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Shaq & Charles Barkley Both Caught Sleeping During Playoffs

The TNT crew had a playoff tripleheader on Sunday.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: TNT

The high-flying action had most NBA fans on the edge of their seat this weekend. Though, don’t count Charles Barkley or Shaquille O’Neal in that group. Each got called out for sleeping during various points of watching the Sunday games.

The “Inside The NBA” crew had a tripleheader of games to work on Sunday. Wizards-Sixers, Hawks-Knicks, and Jazz-Grizzlies all played out on TNT’s airwaves. The trusty “Inside The NBA” team was on hand for all three, but Barkley was the first analyst to rest his eyes during the opening half of Wizards-Sixers.

“Well I also thought they did a good job on [Bradley] Beal and [Russell] Westbrook; they played really good defense,” Barkley mused before O’Neal cut him off.

“I’m sorry to interrupt; I know snitches get stitches, but he was not watching the game, and I have proof,” Shaq accused of Barkley before he responded, “Who?”

O’Neal had the evidence ready as the broadcast showed Barkley looking comfortable in the game viewing lounge, resting his eyes for the world to see.

“Well, from what you were able to see in the first half, what did you think?” Ernie Johnson jokingly asked Barkley, who had his excuse ready to fire. “I was a little tired today Ernie. I shot a commercial all day yesterday in the sun. so I’m a little tired,” Barkley said.

O’Neal counted his chickens too early this weekend because just a few hours later, Barkley had the camera crew catch the other big fella on set snoozing during the first half of Knicks-Hawks.

“Is their sleeping gas in that room?!” Kenny Smith joked after seeing the four-time NBA champion passed out during the first playoff game at Madison Square Garden since 2013.

The maintenance team at the TNT studios may want to follow up on Smith’s question before a busy next few days of coverage begins. TNT carries eight playoff games this week before ESPN jumps back into the rotation.

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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