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ESPN Announces 2 Promotions

Mike Shiffman and Brian Lockhart are moving up within the company.

Russ Heltman

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ESPN has announced some notable promotions within their ranks. They elevated Brian Lockhart to senior vice president of ESPN+ Original Content and ESPN Films and elevated Mike Shiffman to senior vice president of production. 

Lockhart is carrying out the strategy and development of all original programming initiatives. Projects like ESPN Films & 30 for 30 are now under his umbrella, as well as original series and studio shows on ESPN+.  

Shiffman will continue watching over the production aspects of ESPN’s basketball categories, including event and studio broadcasts for the NBA, WNBA, and college basketball.

Lockhart arrived at ESPN in January 2019 from his role with NFL Media as vice president and executive producer of original content. He has won eight Emmy awards during his career and helped launch Peyton’s Places on ESPN+.

“Brian is a valued senior leader and an award-winning content creator who brings a vast array of experience and energy to our team,” said ESPN executive vice president of programming and original content Burke Magnus. “As we continue to develop high-quality narrative sports storytelling across a variety of platforms, Brian’s strategic insight, strong leadership, and ability to deliver creative and compelling content, will be fundamental in exploring how we best bring these stories to life for sports fans.”

Shiffman has had a hand in productions like NBA Finals, WNBA Finals, NCAA Women’s National Championship Game, NBA Playoffs along with The JumpNBA Countdown, and College GameDay. He started at ESPN in 2000.

“Mike has repeatedly proven to be instrumental in elevating all of our basketball properties in recent years through his vision, creativity, and passion,” said executive vice president of event and studio production Stephanie Druley. “He played an integral leadership role in guiding us through the NBA and WNBA Bubbles and continues to drive innovation, including in the ever-changing world of college basketball. We are thrilled for Mike.”

Sports TV News

ESPN Accused Of Data Sharing Without Consent In Class Action Lawsuit

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act.

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According to a potential class action lawsuit, user data from ESPN.com and ESPN+ has been allegedly shared with Meta Platforms without users consent.

Corrado Rizzi of ClassAction.org has proposed the suit, alleging that ESPN “uses a pixel installed on the back end of its website to track when website and app users take certain actions, such as clicking on an ad or viewing video content”. That “pixel” is used by Facebook to capture “a subscriber’s Facebook ID, with which anyone can ‘quickly and easily’ locate, access, and identify a particular Facebook account and a file containing details of a watched video and its corresponding URL.”

Rizzi adds that ESPN.com and ESPN+ subscribers aren’t told their data could be shared. He also shares that while ESPN could create its website to information isn’t immediately shared with Facebook, it benefits financially from utilizing the “pixel” on its website.

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act. The VPAA, according to ClassAction.org, “prohibits ‘video tape service providers’ from knowingly disclosing without consent consumers’ personally identifiable information, including that which identifies someone as having requested or obtained specific video materials”.

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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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