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First Take Road Trips Cancelled, No Change For College GameDay

“Change could still be coming. There is plenty of time for situations to change and ESPN to re-evaluate its stance before the college football season starts.”

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First Take was supposed to be on the road later this month, broadcasting from Atlanta ahead of the Week 0 Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff between North Carolina Central and Alcorn State. With the Delta variant causing a surge in Covid-19 infections across the country, that appearance has been cancelled.

The show was also scheduled to visit Memphis in September for the Southern Heritage Classic. Antoine Lewis, the show’s Senior Coordinating Producer, issued a statement saying that the show has made the “decision to change from an on-site to a virtual presence” for that event.

So far, no change has been announced for College GameDay. That could be for one of two reasons. First, the show continued to travel last year during the height of the pandemic and with no vaccine available to anyone. The usual crowds were missing though. While that was pointed out over and over as the reason that the show lacked it’s usual atmosphere, it could be an option again in 2021.

The other reason, as pointed out by Awful Announcing’s Andrew Bucholtz, is that while First Take usually chooses indoor venues when it hits the road, College GameDay is always done outside. That certainly mitigates some risk for Lee Fitting and crew.

Change could still be coming. There is plenty of time for situations to change and ESPN to re-evaluate its stance before the college football season starts. As of right now though, Awful Announcing reports that ESPN is planning to have College Gameday live in Atlanta on August 28 and live from Charlotte the following week.

Sports TV News

Rebecca Lobo Signs Extension With ESPN

She has served as the analyst for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the National Championship Game.

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ESPN and Rebecca Lobo have signed an extension to keep the women’s basketball legend with the network.

Lobo joined ESPN in 2004 as a WNBA and women’s college basketball analyst. She has served as the analyst for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the National Championship Game.

“I am thrilled to continue doing what I love, calling women’s basketball games,” said Lobo. “It is an honor to be a part of the soundtrack for the games played by these incredible female athletes.”

Lobo had a storied career at UConn before winning an Olympic Gold Medal. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

“Rebecca is one of the best in the business. She excels on both game coverage and studio coverage,” said Patricia Lowry, ESPN Vice President, Production. “Her knowledge, history, and passion for the game and its growth continue to make us better.  She is a true asset and a highly valued member of our team.”

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Sports TV News

ESPN Reaches Extension To Remain Home of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

“It’s a sports calendar and Fourth of July staple, one of those classic, timeless events we know fans look forward to every year.”

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ESPN and the International Federation of Competitive Eating have agreed to a deal that will see the network remain the home of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July.

The Major League Eating contest has aired on the network since 2004. The new contract will see the event take place on ESPN through the 2029 event.

“You can’t beat the spectacle that is the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest,” said ESPN Director of Programming & Acquisitions John Suchenski. “It’s a sports calendar and Fourth of July staple, one of those classic, timeless events we know fans look forward to every year. It has had memorable moments over the years, and we’re ecstatic that many more will be on our platforms for the foreseeable future.”

The event has risen to prominence during its tenure with the Disney-owned network, seeing the rivalry between Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut grow into one of national prominence. The rivalry even sparked an ESPN documentary on the subject. Chestnut has grown into an American celebrity for his performance during the contest, winning his 15th mustard-yellow belt in 2022.

“We’re thrilled to extend our agreement with ESPN and ensure that viewers will continue to join in this great July Fourth tradition. ESPN is a fantastic broadcast partner and they capture the spirit of the event perfectly.”

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Sports TV News

Patrick Reed Lawsuit Against Golf Media Members Dismissed

The judge dismissed Reed’s case and claimed it was a “shotgun pleading” that did not support the accusations levied against the media members.

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LIV Golfer Patrick Reed saw his defamation lawsuit against several golf media members dismissed by a federal judge last week.

Reed originally sued Golf Channel and analyst Brandel Chamblee in August, alleging more than $750 million in damages after Reed claimed “personal attacks” from the network and analyst had “harmed his performance”.

Also included in his lawsuit was PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. He later added FOX Sports and The New York Post, writer Shane Ryan, and Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press to the list of those he believed had defamed him.

The judge dismissed Reed’s case and claimed it was a “shotgun pleading” that did not support the accusations levied against the media members.

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