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Chiney Ogwumike Joins ESPN on a Full Time Basis

Brandon Contes

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WNBA star forward, Chiney Ogwumike signed a multi-year contract with ESPN as a full-time basketball analyst and will continue her career playing for the Connecticut Sun.

The 26 year old has been with the network part-time for the past three years, getting her first opportunity after suffering a knee injury, forcing her to miss the entire 2015 WNBA season.

While rehabbing her injury, Ogwumike filled in on ESPN’s His and Hers as well as First Take. The former WNBA Rookie of the Year award winner was again sidelined for the 2017 season due to injury and helped ESPN launch SportsCenter Africa.

Now, healthy for the 2018 WNBA season, Ogwumike will continue her basketball and broadcasting career in a full-time role, contributing to multiple ESPN platforms including regular appearances on SportsCenter and The Jump.

Working for ESPN full-time while playing a professional sport will certainly be difficult, but Ogwumike will mostly cover the NBA which plays the majority of its season during her off-season. People ask, “How are you going to be a full time WNBA player and a full time NBA analyst?’ Well, technically those things only overlap for one month,” Ogwumike told Essence.com.

For some professional female basketball players, a second job is necessary. WNBA players are not highly compensated, forcing many of the league’s athletes to find jobs during the off-season, or play in another country where the pay is generally more than it is in the United States.

“Everyone knows we don’t get paid as much as the men, granted we only play one-third of the NBA season. But the reality is, WNBA players are underpaid, which means your number one option as a player is to go and play overseas where they pay two to three times more than what we make in the WNBA,” Ogwumike said.

From the ESPN release , Ogwumike expressed her excitement in joining the network full-time. “I am beyond thrilled to continue to grow with ESPN in this expanded role. I am extremely fortunate to be able to play at the highest level of women’s professional basketball while also contributing as a diverse voice to the worldwide leader in sports. It is truly the best of both worlds, being able to pursue my passions both on and off the court.”

Ogwumike also understands there is a need for younger females to see people they can relate to when watching sports, “My hope is to inspire the rising generation, especially young girls, to continue to defy expectations and create their own path,” she said

In an industry largely dominated by white males, men and women from all backgrounds should be featured in sports coverage to reach a broader audience. Being a minority on television doesn’t worry her, Ogwumike told Essence “I don’t feel any pressure because being young, female, African, and being there is already a win.” She continued, “People may be quicker to judge when you’re not what they expect, but I’m really excited to prove people wrong.”

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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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