The WWE continues to bolster its organization by adding individuals with strong experience in sports television. The latest addition, former FOX Sports National Networks President, ESPN Vice President of Original Programming and Production, and Executive Vice President of DAZN, Jamie Horowitz. Horowitz’s first day on the job is today, June 1st.
The accomplished sports television executive joins World Wrestling Entertainment as its Executive Vice President, Development & Digital. Horowitz will oversee WWE’s original content including scripted and unscripted programs for digital and social media. He will also be responsible for WWE Studios in Los Angeles.
The multi-platform content division, WWE Studios, has been involved in the release of more than 50 films and series, and has partnerships in place with Netflix, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, MGM, Warner Brothers and others. Some of the current programs created by the company include A&E’s The Quest for Lost WWE Treasures, the award-winning A&E Biography which features documentaries on five former WWE superstars, Total Bellas on E! and Miz & Mrs on USA Network. The company also partnered with HBO and Bill Simmons to produce the Emmy-nominated documentary Andre the Giant.
Prior to joining WWE, Horowitz served as Executive Vice President, Global Content at DAZN where he oversaw the company’s original programming, social content and editorial strategy. Under his watch, DAZN put Pat McAfee’s show on television, Adnan Virk was hired to host a daily MLB highlight show titled ‘Change Up’, and the company teamed up with Sylvester Stallone to create the exceptional documentary ‘One Night: Joshua vs. Ruiz’. Both McAfee and Virk have since had working relationships with the WWE.
But inside sports media circles, Horowitz is most remembered for two things. First, his influence on ESPN’s talk programming, where he grew ratings by embracing the world of debate, developing First Take and Sports Nation. Second, was his move to FS1 to help launch the network and compete against his former employer. Horowitz used a similar strategy to build FS1 around personalities with an ability to deliver strong opinions and create conversation. His relationships and influence helped the network land Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless, and Jason Whitlock among others.
Though it wasn’t mentioned in the network’s press release, it’s highly likely Nick Khan’s involvement with WWE helped the company land the sports media executive. The two have known each other and have done deals together over the years. Khan is the former co-head of CAA’s television department and was one of most successful agents, attorneys and deal makers in the sports media industry before leaving CAA to become WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer.
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.