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Fox Reveals Week 1 Assignments For 2021 College Football Crews

Fox Sports unveiled its 2021 college football announcing roster led by Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, and Jenny Taft.

MIchael Quirk

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FOX announced its college football broadcasting lineup, beginning with its Week 1 assignments. For the fifth-straight year, Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft will call Big Noon Saturday, the network’s biggest game, each week at noon EST.

The first assignment for Johnson, Klatt and Taft be a Thursday, however, as they will be there when Ohio State takes on Minnesota in Minneapolis on September 2 at 8:00 PM ET. The next week, they will head to Madison for Penn State at Wisconsin.

The trio will be joined for the Midwest travels by the Big Noon Kickoff crew, featuring host Rob Stone, alongside college football greats Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn and Bob Stoops. Big Noon Kickoff is on-site for the first four weeks of the season, adding to the ambiance and campus flavor fans missed during 2020’s irregular COVID campaign.

Play-by-play announcer Joe Davis and former NFL quarterback and analyst Brock Huard called Illinois’ 30-22 win over Nebraska on Saturday, and will head to Los Angeles for LSU-UCLA on September 4 at 8:30 PM ET.

Longtime broadcast partners Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman open their season in Austin, with a Louisiana-Texas battle on September 4 at 4:30 PM ET on FOX.

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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