One of the most popular broadcasting duos in baseball, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow will continue calling games for the San Francisco Giants with the bonus of their newly created “SplitKast.”
NBC Sports Bay Area and the Giants announced longtime color analyst, Mike Krukow signed a two-year contract extension to remain on the broadcast. The former major league pitcher who played seven seasons in San Francisco will call 103 games for the Giants this year, with 22 of them being from the NBC Sports Bay Area studios.
In 2017, Krukow lightened his work schedule because of battles with a muscle disease called myositis which he announced a few years prior. Krukow will continue to call all 81 home games alongside play-by-play voice Duane Kuiper from Oracle Park, but their newly announced “SplitKast” now also allows him to call a schedule of road games. With Krukow back at the NBC Sports Bay Area studios, Kuiper will be live from the stadium’s broadcast booth.
“We are thrilled to have our iconic broadcast team of Kruk and Kuip together as we enter this new decade of Giants baseball,” said Giants president and CEO Larry Baer in the press release. “We also commend our broadcast partner, NBC Sports Bay Area, for their creativity and use of technology that will keep this tandem together, when one is on the road and the other back at home, which is the ultimate benefit for our fans.”
2020 marks Krukow’s 30th season as a broadcaster for the Giants, having been with his former teammate and current partner in the booth Duane Kuiper for a majority of the tenure.
“Kruk and Kuip are Bay Area treasures, and it is important that these two beloved broadcasters continue to call games together for Giants fans to enjoy,” said NBC Sports California SVP and general manager Matt Murphy. “The innovative integration of Kruk and Kuip’s commentary from separate locations into a seamless broadcast is an example of how NBC Sports Bay Area uses technology to deliver memorable experiences to fans.”
In terms of adjusting to calling a game from different locations, Krukow and Kuiper don’t seem to be concerned. Krukow noted he usually watches the game from the broadcast booth’s TV monitor anyway.
“It’s something that hasn’t been done before, but we’re really looking forward to being able to do 22 more games together,” Krukow said. “I’m only losing six games from what I did last year, and that to me is enormous. I don’t want to have to quit. To me, this was a gift. I’m ecstatic about it.”
“I think it’ll take two or three innings to get used to the dynamics of him not being there, but we’ve done so many games for so long that I think it’s going to be an easy transition, I really do,” Kuiper added.
“SplitKast” will debut in the Giants season opener, Thursday, Mar. 26 against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Pat McAfee Says Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because His 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…”
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.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett News Media. He also works for ABC8 News and Newsradio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond, Virginia. His prior experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and iHeartradio Richmond. He can be reached by email at Jordan.E.Bondurant@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
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.
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.
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.
Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams
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.