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ESPN To Celebrate Dick Vitale During 2021 V Week

“Raising funds for cancer research is a long-standing tradition at ESPN.”

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ESPN’s 15th annual V Week for cancer research and awareness begins today, and ESPN has a whole bunch of promotions in store for the special event.

ESPN is launching the Campaign for a Cause: ESPN and the V Foundation x StockX, which allows fans to have a chance to win celebrity sneakers and memorabilia during V Week through StockX’s Campaign for a Cause benefiting the V Foundation.

Celebrities involved in the campaign include Drake, Kevin Durant, Mike Krzyzewski, Nyjah Huston, Naomi Osaka, and more.

A new addition to V Week is is the development of #VStrongBaby to show support for ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, who returned to call his first game of the men’s college basketball season last Tuesday after being diagnosed with lymphoma in October. The hashtag is accompanied by a customized heart emoji in honor of the legendary commentator, which ESPN will feature throughout V Week.

ESPN also continues on in funding the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, which continues to address health inequities that exist in cancer.

“The ongoing pandemic has continued to disrupt the critical need to fundraise for cancer research and address the health disparities impacting people of color in their fight against cancer,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “Raising funds for cancer research is a long-standing tradition at ESPN, and we are committed to continuing our work to close the gap in cancer disparities experienced by patients of minority populations and improve their outcomes.”

Along with these traditions, the Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s classics take place next week. The Men’s Classics begin Tuesday, December 7, followed by the Women’s Classics on Sunday, December 12, all airing live on ESPN.

Since the V Foundation’s inception in 1993, ESPN has helped raise more than $142 million in the fight to end cancer. Direct donations can be made at www.v.org/donate.

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Peacock Will Stream July 3rd Royals-Tigers Game Without Announcers

Instead or traditional play-by-play and color analysis, the broadcast will feature something “completely different,” as Sam Flood, NBC Sports executive producer puts it. The broadcast will show reporters that will take fans around the ballpark and view the game from different vantage points.

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Tiger, Royals, Peacock
Peter Aiken-USA Today Sports

On July 3rd, the Detroit Tigers will play host to the Kansas City Royals. That division battle will air on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. That game will also air without any announcers.

Instead or traditional play-by-play and color analysis, the broadcast will feature something “completely different,” as Sam Flood, NBC Sports executive producer puts it. The broadcast will show reporters that will take fans around the ballpark and view the game from different vantage points.

“The whole idea of this is treating a game completely different. We’re going to take you out to the ballpark,” said Flood. “We just want to be the ultimate fan’s experience and spend it like anyone else. It’s an American holiday celebration weekend. We’re going to lean in and treat baseball like fans do.”

Ahmed Fareed, MLB Sunday Leadoff host and in-game reporter will be part of the game. He will be joined by Bally Sports Detroit analyst Craig Monroe and NBC Sports’ Britney Eurton.

It’s not the first time that networks have attempted to do a game telecast without traditional announcers. TNT attempted “players-only” broadcasts a few years ago, but stopped doing them shortly after due to the lack of interest in the format, to be kind.

“One of our goals for the Peacock game has been to celebrate the game and the players and everything that makes the sport special. So for this game that kind of gives us an opportunity to celebrate everything that makes baseball special off the field,” Fareed said.

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BetMGM Agrees to Become Exclusive Sportsbook of the The BetQL Network

The partnership is an exclusive multi-year agreement that significantly expands the current relationship between BetMGM and Audacy. The BetQL Network launched in June of 2021 and has expanded from two markets to 31 markets.

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BetMGM and BetQL

On Monday, a partnership between BetMGM and The BetQL Network was made official. It was announced that BetMGM will become the exclusive sportsbook of the network, owned by Audacy.

The partnership is an exclusive multi-year agreement that significantly expands the current relationship between BetMGM and Audacy. The BetQL Network launched in June of 2021 and has expanded from two markets to 31 markets.

“We are delighted to expand our strategic partnership with BetMGM, highlighted by their new exclusive position with the BetQL Network,” said David Field, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Audacy. “Barely a year old, the BetQL Network has a bright future ahead of it as legalized sports betting continues to expand over the next decade.”

BetMGM will have category exclusivity of the network’s full slate of programming, including flagship program You Better You Bet, commencing in September.

BetQL Network’s weekly lineup will distribute approximately 100 hours of original content per week on the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms. Audacy will also produce content for live audiences at various MGM Resorts across the country who will host the network inside of BetMGM sportsbooks.

“We’re excited to further our strategic partnership with Audacy and to bring our market-leading sports betting and gaming entertainment content to millions of listeners nationwide across the entire BetQL Network platform,” said Matt Prevost, Chief Revenue Officer, BetMGM.

BetMGM hasn’t been shy in attempting to increase their market share. They announced earlier this month that they have partnered with Carnival to offer sports betting on select cruises ships.

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Aqib Talib, Andrew Whitworth Expected To Join Amazon’s Thursday Night Football

Talib and Whitworth are expected to be a part of the studio team but will not be analysts as the desk. They will contribute in other portions of the Amazon studio and produce other NFL content.

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Aqib Talib and Andrew Whitworth

The roster is continuing to load up for Amazon’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts. Two more recent retirees are expected to be a part of the games’ coverage. Aqib Talib and Andrew Whitworth are the two former players expected to sign on soon.

Talib and Whitworth are expected to be a part of the studio team but will not be analysts as the desk. They will contribute in other portions of the Amazon studio and produce other NFL content.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.

Talib retired in 2019 after his last season with the Los Angeles Rams. Whitworth retired after this past season after winning the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams.

So far, the reported crew is Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit in the booth, Charissa Thompson (reported, not confirmed) to host the “studio” desk, Tony Gonzalez will be on the desk as well as will Richard Sherman and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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