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SVP SportsCenter Debuts Sept. 7

Jason Barrett

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After months of planning, preparation and rehearsal, the new midnight (ET) edition of ESPNSportsCenter, hosted by Scott Van Pelt, will premier Monday, Sept. 7, immediately following ESPN’s telecast of the game between No. 1 Ohio State and Virginia Tech.

The longtime ESPN anchor, who also previously hosted a program on ESPN Radio, will introduce a different version of SportsCenter, presenting the world of sports as seen through his unique perspective.

“Scott and a team of very talented and creative people have been working hard to be ready to launch a new and entertaining midnight SportsCenter,” said Rob King, ESPN senior vice president, SportsCenter and News. “The show will deliver what sports fans are used to fromSportsCenter but in a different and fast-paced way, led by the intellect, humor and sports fandom of Scott Van Pelt.”

Much as was done on the previous SVP & Russillo radio show, the program will showcase Van Pelt’s passion for sports, with his self-deprecating wit and disposition toward celebrating stars and storylines.

“It’s still SportsCenter,” said Van Pelt. “It’s still a show that at its core is about whatever has happened that day in sports – highlights and stories – and not a variety show. It’s our interpretation of what SportsCenter would be if you blended it with some room for commentary. The crux is that it’s SportsCenter, just our version of it.”

While presenting the day’s news and highlights with Van Pelt’s own spin, the program also will offer commentary, guests and interviews, with featured elements that set it apart from other editions of SportsCenter, including:

  • One Big Thing — the trademark essay from Van Pelt’s radio program
  • Bad Beats — games that had a unique resonance in Las Vegas
  • Best Available Video — the fun, extraordinary images of the day
  • Best Thing I Saw Today — Van Pelt’s nightly pick of the signature moment/topic
  • Oh, No! — a kinder, gentler, and shorter version of the SportsCenter “Not Top 10,” presented with empathy
  • West Coast Bias — a feature designed to serve fans who watch at 9 p.m. PT, at times including 1 a.m. SportsCenter anchors Neil Everett and Stan Verrett.
  • Where in the World Isn’t SVP? — Tweets from fans who see lookalikes of Van Pelt at places around the world

“Our thought was ‘how do we create a long list of possible ways to just take a different approach to stories?’” Van Pelt said. “It’s a great group of creative people, and we’re far from done. September 7 is when the show starts, but we don’t have to be done then. Our list of ideas won’t end that day. That’s just the first day we take a stab at it.”

Music will play a large role in distinguishing this edition of SportsCenter from others, with a special new cut of the SportsCenter theme produced by Timbaland in collaboration with Jingle Jared for jingle punks. Also, Van Pelt favorite Trombone Shorty provides music for a regular football season Thursday segment called “Winners,” a carryover from his radio show.

New graphics have been designed especially for the program and the show’s set will have a refined desk, lighting and overall positioning for a differentiated, intimate feel.

Key members of the show’s staff include producer Tom DeCorte, director Rodney Perez and “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, a former producer of Van Pelt’s radio show, who will have both an on- and off-air role, appearing on-camera for segments and also helping to book guests and conceive show ideas.

The program will be found on Twitter with the hashtag #SCSVP, as well as Van Pelt’s @notthefakesvp and @SportsCenter.

The premier of the show coincides with the 36th anniversary of the launch of ESPN on Sept. 7, 1979.

“That’s an honor,” Van Pelt said. “They tried something different 36 years ago, and we’re trying something just a little bit different here.

“The good news for me is that I have 36 years of what’s been great about ESPN and what’s been great about SportsCenter behind me, so I can stand on the shoulders of all the folks who have built it.”

Credit to ESPN Media Zone who originally published this article

Sports TV News

Pedro Martinez: ‘Never Imagined’ TV Career

“And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.”

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As the Major League Baseball season comes to a close and preparations for the playoffs begin, MLB Network and TNT analyst Pedro Martinez joined The Press Box podcast to discuss his time as a television analyst.

