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Florida Panthers Moving Local TV Rights to Scripps Channels

“Panthers content will be available for free over the air and we are thrilled about the new homes this will reach as we continue to grow our great sport.”

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Florida Panthers; Scripps Sports
(Illustration) | Florida Panthers Logo – Courtesy: National Hockey League | Scripps Sports Logo – Courtesy: The E.W. Scripps Company

The defending Stanley Cup champion Florida Panthers have agreed to a multiyear deal with Scripps Sports that will result in local games being televised on over-the-air broadcast networks. These games will be available to watch on channels in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale (WSFL-TV), West Palm Beach (WHDT-TV) and Fort Myers (channel to be determined) markets where The E.W. Scripps Company will be able to televise all locally produced Panthers preseason and regular season games in addition to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Distribution will take place on cable, satellite and over-the-air television in a deal that has attained necessary approvals from the NHL.

As part of the new broadcast deal, Scripps Sports and the Panthers will reveal a team-branded direct-to-consumer platform and announce further details prior to the 2024-25 season. The application will be the home of live streaming for all Panthers games produced by Scripps Sports within southern Florida. Scripps Sports will be responsible for producing pregame, in-game and postgame shows. Both Scripps Sports and the Panthers will also collaborate on a weekly Panthers program that displays the team, players and organization beyond the ice. The team had previously been broadcast on Bally Sports Florida, a regional sports network owned by Diamond Sports Group.

“After back-to-back Stanley Cup Final appearances and celebrating 30 years of Panthers Hockey in South Florida, we could not be more excited about the future of our hockey team,” Matthew Caldwell, president and chief executive officer of the Florida Panthers, said in a statement. “Scripps’ distribution network and accessibility makes them the ideal partner to stream and carry Panthers content on and off the ice. Panthers content will be available for free over the air and we are thrilled about the new homes this will reach as we continue to grow our great sport.”

Scripps Sports broadcast local games for the Vegas Golden Knights as part of a multiyear agreement signed before the start of the 2023-24 season. The company will also present games for the Utah Hockey Club, which makes its National Hockey League debut in the upcoming season, in addition to the WNBA and National Women’s Soccer League. Ion recently televised a matchup between the Indiana Fever and Washington Mystics that averaged 1.02 million viewers, the first time a WNBA game on the network surpassed the 1 million mark. The company will now add the Panthers as the team looks to secure a second consecutive Stanley Cup championship.

“The Florida Panthers are the best team in the NHL, and their fans deserve to be able to see all of their games on every available broadcast platform, including free over-the-air,” Brian Lawlor, president of Scripps Sports, said in a statement. “When the Stanley Cup champions take the ice in October, Scripps Sports will be proud to bring all locally broadcast games to all the Panthers fans in Miami/Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers using our powerful over-the-air television stations.”

Lawlor said in an interview last year with Broadcasting & Cable that the company had contracts that were contingent on Diamond Sports Group dropping teams from its coverage. Diamond, a Sinclair subsidiary, has been in Ch. 11 bankruptcy since last March and is approaching a pivotal confirmation hearing later this month that is expected to determine the future of its business.

“After careful review and dialogue, Diamond reached a mutual agreement with the Florida Panthers to end our existing telecast rights contract,” a spokesperson from Diamond Sports Group said in a statement. “We greatly value the relationships we have built with the Panthers and their fans, and we wish them the best. We remain in productive discussions with the NHL around go-forward arrangements with our remaining team partners under contract and are focused on reorganizing as a sustainable and profitable entity.”

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Alex Cohen, Voice of the Iowa Cubs, to Make Major League PBP Debut This Weekend

“Thrilled to be on the call for a pair of Cubs games starting this weekend!”

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Logo of the Chicago Cubs and a photo of Alex Cohen
Photo Courtesy: Alex Cohen on LinkedIn

Alex Cohen, who has been the voice of the Iowa Cubs for the last seven seasons, is getting called up to the big leagues. For the first time ever, Cohen will call Major League Baseball when he fills in for Jon Sciambi on Marquee Sports Network this Sunday. He has also been told he will have a second game on July 19.

