Kathryn Tappen has gone to new heights since leaving NESN in July 2011, ending a five-year stay at the regional network where she built a reputation as an amiable and dedicated professional as a studio host, most notably on Bruins telecasts.
She left for a similar if much higher-profile host role with the NHL Network, and her star has only continued to ascend. She joined NBC Sports in July 2014, where her significant assignments have included hosting its NHL studio programs, serving as the sideline reporter for Notre Dame football games, reporting for “Football Night in America,” and contributing to coverage at the Sochi Olympics and Super Bowl XLIX.
Yet as Tappen’s career has gone to those new heights, she hasn’t actually gone anywhere. She will be in Boston Saturday, working in her usual sideline role for NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the Notre Dame-Boston College football game at Fenway Park. But her commute will be considerably shorter than usual. Home base for Tappen remains Charlestown, where she has lived since coming to Boston from Providence in 2006 to join NESN.
“I just love the city. It really just resonated with me, pretty much from the beginning,’’ said Tappen, who grew up in New Jersey. “My assignments are all over the country, and it helps to be very close to Logan Airport, and to be in Connecticut [where NBC Sports Group headquarters are based in Stamford] for studio shows. I can easily hop down on the Amtrak.
“So there’s convenience. But it’s more than that. I will always be a Jersey girl too, but this has felt like home in a lot of ways for a long time now. I never felt like an outsider. People just accepted me as a New Englander.
“Even now, in my neighborhood, I go to the post office, I know everybody. I go to the Whole Foods, I know everybody. The guy behind the fish counter, the meat counter. I love that, that feeling of community makes Boston special.
“Once you’re here and you’ve established yourself, even if you’re not from Boston, they welcome you with open arms. I go to these enormous cities like New York and LA and Chicago and sometimes they feel like enormous cities. I get a small town feel when I’m in Boston. I love that. You can’t put a price on it, you know?”
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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.