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Katie Couric to Host Olympic Opening Ceremony

Brandon Contes

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After departing from her most recent position with Yahoo! News, Katie Couric returns to NBC for the first time since 2006, joining Mike Tirico in the booth at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium as co-host of the Opening Ceremony.

Couric, who left NBC in 2006 following a 15 year run as co-anchor of Today, partnered with Bob Costas to host the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Tirico, who left ESPN for NBC in 2015 will be hosting his first Opening Ceremony, but did host the 2016 Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony.

 “During my years at NBC, I loved covering the Olympics and showcasing the hard work, dedication and perseverance of athletes from around the world. The Opening Ceremony will be a chance for South Korea to share its culture and customs and for the international community to celebrate this unparalleled display of athletic achievement and sportsmanship. There’s nothing quite like it,” said Couric.

During yesterday’s conference call introducing the Opening Ceremony hosts, a question was posed regarding potential political protests. Both Tirico and Couric agreed it’s something that will be important to cover if the opportunity presents itself. Tirico added he believes one of the issues with the NFL anthem protests is not asking the reason for the political statement.

“I think one of the things that was missed a bit with the NFL players that were kneeling, which I assume is the genesis of the question here and got a lot of coverage around the country, we need to know why, as well. It’s one thing to say somebody was kneeling, somebody was protesting. Sometimes we didn’t do as good a job as an entire group in the media identifying what that player was protesting,” Tirico said.

As usual, the Opening Ceremony television broadcast will air on tape delay during primetime, Friday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC. However, NBC will for the first time live stream the Opening Ceremony with coverage from PyeongChang on Friday, Feb. 9 at 6 a.m. ET on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. Though it’s the first time the Opening Ceremony will be live streamed, Olympic events have been available via streaming since the 2012 London Olympics.

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

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

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

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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