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Thom Brennaman: Apology Was The Best I Could Do

“Napear asked him whether all of the jokes still bug him.”

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Courtesy: Bally Sports Ohio

Former MLB and NFL broadcaster Thom Brennaman appeared on If You Don’t Like That with Grant Napear and discussed how he’s been dealing with the fallout from his anti-gay slur—along with his apology that’s been memed to oblivion.

Last August, a hot mic caught Brennaman saying the slur, which he later apologized for uttering. Unfortunately for Brennaman, the game wasn’t taking a timeout for his apology, and Cincinnati Reds slugger Nick Castellanos hit a home run right in the middle of it.

Brennaman stuck to his broadcast roots and ended up calling the home run right when he was apologizing. Napear asked him whether all of the jokes still bug him.

“It did,” Brennaman said. “But you know, Grant, I was able to just let it go. Because I mean, you know, you realize when you go through any number of things. And look, there are people and children and animals for that matter in this world to feel bad for — Thom Brennaman’s not one of them. I’m not one of those guys to feel bad for. I created the situation and I’m the one that’s got to live with it — don’t feel bad about it for me. But yes, when you’re going through in that moment in time and you’re live on television. There is a game going on which you’re also trying to announce — because that’s why you’re there.”

Brennaman was caught in a unique situation (of his own making) and watched as his professional career came crashing down in real-time. The broadcaster identified the criticism his apology received as a sign of what’s wrong with the world.

“For people to criticize a sincere apology when everything that was going on in my quote-unquote world at that point in time — it was the best I could do,” Brennaman said. “And once you hear people, Grant, start criticizing your apology? That’s when you know that there is a lot wrong with a lot of people. Not just me — and I’ve got a lot wrong with me. There is a lot wrong in this world.” 

Listen to the full appearance from Brennaman here.

Sports TV News

Former Hulu Exec Michael Schneider Hired To Run Bally Sports+

“Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.”

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Sinclair Broadcast Group and Diamond Sports Group have tapped Michael Schneider as the chief operating officer and general manager of Bally Sports+ when it launches this year.

Schneider will oversee the direct-to-consumer platform that will also be the hub for Bally Sports live programming.

Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.

“Throughout his career, Michael has successfully launched and developed DTC streaming and service platforms and created immersive engagement experiences,” said Sinclair COO and president of broadcast Rob Weisbord. “He is a terrific addition to the team as we build out the Bally Sports+ offering, its exclusive content and passionate fan community.”

Even before Hulu, Schneider had a hand in streaming. He was a founding member of the PlayStation Vue launch team.

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Marquee Sports Network Weighs Streaming Options Outside of Bally Sports+

“Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.”

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As Sinclair Broadcast Group prepares to launch Bally Sports+, its direct-to-consumer platform that will be home to Bally Sports live events, the Chicago Cubs are weighing their options for Marquee Sports Network, which the team co-owns with Sinclair.

Despite being under the Sinclair umbrella, Marquee is its own free-standing RSN from the rest of the Bally Sports networks across the country.

Marquee is readily available on a number of cable providers, but the only thing that’s really missing is its own standalone streaming platform for games. Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.

“We’re always interested in being on the cutting edge with the ultimate deliverable to our consumer,” McCarthy said. “But there isn’t any contractual clock ticking to make us feel that way. It’s how we’ve approached things from the beginning. Between our two ownership groups, there’s a lot of aggression to get it right. And I think you’ll see something along those lines shortly.”

The TV ratings will always be of top interest for MLB, especially regional ratings. But as the league has worked to embrace more streaming options for games, striking deals with Apple and Peacock for rights this season, it’s all about providing what the fans and viewers want.

“We now have the ability to do so much more, to properly tell the story of a 162-game season,” said Crane Kenney, Chicago Cubs president of business operations. Kenney was instrumental in the launch of Marquee. “We love baseball, we love the game, and we love the opportunity we have to share it with our fans in really deep ways.”

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Laura Rutledge Celebrates Chemistry Of NFL Live

“It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”

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Laura Rutledge is very happy with where NFL Live is as the current lineup gets set to enter its third season together. She told The Big Lead that there is genuine chemistry between herself, Marcus Spears, Mina Kimes, and Dan Orlovsky and that is why she doesn’t feel the need to emulate any of sports television’s many debate shows.

“You don’t want to see people yelling at each other all the time and I’m really proud of the chemistry that we have struck and just letting that breathe on air and having so much fun. It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”

The 2022 NFL season will have a very different feel for ESPN. The addition of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for Monday Night Football adds new expectations to the network.

Rutledge said that the attention on the network means that she and her colleagues have to raise their respective games, but that shouldn’t be hard. There is always material to work with in this league.

“We’ve seen this offseason, we saw the previous offseason, how the NFL news cycle never stops. It’s funny because the news cycle becomes such a big piece of the story, but we’re like, we can’t wait for the games,” she said.

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