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ESPN Wants Alex Rodriguez on Sunday Night Baseball

Jason Barrett

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Does ESPN have their sights set on Jon Sciambi, Jessica Mendoza and Alex Rodriguez to fill their Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth void? According to the Sporting News’ Michael McCarthy, who reported earlier this week Sciambi may be the leader to replace Dan Schulman as the telecast’s play-by-play announcer, the network is also targeting Alex Rodriguez to join the broadcast.

During his playing days A-Rod was always good for a quote, but struggled to portray any media savvy. Near the end of his career, Rodriguez quickly became a media darling providing analysis for FOX.

A-Rod joined FOX for their pre and postgame show with Kevin Burkhardt, Frank Thomas and Pete Rose. Rose was fired for sexual misconduct allegations and replaced by Keith Hernandez and David Ortiz for the playoffs. The program became a hit, often compared to TNT’s popular basketball pre and postgame coverage.

Whether or not A-Rod would leave FOX for the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball opportunity, or if Fox would grant Rodriguez permission to hold both jobs remains to be seen. “ESPN wants A-Rod badly,” a source with knowledge of the talks told McCarthy, “but FOX, in general, is not good about sharing talent.”

As McCarthy noted in his report, A-Rod replaced Aaron Boone on the Yankees in 2004 after Boone suffered an offseason knee injury, could Rodriguez be his replacement again after Boone departed the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball booth to become the 33rd Yankee manager?

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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Sports TV News

LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

Jordan Bondurant

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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