Lisa Byington is breaking new broadcasting ground in more ways than one lately. The newly installed Milwaukee Bucks TV play-by-play voice became the first woman to call NBA games full time upon the hiring. Now, she has an award named after her.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren announced The Lisa Byington Award, which will be given to aspiring female broadcasters working on Big Ten Student U. Byington graduated from Northwestern in 1997 as a two-sport athlete in basketball and soccer. She joined the Big Ten Network in 2007 and became the first female play-by-play broadcaster for Big Ten football in 2017 and the first female play-by-play voice for an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament game in 2021.
“We are incredibly grateful for all that Lisa has given us at the Big Ten Conference and through the Big Ten Network,” Warren said. “She is a pioneer in the field of sports broadcasting and a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work, passion, and dedication. Lisa has inspired countless young women, and it is our hope this award will serve as a stepping stone for the next generation of talented broadcasters.”
The award recipient earns a one-week professional immersion at the Big Ten Network studios in Chicago and has a chance to spruce up their broadcast reel with on-site producers and talent.
“Since day one at the Big Ten Network, Lisa’s work as a broadcaster and an ambassador for the Big Ten Conference has been outstanding,” said Big Ten Network President François McGillicuddy. “Along with her accomplishments and the relationships developed over nearly 15 years, this award will ensure Lisa’s impact is felt at our network and across the industry for years to come.”
Byington and the Bucks open their season on Tuesday, Oct. 19, against the Brooklyn Nets.
“I’m a broadcaster and I make my living on saying words, and I’m a little speechless right now,” Byington said. “It starts with small beginnings, and it starts with people believing in you and giving you opportunities. This award means the world and I look forward to meeting with the recipient each year and getting to know her.”
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.