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TNT Reveals NHL Studio Team

“The puck drops on the 2021-22 NHL season for Turner Sports on Oct. 13, when the New York Rangers battle the Washington Capitals.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Turner Sports

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.

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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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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