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ESPN Exploring Alternate Broadcasts For NBA Playoffs

ESPN’s senior coordinating producer and head of NBA game production Tim Corrigan met with the media.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: ESPN

It’s been a year of upheaval for the minds behind ESPN productions, especially in the NBA. The regular season has wrapped up, and now the league and ESPN have their sights set on the Western Conference Play-In tournament beginning Wednesday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. ET. ESPN’s senior coordinating producer and head of NBA game production Tim Corrigan met with the media this week to discuss challenges from the season and how the playoffs will look.

Corrigan spoke about the trials this year caused by the pandemic along with his pride in how the whole team has powered through it. The marquee addition for ESPN production in these playoffs comes via a new camera. The MoviCam is making its debut on ESPN NBA broadcasts over the coming months.

This new camera replaces some of the intimate shots the rail cam offered while fans weren’t allowed courtside. Corrigan confirmed the new camera would be used sparingly before the conference finals and then fully implemented in the final two rounds.

The other new technologies ESPN has experimented with this season also came up. The alternate betting and Marvel broadcasts were successful in their trial run. Corrigan noted that the production team is in talks with the network to put on more alternate broadcasts for the playoffs but couldn’t confirm any details.

The production team has learned a lot from a year that Corrigan says was more difficult to execute during this shortened season than what the Orlando bubble presented. ESPN had to outfit their talent’s homes with a full broadcast setup to ensure the COVID-era productions ran as smoothly as possible.

Corrigan answered what the pandemic opened ESPN’s eyes to about previous production features they don’t need. He didn’t single anything out but highlighted how broadcast hubs smoothed their coordination during the past year.

ESPN has facilities in Bristol, Los Angeles, Charlotte, and New York, to name a few. Hubs had to be aligned for the company to keep things rolling. NBA fans catch all the playoff coverage on ESPN starting this Wednesday with the Western Conference Play-In matchups.

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Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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