“Thrilled to be on the call for a pair of Cubs games starting this weekend!” Cohen posted on his X account. “So appreciative of Marquee Sports Network and the Iowa Cubs for the opportunity. Will wax poetically about it all later, but until then…Thank you all and can’t wait for Sunday in St. Louis and Friday at Wrigley!”

Cohen was named Ballpark Digest’s 2023 Broadcaster of the Year award. He calls all 150 home and road games for the Cubs Triple-A affiliate on AM 940 in Des Moines and does select games on TV as well. Cohen has previously done some Cubs Spring Training games on Marquee as well as 670 The Score.

Cohen also does work for Iowa State and handles many of their broadcasts on ESPN+. In addition to working with Marquee he has also done work for the Big Ten Network.

Cohen is a 2011 graduate of Indiana University who served as the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Rookie Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He then headed to manage broadcasting and media relations for the Bowling Green Hot Rods, the Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

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FOX Sports Sets NFL Announcing Teams for 2024

Tom Brady will make his regular season debut with Burkhardt when FOX Sports airs the Dallas Cowboys-Cleveland Browns game on September 8 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

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During this NFL offseason, most of the broadcaster talk has been centered around the arrival of Tom Brady as part of the No. 1 team on FOX Sports with Kevin Burkhardt. Recently it was revealed that Greg Olsen, who had been working with Burkhardt, would be paired with Joe Davis for the upcoming season. Now, based on a report from Andrew Marchand, we know who the rest of the teams will be.

Davis had been working with Daryl Johnston, however ‘Moose’ is now going to be paired with Kevin Kugler. Kugler had previously worked with former NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez, but Sanchez will now be the analyst for Adam Amin.

That means Mark Schlereth will have a new partner as he had been working with Amin. Schlereth will now work with veteran play-by-play announcer Chris Myers. The only team that will stay intact from last season is the pairing of longtime FOX Sports NFL announcer Kenny Albert and Jonathan Vilma.

Tom Brady will make his regular season debut with Burkhardt when FOX Sports airs the Dallas Cowboys-Cleveland Browns game on September 8 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

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NBC Sports Announces Open Championship Coverage Plans

Luke Donald, former World No. 1 and current captain for the European Ryder Cup team, joins Dan Hicks as an analyst for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Open Championship.

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Photo of Royal Troon Golf Course and logos for NBC and GOLF

From July 18-21, the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland will receive extensive live coverage from NBC Sports, Peacock, and USA Network.

Throughout the course of the tournament, NBC Sports will offer over 50 hours of live coverage from Thursday to Sunday, with a total of more than 200 hours from Royal Troon including featured groups, featured holes, and Golf Central Live from The Open studio coverage.

Luke Donald, former World No. 1 and current captain for the European Ryder Cup team, joins Dan Hicks as an analyst for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Open Championship. This will be his second time serving as an analyst with NBC Sports, after previously debuting at the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches and the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year.

The upcoming tournament will be Mike Tirico’s 26th time broadcasting the Open Championship, and his fourth time at Royal Troon. He first broadcasted the event at this location back in 1997 when Justin Leonard was crowned champion.

The play-by-play pairings for the tournament in addition to Hicks and Donald will be Tirico with Brad Faxon, Terry Gannon and Paul McGinley along with Steve Sands and Notah Begay III.

John Wood, Smylie Kaufman, Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay and Curt Byrum will serve as on-course reporters and Cara Banks will handle player interviews.

NBC Sports will enhance their extensive coverage of the Open Championship with live broadcasts of selected groups on Peacock, featuring two morning and two afternoon groups each day. Peacock will also provide a dedicated feed for the iconic par-3 ‘Postage Stamp’ 8th hole throughout the tournament.

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