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FOX Sports Films, Religion of Sports Announce New Yankees-Red Sox Documentary

“For over eight decades, the Yankees always edged out the Red Sox. But this famous night in October changed that.”

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The Game That Changed Everything
Courtesy: FOX Sports Films, Religion of Sports

FOX Sports Films and Religion of Sports have announced a new original documentary about the 2004 American League Championship Series (ALCS) matchup between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, the penultimate series before the latter broke an 86-year championship drought. The film will premiere on Wednesday, Oct. 18 on FS1, which follows live coverage of Game 3 of the ALCS, and features interviews with many key figures who were a part of the proceedings.

FOX Sports studio analysts Álex Rodríguez, Derek Jeter, and David Ortiz were interviewed for the feature, in addition to Kevin Millar, Orlando Cabrera, Johnny Damon, Dave Roberts and Mariano Rivera. Titled The Game That Changed Everything, it is the second documentary that is premiering this year under the network’s multi-year film deal that was announced earlier in the year.

“FOX Sports is thrilled to commemorate one of the most iconic stories in baseball as retold through varying perspectives of some of the best players and sports personalities in Major League Baseball,” Barry Nugent, vice president of development and original programming at FOX Sports, said in a statement. “As FOX is the exclusive home of the ALCS this postseason, we’re excited to present a never-before-seen interpretation of arguably one of the greatest games in ALCS history to reignite fan enthusiasm behind this iconic series.”

With the Yankees ahead three games to zero in the series, the documentary largely focuses on the fourth game of the series that started the unprecedented four-game comeback that garnered Boston a trip to the World Series. The Red Sox ultimately found a way to defeat the Yankees and, in turn, make history as the only team to ever overcome such a deficit in a playoff series.

The film is executive produced by Eric Shanks, Mark Silverman, Charlie Dixon and Barry Nugent from FOX Sports; and Gotham Chopra, Ameeth Sankaran and Victor Buhler at Religion of Sports. It is directed by Liam Hughes, and David Check, Carl Hansen, Ariana Rotstein and Michael Vayder all worked as producers. Additionally, Rita O’Dea is an associate producer on the project.

“Religion of Sports is excited to turn a magnifying glass on one of the most remarkable games in baseball history,” Victor Buhler, senior vice president of production and head of development at Religion of Sports, said in a statement. “The margins between victory and defeat in baseball are so slim: a runner beats a throw by half a second; a hit flies off the barrel of a bat; a ball slips underneath a glove.

“Director Liam Hughes takes us back into the drama of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS and, even though we know the outcome, he has found a new way for us to relive the game. For over eight decades, the Yankees always edged out the Red Sox. But this famous night in October changed that. It was truly a game that changed everything.”

The film will provide viewers with firsthand perspectives on what happened during the fateful fourth game that ended in an unexpected defeat. There will also be various baseball experts featured throughout the presentation, in addition to representatives from the Yankees and Red Sox organizations to break down what impact it has had on their teams in the ensuing years.

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Charles Barkley Announces He Will Retire From TV After Next Season

“Next year, I am just going to retire after 25 years, and I just wanted to say thank you and I wanted y’all to hear it from me first.”

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Screenbrad from NBA TV with Charles Barkley
Screengrab: NBA TV

Charles Barkley is not waiting. After voicing his frustration several times with the way the media rights negotiations have been handled by his current employer, Warner Bros. Discovery/TNT, Barkley is no longer waiting for them to make a decision, he has announced his own decision.

After Game 4 of the NBA Finals concluded between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics, Barkley took time on the postgame show on NBA TV to announce no matter what happens, he will retire as an NBA commentator after next season, which will be his 25th with TNT.

“I’ve been thinking guys,” Barkley said “I want to say this, because you guys are my family. I really love TNT, all the people who work here, NBA Television. You guys have been great to me for 24 years and I just want to say thank you to my entire NBA family. I love you guys.

“There’s been a lot of noise the last few months and I just want to say, I’ve talked to all of the other networks, but I ain’t going nowhere other than TNT, but I have made the decision myself, no matter what happens, next year is going to be my last year on television. And I just want to say thank you to my NBA family, you guys have been great to me, my heart is full with joy and gratitude.

