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.
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.