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Peyton Manning Came Very Close To Joining ESPN

“In the end, the networks offered Manning just 10 days to make his decision, which wasn’t enough time.”

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It’s no secret ESPN has had its eye on Peyton Manning since he retired from the NFL following the 2015 season. The Hall-of-Fame quarterback has been ESPN’s white whale, unable to lure him into their Monday Night Football booth for three straight offseasons. 

But according to a story by Kalyn Kahler of Bleacher Report, the most recent attempts by ESPN and CBS to hire Manning was the closest he’s been to becoming a broadcaster. In the end, the networks offered Manning just 10 days to make his decision, which wasn’t enough time. 

“If he had another month to think about it, he very well might have done it,” a source told Bleacher Report. “Many people in his family said, ‘You know what, you should do this.’ … That’s hard to do because you’re not saying, ‘I’m going to try it this year.’ You’re basically saying, ‘This is what I am going to do for the next decade.'”

ESPN may have asked Manning to mull their offer and respond in 10 days, but really, he’s had years to decide if he wants to pursue a career in broadcasting. Six weeks after he declined their offer, ESPN is still searching for a succession plan in case they decide to move on from their incumbent duo of Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland. Are we to believe if Manning called The Worldwide Leader tomorrow to say he wants to join their Monday Night Football booth they’d say too late? 

It’s possible ESPN has since reallocated their resources, especially because of the current global pandemic, so whatever financial terms were previously discussed might no longer be available. But even with the 10-day window long gone, if Manning is interested in joining ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth, they’ll accept his call.

Sports TV News

Tom Millikan Upped To APD of 97.1 The Ticket

“Listeners might not agree with my opinions or show content all of the time, but I genuinely try to produce shows that Detroit sports fans want every single day.”

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Detroit

Congratulations are in order for Tom Millikan. The executive producer of The Morning Show with Stoney and Jansen has been promoted to assistant program director of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit.

“Tom has done an outstanding job as an executive producer and has played a vital role in the success of the station,” said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Detroit. “He is very deserving of this promotion and we look forward to even greater success with Tom in his new role.”

Millikan has been a steady presence in Detroit sports talk since 1998. He has been with The Ticket since 2012. In that time, he has served as an affiliate relations manager for coverage of the Detroit Tigers, Lions, Red Wings and Pistons. He has also been involved with Michigan Wolverines broadcasts on sister station WWJ AM.

“Throughout my twenty plus years in radio, I’ve been blessed with countless memories of championships and pure joy,” said Millikan. “I’m living out a dream. I wanted to work in sports radio since the format exploded in the early 90s and I’ve been blessed by the tutelage of all of my co-workers and peers. I was born and raised in Detroit and Detroit sports are part of my DNA. Listeners might not agree with my opinions or show content all of the time, but I genuinely try to produce shows that Detroit sports fans want every single day.”

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Sports TV News

Sunday Night Baseball Viewership Up On ESPN

“Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers.”

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The first month of the 2022 MLB regular season has concluded and ESPN is celebrating an uptick in viewership for Sunday Night Baseball.

The network announced on Tuesday that viewership for Sunday Night Baseball is up 4% compared to this time last year. In addition to that, compared to the 2020 full season average, ratings are up 40%.

Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers. The Dodgers/Cubs game on May 8 averaged 1.781 million and peaked at over 2.1 million viewers during the 8-8:15 p.m. window.

Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and David Cone comprise the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth, with Buster Olney contributing reports.

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Sports TV News

Nickelodeon Gets Christmas Day NFL Game

“This will be the network’s first regular season game.”

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The NFL’s Christmas triple header will include a little slime this year. The afternoon game between the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos will be simulcast on CBS and Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon has ramped up its NFL presence each year since 2020. The network has aired a kid-friendly broadcast of a Wild Card Round playoff game each of the last two seasons. Last year’s tile between the 49ers and Cowboys drew an audience of 41 million.

Before the start of last season, the studio show NFL Slimetime debuted. This will be the network’s first regular season game.

Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm Eastern on Christmas Day. No details of what Nickelodeon’s coverage may include are available yet. Nate Burleson, Noah Eagle and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green have been on the call of the network’s previous NFL broadcasts.

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