Even though it had nothing to do with what happened on the field, it’s not an exaggeration to say that one of the biggest sports moments over Labor Day weekend was Dan Patrick’s return to SportsCenter and ESPN. It had been eight long years since Patrick last appeared on ESPN airwaves. And after an acrimonious exit and many years in feisty competition with Bristol, seeing DP on the network that made him a nationwide star was as much of a long shot as Kansas and Washington State playing in this year’s National Championship Game.
And yet, on the debut of Scott Van Pelt’s midnight edition, there was Dan Patrick back in the SportsCenter studio. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Patrick even wore his ESPN visitor badge over his suit to make it clear that he was just stopping by for a moment to say hello.
Here’s the full interview between Van Pelt and Patrick. I’ve heard some say it was great television, I’ve heard others say it was a tad bit awkward. I think the best word to describe the interview is “surreal.” Dan Patrick back on ESPN?!? This is something we never thought we would see again!
Eight years doesn’t seem like it’s a long time, but so much has changed in that time – and I think that’s the major takeaway from this discussion. Patrick’s radio show is simulcast on NBCSN and he hosts Football Night in America and the Olympics on NBC. Van Pelt has his own edition of SportsCenter that eminates from ESPN’s trillion dollar futuristic studio and he’s now the face of the network. This wasn’t a traditional walk down memory lane filled with nostalgia. This wasn’t Patrick walking into the highlight desk, calling a Nats-Mets highlight package, getting in his signature lines, and then hitting the road.
This was something different. Something honest. Something perhaps unexpected, with several quotes that would probably make ESPN’s executives nervous. (Especially the impromptu discussion about SVP’s latest decision to re-sign with ESPN instead of going to NBC with Patrick.)
Given everything that’s transpired in the past eight years, maybe that’s just fine. Maybe we’re not supposed to go back and relive “The Big Show” and pretend that it’s 1997 again. Given Patrick’s post-ESPN success and how it’s SVP’s stage now, maybe this organic “passing of the visitor badge” was just right to mark Dan Patrick’s return to ESPN.
Credit to Awful Announcing who originally published this article
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling
“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”
An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.
Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.
The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.
The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage
“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”
The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.
Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.
“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.
Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.
How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.
NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake
“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”
The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.
“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”
Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.
Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.
Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”