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Chris Berman and Tom Jackson Reunite on ESPN

Jason Barrett

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After numerous layoffs and program restructuring during the course of the last 12 months, the face of ESPN and their NFL coverage since 1987, Chris Berman, was left without a role. This past weekend, however, ESPN announced Chris Berman will return for a Sunday night edition of NFL PrimeTime following the Conference Championship games this weekend.

“Just mentioned on @ESPNNFL: Chris Berman and [Tom Jackson] will reunite on NFL PrimeTime [with Keyshawn Johnson] after the Conference Championship games next Sunday,” tweeted Bill Hofheimer, Senior Director of Communications for ESPN.

Still employed by ESPN, Boomer provided play-by-play for the early round of the Major League Baseball Playoffs on ESPN Radio, but needed to adjust to having so much free time in the fall. Berman was invited by friends to their annual golf trip in Ireland near the beginning of the NFL season.

“They said, ‘Are you interested?'” Berman said in a September interview with NFL.com. “I said, ‘I can’t even compute the question. I worked 40 Septembers in a row. I don’t even know what you’re asking.’ It’s really not about me dealing with withdrawal. It’s just a coincidence that it was the first Sunday of the season.”

As Hofheimer tweeted, Berman will be joined by longtime ESPN partner Tom Jackson who retired from ESPN in 2016. Boomer and Jackson were on NFL PrimeTime from 1987-2005 as well as ESPN pregame shows, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown until 2016.

Keyshawn Johnson, who hosts a morning radio show on ESPN Los Angeles, will also be a part of Sunday night’s NFL PrimeTime. Johnson joined ESPN in 2007 and left Sunday NFL Countdown in 2016.

No word as to whether or not the Championship Sunday edition of NFL Primetime could be  a precursor to more NFL coverage from Berman and Jackson in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

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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NFL Studio

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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