ESPN announced they’ve officially designated Dec. 4 “Stuart Scott Day” in honor of the late SportsCenter anchor.
From Tuesday Dec. 3 through Dec. 14, ESPN celebrates their 13th annual V Week For Cancer Research. Throughout the initiative, the network will work to raise awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research across all ESPN platforms.
One of the week’s new aspects is honoring Stuart Scott, who passed away from cancer in 2015. According to the press release, ESPN will present content to highlight Scott’s love of life and perseverance in his fight with cancer. A limited edition Stuart Scott t-shirt will be on sale starting Dec. 4, with all of its net proceeds benefiting the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
“‘V Week’ leverages ESPN platforms and partners to drive awareness of the continued fight against cancer and generates donations to the V Foundation,” Kevin Martinez, vice president, ESPN Corporate Citizenship, said in a statement. “This year, we celebrate our dear friend and colleague, and the 2014 Jimmy V Perseverance Award winner Stuart Scott, by honoring his courageous spirit to ‘Fight Like Hell.’
“We’re honored to once again celebrate ‘V Week’ and inspire fans to help support the V Foundation to one day eradicate cancer,” Martinez added.
Scott joined ESPN to help launch ESPN2 in 1993. He quickly became one of the most popular and recognizable personalities on the network, helping to bring a fresh sound to sports coverage, while inspiring others to do the same.
Scott was first diagnosed with cancer in Nov. 2007. Following several battles with the disease, the star sportscaster passed away at the age of 49 on Jan. 4, 2015. Just six months earlier, while accepting the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs, Scott gave a speech that would further cement his legacy as one of the network’s most iconic personalities.
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live,” Scott said in the speech. “So live. Live. Fight like hell and when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”
Through the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, the Stuart Scott Foundation and the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award, his legacy continues to make an impact on the world beyond sportscasting. Scott was survived by his two daughters, Taelor and Sydni.
Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement
“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”
Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.
The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.
Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.
“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”
Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.
“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”
Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.
“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”
FOX Sports VP: ‘USFL Proves Spring Football As Valuable As Rising Properties’
“We want to show we belong in that category, and I think that happened.”
Michael Mulvihill says the USFL accomplished exactly what FOX needed it to. It proved there is a large enough audience for spring football that it has a value on par with some of the hottest properties in sports media right now.
“All we wanted to do is demonstrate that spring football can do viewership at the levels of Premier League, NHL regular season, Formula One or MLS,” the FOX Sports Executive VP said according to Sports Business Journal. “We want to show we belong in that category, and I think that happened.”
While none of those properties are pulling in the kind of media rights money the NFL or major college football is, Mulvihill pointed out that all of them have been in the news for the right reasons.
“You’re talking about properties that have all recently negotiated deals at substantial increases, or with F1, people know it’s about to.”
The USFL had a solid broadcasting footprint with games airing on FOX, NBC, FS1 and USA. Regular season games for the first year of the revived league averaged just under 700,000 viewers.
Mulvihill said fans behaved exactly how he expected them to in the first season of the USFL. Without any team loyalties, he isn’t surprised that people watched less of an average USFL game than they did the NFL or college football.
The USFL Playoffs begin this weekend. Canton, OH will host the league’s first championship game on July 3.
Pelicans Extend Deal With Bally Sports New Orleans
“The deal will also put the team on the new Bally Sports+ streaming service, which had a soft launch earlier this week.”
Sinclair has reached an agreement on a new rights deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. Bally Sports New Orleans will remain the team’s local TV partner.
The deal will also put the team on the new Bally Sports+ streaming service, which had a soft launch earlier this week. The service rolls out in full this fall.
“When we constructed this new agreement with Bally Sports New Orleans the main priority was distribution and the ability to deliver our games directly to our fans,” Dennis Lauscha, President of the New Orleans Pelicans, said in a press release. With the upcoming launch of Bally Sports+, Bally Sports’ direct-to-consumer platform, any Pelicans fan will be able to have access to Bally Sports New Orleans in the team’s local territory. This partnership allows us to continue to deliver unique, compelling Pelicans content across multiple platforms with the highest production quality. We are still working every option with Bally Sports New Orleans to improve the accessibility, ancillary content and distribution of Pelicans programming to all of our fans across Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region.”
Bally Sports New Orleans will carry around 75 regular season games per year. The network will also produce first round playoff and preseason games.
“The New Orleans Pelicans have been a great partner over the years and we look forward to building this relationship into the future,” added Steve Simpson, SVP and GM of Bally Sports New Orleans. “Our ability to deliver Pelicans content to as many local fans as possible, on both linear distribution channels and the all-new Bally Sports+ streaming product this fall, is incredibly exciting as we continue to grow the next generation of Pelicans fans.”
The Pelicans did look at new media partners before re-signing with Bally Sports New Orleans. Karen Brodkin, Executive Vice President of Endeavor, who the team hired to consult the process, noted that the existing relationship and the addition of a proprietary streaming platform for Sinclair made the difference.