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MASN, Comcast Reach Deal Moving RSN to More Expensive Cable Subscription Tier

“We appreciate MASN working with us to find a solution to maintain MASN and MASN2 on our platform that also provides our customers with a choice.”

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Courtesy: Mid-Atlantic Sports Network

Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) and Comcast have attained an agreement that will retain the regional sports network’s presence on Xfinity cable packages. The deal, however, will move MASN and MASN2 to its more expensive “Ultimate TV” tier and will officially be implemented on Tuesday. Those who are subscribed to the channel within the Baltimore area looking to watch Baltimore Orioles or Washington Nationals games on MASN will now need to subscribe to the higher tier if they have not already done so in order not to lose the channel. The tier will eventually cost $20 more per month, a decision that aligns with moves Comcast has made in the Pittsburgh and Seattle marketplaces.

Comcast is set to offer a six-month promotional deal for its “Popular TV” subscribers interested in upgrading to “Ultimate TV.” This deal grants users the new package at no additional charge for the first three months followed by a $10 fee increase for the remaining three months. Ultimate TV costs approximately $115 per month for Xfinity subscribers in the Baltimore area, while the “Popular TV” package is priced at $95 per month.

“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with MASN to continue carrying its networks and making them available on our Ultimate TV level of service before MLB’s Opening Day,” a Comcast spokesperson said in a statement. “We appreciate MASN working with us to find a solution to maintain MASN and MASN2 on our platform that also provides our customers with a choice.”

The two sides agreed to the deal following a short-term extension, first reported by John Ourand of Puck News. This was necessitated because of the deal’s expiration at the end of February, which is during MLB spring training. Although MASN and Comcast were able to reach an outcome in this instance, the regional sports network has not renewed with other cable providers such as RCN and Charter, nor is it available on streaming platforms such as YouTube TV and Hulu. According to MASN’s website, the network is in the midst of working on a direct-to-consumer application as well.

After winning a World Series championship in 2019, the Nationals have not qualified for the postseason and engaged in a significant restructuring of the roster. Conversely, the Orioles are coming off a 2023 campaign that ended with 101 wins and an American League East division title before falling short in the postseason. The team is in the midst of a sale to an ownership group featuring private equity billionaire David Rubenstein, a transaction that will also include MASN upon approval from MLB owners.

“At MASN, we know how much fans rely on their favorite sports coverage during the MLB season, and we are pleased to ensure Comcast customers throughout the mid-Atlantic region will continue to have access to MASN’s live coverage,” John McGuinness, senior vice president of MASN, said in a statement. “Comcast continues to be one of more than 20 providers delivering Orioles and Nationals games to fans.”

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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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Logo for the 2024 NFL Draft

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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Courtesy: DraftKings

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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