The Men’s Olympic Basketball Dream Team got a lot of love last Spring in ESPN’s The Last Dance. Now the Women’s Dream Team is getting their own feature film treatment. According to Deadline, The 1996 Olympic team is the subject of a new 30 for 30 venture from ESPN.
The 1996 USA Women’s basketball team helped cement the WNBA in 1997 and was a wrecking ball in its own right. The squad ran roughshod on opponents during their undefeated gold medal run at the 1996 Olympics. The film follows those 12 women that had the weight of a nation and a whole business model on their shoulders. ESPN is depicting the fifteen months leading up to and through the games onscreen.
Veteran-director Kristi Lappas is helming the chair for this project, having previously directed Blackfeet Boxing and produced a series of 30 for 30s, including Al Davis vs. The NFL and Long Gone Summer. The documentary on boxers within the Blackfoot Native American tribe is being turned into a scripted project by Freeform and Touchstone.
Deadline noted that the film will use “behind-the-scenes” footage shot by the NBA on the 15-month tour leading into the games. It is a similar content hook that ESPN used last Summer. Letting The Last Dance showcase never-before-seen footage of Michael Jordan’s Bulls teams.
The guest list for the film includes Women’s Dream Team members Rebecca Lobo, Ruthie Bolton, Nikki McCray, Jennifer Azzi, Katy Steding, Teresa Edwards, Carla McGhee, and Sheryl Swoopes. Coach Tara VanDerveer will make an appearance in the documentary as well. The legendary tactician is fresh off her second career National Championship as the head coach at Stanford. Deadline did not report a firm premiere date, but the film is on track to release sometime next year as part of the WNBA’s 25th Anniversary celebration.
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.”
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.
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?”
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.
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.”
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.