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Stanford Steve Explains How Bad Beats Segment Works

“That’s got to be our, they call it the accordion segment, where we can make it as short or long as we can.”

Ricky Keeler

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After Monday Night Football on ESPN, people look forward to SportsCenter With Scott Van Pelt and hearing Van Pelt and Stanford Steve Coughlin breakdown all of the “Bad Beats” of the weekend across sports. As sports gambling continues to grow in the country, people look to that segment to see the craziest finishes that affect who will win money off a wild finish and who ends up losing money in an instant.

On the latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media PodcastStanford Steve joined Jimmy Traina to talk about Bad Beats and he said that it’s fun to see people react to the segment on social media every week and how much it has grown.

“If you’ve been there, you’ve been there. It’s so funny because with social media now and the reaction you get. I’ll send a clip out when I get it from my people and a lot of people, that’s the way they see it now…The younger demo with gambling opening up everywhere, people are getting more invested. You can tell it’s their first time being a part of it and there’s nothing like it.” 

According to Steve, Bad Beats was originally a segment on ESPN Radio when he was with Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo. That experience is what cemented the idea that the segment needed a visual element.

“In radio, we would just read a game recap story and it just didn’t have it. People wanted to be on it and they would call and be like did you see Iona the other night? It was just kind of tough to do.” 

As far as how much planning goes into the segment now, Steve said that there is an afternoon ZOOM call and sometimes they have to narrow down almost a half-hour of video after a list is formed from social media and show staff suggestions. Plus, it is a segment that is not rehearsed.

“We watch the clip in our office when we get into work. We don’t say anything, we just watch it just to get names down. We want to try to be as correct as we can with people. This is their one time on there. We want to make sure to get their names right. Last week, we watched it one time through the clip in the office and then we went down and we did it.

“We’ve been doing them live lately because of the NFL games going long. That’s got to be our, they call it the accordion segment, where we can make it as short or long as we can. There’s no rehearsal. I just think it is over 10 years of knowing each other and the disgusting thing of he and I is most of the time, we have watched these games live.”

Even though the segment isn’t rehearsed, the amount of entertainment, humor, and knowledge Van Pelt and Stanford Steve bring to that segment make it a must-watch on a weekly basis. 

Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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NFL Studio

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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Sports TV News

ESPN Assigns Broadcast Teams for MLB Wild Card Round

In preparation for the postseason, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

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Wild Card
David Berding/Getty Images

There are just a few games left in the MLB season and the postseason begins this weekend with the Wild Card round. In preparation, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

Andrew Marchand reports that the team assigned to the presumptive New York Mets Wild Card series will be Karl Ravech, David Cone and Eduardo Perez. The Mets still mathematically can win the NL East but they trail the Braves by two games with three to play.

He also reports that the St. Louis Wild Card series will be called by Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. The Cleveland series will be broadcast by Boog Sciambi and Doug Glanville while the Toronto series will be called by Dave Flemming, Jessica Mendoza and Tim Kurkjian.

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Sports TV News

Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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