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HBO, NFL Films ‘Deep Into Planning’ New Hard Knocks Season

“Being “deep into planning” could mean any number of things, or it could mean nothing at all.”

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With Covid-19 cases beginning to spike again, the NFL is starting to waiver a bit on its plans to go ahead with a season as usual. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports that discussions have taken place regarding shortening the preseason. If such a plan were adopted, it would definitely effect the 2020 season of Hard Knocks.

Ben Koo of Awful Announcing wanted to get an answer to that very question. He reached out to HBO to ask about the status of Hard Knocks.

“NFL Films and HBO Sports are deep into planning for this season’s edition of Hard Knocks,” the network’s response read. “We don’t have any information to share right now.”

Hard Knocks, which is a co-production of HBO and NFL Films, has usually announced its plans for the current season by now. Koo’s Awful Announcing colleague Andrew Bucholtz notes that the latest an announcement regarding a new season for the show has ever come is June 17.

In April it was reported that the 2020 season of Hard Knocks could focus on two teams. The Rams and Chargers will move into SoFi Stadium this season. If Covid-19 makes travel difficult and shortens the preseason, focusing on two teams in the same place would be a logical way to extend the show’s season.

Right now, it makes sense that NFL Films and HBO are remaining vague in discussing their plans. Being “deep into planning” could mean any number of things, or it could mean nothing at all. There are still a lot of moving parts to the NFL season and a new spike in Covid-19 cases may be a reality the league just did not plan for previously. If plans for on-field activities change, that would certainly change how any season of Hard Knocks would work.

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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