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ESPN Tabs Announcers for 2024 UFL Season

All three teams will feature a play-by-play commentator and analyst in the booth plus a reporter and analyst on the field.

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ESPN recently announced its new-look announce teams for the 2024 United Football League (UFL) season. While many teams remain intact from ESPN’s XFL coverage, there are some differences between teams from last year until now. All three teams will feature a play-by-play commentator and analyst in the booth plus a reporter and analyst on the field.

The trio of teams will cover all 21 games for Disney’s networks across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and streaming live on ESPN+.

“This team represents an incredible depth of football expertise and features many returning voices from our innovative XFL coverage,” said Amanda Gifford, ESPN vice president of production. “In collaboration with the UFL, we look forward to further pushing the traditional production boundaries all season, bringing fans more expert insight, immediate on-field reactions from players and coaches, and an inside look behind the scenes of each team throughout the game.”

Team 1

(Play-by-play duties will be shared by Mike Monaco and Drew Carter)

  • Mike Monaco (play-by-play) – Joined ESPN in 2019 and has called, MLB, NHL, Little League World Series, basketball, college baseball, football, lacrosse, volleyball, and softball events for ESPN and the ACC Network, in addition to contributing to Boston Red Sox broadcasts on NESN.
  • Drew Carter (play-by-play) – Joined ESPN in 2021, and calls a variety of sports for ESPN, including college football, college basketball, men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse, softball, and the PLL. In addition, Carter has served as the local NBA play-by-play voice for the Boston Celtics on NBC Sports Boston.
  • Sam Acho (analyst) – The nearly 10-year NFL veteran joined ESPN in 2021. A college football analyst, Acho contributes to college football studio coverage on Saturdays as a lead studio voice and makes regular appearances across SportsCenterGet Up, and College Football Live. He also contributed to the platform’s 2023 XFL coverage.
  • Stormy Buonantony (field reporter) – The Emmy-award-winning journalist joined ESPN in 2020 and is a college football sideline reporter for the platform and contributed to 2023 XFL coverage. Buonantony also co-hosts the weekday VSiN The Lombardi Line digital sports talk show.
  • Cole Cubelic (field analyst) – Former Auburn University offensive lineman and captain, joined ESPN in 2011 and is an analyst across the platform’s college football game and studio coverage, including SEC Saturday Night. He also covered XFL games as a field analyst for ESPN/ABC in 2020 and 2023 and co-hosts both Read & React on SEC Network and the McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning radio show in Birmingham.

Team 2

  • Lowell Galindo (play-by-play) – Joined ESPN in 2007 and is the lead anchor for Longhorn Network. Galindo contributes to play-by-play commentary for college sports across ESPN platforms, including Texas football and basketball and ESPN’s 2023 XFL coverage.
  • Tom Luginbill (analyst) – Joined ESPN in 2005 and provides recruiting analysis for top collegiate football prospects as the director of scouting in addition to his college football analyst role. Luginbill served as an analyst on XFL games on ESPN and ABC in 2020 and 2023 and was a quarterback coach in the original XFL, winning a championship with Los Angeles in 2001.
  • Kayla Burton (field reporter) – Former Lehigh women’s basketball standout, joined ESPN in 2023 as part of the platform’s college football game coverage. Before ESPN, she spent several years with NFL Media in a multi-platform role across NFL Network, NFL.com, and the NFL app.
  • Harry Douglas (field analyst) – The 10-year NFL veteran joined ESPN in 2019 and is a contributor across ESPN studio shows, and digital football shows including Countdown to College GameDay, and co-host of the national ESPN Radio afternoon drive show Freddie & Harry. The Louisville Hall of Famer was also an analyst for NFL and CFB games on ESPN Radio.

Team 3

Play-by-play duties will be shared by Roy Philpott and Jorge Sedano

  • Roy Philpott (play-by-play) – Joined ESPN in 2013 and is a play-by-play voice across the platform’s college football, basketball, and baseball games.
  • Jorge Sedano (play-by-play) – Joined ESPN in 2013 and began with ESPNLA 710 in 2016, where he hosts Sedano & Kap. In addition to his play-by-play work for college football, Sedano calls NFL, CFB, and NBA games for ESPN Radio. He’s also a sideline reporter for ESPN and ABC’s NBA game coverage.
  • Kirk Morrison (analyst) – Joined ESPN in 2017, the eight-year NFL veteran currently works on ESPN and ABC’s college football coverage as well as the pregame, halftime, and post-game radio host of the Los Angeles Rams on ESPNLA. He is also a regular host of The Blitz on Sirius XM NFL Radio and other shows in the Sirius XM family. Morrison is a regular guest on sports talk radio shows across the country year-round.
  • Ian Fitzsimmons (field reporter) – Joined ESPN in 2009 and is a sideline analyst and reporter for ESPN Radio covering college football and NFL games as well as the co-host of Amber & Ian. He also contributed to ESPN’s 2023 XFL coverage.
  • Eric Mac Lain (field analyst) – Joined ACC Network in 2019 and is a studio analyst on ACC Huddle, ACCN’s signature football show, and contributed to ESPN’s 2023 XFL coverage. Mac Lain played at Clemson from 2011-15, amassing the most wins (46) by a single player in team history.

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Sports TV News

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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