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ESPN Provides HBCU Football With a Mainstream Platform

The four letter network will continue putting HBCU football on its platform as next week they’ll air the April 3rd game between Jackson State Alabama-A&M on ESPN.

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ESPN is known for its college football coverage; however, the sports network will be jumping on board in helping broadcast HBCU football games. 

This month, ESPN flexed the Jackson State-Mississippi Valley State from ESPN3 to ESPN2. Furthermore, last weekend’s Alabama State-Jackson State game also saw the jump to ESPN 2. 

Over the next few weeks, ESPN will be putting HBCU football games on its main channel. With the increase of HBCU games on ESPN, the Black Chronicle spoke to Sports Business Journal managing editor for digital Austin Karp, discussing what this exposure means for HBCU football now and in the future. 

“I think it’s actually a win for both sides, right, because you’re getting exposure on the Southern game and the Alabama A&M game that head to the main ESPN channel. To have that big platform for your football game that’s something you’re never going to get in the fall. And so that’s the win on the side for ESPN — they’re getting live content,”

“Football content, in particular at a time of year when they don’t really have a lot going on. So they’re looking for whatever live content. And if you put football on, people watch it. So I think it’s a big win, and they will probably promote it, or maybe they have Deion come on SportsCenter or something like that, but I just think it’s a boon for all sides,”

The four letter network will continue putting HBCU football on its platform as next week they’ll air the April 3rd game between Jackson State Alabama-A&M on ESPN. 

This game is the first of many HBCU games that ESPN will broadcast. The Delaware-Delaware State game on April 10th is another they’ll air on the main channel after initially being slated for ESPN 2. 

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Maria Taylor Elevated To Host of Football Night In America

“Taylor joined NBC just before the 2021 NFL season.”

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Maria Taylor will be the new face of Football Night in America on NBC. She will be the show’s new host. Last year, she shared co-hosting duties with Mike Tirico, who is moving into the play-by-play booth on Sunday Night Football.

“Maria is the perfect choice to carry the legacy forward of anchoring the most-watched studio show in sports,” NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood said in a press release.

Taylor joined NBC just before the 2021 NFL season. She left ESPN after that year’s NBA Finals.

In addition to her work on Football Night in America, NBC has also used Maria Taylor in coverage of the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo and Beijing. She is also currently serving as the executive producer of an eight-part documentary about black quarterbacks, which is set to debut on Peacock.

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Ros Gold-Onwude Lands Contract Extension From ESPN

“Her next assignment will be in the studio for ESPN Radio during Game 6 of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.”

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ESPN is hanging onto Ros Gold-Onwude. The network has agreed to a multi-year extension with its NBA reporter and analyst.

Gold-Onwude has been all over the place for ESPN’s NBA coverage. She has served as a sideline reporter on television for both that league and the WNBA. She has also been on the radio, serving as the studio co-host for the NBA Finals.

On Twitter, she expressed her gratitude and excitement.

Previous stops for Ros Gold-Onwude include TNT and NBC Sports Bay Area. Her next assignment will be in the studio for ESPN Radio during Game 6 of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.

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NFL Putting All 14 Playoff Teams On Thursday Night Football

“The entire 2022 schedule will be released on Thursday night with primetime specials on both ESPN2 and NFL Network.”

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The NFL wants Thursday Night Football on Amazon to be a success. The league will do all it can to help. That is why the streaming giant’s first full season of Thursday games may be the best midweek schedule the league has ever put together.

The entire 2022 schedule will be released on Thursday night with primetime specials on both ESPN2 and NFL Network. According to Mike Florio, when it is, fans will see that all 14 playoff teams from 2021 will have at least one appearance on Amazon this season.

During the NFL Draft, Roger Goodell announced that the Chargers and the Chiefs will meet in Week 2, the first game on Amazon’s schedule. That is a pretty good start to the company’s 11-year deal with the NFL that reportedly pays the league $1 billion per year.

The commissioner is excited about what is possible with the deal. “Amazon’s platform is going to allow us to do things that we’ve only dreamed about to date,” he said last week at an Amazon conference according to Front Office Sports.

He did not elaborate on what some of those things may be. Certainly technology for covering a game will be in play, but the reality is that the things Goodell has “only dreamed about to date” may have more to do with advertising and revenue generation. Amazon is one of the world’s top retail sellers after all.

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