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Why Did Joe Buck Get Mark-Paul Gosselar’s Name Wrong?

“If there is one staple of Fox Sports broadcasts, it has been Buck promoting Fox programming.”

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Twitter exploded with criticism of Fox’s Joe Buck during the Cowboy’s Wild Card round playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks this weekend. The outrage had nothing to do with what happened on the field. It was all over the way Buck pronounced the name of former Saved by the Bell star Mark-Paul Gosselar.

Buck was the featured guest on this week’s edition of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast and Jimmy Traina made it a point to get to the bottom of how one of the great play-by-play men ever could butcher the name of one of America’s favorite actors.

When it debuted, and I looked this up, I was 20. And I watched a lot of “Saved by the Bell” in my early 20s, which I think started to make me feel creepy, watching a show about high school. But I was well aware of Mark-Paul, I was well aware of the great Dustin Diamond, well aware of really the entire, cast, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, right on down the line, with Tiffani probably being the main reason why I was watching.

So every time I saw his same, Mark-Paul, we’ll leave the last name out of it for now, on the credits, I always in mind thought that that’s how you pronounced it, the way it’s spelled. I think the end of it is -laar. So forever, since I was 20, I’ve thought that’s how you pronounced his last name. So I have been saying it incorrectly for the better part of a month now and nobody at FOX or in our truck or anywhere said to me, “Hey, you’re screwing up the guys’ name.” It’s Gosselar. OK. Whatever.

So then I say it in the Cowboys game on Saturday and there’s a Twitter storm and all that. So, what I did, and I’m not a journalist, I’ve admitted that on HBO, but journalistically, I thought it would be best if I talked to this guy, Mark-Paul Gosselaar. So I got his number, he got mine, he called me and we talked yesterday for maybe a half hour and now I consider him one of my best friends.

And here’s the beauty of the whole thing, I said tell me you don’t have an uncle that pronounces your last name “GossAHlaar.” He said, “No, actually, you’re pronouncing it correctly. When I got into TV, I dumbed it down and just said ‘Gosselar’ because I thought it would be too difficult or sound weird if I pronounced it the way it’s really pronounced.” He said, ‘In fact, the way you pronounce my last name is ‘Hosselaar. It’s Dutch.'” So I was closer to the actual pronunciation having not seen any in-depth interviews over the years with Gosselaar, but he was great. And we’re trying to find a way to inject this whole thing back in the broadcast in L.A.

Joe Buck on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast

Gosselar’s name came up on the broadcast because he is now on the Fox show The Passage. If there is one staple of Fox Sports broadcasts, it has been Buck promoting Fox programming.

The full episode can be found here. It features Buck talking about his NFL play-by-play partner Troy Aikman’s growth as a broadcaster, his philosophy on criticizing referees, and late WWE personality “Mean” Gene Okerlund.

Sports TV News

FOX Sports Sees Record-Setting Ratings Weekend

The World Cup matchup between the U.S. and England on Black Friday and Michigan/Ohio State on Saturday saw tens of millions of viewers tuning in.

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FOX Sports has been home to a number of record-setting games in terms of viewership over the last several days.

In addition to FOX Sports setting a new mark for a Thanksgiving and regular season NFL audience, the World Cup matchup between the U.S. and England on Black Friday and Michigan/Ohio State on Saturday saw tens of millions of viewers tuning in.

The network reported the U.S./England match in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup averaged 15.377 million. It was the most-watched English-language soccer game in the U.S. ever, topping the 1994 World Cup final between Italy and Brazil.

Viewership of the match was up 11% compared to the second group stage contest for the U.S. team in 2014 against Portugal. The audience peaked at 19.646 million from 3:30-3:45 p.m.

FOX Sports also reported the Michigan/Ohio State game on Saturday drew in 17 million, which made it the most-watched regular season college game on the network ever. That figure was also the highest of any regular season contest since 2011. That game also saw the audience peak at 19.6 million.

Viewership for the game was up 3% compared to last year.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Bowl Plans Could Be Altered By NFL Flex Scheduling

“While this situation poses a challenge, we are accustomed to flexibility and having to maneuver our event schedules.”

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ESPN could be forced to adjust its upcoming bowl season schedule if the NFL decides to flex a Las Vegas Raiders game a week before Christmas.

ESPN announced its contingency plans for two bowl contests, the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl. The Las Vegas Bowl is currently planned to kick off from Allegiant Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on December 17. The Raiders right now are still planning to play in the Sunday night game the next night against the Patriots.

Should the NFL decide to flex the Raiders out of the SNF window, ESPN will swap kickoff times between the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl. That would mean the game in sin city will kick off at 11:30 a.m. local time, with the contest in Albuquerque starting at 5:20 p.m. local time that evening.

“The SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl and New Mexico Bowl are both owned and operated by ESPN Events, so this change is a solution that will work for all parties,” ESPN Events vice president Clint Overby said. “While this situation poses a challenge, we are accustomed to flexibility and having to maneuver our event schedules. We are more than prepared to move forward with this revised schedule if necessary.”

Kickoff times will be determined well enough ahead that the schools taking part in both games shouldn’t be adversely affected.

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Sports TV News

NFL Thanksgiving Games Set Ratings Records

FOX Sports added that viewership was up 49% compared to 2021.

Jordan Bondurant

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The Thanksgiving slate of NFL games last week brought in the largest audiences ever. Viewership across all three games averaged 33.5 million.

The game with the largest viewership was Giants/Cowboys in the 4:30 p.m. window. FOX Sports reported that 42 million watched Dallas beat New York 28-20. It is the largest regular season audience ever, surpassing the previous leader set 32 years ago.

The network added that viewership was up 49% compared to 2021. FOX carried the Detroit Lions traditional noon Thanksgiving game last year. Compared to the Cowboys turkey day contest on CBS in 2021, viewership was up 3%.

The Bills/Lions game in the early window on CBS averaged 31.627 million, with the audience peaking at 41.981 million. It was the most-watched early Thanksgiving game on record.

Patriots/Vikings on NBC in the nightcap averaged 25.9 million. That figure was up 24% compared to Bills/Saints a year ago, with NBC Sports claiming it’s the second most-watched primetime Thanksgiving game on record. The game was simulcast in Spanish on Telemundo, which averaged 565,000 viewers and made it the most-watched NFL game ever on the network.

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