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Kevin Harlan Said He Got to call Bills-Dolphins Game Sunday “By Luck”

“I don’t know anyone could have forecast that it would be this kind of setup. It was determined before the season even began. We kind of got lucky, and that’s basically it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Sunday’s thrilling Miami Dolphins victory over the Buffalo Bills turned out to be one of the top games of Week 3 of the NFL season. Buffalo running out of time at the end of their 21-19 loss infuriated offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey so much that he essentially trashed everything in front of him in the booth. The moment was captured by CBS cameras and became a viral moment on social media.

For play-by-play man Kevin Harlan, getting the chance to call the game for CBS was predetermined by the network brass before the season even started.

“It’s just by luck and just by the draw that we got this game,” Harlan told Richard Deitsch of The Athletic. “I don’t know anyone could have forecast that it would be this kind of setup. It was determined before the season even began. We kind of got lucky, and that’s basically it.”

Harlan noted that the broadcast crew assignments are put together for the first three weeks of the season. From there it becomes a week-to-week sort of thing. But network executives do put a lot of thought into who goes where.

“I think people think that we are throwing darts up at a board and putting broadcast teams wherever, but there’s a lot that goes into it,” Harlan said. “(CBS Sports executives) have multi-person meetings where they’re looking at (coverage) maps, trying to figure out where our games will go and what teams will draw the best audience. Clearly, when you have (Jim) Nantz and (Tony) Romo as our signature team, they want to put them with the best teams, as they should. The rest of the crews all kind of fall in line after that.”

Kevin added that while Nantz and Romo could’ve easily been in Miami instead of Indianapolis like they were, they’re glad they stuck to the plan. Still, while an early season battle between two 2-0 teams on paper seemed amazing, that didn’t change Harlan’s mindset and prep work.

“CBS decided not to make a change. We’re thankful for that,” he said. But (he, broadcast partner Trent Green and sideline reporter Melanie Collins) would approach this game if was 0-2 versus 0-2 the same exact way.”

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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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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