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Ready Named Hornets TV Analyst

Jason Barrett

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Fox Sports Southeast has promoted Stephanie Ready to NBA game analyst covering the Charlotte Hornets.

Ready is entering her 12th season with Hornets telecasts, previously working as the host of “Hornets LIVE!” and as a sideline reporter.

She was an assistant coach in the NBA D-League, making her the first woman to coach a men’s professional sports team. She also two spent seasons as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball program at Coppin State, the first female to hold the position of full-time recruiting assistant on an NCAA Division I men’s basketball staff.

“I am so excited because this is why I got into sports broadcasting,” Ready said. “Years ago I envisioned myself being a game analyst — and not necessarily with the NBA. But once I started working with the NBA team in Charlotte in 2004 that really became my focus.”

Ready will join new play-by-play announcer Eric Collins and returning game analyst Dell Curry as part of a three-person crew.

Hornets president and COO Fred Whitfield said Ready impressed everyone involved when she filled in for Curry in the past as a game analyst on Hornets games.

Whitfield said the hire didn’t have anything to do with Ready’s gender, but rather was a reflection of her knowledge, experience and talent.

“She has sort of been a trailblazer throughout her career, but what was most attractive to us was the fact that she’s a former player and a former coach,” Whitfield said. “We thought she could bring a different perspective being a former D-League coach. We thought it would give our fans a little more in-depth look and understanding of what is happening as the game progresses.”

Said Ready: “It’s special because I feel like both the Hornets organization and Fox Sports have put the stereotypical gender issues aside. Fox has always been innovative with sports broadcasting. So the idea that both of those entities together thought that this was a good idea, and thought this would work, was just beyond flattering.”

Collins joins the crew after working with FOX Sports and FOX Sports 1 as a play-by-play announcer for Big East college basketball, college football and Major League Baseball. He has called games for ESPN, NBC Sports ABC Sports and the Big Ten Network.

Credit to the Macon Telegraph who originally published this article

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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