When asked what he liked about working in television, Martinez didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“I think it’s a platform and the opportunity I have to bring to the audience what I know, what I think, what I understand and broadcasting gives me the opportunity to continue to have that communication with the people, the young athletes and fans. At the same time, I’m able to continue to learn and transmit some of the things that I would love to show everybody by playing but my body doesn’t allow me, but my mind does.

“This is a great way to bring the right information to the people, but I take advantage of the platform to communicate with my fanbase, the player’s fanbase, and the voice behind the players and the situations that come up, I can actually teach the audience some of the things that I understand from my point of view.”

A media career was never in the cards for Martinez. At least that’s what he thought during his playing career.

“I swear to god, it’s the only thing I never imagined. I never thought I would like being in front of a camera,” Martinez said. “And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.

“You learn so much just by having access to information, having access to so many other different things. A lot of people would be surprised how much you can dig into and I think for everybody else, if they knew the kind of information we have access to, they’d be intrigued to come do what we do.”

He then said one of the things he would have never picked up on was how many pitchers tip their pitches, but due to all of the information, video, and relationships broadcasters have make that information readily available. He added his work in television has enabled more relationships with baseball players from his home country, the Dominican Republic.

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Stephen A. Smith and Malika Andrews Get Heated Over Ime Udoka Coverage

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

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Stephen A. Smith, Malika Andrews

On Friday’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith continued his stance regarding the public leaking of information surrounding Celtics’ Head Coach Ime Udoka relationship with a team staffer. He also went further by sharing his dismay that Udoka was seemingly the only person punished for the violation of company policy.

“Only he is in violation of the company policy?” Smith asked. “The woman who elected to have a consensual relationship with him is not in violation?” 

Before the end of the show, ESPN NBA Today host Malika Andrews called in the program and wanted to address Smith’s comments.

“Stephen A., with all do respect, this is not about pointing the finger. Stop,” Andrews said. “The fact that we are sitting here debating whether somebody else should have been suspended or not, we are not here, Stephen A., to further blame women.”

Smith would replay saying that his intention was not blame anyone outside of the Celtics coach.

“First of all, let me be very clear, I don’t appreciate where you’re going with that, I’m not blaming anybody but Ime Udoka,” Smith stated. “The fact of the matter is, he deserves to be fired if they were going to fire him. If you’re not going to fire him, then don’t fire him. My issue is all of this being publicized.”

Andrews tried to jump back in for further commentary but Smith stopped that and noted he didn’t appreciate being interrupted on “my show”.

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

Andrews did thank Smith for clarifying his stance at the end of the segment. ESPN has removed access to the video from its YouTube channel by making it private.

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Rich Eisen on Tom Brady Joining FOX: ‘I Gotta See It to Believe It’

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow.”

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Is 2023 the year we see Tom Brady in the broadcast booth for FOX? Rich Eisen isn’t so sure.

“I still gotta see it to believe it, I’ll be honest with you, man. I know it’s a great chunk of change and it’s a lot of money. I don’t know,” the NFL Network icon said on the most recent edition of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast.

Tom Brady has taken his foot off the gas in 2022 in a more public way than fans are used to. He voluntarily missed eleven days of training camp and has announced that he will not be available to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesdays during the season.

Eisen says if Brady is looking for a less demanding career, broadcasting isn’t the best option.

“It is a lot of work. And I’m not saying Brady’s not up for it, but if he’s been grinding for 23, 24 years, it’s still a grind in its own way.”

FOX signed Brady to a ten-year deal reportedly worth $375 million to start after he retires. He will be in the network’s top broadcast booth and also serve as an ambassador for the network’s coverage of the NFL.

Eisen says there is a much better model for Brady’s media career in his old rival Peyton Manning.

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow,” Eisen said. “Peyton Manning could be making that much money in the booth himself, right? Instead, he’s got his own production company and he’s doing the games, but not all of them, only 10 of them. And he’s doing them from his basement and he’s got the rights to the games!”

He added that Tom Brady “write his own ticket like that” if he chose to do something similar to what Manning has done with Omaha Productions.

Brady has not had much to say about his deal with FOX since the news became public. In June, he told Dan Patrick that he knows his first season in the booth will come with a lot of growing pains.

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