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SportsCenter AM Launching February 8th

Jason Barrett

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With a new format designed to serve sports fans as they go about their early morning routine, SportsCenter:AM will launch Monday, Feb. 8, at 7 a.m. ET on ESPN.

Starting earlier than a live SportsCenter ever has on a regular basis, SportsCenter:AM will display a new vision for ESPN’s signature news and information program, with a greater emphasis on highlights and video, and a faster pace and more personality, while understanding the demands and time restrictions of morning viewers.

“We know that from 7-10 a.m., sports fans are on the go,” said Rob King, ESPN senior vice president, SportsCenter and News. “So this show will be especially attuned to the needs of this audience: delivering a smart, fast-paced, highlights-driven report that’s mindful of the time fans have to consume news as they start their days.”

The three-hour SportsCenter:AM will feature four ESPN personalities, with Jay Harris, Kevin Negandhi and Jaymee Sire anchoring the program joined by contributor Sarina Morales. Morales will be active on social media platforms such as Periscope and Snapchat during the show.

The program will contain three distinct hours, with the first hour focusing on taking a fresh look at highlights from the previous night in sports. The second hour will showcase top plays and moments from the previous night and the third hour will begin the transition to the upcoming day in sports while still featuring highlights. SportsCenter:AM will have a unique look and feel with its own graphics, lighting and colors.

All of ESPN’s daytime SportsCenter editions will have a different appearance beginning Feb. 8. From 7 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., each of the four shows will have a distinct format and identity:

10-11 a.m.Hannah Storm will host an hour program focused on interviews, high-profile guests and news topics. Storm’s “Face to Face” interviews with athletes and newsmakers will be part of the program on a regular basis. Storm and her guests will elevate the conversation, with an evolved look at the previous night’s events and the day’s biggest storylines. Toni Collins will join Storm in the studio for news updates.

11 a.m. – noonChris McKendry and Jay Crawford will continue as hosts of the now one-hour 11 a.m. program, which will provide viewers SportsCenter’s deepest look at the day’s biggest stories. The program will leverage ESPN’s vast analyst, insider and reporter roster to explore major daily storylines, with analysts joining the anchors on the set and reporters adding information from the field. As with the 10 a.m. program, Collins will provide news updates.

Noon – 1:30 p.m.Cari Champion and David Lloyd will host the midday show that will feature a conversational format, reflecting a time of day that demands an evolved discussion of the most compelling events and storylines. The show also will have contributions fromSportsCenter fan correspondent Reese Waters and will include features. The noon show will run 90 minutes.

Also on Feb. 8, Mike & Mike will debut an enhanced studio set. Mike & Mike airs weekdays, 6 – 10 a.m. on ESPN Radio and is simulcast on ESPN2. SportsCenter:AM and Mike & Mike will work closely to share resources.

Credit to ESPN Media Zone who originally published this article

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Sports TV News

Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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