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Career Future Uncertain For Chris Webber, Marv Albert

So what would TNT do next if they were to lose either or both Albert and Webber?

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TNT isn’t sure two of its top basketball voices will be back with the network next season. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports both analyst Chris Webber and legendary play-by-play man Marv Albert may be nearing the end of their run at Turner Sports.

Marv Albert will be 80 years old next year. He is contemplating retirement, but Marchand reports that no decision has been made yet. He is currently in the last year on his most recent contract. His final broadcast of the season is slated to be the Eastern Conference Finals on TNT.

Turner officials have apparently been on the fence regarding Chris Webber’s future for a while. Although he is partnered with Albert on TNT’s top broadcast, the audience isn’t exactly in love with him.

Webber also apparently rubbed his bosses the wrong way during the NCAA Tournament. He informed Turner brass very late that he did not want to be part of the college basketball broadcasts.

So what would TNT do next if they were to lose either or both Albert and Webber?

As far as play-by-play goes, the network is in good shape. Both Kevin Harlan and Ian Eagle would be worthy top dogs for any network that carries the NBA.

The analyst role may be a little harder to predict. Andrew Marchand notes that Reggie Miller and Jim Jackson would be candidates for a promotion. He also notes that Grant Hill won rave reviews for his performance alongside Eagle during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. His contract with Turner is up at the end of the year. That could mean he is inline for a big raise if the network does view him as a potential replacement for Chris Webber.

Finally, Marchand notes there are a couple of attractive free agents on the market. Richard Jefferson’s contract at ESPN is up at the end of the year. The network also let Paul Pierce go after he posted racy videos to Instagram.

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NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer

“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”

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According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.

Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.

The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.

The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options. 

NFL+ would make NFL Media more valuable. The league is trying to sell an equity stake in its linear TV and digital media properties. Amazon and Apple are considered the most likely to make a deal. 

A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.

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Stephen A. Smith To Charles Barkley: ‘I Worry Because You’re Big’

“You’ve always been big. But now you’re bigger.”

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ESPN host Stephen A. Smith is concerned about his friend Charles Barkley.

Barkley, while in Dallas with TNT for Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Mavericks and Golden State Warriors, Barkley hopped on a horse. The clip Stephen A. used in his ESPN+ show Stephen A’s World showed Barkley needing assistance by handlers to get off the horse.

Stephen A. was astounded.

“Ain’t no way Charles Barkley needs that much help getting off the horse,” Smith said. “But he did – he did!”

Smith then used the closing seconds to express his concern about Barkley’s size.

“I worry about you cause you’re a big boy,” he said. “You’ve always been big. But now you’re bigger.”

Barkley hasn’t had any publicized major health incidents stemming from his weight, but still Stephen A. was hopeful his friend might take some time and initiative to work on cutting a few pounds.

“Let’s address that, because I need you around,” Smith said. “I love you bro.”

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NFL Considers Ending Pro Bowl Amidst Low Ratings

“Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports the future of the Pro Bowl was discussed on Tuesday during the owners’ meetings in Atlanta.”

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The NFL is obsessed with TV ratings. It isn’t a surprise that the league may not be willing to tolerate the Pro Bowl underperforming for much longer. 

In 2022, the NFL’s all-star game produced it’s lowest ratings in 16 years. Fewer that 7 million people tuned in to watch the game across ABC, ESPN and DisneyXD. 

“The (Pro Bowl) game doesn’t work,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday after the owners’ meeting in Atlanta. “We need to find another way to celebrate the players.”

There are two proposed alternatives that have been reported. The Washington Post says the league is considering launching a seven-on-seven competition. It would not include tackling or full clocks. The other report comes from Ian Rapport of the NFL Network. He says the league is considering hosting a series of skills competitions over the course of what would be branded an all-star week. The NFL has partnered with DirecTV in the past to present similar events during Super Bowl Week. 

No details have emerged or final decisions made. Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports the future of the Pro Bowl was discussed on Tuesday during the owners’ meetings in Atlanta.

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