Turner Sports is ready to take the NHL reigns this fall and just announced their studio team lineup for the upcoming season. They previously announced a broadcast team that includes Kenny Albert and Brendan Burke.
Turner is adding names like Liam McHugh (first reported by Rudy Martzke), Wayne Gretzky, Anson Carter, Rick Tocchet and Paul Bissonnette. The 2021 season is less than a month away as Turner finalizes their broadcast roster.
Hockey fans will know McHugh from his time as a host on NBC’s NHL coverage. He served as lead studio host for NBC’s pre-and post-game studio show for its NHL telecasts throughout the regular season, Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Stanley Cup Final. McHugh was also the on-site host for NBC’s Football Night in America and co-host of NBC’s Super Bowl LII pre-game show.
Gretzky is the big fish for Turner; as he gets set to handle studio analyst duties breaking down the game he dominated for so long. “The Great One” suited up for 20 NHL seasons. He won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and is the NHL’s all-time leading scorer with the most goals and assists in a career. Gretzky took home a record nine Hart Trophies as the NHL’s most valuable player and entered the Hockey Hall of Fame immediately following his retirement in 1999.
Bissonette never made many headlines as a journeyman during his hockey playing days, but he’s parlayed his personality into solid media success. A Barstool Sports fan favorite, Bissonette co-hosts the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast for the controversial media company.
Now, Bissonette is stepping up to the studio desk as an analyst; he has done media work for the Arizona Coyotes in the past and still contributes to digital media content for the team’s website and social media platforms.
The puck drops on the 2021-22 NHL season for TNT on Oct. 13, when the New York Rangers battle the Washington Capitals.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.