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NBA Launches First Ever Live Event on Facebook

Jason Barrett

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The NBA and Turner Sports are launching the league’s first-ever live event on Facebook this week — but that doesn’t mean the social giant will be turning into an outlet for live sports broadcasting anytime soon.

The NBA’s “Real Training Camp,” featuring LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, Oct. 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET will be simulcast on the NBA TV cable channel, NBA TV’s Facebook page and NBA.com. The program will show the team’s practice routine, and include interviews with players, coaches and front-office personnel. NBA Digital is jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports.

Facebook’s goal is to be a robust video platform for any media partner, and the company today hasn’t shown interest in licensing content. Past events streamed live on Facebook include ABC’s “Oscars Backstage” coverage this past February.

Still, it’s worth noting that this year the National Football League inked a deal with Yahoo to live stream a regular-season game for free over the Internet to users worldwide, the first time the NFL has granted exclusive rights to a digital-only distributor.

Sure, the NFL game, which is being played overseas, isn’t one traditional TV networks really wanted. The matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars is being played in London on Sunday, Oct. 25, starting at 9:30 a.m. ET. But it could be a proving ground for how the business of live sports broadcasting online works in this distribution model.

NBA TV, in addition to the Cavaliers’ training-camp special show on Thursday, this week also will air “Real Training Camp” segments with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies that will also be streamed live on NBA.com.

“We have a long history with Facebook and are excited to team up with them for another first-of-its-kind initiative,” said Albert “Scooter” Vertino, G.M. of NBA Digital and senior VP of programming, Turner Sports. “Our goal is always to provide the most compelling content for our fans any way they choose to consume it and this initiative will expand the visibility of this quality daytime programming.”

Facebook, which has been aggressively building out its video features and advertising business, this summer launched a live-streaming video service that’s currently only available to celebrities and other verified public figures and media partners.

Credit to Variety who originally published this article

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Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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Terry Bradshaw Is Cancer Free

Bradshaw’s candor comes after struggling through a sentence during the September 25th edition of the show, in which Howie Long helped finish his sentence.

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During FOX NFL Sunday, Terry Bradshaw revealed he was diagnosed with two different forms of cancer in the last year.

However, after surgeries and treatments, Bradshaw said he is now cancer free.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer said he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November of last year and surgery and treatments removed the cancer. Then, in March of this year, a tumor was found on the left-side of his neck. Bradshaw called it a “Merkel cell tumor”, which he had removed.

Bradshaw’s candor comes after struggling through a sentence during the September 25th edition of the show, in which Howie Long helped finish his sentence.

The 74-year-old has worked on FOX NFL Sunday since its inception in 1994. He will be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame later this year.

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Scott Van Pelt’s ‘Bad Beats’ Becoming 30-Minute Monthly Show

Van Pelt, alongside “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, recaps the toughest losses suffered by sports gamblers with unconventional final moments and unexpected outcomes as it pertains to the over/under or point spread.

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The popular “Bad Beats” segment from SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt is being turned into a monthly half-hour show on ESPN.

Van Pelt, alongside “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, recaps the toughest losses suffered by sports gamblers with unconventional final moments and unexpected outcomes as it pertains to the over/under or point spread, otherwise known as a “bad beat”. Generally, the segment lasts around 5-10 minutes. ESPN will repurpose the content from the show to package it into a half-hour edition.

The new monthly show debuted yesterday at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN.

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