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ESPN Announces Coverage for 2021 Men’s Frozen Four

The 15-game tournament begins its regional action and culminating with the Frozen Four on April 8th-10th. Various ESPN channels will provide coverage, which will take place in Bridgeport, CT, Fargo, ND, Loveland, CO, and Albany, NY.

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After the NCAA canceled its Men’s Frozen Four last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the college hockey tournament is back for its 2021 edition. 

Nonetheless, with the competition taking place once again this season, ESPN is back with its coverage. In a statement, ESPN announced the dates, analysts, and broadcasters who will cover the entire tournament beginning on March 26th. 

The 15-game tournament begins its regional action and culminating with the Frozen Four on April 8th-10th. Various ESPN channels will provide coverage, which will take place in Bridgeport, CT, Fargo, ND, Loveland, CO, and Albany, NY. 

As for the coverage, John Buccigross serves as the play-by-play for the Bridgeport Regional from Webster Bank Arena, with former NHL veteran player and coach Barry Melrose and Colby Cohen providing color commentary. 

Leah Hextall and analyst Dave Starman will lead the coverage from the Fargo Regional from Scheels Arena. Meanwhile, Ben Holden and analyst Fred Pletsch have the call from the Budweiser Events Center in the Loveland Regional action. 

Finally, Kevin Brown and analyst Sean Ritchlin are on coverage for the Albany Region at the Times Union Center. 

Nabil Karim and Buccigross lead the tournament’s studio coverage. They will work alongside a group of analysts, including 2000 Hobey Baker Award winner Mike Mottau, ex-NHL goalie Andrew Raycroft, and Cohen.

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Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC

“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”

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ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.

This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.

Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.

“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”

ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.

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