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Tim Brando, Jordy Culotta, Dick Vitale & Will Wade Argue Over Coverage Of LSU Recruiting Violations

“The issue came up again Sunday, during ESPN’s coverage of the LSU-Alabama SEC Tournament final featuring Vitale and Karl Ravech on the call, which seemingly upset Wade.”

Brandon Contes

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For almost exactly two years, Baton Rouge sports radio host Jordy Culotta has tenaciously called out Dick Vitale’s coverage of the NCAA investigation into LSU’s basketball program. Culotta and Vitale have engaged in heated arguments both on-air and on social media over the issue. 

The cause for a potential notice of allegation stems from 2019, when LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade was suspended by the school after being named in an FBI investigation regarding payments to recruits. But more than whether or not the NOA will eventually be handed to LSU from NCAA, Culotta and many Tigers fans feel Vitale has an agenda against them. 

The issue came up again Sunday, during ESPN’s coverage of the LSU-Alabama SEC Tournament final featuring Vitale and Karl Ravech on the call, which seemingly upset Wade. 

“I talked to him the day before the game. He said he was going to talk strictly about basketball,” Wade later said. “And he gets on there, and there’s all sorts of other stuff. What I said is the truth.”

Culotta tweeted the quote from Wade, garnering the attention of Vitale and fellow sportscaster Tim Brando who joined in to offer the beloved college basketball analyst some support. 

Last year, Culotta said his issue with Vitale is because of “the irresponsible reporting by one of the faces of college basketball and the irresponsibility that ESPN has allowed this guy to get away with on Twitter.” He highlighted Vitale’s frequent tweets criticizing LSU and Will Wade, while taking a softer stance on other college basketball coaches who have committed wrongful actions. But the 81-year-old Vitale still maintains he’s been more than fair in his coverage of LSU and Wade.

Sports TV News

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.

Jordan Bondurant

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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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Sports TV News

LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

Jordan Bondurant

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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