reportedly interested in renewing the media rights deal; however, the network could face competition from other broadcast conglomerates. The company has had exclusive rights to INDYCAR since 2019 for a reported $20 million per year after it had previously split those rights with The Walt Disney Company (ESPN/ABC).

NASCAR agreed to seven-year media rights deals for the NASCAR Cup Series beginning in 2025 that includes NBC Sports, FOX Sports, Amazon’s Prime Video and TNT Sports. The Walt Disney Company currently broadcasts Liberty Media-owned Formula 1 as part of a three-year deal with the property that continues through 2025.

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