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Windhorst: NBA TV Schedule Will Have ‘Inherent Unfairness’

“With 13 teams in the Western Conference being invited to the tournament at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports complex, Windhorst says it is impossible for all of the teams to play the same schedule.”

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NBA fans are thrilled to hear that a 22-team version of the league’s postseason will tip off next month. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is chief amongst them. He told The Rich Eisen Show that the league announcing it was coming back was “a good moment” in “a very long run of dark days” in America.

Windhorst did say that not all fans will be equally as thrilled with the NBA’s plan. With 13 teams in the Western Conference being invited to the tournament at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports complex, Windhorst says it is impossible for all of the teams to play the same schedule.

“Zion Williamson is a made-for-TV player, he’s probably going to have to play more difficult games than the Phoenix Suns,” the NBA reporter said. “There’s going to be an inherent unfairness and fans and teams are going to complain about it and they’re all going to be right, but they’re all going to have deal with it.”

It makes sense that ESPN and Turner would want to be able to sell as many matchups between headlining players like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, and Zion Williamson as possible. There are nine teams from the Eastern Conference in the tournament as well. While that will create an unbalanced schedule, it may be easier to ensure that those teams play a similar schedule en route to the knockout round.

Fans should expect “five or six games per day” in Orlando according to Windhorst. He says there is a very good chance that fans will see a lot of weekday afternoon playoff games. With many people still working from home, those games won’t suffer from the absence of viewers that they might under regular circumstances.

Sports TV News

ESPN Unveils New NBA Graphics Package, Theme Song

The network unveiled a new scorebug, with colors for each team corresponding to what uniform they are wearing.

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As ESPN prepares for the upcoming NBA season, the network unveiled a new graphics package and theme song Tuesday.

The network unveiled a new scorebug, with colors for each team corresponding to what uniform they are wearing.

“Leading creative initiatives like this one are exactly what we envisioned when we created ESPN’s groundbreaking in-house Creative Studio almost two years ago,” said Carrie Brzezinski-Hsu, Vice President, ESPN Creative Studio. “We take sports from game to experience. It takes a dynamic collective of creative capabilities and storytellers to make fans feel like they are part of the game.”

“Like everything involving the NBA on ESPN, this has been a total team effort,” said Tim Corrigan, Vice President, Production. “We were thrilled to collaborate with our ESPN Creative Studio group to bring this new look and feel to life. It’s big, bold and contemporary and we can’t wait for fans to see it.”

The network has also unveiled new theme music for the upcoming season.

ESPN partnered with Made Music Studios for “the next evolution” of the NBA on ESPN’s sound.  The network says “Made Music created a hip hop-based concept with the power and energy synonymous with ESPN’s NBA Productions”.

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ESPN Accused Of Data Sharing Without Consent In Class Action Lawsuit

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act.

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According to a potential class action lawsuit, user data from ESPN.com and ESPN+ has been allegedly shared with Meta Platforms without users consent.

Corrado Rizzi of ClassAction.org has proposed the suit, alleging that ESPN “uses a pixel installed on the back end of its website to track when website and app users take certain actions, such as clicking on an ad or viewing video content”. That “pixel” is used by Facebook to capture “a subscriber’s Facebook ID, with which anyone can ‘quickly and easily’ locate, access, and identify a particular Facebook account and a file containing details of a watched video and its corresponding URL.”

Rizzi adds that ESPN.com and ESPN+ subscribers aren’t told their data could be shared. He also shares that while ESPN could create its website to information isn’t immediately shared with Facebook, it benefits financially from utilizing the “pixel” on its website.

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act. The VPAA, according to ClassAction.org, “prohibits ‘video tape service providers’ from knowingly disclosing without consent consumers’ personally identifiable information, including that which identifies someone as having requested or obtained specific video materials”.

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Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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