CBS Sports is expanding its coverage, launching a unit that will cover Race and Culture. As announced by the network Tuesday, the unit will be led by veteran journalist David Cummings and Sarah M. Kasadi.
According to CBS Sports’ official announcement, the Race and Culture Unit will “pinpoint opportunities, identify priorities, and help shape the editorial director for all CBS Sports content at the intersection of sport, race, and culture.” The network will also take steps to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are emphasized in creating content and raising issues to cover.
Cummings was named Senior Director. His previous work includes a stint as senior deputy editor for ESPN the Magazine, in addition to covering sports for the New York Daily News, Miami Herald, and The Source.
“Diversity and inclusion have long been a part of CBS Sports’ DNA before DE&I became a part of major corporations’ internal focus. For me, it dates back to the revolutionary cast of The NFL Today, with Irv Cross and Phyllis George, in the 1970s,” Cummings said in a statement.
“Today, we have a tremendous opportunity to build on and strengthen that DNA, focusing a diverse lens on the content we create, the messages we send, the voices we hear, and the stories we tell. I am excited for all that Sarah and I can create together, further elevating CBS Sports.”
Kazadi will be Senior Producer. She returns to CBS Sports after working as a feature producer at ESPN for The Undefeated and E60. Other news outlets featuring her work include The New York Times, The Guardian, and Newsweek. Recently, she produced and reported for the documentary I Run With Maud: A Promise. A Movement, which chronicled Black distance runners banding together for change and justice in light of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder.
“It’s a blessing to rejoin the CBS Sports team in this special role,” Kazadi added. “Honoring those who have been historically excluded and misrepresented is a personal passion. I’m excited about creating compelling work that strives to meet the moment.”
Cummings and Kazadi will be tasked with building on programming devoted to race and diversity, including the all-female sports talk show We Need to Talk, the Portraits in Black series of features, and content focusing on the first-ever HBCU men’s college basketball All-Star game being played April 3 in New Orleans.
In 2020, CBS News created a similar unit to cover Race and Culture, led by veteran ESPN and ABC News producer Alvin Patrick.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.