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ESPN, NBC, CBS In 2nd Round Of Bidding For Premier League Rights

“According to The Times, the opening round of bidding ended on Nov. 8.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Premier League

Bidding on the U.S. rights to the Premier League is heating up, prompting a second round to be held. NBC owns the U.S.-rights to the world’s most popular soccer league through the end of the 2021-22 season, but ESPN and CBS are hungry for the property.

According to The Times, the opening round of bidding ended on Nov. 8. The outlet also projects the project $1.5 billion price tag to rise because of the heavy competition.

The NBC Sports Group chairman Pete Bevacqua told a conference of sports media executives in New York that NBC has its “fingers crossed” when t comes to retaining the property.

“I think this will move quickly, something that will probably take one to two weeks,” Bevacqua said.

“We know it’s going to be incredibly competitive,” he continued. “It always is when you’re dealing with a great property. So, we’re taking absolutely nothing for granted. We’ll see where it ends up.”

The Premier League splits its rights four ways in England to allow sharing between more than one broadcaster, meaning the league could split the package in the U.S. market.

“When you do go through this [bidding] process, you do feel a little helpless,” Bevacqua said. “You don’t know where it’s going to go – you try to do everything right, and you hope your performance over the course of nine years certainly speaks for itself and helps.”

ESPN president of programming Burke Magnus also made it clear that his network is ready to shell out for the top level of English soccer.

“We think the Premier League can be an incredible component at the high end of the quality scale if we can add it to that offering,” Magnus said.

The Premier League currently splits its rights domestically in England between Amazon Prime, Sky, and BT Sport.

Sports TV News

Tom Crean Returns to ESPN As College Basketball Analyst

“You look around, you realize everybody is working at an extremely rapid pace. I might get emails for the next morning’s ‘SportsCenter’ at 2:30 in the morning.”

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Tom Crean is returning to ESPN as a college basketball analyst.

A report from Front Office Sports details Crean returning to the worldwide leader after previously working for the network during the 2017-2018.

“The game has changed completely,” Crean said. “There’s a 1,000-foot level of what people want you to think this is all about. But here’s the 10,000-30,000-foot level of what it really is. I don’t think I will have any fear of talking like that. There’s so many things changing around the game with how you recruit. And I had to live it.”

Crean was fired as the head coach of Georgia after four seasons on the job. He added that the work ethic shown by ESPN employees is a motivator for working for the network.

“You look around, you realize everybody is working at an extremely rapid pace. I might get emails for the next morning’s ‘SportsCenter’ at 2:30 in the morning.”

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Sports TV News

ESPN Plans 20 Hours of College Football Playoff Selection Coverage

The College Football Playoff teams will be unveiled at 12:15 PM ET, with the rest of the New Year’s Six matchup being revealed at 2:30 PM.

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ESPN has more than 20 hours of studio coverage planned for the selection of the College Football Playoff.

The College Football Playoff teams will be unveiled at 12:15 PM ET, with the rest of the New Year’s Six matchup being revealed at 2:30 PM. Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway, Jesse Palmer, and David Pollack will be on the main set as the selections are revealed.

Several other personalities will join the show including analysts Greg McElroy, Robert Griffin III, and Dan Mullen, in addition to Paul Finebaum, Matt Barrie, and Chris Fowler.

ACC Network and SEC Network will also separately produce shows discussing the bowl selections.

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Sports TV News

Chris Fallica Leaving ESPN for FOX

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Jordan Bondurant

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A prominent sports betting voice featured on ESPN’s College GameDay will be heading to rival FOX and their Big Noon Kickoff show starting in 2023. According to Awful Announcing, Chris Fallica, affectionately known as “The Bear”, will make his last appearance on GameDay will be this weekend.

Fallica has been with ESPN since 1995. Since 2013, Fallica had been featured on GameDay making betting picks with his patented “Bear’s Board”.

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Fallica joins Tom Rinaldi as the second former GameDay voice to jump over to FOX and be featured on Big Noon Kickoff.

Both shows have experienced incredible viewership growth this season. For GameDay, there have been several weeks this season that have seen some of the largest audiences in the show’s history.

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