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CSN Chicago Hires Leila Rahimi As Anchor/Reporter

Jason Barrett

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Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, today officially announced the hiring of sportscaster Leila Rahimi as its newest on-air talent member for the network’s signature nightly sports news program, SportsNet Central.  Rahimi will primarily handle anchoring duties, along with providing a variety of local professional, collegiate and high school sports feature reports.  In addition, Rahimi, who will begin her on-air duties Thursday night (Oct. 29) on Comcast SportsNet, will also participate in a variety of digital initiatives that will be showcased on CSNChicago.com.  The announcement was made by Kevin Cross, Senior Director of News & Original Content for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

“Leila joins us with a deep knowledge of the regional sports network business, along with a true passion for the local sports scene,” said Cross.  “Her acclaimed experience in our industry will certainly benefit both our network and our viewers. Leila will be a terrific addition to our stellar talent line-up.”

Rahimi most recently was an anchor/host/reporter at Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, where she anchored SportsNet Central and provided field reports for the Phillies (MLB), Eagles (NFL), Flyers (NHL), 76ers (NBA), along with Villanova and Temple from a collegiate standpoint.  Plus, she also hosted magazine-style programs for the regional sports network.  In addition, Rahimi was also recently an anchor/host for the MLB Network’s Strike Zone Channel, which provides commercial-free whip-around coverage of live games from around the league.

Prior to her time in Philadelphia, Rahimi served as an anchor, reporter, sideline reporter and host at Comcast SportsNet Houston (2012-14) where provided sideline/beat reporting duties for the network’s Rockets basketball and Astros baseball telecasts, along with hosting pre/postgame shows, anchoring SportsNet Central, and hosting an hour-long, weekly high school football show. A multiple Emmy-award nominee, Rahimi covered numerous large-scale events, including the Rockets’ trip to Asia for the 2014 NBA Global Games and the 2013 MLB All-Star Game in New York.

Rahimi also served as the field reporter for Fox Sports San Diego’s Padres baseball telecasts in 2012, along with producing/hosting a weekly Padres magazine-style program.  From 2007-12, she was a sports reporter at KXAN-TV, the NBC affiliate in Austin, TX, covering the University of Texas and local high schools.  Additional stops along Rahimi’s career path included a producing, then reporting role at Fox Sports Southwest in Dallas, TX, along with sports reporter/anchor duties at KXII-TV, the CBS affiliate in Sherman, TX.  Earlier in her career, Rahimi also spent four years as an update anchor/reporter at Sports Radio 1130 AM, “The Ticket,” in Dallas.

Rahimi, a native of Denton, TX, graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Texas with a degree in journalism.

Credit to CSN Chicago 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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