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Bob Iger, Jimmy Pitaro Looking to Make Deals ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ for ESPN DTF Offering

Andrew Marchand reported today that Disney CEO Bob Iger and ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro are on the hunt for equity partners, with the NFL and NBA as its top targets.

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According to one sports media insider, ESPN is open for business and looking for investors as it looks to go direct-to-consumer. The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand reported today that Disney CEO Bob Iger and ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro are on the hunt for equity partners, and are targeting sports leagues and large digital players to make it work.

Marchand says ESPN brass is simultaneously negotiating for its own direct-to-consumer offering as well as its joint venture with Fox and WarnerBros. Discovery. Its goal is to sell one or two minority stakes in the company, with Marchand reporting the NFL and NBA are top potential candidates, with MLB and the NHL next in line should the former pair not materialize as partners.

Earlier this year, ESPN and the NFL were in talks to form a “strategic partnership,” though nothing yet materialized from the report. Some, including former ESPN boss John Skipper, didn’t think a deal would ever materialize, though the Marchand report indicates it could still happen.

The same terms would apply — ESPN would control NFL Media, and with it, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and NFL films, while the NFL would allow ESPN to use its programming for ESPN’s DTC offering. More NFL content could power ESPN DTC to new heights as sports fans continue to flock toward NFL football in spades.

ESPN and Roku are reportedly in talks to feature ESPN DTC on Roku’s homepage, further expanding the service’s reach to cord-cutters. Marchand also reports that ESPN has spoken to Apple and Amazon in the same realm.

Lastly, Marchand reports that ESPN hopes to be a broadcasting solution for MLB, NBA, and NHL teams and provide local sports as part of its DTC strategy. In the wake of the Diamond Sports bankruptcy, ESPN envisions replacing regional sports networks with its streaming offering to add even more value to consumers. Amazon’s investment into DSG may have thrown a wrench into the scope of that plan but ESPN could still offer local broadcasts of teams that are no longer associated with or never were associated with DSG.

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Report: Scott Van Pelt to Relaunch ‘SVPod’ with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions

This news comes on the heels of ESPN and Omaha Productions announcing a nine-year, multi-platform rights extension through 2034.

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ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt is bringing his ‘SVPod’ podcast back after nine months off. According to Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy, Van Pelt has partnered with Peyton Manning and Omaha Productions and along with show co-host ‘Stanford’ Steve Coughlin, they will dop two shows per week. McCarthy also reports that as part of the deal, ESPN will air the video version of the show on their YouTube page.

This news comes on the heels of ESPN and Omaha Productions announcing a nine-year, multi-platform rights extension through 2034. As part of the deal, Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli will continue, which recently attained an average of 1.24 million viewers over its nine-game slate.

The series, which has been on the air for the last three seasons, features former NFL quarterbacks and Super Bowl champions Peyton and Eli Manning who break down the game and welcome several special guests.

Van Pelt’s ‘SVPod’ debuted on January 14, 2020. At that time, Van Pelt was looking for more time to expound on various topics or have longer interviews with topical guests.

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Yahoo Sports Adds Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson East as Correspondent

“I’m excited to watch the world’s best athletes compete on the biggest stage and take fans behind the scenes along the way.”

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Yahoo Sports announced is adding Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson East as a correspondent for this summer’s games in Paris. Johnson East will be in France to deliver coverage of the gymnastics competition as well as additional moments such as the Opening Ceremony.

She’ll contribute analysis, athlete interviews, and features that bring fans closer to the games’ biggest stories. She’ll also provide reaction to the gymnastics U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June. Johnson East’s coverage will be available across Yahoo Sports platforms and via her social channels. 

“It’s such an honor to be able to return to the Olympics in 2024 with my family for the first time to be an official correspondent for Yahoo Sports,” Johnson East said. “I’m excited to watch the world’s best athletes compete on the biggest stage and take fans behind the scenes along the way.”

Johnson East won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympic balance beam event. She won silver in the team, all-around, and floor exercise events. After retiring from gymnastics in 2012, Shawn has gone on to write a New York Times best-selling book, win Dancing with the Stars, and start a YouTube channel with more than 405 million views and a popular podcast with her husband, Andrew.

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The Dan Patrick Podcast Network Adds Two Jomboy Media Shows

“I love entertainment that surprises and informs, which makes ‘Jimmy’s Three Things’ and ‘Wake N’ Jake’ great additions to my podcast network.”

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iHeartPodcasts, Dan Patrick and Jomboy Media announced a partnership to add the “Jimmy’s Three Things” and “Wake N’ Jake” podcasts to The Dan Patrick Podcast Network, effective immediately.

Co-produced by Patrick, iHeartPodcasts, Workhouse Media and Jomboy Media, “Jimmy’s Three Things” and “Wake N’ Jake” — individually hosted by Jomboy Media co-founders Jimmy “Jomboy” O’Brien” and Jake Storiale, respectively — are available now on the iHeartRadio app and everywhere podcasts are heard.

In each episode of Jimmy’s Three Things, Jomboy reveals his “3 things” of the week. Wake N’ Jake covers the biggest storylines across the world of sports, including the latest trades, injuries, prospects, draft previews, predictions, and more.

“Dan Patrick’s an originator of the fun-first, fan-driven sports community that Jomboy Media is built upon,” said Jimmy “Jomboy” O’Brien in a release. “Partnering with his podcast network is a tremendous opportunity to take two of our most fun shows to the new level.”

“I grew up watching Dan Patrick and to be working with him now is a dream.” said Jake Storiale. “It’s really cool to see our company grow in so many organic and surprising ways, and now some of our shows will be hosted on one of the biggest podcast platforms in the country.”

“Moments with Jimmy ‘Jomboy’ O’Brien and Jake Storiale are rarely predictable,” shared Dan Patrick. “I love entertainment that surprises and informs, which makes ‘Jimmy’s Three Things’ and ‘Wake N’ Jake’ great additions to my podcast network.”

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