“But I am going to pass the baton at the end of next year. I hope the NBA stays with TNT, but for me personally, I wanted you guys to hear it from me, because I am not doing any more interviews, don’t y’all be calling me, nobody calling me, I am not talking about this again. But I wanted to tell my NBA TV and TNT family that I am not going to another network, but I am going to pass the baton to either Jamal Crawford, Vince Carter or you Steve [Smith]. Next year, I am just going to retire after 25 years, and I just wanted to say thank you and I wanted y’all to hear it from me first.”

The NBA’s current media rights agreements with Disney/ESPN and WBD/TNT expire after next season. Many reports have said the NBA will soon sign agreements with Disney, NBCUniversal and Amazon to be the league’s new broadcasting partners beginning with the 2025-26 season. The Wall Street Journal has reported the total value of the new media rights packages is expected to be $76 billion over 11 years.

Rumors of a possible fourth media package being made in order for the NBA to keep its 40-year relationship with Turner Sports going have surfaced, but it looks like either way there will be changes coming to Inside the NBA, the award-winning show Barkley is a part of along with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal.

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FOX Sports Moving UFL Games to Friday Nights in 2025

“The regular season average television audience of 816,000 was more than 30% higher than the pace from the previous year.”

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The United Football League logo

FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks recently confirmed a report from Deadline last month that said United Football League games would move to Friday nights in 2025. The Deadline report had said FOX planned to replace WWE Smackdown with sports coverage from college football and basketball as well as games from the UFL.

Shanks’ comments were made during a Zoom with reporters about the news of their new agreement with the NTT IndyCar Series. SI’s Mike Mitchell reported that the UFL worked with FOX to move the games so they could complete their auto racing deal.

Shanks said many of FOX’s UFL games would be moved to Friday night when asked about the change but did not provide more detail.

The UFL was split between FOX and ABC/ESPN this season. The regular season average television audience of 816,000 was more than 30% higher than the pace from the previous year and the recent conference championship games were up 57% over the averages from the USFL and XFL last season. According to Mitchell, the league saw a large increase in the 18-49 demographic on FOX compared to USFL programming in 2023.

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Report: WNBA Could Quadruple Media Rights Fees

Under the current structure, the WNBA makes a reported $60 million annually from its media rights deals with The Walt Disney Company, Amazon’s Prime Video, CBS and Ion.

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(Illustration) | Courtesy: Women's National Basketball Association

The NBA is reportedly in the process of formalizing new media rights deals with The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal and Amazon’s Prime Video expected to be worth a collective $76 billion over the course of the deal. At the same time, the NBA is also negotiating media rights for the WNBA in which it has an ownership stake of approximately 60%. The WNBA could quadruple its annual media rights fee within these negotiations, according to a new report from Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.

Under the current structure, the WNBA makes a reported $60 million annually from its media rights deals with The Walt Disney Company, Amazon’s Prime Video, CBS and Ion. Throughout the season thus far, the WNBA has seen its ratings increase, drawing more than 1 million viewers across several matchups throughout the regular season. Moreover, discussion surrounding the league is further assimilating into the sports vernacular surrounding stars such as Caitlin Clark, A’ja Wilson, Sabrina Ionescu and Breanna Stewart.

Ben Strauss of The Washington Post outlined how the NBA is in the process of considering one total bid from media companies that combines the value of media rights for the NBA and WNBA. With the league itself determining the value of media rights for the WNBA, he argues that it could either be “rocket fuel” for the league or that its augmented popularity “is more of an afterthought.” The possibility exists that it could be a combination of both extremes as well, but by having the league negotiate its media rights deal, quantifying the true value could be a more difficult task.

In a report from earlier in the year, McCarthy stated that the WNBA is likely to negotiate its own separate media rights deal if it is not receiving the remuneration that it wants. The WNBA attained its most-watched opening month in league history, averaging 1.32 million viewers for games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, CBS, Ion and NBA TV. Moreover, the league had its most-attended opening month in its 26-year history with 400,000 fans at games through the end of May and a rise in sales of WNBA-branded merchandise by 236% year-over-year.

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