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Denver Nuggets, Make-A-Wish Give Broadcasting Hopeful a Shot on Altitude TV

Chris Marlowe offered the board he uses for all of the player information during the broadcast. But the youngster declined, saying he already knows the players pretty well.

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Thursday’s Phoenix Suns-Denver Nuggets telecast on Altitude TV featured a cool moment for an aspiring broadcaster, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Nuggets welcomed 16-year-old Levi Lips for a tour of Ball Arena, taking the stage at a press conference, and getting some shots on the court. He was also interviewed on Altitude TV’s pregame show and announced the game’s starting lineups.

But most importantly for the broadcasting hopeful, via Awful Announcing, Levi got to sit with play-by-play announcer Chris Marlowe and analyst Katy Winge during the second quarter of the Nuggets telecast. Marlowe teased Levi about wanting to take his job, which he’s not ready to give up yet, before turning the mic over for calling some play-by-play.

Just before Levi took over the call, however, there was a funny exchange in which Marlowe offered the board he uses for all of the player information during the broadcast. But the youngster declined, saying he already knows the players pretty well.

Winge teased Marlowe about giving up the mic during a free throw, when there’s not a whole lot of action on the court. But that was probably an astute move by the veteran play-by-play broadcaster, giving Levi a chance to survey who was on the court and get his bearings.

Levi quickly learned just how much you have to talk while calling play-by-play, more than a fan might guess. And he was surely nervous, as most any non-professional would be in that situation. But the high school senior showed his potential with a nice call on DeMarcus Cousins’ three-pointer.

Altitude posted Levi’s interview with Winge on Twitter, giving a wider audience a chance to see it on social media.

As detailed on the Levi’s Prayer Warriors Facebook page, Lips required brain surgery at just 10 months old to prevent him from a number of seizures he was experiencing. In 2019, Levi had a seizure for the first time in 14 years. A subsequent seizure caused a fall resulting in a concussion. An exam revealed a brain tumor.

During surgery to remove the tumor, Levi suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on his left side. Since then, he’s undergone physical and occupational therapy to regain function and control.

Judging from the videos above, Levi appears to be recovering very nicely and he’ll attend Utah State in the fall to study broadcast journalism. And thanks to Make-A-Wish, the Nuggets, and Altitude TV, he got to experience a special evening. Hopefully, it’s just the first step in a properous life and broadcasting career. Many of us will be able to say this is the first time we saw and heard Levi Lips on the call.

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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