A decade before Rece Davis began breaking down late-night highlights on ESPN’s SportsCenter in the mid-1990s, he was energizing the Muscle Shoals boys’ basketball team.
Davis wasn’t the fastest guard or tallest player, but those who knew him say few gave more effort. And of course, no one could quite recap a game like the aspiring broadcaster.
After a big road win, Davis would emulate the style of legendary SEC hoops analyst Joe Dean as he highlighted some of the Trojans’ top moments from their most recent victory.
“Coming back from away games some teams like to sing after a victory, some teams just sit back there and talk,” said Davis’ former high school teammate Anthony Reid. “But Rece kind of did a play-by-play of that night’s game.
“Or on the way to the game he might give us a play-by-play of how it was going to come down to a last-second shot.'”
Those days of entertaining teammates on lengthy bus rides helped pay off for Davis, now a 21-year ESPN veteran embarking on his latest challenge as the new host of ESPN’s College GameDay, which airs Saturdays at 8 a.m. CT. His first broadcast will be live from Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas, alongside analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and David Pollack.
“The show and the people on the show have established so much credibility that what their opinions are about the issues of the day matter,” Davis recently told AL.com. “Chris [Fowler] did such an extraordinary job hosting the show for 25 years and overseeing it’s growth, that it is gratifying to take over for him and you’re pleased and proud to be a part of it.”
With Davis’ new role, ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas, who has spent the last decade working with him on the basketball edition of College GameDay, says the longtime host is finally getting “the notoriety and the acclaim that he should have been getting all along.”
Comparing Davis to a great point guard, Bilas says Davis is “selfless on air” and his ability to keep a show moving, while bringing out the best in the analysts he works with makes him unique.
Eleven hours before his alma mater kicks off its 2015 season at the AT&T Stadium on Saturday, Rece Davis will make his College GameDay debut in front of a live audience at Fort Worth’s Sundance Square and with college football fans from all over the country watching from home.
“I’m as interested as everybody else is to kind of see his signature on the show,” said Kirk Herbstreit, who is entering his 20th season as an analyst for the popular pregame show.
GameDay analyst Lee Corso, 80, who is the only remaining ESPN personality who has been on the show since it first aired in 1987, is also looking forward to working with Davis.
“He’s perfect,” Corso said.
To read the full story visit AL.com where it was originally published
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.