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Jessica Mendoza Leaves Mets, Extends ESPN Deal

“Jessica Mendoza expressed gratitude for the opportunity to continue with ESPN, but she did express some disappointment at no longer being a part of Sunday Night Baseball.”

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Jessica Mendoza’s future is in a broadcast booth. That means she is done with working for the New York Mets, at least for now.

Her role will change at ESPN. Mendoza has been a part of the network’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts since 2015, but in 2020 she will move to weeknights. It will make her the first woman to serve as a solo analyst on a Major League Baseball broadcast. She will also become the first woman to be an analyst for a World Series game on national radio in 2020.

The increased work load lead to Mendoza resigning her post with the New York Mets. The announcement of a new deal with ESPN and the subsequent end of Mendoza’s relationship with the Mets coincidentally comes one day after Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said that he was uncomfortable with broadcasters like Mendoza and TBS’s Pedro Martinez working in advisory roles for teams.

“We have enjoyed our relationship with Jessica and appreciated all her contributions and insight over the past year,” Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen told ESPN. “We are excited for her expanded role at ESPN and fully understand and support her need to fully invest her time in all the new platforms. We have such respect and value her baseball insight and know her impact on the game of baseball is just beginning.”

Jessica Mendoza expressed gratitude for the opportunity to continue with ESPN, but she did express some disappointment at no longer being a part of Sunday Night Baseball.

“Some of the best memories of my career have been with Sunday Night Baseball and I will miss my time with our amazing crew, who have been like family,” she said in a press release. “I’m grateful to ESPN for continuing to commit to me and I can’t wait for the season to get started.”

There has been much speculation about the future of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth since last season. David Cone, who has spent the last several seasons calling Yankees games on the YES Network, has emerged as a possible addition according to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post. It is also possible that Jessica Mendoza is not replaced at all, and Sunday Night Baseball will feature the two-man team of Alex Rodriguez and Matt Vasgersian.

Sports TV News

ESPN Reportedly To Lose Big Ten Media Rights For the First Time in 40 Years

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Jordan Bondurant

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BIG TEN, CBS, NBC, FOX SPORTS

After several months, it appears the Big Ten is nearing the finish line on a new media rights deal. And despite still reportedly being in negotiations with the conference, ESPN is looking set to lose out on media rights.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC are the frontrunners to join with FOX.

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Ourand reported his sources told him ESPN’s deal to keep the Big Ten was not as strong as the one offered by the other two networks.

It would mark the first time in four decades that ESPN didn’t have some involvement in Big Ten sports. But Ourand indicates the worldwide leader could pivot into bundling Big 12 and Pac-12 rights as an alternative. Additionally the network would then pursue keeping its deals with NCAA for championship coverage as well as being the home for the College Football Playoff.

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Pat McAfee: Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because The Show Comes First

“Energy, time, anything away from this show… we got a lot going on. This is my number one focus and it should remain as such…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Last week, it was announced that Pat McAfee would be hosting his own version of the popular Manning Cast only for college football games.

McAfee, co-host AJ Hawk, and the rest of his cast and crew from The Pat McAfee Show will host an alternate feed for six college football games this season.

McAfee was rumored to be in talks with Amazon about potentially hosting an alternate broadcast for its Thursday NFL games, and the former Colts punter had also reportedly talking with ESPN about potentially being featured on College GameDay.

McAfee said to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that ultimately the Amazon and GameDay deals didn’t come to fruition because it just didn’t make sense.

“I’ve had great conversations with both companies, we just weren’t able to get to a point where ‘the ask’ and ‘the business’ were where it needed to be to get a deal done on both fronts,” McAfee said.

McAfee on his show on Monday elaborated a bit further, trying to put to bed that he was being courted for Thursday Night Football.

“I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we were talking about, by the way,” he said. “I was never really approached for anything for Thursday Night Football. That was never really anything.”

Pat read from the full response to Marchand’s questions, posted under the Post story which appeared on the paper’s site Monday. He reiterated that his daily show and the small business he built around his show, take precedent over anything else.

“Energy, time, anything away from this show, this operation, this crew; we got families being built, we got houses being bought, we got 12 employees, we got a lot going on,” he said. “So this is my number one focus and it should remain as such because I have a brain, and also I care a lot about this operation. I love it, actually.”

Still, McAfee made it clear that just because no deal was signed with ESPN and Amazon for 2022 means the ship has sailed permanently. He’s keeping his doors open.

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Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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