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MLS Instructs Broadcasters Not to “Belabor the Point” with Replacement Referees

The report says the announcers were also told they could “agree or disagree” with a controversial call, but not imply that the replacement referees were “the reason for the controversial call.”

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Major League Soccer reportedly sent a memo to television and radio broadcasters over the weekend telling them not to “belabor the point” as it relates to replacement referees being used.

As a lockout continues involving the Professional Soccer Referees Association, the certified labor union representing officials working MLS matches and the MLS along with its referee employment organization, the Professional Referee Organization, the league wants to avoid it becoming a major topic of game broadcasts.

The Athletic received a copy of the memo, which read in part, “Fans tune in to watch and listen to the game. They aren’t focused on the officials; therefore, we don’t believe it is necessary to belabor the point during the match. It is best to mention the situation in the pregame and move on.”

The report says the announcers were also told they could “agree or disagree” with a controversial call, but not imply that the replacement referees were “the reason for the controversial call.”

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ESPN Names NFL Draft Broadcast Teams; Nick Saban to Debut on ABC

ABC will feature the College GameDay crew of Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard, who will be joined by former Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who will join the crew this fall.

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ESPN has announced their commentator teams for their extensive coverage of the NFL Draft. Coverage will take place on both ESPN and ABC as well as ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes.

The NFL Draft takes place April 25-27 and on the first two days, ABC will feature the College GameDay crew of Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard, who will be joined by former Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who will join the crew this fall. Field Yates, Laura Rutledge and Pete Thamel will also be part of the ABC team.

On ESPN, Mike Greenberg will host alongside Mel Kiper, Jr., Booger McFarland, Louis Riddick, Molly McGrath and Adam Schefter. Both ESPN and ABC will start coverage on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET and on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

A number of ESPN football reporters will also report from various team sites including Courtney Cronin who will be with the Chicago Bears who have the No. 1 overall pick.

ESPN Radio will feature Chris Canty and Chris Carlin along with Ian Fitsimmons, Jordan Reid and Mike Tannenbaum. ESPN Deportes will have a team of Sebastian M. Christensen, Carols Nava, Miguel Pasquel, Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega.

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DraftKings Network to Introduce ‘Good Follow’ Women-Led Show on June 7

“Engagement with women’s sports is at an all-time high, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our programming to include a women-centric sports show to our content portfolio.”

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DraftKings Network will be introducing a new one-hour, weekly women-led sports show, adding to its slate of sports content and programming. The show will be titled Good Follow and debut on June 7 at 8 p.m. EST on DraftKings Network. Award-winning content creator Megan Reyes has been named the host of the show, which will blend news and pre-produced segments into interviews and discussion surrounding women’s sports. Additionally, former Texas Southern University golfer Logan Hackett will contribute to the show and look at the biggest events in sports as well.

“Engagement with women’s sports is at an all-time high, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our programming to include a women-centric sports show to our content portfolio,” Stacie McCollum, vice president of content at DraftKings, said in a statement. “At the core, a ‘Good Follow’ is someone who unapologetically moves culture forward within or adjacent to women’s sports. Our approach to this show aligns with growth trends we’re seeing within the space and from our customers as they interact with women’s sports across all our products.”

Ahead of the program’s debut on DraftKings Network, the show will be posted on social media platforms, including Instagram, X, Facebook and TikTok, for daily women’s sports content. This will include coverage from the WNBA Draft on April 15, which will take place from the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, N.Y. Lucy Rohden and other contributing personalities from Meadowlark Media will be on site for coverage to record content and interviews with draftees into the league. Furthermore, there will be additional behind-the-scenes features and access to those making an impact in women’s sports.

DraftKings Network is a free ad-supported television (FAST) channel that is available to watch for free through various services, including Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel and Google TV. Consumers can also find the programming on DKNetwork.com and YouTube and as audio on major podcasting platforms.

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ESPN Films Creating Stuart Scott ‘30 for 30’

“ The 30 for 30 film will explore Scott’s rise up the ranks at ESPN, his influence on media and culture, a painful divorce and his fight against cancer, which ultimately took his life.”

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ESPN Films has announced plans for an upcoming 30 for 30 documentary on former SportsCenter star Stuart Scott. The film will be directed by Andre Gaines.

According to Deadline, the film will detail how Scott shattered preconceived notions of how on-air talent were expected to look, talk, act, and think. It’ll also highlight how hip-hop and Black culture were brought into the sports media mainstream.

“Stuart Scott transcended broadcasting, journalism, sports and culture in ways that we’re only beginning to really understand and appreciate now,” said Andre Gaines. “He made his mark on so many people, especially young black men, and his legend has only grown since his passing. The opportunity I’ve had now to examine his life, visit his home, get to know his daughters Taelor and Sydni, and understand how incredibly vast and rich a life Stuart lived, I can only hope that audiences find the same catharsis I’ve already experienced in making this film.”

Vice President and Executive Producer of ESPN Films Marsha Cooke added, “We pride ourselves on telling the stories of true originals who changed the world, and Stuart epitomized that in so many ways. This film is the perfect tribute to a man who touched lives in front of and behind the camera. Andre Gaines has begun crafting a film that will shine a new light on who Stuart really was–from his relationship with Taelor and Sydni to the many people who saw the world differently just from spending time with him. The film will be Stuart through and through–funny, smart, edgy, touching, and transformational.”

Scott passed away at the age of 49 in January 2015 following a battle with cancer. His style and memorable catchphrases helped ESPN attract new fans, influence broadcasters, and put a modern twist on the network’s signature show.

The 30 for 30 film will explore his rise up the ranks at ESPN, his influence on media and culture, the pain of a divorce and his fight with cancer that ultimately took his life. Scott’s daughters Taelor and Syndi will also lend their voices to the tribute to their father.

A release date has not yet been announced.

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