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Cameron Maybin Excited to Join YES Network: ‘I Couldn’t Turn It Down’

“After three innings, that’s all they wanted us to do, I put down the headset, Peter [Rosenberg] and I turned to Cameron and said ‘You are going to be a huge star.'”

Ricky Keeler

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Once the 2022 Major League Baseball season actually begins, there will be a new addition to the YES Network booth. Cameron Maybin will be one of the new in-game analysts calling New York Yankees games this season (joining Carlos Beltran)

His broadcasting agent, Mark Lepselter, told BSM that Cameron Maybin is scheduled to be the analyst on 40 games this season working alongside Michael Kay, who auditioned him.

Maybin had a 15-year MLB career, which included one season with the Yankees in 2019 (batting .285 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 82 games) where he became a fan favorite.

Maybin was the fill-in host for CC Sabathia this week on The Ringer’s R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco, who could be the play-by-play announcer on some of the games Maybin broadcasts this season. Ruocco said he knew that Maybin was going to be a star in this industry:

“I know the kind of career you are about to have in this business. For me to just be a part of the spark, I take great pride in that,” said Ruocco.

“When you came in and did your audition for YES, as soon as you were done, I had Troy Benjamin [lead producer for Yankees]… When you were a Yankee, I told him, dude, we should be tracking Cam when he’s done, he’s going to be a great analyst. He texted me the second you were done and he was just like, ‘Cam was incredible. He crushed his audition.’”

Michael Kay also talked about Maybin’s audition on The Michael Kay Show on Thursday. Kay and Maybin did three innings of a Yankees-Mets game from last year as part of Maybin’s audition and Kay enjoyed every second of it.

We sat in a studio in Stamford and we did the first three innings of a Yankees-Mets game from last year,” Kay explained. “After three innings, that’s all they wanted us to do, I put down the headset, Peter [Rosenberg] and I turned to Cameron and said ‘You are going to be a huge star.’ People are going to be shocked at how good this guy is. The first time he ever put on a headset, totally natural, funny, engaging, handsome, current, young. He’s going to be a star.”

“It’s a tremendous opportunity working with John Filippelli [President of Production and Programming] over at YES,” Lepselter said. “I know Cameron was very appreciative of Michael Kay’s guidance in the audition process.”

Maybin mentioned that he loves listening to baseball games and he wants to bring something different to the games in the booth this season because of the experience he had playing the game:

“I love listening to the game. I really enjoy listening to Michael Kay, David Cone, Nate Burleson. Even the guys who don’t do the broadcast,” said Maybin.

“I’m a people person. I love everyone. I thought what an opportunity to give people a different perspective, different voice, different flavor. 15 years of experience, I’ve been in three different decades of baseball… The opportunity that I had, the experience I was able to have, I want to share that with people. I enjoy sharing moments so why not share those moments with the fans.

“I fell in love with New York playing for the Yankees. So to have the opportunity to cover the Yankees, I think one of the more historic franchises in sports history… The opportunity to come to the YES Network, continue to feel like I am still somewhat a part of the Yankees family. The opportunity couldn’t work out better for me. I couldn’t turn it down. I am excited about the journey and doing it at the highest level.”

Even though baseball has been a game focused on analytics in recent years, Maybin wants to bring to the viewer what he is seeing as a former player:

“I’m by no means the smartest guy in the room,” he said. “I want to be able to connect with those fans that don’t know all the numbers. Tell me what’s going on, tell me what’s happening, why it’s happening. A lot of fans, they just want you to tell them what’s going on in the game. I want to bring that organic aspect.” 

This is just the first major deal for Maybin. Lepselter says his client will have two more announcements in the near future.

Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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