Sports TV News
espnW Reveals New Programming
espnW will kick off Voices of the Future powered by New Balance, a five-part video series that will highlight the journey of five young accomplished female athletes on espnW.com from September 9 – October 6. Originally making its debut as a panel at the inaugural espnW: Women + Sports Summit in 2010, Voices of the Future has continued to grow as a year-round platform for the next generation of rising stars in sports.
The series will be hosted by espnW’s Julie Foudy, who will take a dive deep into the lives of U.S. women’s soccer star and FIFA World Cup winner Julie Johnston, three-time NCAA National Basketball champion Breanna Stewart, WTA British No. 1-ranked tennis talent Heather Watson and two-time 2015 Pan American Games track and field gold medalist Shamier Little. The fifth athlete will be named at a later date.
In her playful style, Foudy will talk to each athlete about what drives her to succeed and how they continue to push themselves to new heights, challenges they face as a young athlete and heroes who inspired them along the way.
“We are pleased with New Balance’s support of Voices of the Future. We are eager to tell the stories of these talented, seemingly fearless, young stars,” said Laura Gentile, vice president, espnW. ”The strength they possess and the significant impact they have already made is inspiring. It’s important to project their journey authentically, in a way that is unique to espnW.”
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports TV News
AT&T SportsNet Still Negotiating With Teams As Previous Deadline Looms
“It is likely that Warner Bros. Discovery will continue operating the channel for much if not all of the baseball season.”
Earlier this month, Warner Bros. Discovery announced it would shutter its AT&T SportsNet-branded regional sports networks.
In the announcement, AT&T SportsNet alerted teams it would give them until the end of the month to engage in negotiations to reclaim their television rights.
As the month concludes, the Houston Astros and Rockets are still in negotiations to take back their local television rights, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle.
Previously, the network had privately shared it had hoped to exit the business as MLB’s Opening Day approached. Now, according to the report from the Chronicle, the network could still exist for the majority of the MLB season.
After reporting that Astros and Rockets officials believe an agreement would hopefully be reached in the coming weeks, reporter David Barron said “it is likely that Warner Bros. Discovery will continue operating the channel for much if not all of the baseball season.”
AT&T SportsNet began airing the Astros and Rockets in 2014 after purchasing Comcast SportsNet Houston.
There has yet to be a report from the network’s outlets in Pittsburgh and Denver about a potential resolution of the local television rights for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies, Utah Jazz, and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Sports TV News
ESPN Not Reimbursing Talent That Purchase Twitter Verification
“As for the company accounts we, along with several other companies, continue to be in a beta test for ‘Verified Organizations.'”
Verification was never meant to stroke egos. The blue check mark was created by Twitter to assure the public they were getting news and opinions from reliable, authentic sources. For many ESPN employees, verification of their identity is essential to the credibility of the news they break on the platform. It isn’t a good enough reason for the network to pay for its talent to keep that checkmark, though.
Whether bosses don’t think verification is essential for their audience or they are taking a stand, a network spokesperson confirmed to Awful Announcing that it will not be footing the bill for anyone that wants a blue checkmark.
“As for the company accounts we, along with several other companies, continue to be in a beta test for ‘Verified Organizations,'” the statement continued. “No decisions will be made until that is concluding.”
League insiders have become some of the most valuable people in the sports media. ESPN has invested significantly in people like Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski. They have also spawned several impersonators on social media.
While company policy may be that paying for verification is not necessary for most employees, it is interesting that no exception has been announced for those reporters. In a business where having information first is as important as having it right, it would not be absurd to expect ESPN to do whatever it needs to in order to maintain its reporters’ credibility.
All Twitter accounts that received verification before Elon Musk took over and introduced a paid plan called Twitter Blue will lose their status on April 1st.
ESPN is not the only news organization that isn’t rushing to sign up for the new model. Both The New York Times and Washington Post are among several news outlets that have confirmed they will not be reimbursing the employees that sign up to retain their verification.
Sports TV News
Joe Davis: ‘I Never Want More Time’ During Baseball Broadcasts
“I can count on one hand how many times in my career I have wished that I had more time.”
Now that Major League Baseball’s Opening Day has come and gone, questions were answered as to what baseball’s new rules would do to both the television and radio broadcasts of the games. FOX Sports and Los Angeles Dodgers television voice Joe Davis said he never had any worries.
During a podcast interview with The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top 5, Davis admitted wishing he had more time during a broadcast has never been an issue.
“I can count on one hand how many times in my career I have wished that I had more time. I never want more time,” Davis said. “Our best broadcasts come when the pitchers are working quickly and you’re leaning forward in your seat instead of slouching back wondering when the next pitch is going to come.”
Davis did say, however, that if anyone needed and deserved more time in a broadcast, it was his legendary predecessor Vin Scully.
“None of us are Vin Scully, and none of us are ever going to be so we don’t need a bunch of time between pitches. We need balls in play and we’ll tell the stories that we’re going to tell. It’s the nature of a two-man booth versus what Vin was doing.”
After getting a few games under his belt during Spring Training, Davis said he is optimistic about the way the broadcasts will sound throughout the season.
“I think that I have a good feel and rhythm for the game. I’ve worked really hard on storytelling. I’ve studied it like it’s a discipline and have talked with great storytellers and have listened to Vin for years,” Davis said. “You’re only going to be as good as the amount of practice you put into it. And I’ve done that throughout my seven or eight years of doing this. I’m not Vin and I never will be.
“But I’d like to think that I’m better than I was last year — and a lot better than I was eight years ago — but not as good as I’m going to be at the end of this year.”