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Michael Kay Reportedly Joining ARod On ESPN’s Baseball Manningcast

“What exactly will the baseball version be if ESPN is setting it up to include a play-by-play man and an analyst?”

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Plans sure seem to be coming together quickly for ESPN’s alternate broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball. On Wednesday, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported that the baseball-centric Manningcast knock-off was merely a consideration. On Thursday, he reported that ESPN has already picked a partner to join Alex Rodriguez on the show.

Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay is reportedly the choice. The name isn’t surprising, because Marchand had previously reported that part of the motivation for moving ARod out of the traditional Sunday Night Baseball booth was the former Yankee slugger’s desire to work with Kay and not Karl Ravech, who will be the new play-by-play man.

One of the things that made the Manningcast a unique presentation of Monday Night Football was that there was no experienced broadcaster leading the proceedings. It was just two brothers, who both won multiple Super Bowls, watching the game and talking about it with their friends and peers. What exactly will the baseball version be if ESPN is setting it up to include a play-by-play man and an analyst?

The argument could be that Rodriguez doesn’t have the charisma and natural comedic skills that Peyton and Eli do. That means the alternate baseball broadcast can feel similar to the Manningcast, but trying to be too similar would set ESPN up for failure.

Marchand writes that he expects there will be guests. Just how many of these alternate broadcasts we get is still up in the air. ESPN is set to carry 25 Sunday Night Baseball games in 2022. He speculates we could see somewhere between ten and twelve shows hosted by Kay and Rodriguez.

This would not replace Michael Kay’s other job. Assuming there is baseball in 2022, he will stay with YES calling Yankee games.

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Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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USA Today

Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer

“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”

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According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.

Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.

The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.

The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options. 

NFL+ would make NFL Media more valuable. The league is trying to sell an equity stake in its linear TV and digital media properties. Amazon and Apple are considered the most likely to make a deal. 

A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.

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