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TNT Sports to Present Fully-Animated ‘MultiVersus NHL Face-Off’ Broadcast

Pittsburgh Penguins radio play-by-play announcer Steve Mears and television in-game color commentator and studio analyst Colby Armstrong will call the action.

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MultiVersus NHL Face-Off
(Illustration) | Courtesy: Warner Bros. Discovery

TNT Sports, Warner Bros. Games and the National Hockey League have announced that an animated alternate broadcast will air on Sunday, April 14 at 3:30 p.m. EST on truTV and streaming on the B/R Sports Add-On through Max. The MultiVersus NHL Face-Off will include several Warner Bros. Discovery characters appearing in the MultiVersus video game, some of which include Bugs Bunny, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Warner Bros. and DC Comics characters will take the ice for the Western Conference matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights utilizing the NHL EDGE tracking technology to simultaneously replicate the action. The contest will be officiated by the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes.

During the NHL on TNT postgame show on Sunday, April 7, a draft of the MultiVersus characters will take place ahead of the game the following week. Pittsburgh Penguins radio play-by-play announcer Steve Mears and television in-game color commentator and studio analyst Colby Armstrong will call the action. They will remain on the air during the first and second intermissions to share their thoughts on the gameplay and deliver analysis to prepare fans for the forthcoming action. The traditional broadcast of the game, which will feature broadcasters Kenny Albert, Eddie Olczyk and Brian Boucher, will air simultaneously on TNT and is available to stream using the B/R Sports Add-On through Max.

The setting for the ice rink within the MultiVersus NHL Face-Off Draft will include rotating surrounding elements based on parts of the game. Examples of such include the court from Space Jam, tree fort from Adventure Time and Sky Arena. Avatars of NHL stars such as Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche and Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault of the Vegas Golden Knights will be implemented into the broadcast. The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 2022, while the Golden Knights are the league’s defending champions and hoisted the trophy for the first time in franchise history in 2023.

In addition to positional data pertaining to puck and player tracking within NHL EDGE technology, the broadcast will also equip Hawk-Eye Innovations. This will allow the broadcast to effectively present realistic character and player avatar movements that will closely resemble what is ensuing on the ice. NHL innovation partner Beyond Sports will be involved in producing these animations for the broadcast. The MultiVersus video game, developed by Player First Games, is set to be officially released on May 28.

For TNT Sports, the endeavor represents the first animated broadcast for its NHL on TNT broadcast property. The National Hockey League has worked with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN to present two editions of the NHL Big City Greens Classic on ESPN+, Disney+, Disney XD and Disney Channel. Outside of NHL games, the National Football League recently worked with Disney and ESPN for a Toy Story Funday Football broadcast when the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars played from Wembley Stadium in London, England, which streamed on Disney+, ESPN+ and through the league’s NFL+ platform.

TNT Sports recently introduced a new programming lineup for truTV that includes a sports block of shows that aims to broaden the reach of its content. Aside from sports movies and documentaries within the lineup, new programs including TNT Sports Tonight, The Line are now part of the regular schedule. Video podcasts from Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal also comprise the offerings in addition to MotoGP races. Commercial rights to MotoGP were recently acquired by Liberty Media, the same media conglomerate that owns Formula 1 and has an ownership stake in the Atlanta Braves.

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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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DraftKings Network Logo
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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