Seven weeks remain in an improbable Premier League season. If you are Rebecca Lowe, who very ably hosts NBCSN’s Premier League coverage, there is no better place to be these days than the network’s studio in Stamford, Conn.
But Lowe will have to watch the season’s final weeks from home. She is eight and a half months pregnant, and after Sunday’s eagerly awaited Manchester Derby between United and City, she will begin her maternity leave.
“The season is so long, and if you’re female and you want to have a baby, there’s never a good time,” she said. “The season is 10 months long. Of all the seasons in the Premier League, it’s typical that this is arguably been the best one and I won’t be there for the end.”
The baby, her first, is a boy. Lowe’s husband, Paul Buckle, who has two children from a previous marriage, coaches Sacramento Republic F.C. in the United Soccer League and will return to their home in Connecticut as often as possible.
“My mom is coming over next week,” Lowe said.
Since being hired in 2013 from ESPN UK, Lowe has become the defining face of the Premier League at the NBC Sports Group, part of the extensive British influence imported by the network. The coverage has been a critical and viewing success — an average of 530,000 viewers for each match window this season on NBCSN, NBC and USA, up 9 percent from last year at this time.
Last August, as NBC was about to start the final season of its current three-year deal, it retained the Premier League rights for another six years for $1 billion. Lowe signed a similarly long contract.
“My husband and I had a Plan A, if we kept the rights, and a Plan B if we didn’t,” she said. “We brought our lives to the U.S. and to NBC. We want to make this our life, and it would have been harder if we didn’t get the rights.”
Thirty-eight weeks of exposure on television have raised Lowe’s profile in the United States, but as a homebody who works outside Manhattan, she says she does not feel widely recognized.
In her absence this spring, Arlo White, the network’s lead play-by-play voice, will fill in for Lowe in the studio for two weeks. Steve Bower will fill in for five.
“It’s impossible to replace her,” said Pierre Moossa, coordinating producer of NBC Sports Group’s Premier League coverage. “She’s really the glue on the set with the announcers. She gets the best out of them. She has a great sense of story, and no one knows the material as well.”
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Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.