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NBC To Take Over British Open From ESPN

Jason Barrett

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NBC Sports Group and ESPN have agreed to transition the U.S. broadcasting rights for the British Open a year early, with NBC and Golf Channel taking over coverage next year.

In June, the R&A announced it had signed a 12-year deal with NBC Sports Group to air the game’s oldest major, as well the Senior British Open and Ricoh Women’s British Open. In a similar competitive process, U.K.-based Sky Sports earned the international broadcast rights, taking over for long-time partner, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). With Sky set to take over in 2017, like NBC and Golf Channel, the BBC agreed to a buy out of its final year of coverage, making possible the early switchover from ESPN to NBC and Golf Channel.

“We have had a wonderful and rewarding relationship with Peter Dawson and the R&A and it has been our distinct honor to be their partner,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president for programming and production. “The Open is a unique treasure but given the impending change in rights ownership we were open to having them move forward with NBC. We wish them all the best in the future.”

The 2016 Open at Royal Troon will mark NBC’s return as a major broadcaster, replacing the U.S. Open, whose broadcasting rights the Peacock lost to Fox Sports as part of a 12-year deal with the USGA announced in 2014. Golf Channel will also air live coverage of the British Open, marking the first time the network has aired a men’s major championship.

The announcement brings an official end to the 53-year relationship between the R&A and ESPN and its parent company ABC, which had aired the British Open in some fashion since 1962. ESPN took over all four rounds of the Open in 2010, airing the championship in high definition for the first time and eventually offering an original broadcast which rarely relied on BBC cameras.

The NBC golf team, including Johnny Miller and newly signed David Feherty, will be on the call at Royal Troon in July.

Credit to Yahoo Sports who originally published this article

Sports TV News

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.”

Jordan Bondurant

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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.”

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Sports TV News

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.”

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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.

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Sports TV News

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.”

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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.”

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