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Bomani Jones To Host ‘Game Theory’ On HBO, Contribute To ESPN

“While HBO will be Jones’s new home on television, he may not totally be done with ESPN.”

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Idris Talib Solomon-HBO

Earlier this week, it was reported that Bomani Jones was likely to leave ESPN when his contract expires in March. That won’t be the case after all, and Bomani’s work load won’t be reduced anytime soon.

HBO announced today that Jones has been hired to host a new late night show on the network called Game Theory with Bomani Jones. The show will be filmed in New York and cover the newsworthy topics from the sports world each week. Jones will serve as an executive producer alongside Adam McKay, Stuart Miller, and Seth Weitberg

“I have been dying to work with Bomani for years now,” McKay said in a press release. “He’s one of the sharpest and funniest truth-tellers anywhere in the sports world.”

Bomani and HBO have a good working relationship. He is currently a contributor to Back on the Record with Bob Costas. Prior to that, the journalist has made appearances in two HBO Sports documentaries – The Battle for Tobacco Road: Duke vs. Carolina and Runnin’ Rebels.

“This is, literally, my professional dream, to have a show like this one on HBO,” said Jones. “I’d feel that way with anyone behind it, but working with a top-notch group like Seth, Stu, Todd, Adam and Nina has me more excited than I can express. We have a chance to do something that hasn’t been done before, and I can’t wait to share our work with the world.”

While HBO will be Jones’s new home on television, his relationship will continue with ESPN too. The network and Jones announced earlier a new agreement which will see Jones continue hosting his podcast, The Right Time with Bomani Jones, under the ESPN umbrella. Jones will also remain involved as a contributor on ESPN’s TV shows Around The Horn and Debatable.

A release date for Game Theory with Bomani Jones has not yet been set. The HBO press release noted only that the show will start production in 2022.

“This is an entirely different gig, and it’ll be serving a largely different audience than I have at ESPN,” Jones told BSM of the move to a late night TV format. “They got me for my thoughts, but performance is going to be much more important, and I look forward to that challenge.”

Sports TV News

Apple Has Up To $200 Billion For Live Sports

“NFL Sunday Ticket is among the big players that could be up for purchase, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.”

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It’s been an ongoing rumor that Apple is looking to get into the live sports realm, and it appears that’s getting closer to becoming a reality.

MacRumors on Monday reported a recent investor note sent out by the tech giant indicates the company is itching to spend a chunk of its $200 billion on its balance sheet on live sports.

NFL Sunday Ticket is among the big players that could be up for purchase, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. NASCAR and the NBA also potential areas of interest, in addition to college sports offerings from the Big Ten, Pac 12, Big East and Big 12.

Apple TV+ currently doesn’t have any live TV programming offered, and with the focus on original programming, the service could bring in an influx of new subscribers if it managed to land a top-tier product.

MacRumors also noted that Apple is in talks with Major League Baseball to potentially have rights to games. With baseball in a lockout, there’s no telling where discussions stand.

But at this point, Apple likely feels like they’re a step behind other streaming giants like Amazon. And with cash burning a hole in their wallet, landing Sunday Ticket or the NBA could level the playing field.

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Sports TV News

Kay Adams Reveals Her NFL Network Contract Expires In May

“Adams was complimentary of Burleson before she dropped the tidbit about her own contract.”

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The first “Super Wild Card Weekend” in the NFL has come and gone, and Good Morning Football co-host Kay Adams joined Pat McAfee on Monday afternoon to break down the weekend’s games. But McAfee and company weren’t expecting Adams to hint that she could potentially be on the move by the spring.

Adams and McAfee were talking about Nate Burleson, who recently left Good Morning Football for a role on CBS This Morning. His role has since evolved into Burleson covering more general news than sports. But McAfee asked about NFL Network’s plans for finding a replacement for Burleson.

Adams was complimentary of Burleson before she dropped the tidbit about her own contract.

“My contract is up in May, so we have to work that out and figure that out,” she said. “So the future is all super exciting.”

Adams is a University of Missouri alumna, who got her first start in media in 2011 hosting overnights on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports. That then took her to NBC Sports before she eventually landed on NFL Network.

“I always knew I wanted to do something in media,” she said. “Sports sort of pulled me along, which is great.”

The conversation moved from talking about Aaron Rodgers to what an ideal position for Adams would be. Being as vague as she could be and to not tip her cards, she said she would love to stay in football media.

“It’s no secret the goal is to have the pedigree to have the big boy seat at the table,” she said. “I love visiting stadiums…I like being part of the game day experience and obviously love being on in the morning. We get to set the tone and the agenda for the day.”

McAfee continued to press about her options, and Adams mentioned the rise of sportsbooks, which have recently been on the move in acquiring media personalities, McAfee included.

“It’s a really energizing time right now, that’s all I’ll say,” she said.

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Sports TV News

‘Saturday Night Live’ Spoofs Yao Ming Replacing Shaq on ‘Inside The NBA’

The entire Kings team was out due to COVID, so a replacement squad of fans and arena support took its place.

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Saturday Night Live on YouTube

Most of the headlines surrounding the 2021-22 NBA season thus far have concerned COVID outbreaks and several teams unable to field competitive rosters because of positive tests and close contacts.

This past weekend, Saturday Night Live joked about the NBA’s COVID difficulties with a sketch spoofing TNT’s Inside the NBA covering a horribly one-sided game between the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings. The entire Kings team was out due to COVID, so a replacement squad of fans and arena support staff took its place.

At halftime, Sacramento trailed 268-1. Nets guard James Harden took advantage of the matchup versus Kings equipment manager Dougie McCormick, outscoring his opponent, 83 points to zero.

“In my opinion, the biggest thing to me is that the Kings don’t have any NBA players, whereas the Nets do,” said analyst Charles Barkley (Kenan Thompson).

Check out the sketch below:

The SNL sketch also made fun of broadcasters who have missed on-air assignments due to COVID. James Brown and Tony Romo are among the names who have been sidelined in recent weeks.

In this sketch, it’s Shaquille O’Neal who can’t join the broadcast. Taking his place is former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming (played by Bowen Yang). At 7-foot-6, he’s a mismatch at the Inside the NBA studio desk with Barkley, Ernie Johnson (Alex Moffat), and Kenny Smith (Chris Redd). Ming also isn’t as polished as most professional broadcasters when explaining why the Kings were losing so badly.

“They’re tiny people,” he said, sounding like Lurch from The Addams Family. “Too small.”

Succinct and right to the point! Maybe we need more of that from studio analysts on sports broadcasts.

What this sketch really needed was Ming racing Smith to the giant TV screen in the TNT studio. Unfortunately, Saturday Night Live‘s Studio 8H really isn’t set up for that sort of visual gag. Plus, the sketch would’ve been ruined by Yang having to stand up. Next time, maybe this can be a digital short instead.

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