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CBS Parts Ways With David Feherty

Jason Barrett

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In a move that’s disappointing for viewers of The Masters, PGA Championship and the approximately 20 golf tournaments aired on its network, CBS will part ways with its funny, sarcastic and outspoken golf analyst David Feherty. The former pro from Northern Ireland had been with the network for nearly 20 years. The news was reported by John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, which said CBS and Feherty couldn’t reach an agreement on his “role in the network’s golf coverage.” SBJ said last week’s tournament — the Barclays — was Feherty’s last.

Feherty should have been a divisive television figure, with his demeanor that was decidedly different from the usually staid golf commentary generations grew up with. He was caustic, he wasn’t afraid to make fun of players and he was far too lighthearted for such an “important” sport.

Yet Feherty’s devil-may-care attitude and his distinct personality made him one of the most lovable analysts on TV. He had carte blanche to say whatever he’d like, almost like a golf Charles Barkley (a compliment which pleased him when I suggested it to him earlier this year). Feherty is a beloved golf voice and a quick search of Twitter shows how angry people are about the report. Feherty was every bit as important to CBS’s golf coverage as Jim Nantz or Nick Faldo.

That’s why it’s hard to imagine Feherty sitting on the sidelines for too long. Fox is in desperate need of a voice after its U.S. Open debacle, but will he want to go to a network that broadcasts one big event per year? Feherty already has a relationship with NBC, with his self-titled show on the NBC Sports-owned Golf Channel. That network airs a handful of events per year, plus the Ryder Cup (which Feherty would be great on) and the Olympics, where golf will make its debut in 2016. Plus, NBC will regain the major Fox bought away when it starts airing the British Open in 2017.

Credit to USA Today who originally published this article

Sports TV News

Alex Rodriguez: You Used To Be Able To Hang Out With Reporters And Know It Was Off the Record

“I would say that back then it was a little bit more of a camaraderie.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The way that MLB players interact with reporters has evolved and changed significantly over the years in Alex Rodriguez’s eyes.

In a media availability Tuesday ahead of the season premiere of the KayRod Cast, ESPN’s alternate feed of select games slated for Sunday Night Baseball featuring Rodriguez and Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay, A-Rod was asked for his biggest surprises as the media coverage has transitioned over the years.

“I would say that back then it was a little bit more of a camaraderie,” Rodriguez said. “You could actually go to a bar and have drinks with reporters, believe it or not, and talk about, you know — and everything was pretty much off the record.”

In today’s game, Rodriguez said you won’t find it being the case where reporters and players are friends away from their respective jobs.

“That ship has left, right? I think it’s just a lot more Twitter, get out there first. Fact check later, but shoot first,” he said. “As a result, I think it’s made players and everybody a little bit more aware.”

“I think in a long-worded answer, I think relationships that go back many years, I think, win in the long run, that trust,” A-Rod added.

The second season of the KayRod Cast starts on Sunday at 7 p.m. featuring the defending N.L. champion Philadelphia Phillies and the Texas Rangers.

Kay and Rodriguez will be live from ESPN’s Seaport District Studios in New York City. There are eight total editions of the KayRod Cast scheduled for the 2023 season.

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Sports TV News

Elite 8 Sees Ratings Drop

“Much of the pandemonium, given the number of upsets in this year’s tournament, unsurprisingly impacted viewership as things advanced.”

Jordan Bondurant

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With the last two number one seeds bowing out of the 2023 NCAA tournament by the end of the Sweet 16, viewership for the Elite 8 expectedly dropped.

Over 11 million tuned in for the Miami/Texas regional final on CBS. Viewership for the two versus four seed matchup was down 17% compared to the Elite 8 game in the same window last year (UNC/Saint Peter’s). The broadcast was also the lowest rated and least-watched Elite 8 game in that window in seven years.

San Diego State/Creighton in the early game on Sunday drew 8.34 million viewers, which was down 12% year over year.

Almost 8 million watched UConn cruise past Gonzaga on TBS late Saturday night, while Florida Atlantic’s historic upset over Kansas State had a little more than 7 million watch. The Owls’ win over the Wildcats was only down 1% when looking at the numbers from the same window in 2022 (Villanova/Houston).

Much of the pandemonium, given the number of upsets in this year’s tournament, unsurprisingly impacted viewership as things advanced.

But the Final Four and the national championship are often the three most-watched college basketball games of the year, so there should be no shortage of eyeballs glued to Houston this weekend.

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Sports TV News

Hawk Harrelson: ‘I Didn’t Retire, I Got Retired’

“I got fired is what it all boils down to.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Former Chicago White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson opened up about his departure from the team in 2018. In an appearance Tuesday on the Foul Territory podcast, Harrelson said his whole farewell that season was forced.

“I didn’t retire,” Harrelson said talking to former White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski and co-host Scott Braun. “I got retired.”

“I got fired is what it all boils down to,” he added.

Harrelson, who was the 2020 Ford C. Frick Award winner given by the Baseball Hall of Fame, said he stand behind the claim that he was shown the door.

“I’m sure that they will deny that. But it’s what led up to that and everything else, that’s interesting,” Harrelson said.

The White Sox hired Jason Benetti in 2016 as Harrelson’s fill-in. Benetti continues to call games on NBC Sports Chicago full-time.

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