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Steve Levy Confident About Return To Monday Night Football Booth

Richard Deitsch of The Athletic sat down with Steve Levy talking about calling games for ESPN next season.

Will Galvez

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Steve Levy is the play-by-play voice for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Every week, his call comes along with superb in-game analysis from Louis Riddick and Brian Griese.

Levy feels confident he and his crew are returning to the booth for the 2021 NFL season.

https://twitter.com/richarddeitsch/status/1361373748960632835

Richard Deitsch of The Athletic sat down with Steve Levy talking about calling games for ESPN next season. He asked what ESPN management has left with him (Riddick and Griese included) regarding next year.

“I would say they have been incredible with their communication and without getting into names, that communication has been at the very top and also down at the company. I have heard from a lot of people personally,” said Levy.

“At least once or twice a week during the season, we would hear either compliments or constructive criticism, and really, for the most part, it was extremely positive throughout the entire season. I hope to hear something sooner rather than later,” he added. 

When Deitsch asked for his concrete opinion on whether or not the MNF trio should return to call games next season, Levy wasn’t shy in his response.

“Absolutely. No doubt in my mind. I thought we started in a good place and finished strong. And now with a year under our belts collectively, and I don’t want to speak for Brian (Griese) and Louis (Riddick) and Lisa (Salters) is obviously the staple, but in some kind of a normal NFL season, I think we’d only be better,” Levy concluded.

Networks enjoy continuity. Society appreciates continuity. It seems right they return.

However, ESPN has not been shy in its attempts to upgrade its Monday Night Football booth in the last several offseasons and rumors have the Worldwide Leader at least intrigued by Phillip Rivers after the future Hall of Famer’s retirement last month.

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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