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NHL Presses Pause On TV Rights Negotiations

“John Ourand and Terry Lefton of SBJ report that the NHL would like to be in business with two networks. It is the only one of America’s four major sports leagues that does not currently have a split national TV package.”

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The NHL will not continue negotiating a new television contract until the end of 2020 according to a report from Sports Business Journal. The league’s current deal with NBC is set to expire after the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals.

Just how valuable the NHL is as a television property will have a lot to do with the NFL. The league has re-upped with Amazon for digital rights, but the NFL’s linear TV partners (CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC) are all still waiting and all are willing to spend money to stay in the professional football business.

In addition to NBC, both ESPN and FOX has expressed interest in the NHL’s TV rights. How much any of those three networks would be willing to spend is largely going to depend on how much they are forced to spend to keep the NFL.

Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing says there may be more competition. He suggests that CBS could be a contender after losing the TV rights to the SEC’s top football game every Saturday. He writes that the network “bolstered their sports content with last fall’s surprising pickup of the rights for the UEFA Champions League, beginning in the fall of 2021. The NHL likely wouldn’t be too thrilled with games on CBS Sports Network or CBS All-Access, but weekend games in the winter on CBS’s broadcast network would be an interesting outcome.”

John Ourand and Terry Lefton of SBJ report that the NHL would like to be in business with two networks. It is the only one of America’s four major sports leagues that does not currently have a split national TV package.

Cash is very much at the center of the NHL’s decision, but there are multiple reasons. First, the league is going to let the NFL set the market for live sports. If a network pays less than expected for the NFL, the NHL could be the beneficiary. The NHL is also likely also hoping networks have more money to spend by the end of the year than they have right now after being hit hard by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

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Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”

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TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”

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Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’

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First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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