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Stephen A. Smith: ESPN Analysts Chiney Ogwumike, Andraya Carter Were “Phenomenal” on March Madness Coverage

“I can’t even tell you all how proud I am of the job you all did during this NCAA tournament.”

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Chiney Ogwumike; Andraya Carter
Courtesy: ESPN Images

On Sunday afternoon, the South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes to win the NCAA Division I Women’s National Basketball Championship for the second time in three years. The team completed an undefeated, 39-0 season in which it was the No. 1 seed in the tournament and was able to advance throughout the competition. There have been several ratings triumphs throughout the tournament, including record viewership for ESPN coverage of the Elite Eight and Final Four.

In fact, the Final Four matchup between Iowa and UConn broke the record as the most-watched women’s basketball game in history with an average of 14.2 million viewers on ESPN. The game peaked at 17 million viewers and represented the network’s highest audience for any basketball game on record.

Throughout its coverage from Cleveland, Ohio this past weekend, ESPN featured several basketball luminaries offering their perspectives and promulgating aspects of the game. Among those analysts included former players Chiney Ogwumike and Andraya Carter, both of whom appeared on Monday morning’s edition of First Take on ESPN. Featured commentator and executive producer Stephen A. Smith divulged how important commentary is within the world of sports, mentioning heralded broadcasters such as Howard Cossell, Mike Breen and John Madden.

“I’m bringing all of that up to say that as great as this season was; as great at this NCAA tournament was, I had the pleasure of watching who I believe to be two of the best basketball analysts in America in Chiney Ogwumike and Andraya Carter,” Smith said.

For Sunday’s National Championship Game, Ogwumike and Carter were part of the NCAA Women’s Championship Special on ABC, ESPN+ and ESPN3. They worked alongside Elle Duncan, Carolyn Peck and Aliyah Boston ahead of the broadcast of the National Championship Game. After the conclusion of the matchup, they were on NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Studio on ESPN and ESPN+.

“You guys were phenomenal, and a lot of things that have been done for the sport and them playing the way that they played, it was accentuated and illuminated by the way you two performed,” Smith said. “You were absolutely sensational. I can’t even tell you all how proud I am of the job you all did during this NCAA tournament.”

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‘NFL Total Access’ Comes to an End After 21 Years on NFL Network

“Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network.”

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‘NFL Total Access’ has been a part of the NFL Network since 2003 and today it is set for its final episode. The news of the show coming to an end came down earlier this month. Many of the current show participants took to social media to post their thoughts including hosts Mike Yam and Kimmi Chex along with analyst Chase Daniel.

“Tonight marks the last ever episode of NFL Total Access,” said Chex. “I was 7 years old when this show aired meaning that I spent my life watching. Co-hosting our flagship program this past season has been the honor of my career. I’m not going anywhere but for now, it’s goodbye TA.”

Yam said, “It’s been an absolute thrill hosting NFL Total Access. Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network. “Thank you” isn’t nearly enough to express the gratitude I have for the team. See you at 7est for 1 more run.”

A report from The Athletic said the show would be replaced “at least in the interim” by Insiders with Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero.

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NBCUniversal Names Olympic Hosts for USA, CNBC and E!; Kathryn Tappen Headlines

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games.”

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NBC Olympics Logo and photos of Cara Banks, Laura Britt, Trenni Casey, Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno, and Kathryn Tappen

NBCUniversal announced its hosts for coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on USA Network, CNBC and E! Cara Banks, Laura Britt and Trenni Casey will all be a part of the coverage on CNBC and E! Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno and Kathryn Tappen will all take part in the USA Network coverage.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics is Friday, July 26 on NBC, Peacock, and Telemundo.

Coverage on USA Network, CNBC, and E! is expected to include Team USA men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and volleyball, as well as swimming, gymnastics, and track & field, and more.

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games,” said Rebecca Chatman, Vice President and Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics Production in a release.

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Mike Tirico, Danica Patrick Return to Host Indy 500 for NBC Sports

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

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Logos for Indy 500, NBC Sports and photos of Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick
Photos Courtesy: NBC Sports

With less than two weeks until the event, NBC Sports has officially announced its team of race and studio commentators for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500. For the sixth year in a row, we can expect to see familiar faces such as host Mike Tirico and studio analyst Danica Patrick contributing to pre-race, in-race, and post-race coverage.

The race will air at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 26, on both NBC and Peacock.

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe will call the race for the sixth consecutive year. Marty Snider, Dillon Welch, Dave Burns, and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters. Former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and Kim Coon will serve as roaming reporters.

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