Connect with us

Sports TV News

Facebook and ESL Expand Their Partnership

Brandon Contes

Published

on

Facebook and esports company, ESL, have announced a partnership which makes the social network an exclusive destination for ESL leagues and tournaments.

Beginning January 23rd the ESL One tournament series featuring Counter-Strike and Dota 2 will stream live through Facebook Watch. A previous announcement between ESL and Facebook from last May stated the social media giant would broadcast 5500 hours of ESL content. This week’s agreement will be in addition to those 5500 hours.

Twitch has previously been a more attractive esports destination, already partnering with The Overwatch League, signing a two-year $90 million deal last week. Blizzard announced The Overwatch League’s opening day on January 10th averaged 408,000 viewers per minute.

As Jacob Wolf from ESPN noted, that number is more average viewers than Amazon received during their Thursday Night Football stream. The NFL, however, did average over 10 million TNF viewers on linear television in addition to Amazon’s stream. Still, ESL chose Facebook over Twitch, as their landing spot.

“We look at Facebook as the best of both worlds,” says Ken Hershman, the commissioner of the World Esports Association, an industry collaboration between top teams and ESL. “It’s a tremendous streaming platform, but it’s obviously a social and engagement platform.”

According to Wired.com, one reason ESL chose Facebook over Twitch is the future of their viewing experience. Through Facebook 360 and 5G networks, ESL will soon be broadcasting tournaments to mobile devices in VR. Facebook also has a nearly 10 times larger daily reach than Twitch.

The first official tournament broadcast as part of their new deal on Facebook will be next week, with ESL One Genting on January 23rd, followed by the CS:GO Pro League beginning its season on February 13th.

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

Leafs Nation Network, the Toronto Maple Leafs Channel, Is Going Off the Air

“Thank you for your viewership. As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

Published

on

The Toronto Maple Leafs launched Leafs TV, a team-specific specialty channel in 2001 and rebranded it as Leafs Nation Network in 2017. However, after nearly twenty-one years on the air, it will fade to black at the end of August.\

“Thank you for your viewership,” the channel told viewers who have tuned in recently. “As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

The news was confirmed to the Sun. Staff said they had been informed of the news a few weeks ago however few jobs are expected to be lost, of any, as many of the LNN duties will be moved to the digital format.

Leafs TV was part of the sale of the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise sale in 2011 to Bell-Rogers communications (worth $1.32 billion). With that sale, Leafs TV began to become a “redundant” channel focusing mainly on classic games and interviews once Rogers made a 2014 deal to become the dominant NHL network, grabbing the majority of live programming.

“Leafs TV was a big bargaining chip at the time of the (Rogers-Bell sale), but they’ve come to see that (lack of game broadcast presence) doesn’t work,” a source told the Sun.

A statement from MLSE on Tuesday read in part: “With new and increasing opportunities to share content on its digital platforms, subscribers to the Leafs Nation Network were informed earlier this month that the channel would cease being broadcast on Sept. 1. Maple Leafs game day and practice coverage will continue to be shared across the team’s digital platforms, combined with exciting new content on the team’s social and digital channels. The team will continue to produce live Marlies home games with details being shared in the weeks ahead about where those broadcasts will be made available.”

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Stephen A. Smith Says He Wants Mike Francesa on First Take

Russo smiled and chirped back, ““You can’t beat me, you’re never gonna beat him.”

Published

on

Stephen A. Smith, Mike Francesa

Stephen A. Smith seems to be looking to debate every major media personality with big opinions and he has set his eyes on Mike Francesa.

Smith was on First Take on Wednesday with weekly guest Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and chastising Russo for being upset with Aaron Rodgers calling out his wide receivers. That’s when Smith brought up the former WFAN tandem of Mike and the Mad Dog.

“The thing that disappoints me about you,” Smith said to Russo, “you’re upset with honesty. You are not only hosting your own radio show, you have your own channel.”

Smith continued, “You are one of the pioneers if not THE pioneer with Mike Francesa, who, by the way, I got to get him on this show one day too, with you. You understand what I’m saying? I mean it would be my honor to have Mike Francesa too.”

Russo smiled and chirped back, ““You can’t beat me, you’re never gonna beat him.”

Smith returned once more with “I ain’t scared. I’m never gonna beat him, but I’ll try, damn it.”

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Stephen A. Smith: ‘I Had To Wait Until My Mother Passed to Write My Book’

“I’ve never ran before, so there was no way I was going to start with this book.”

Published

on

An autobiography from Stephen A. Smith is due in stores early next year. Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes is an all-encompassing look at the First Take star’s life from his childhood to today.

Smith appreciates privacy and has been hesitant to talk about his personal life in the past. Occasionally he has made exceptions for shows hosted by friends and people in the business that he respects.

On Wednesday’s episode of First Take, Stephen A. Smith said that was largely due to a promise he made to his mother.

“She told me never to write a book until she passed away, because she knows I’m gonna say what I need to say,” he told Molly Qerim and Chris Russo. “I’m gonna speak my mind and I’m gonna speak my truth. There are things in there that she would not have wanted me to reveal while she was alive.”

He added that writing it made him more uncomfortable than he anticipated.

“There’s a lot in there that I didn’t want to tell, but if you gonna write a book, you gotta tell it.”

Russo joked that clearly Smith is excited. He had texted the New York radio legend the cover and some information about the book earlier in the summer.

Qerim has received some of that material too. She told Smith that what she has seen and read is very impressive.

“This is huge, and I’m proud of you. It’s hard to tell. I know you’ve kept your personal life close to the vest. For you to open up, I think people are going to respect you even more when they learn more about you.”

Stephen A. Smith noted that in addition to his childhood and his professional triumphs, the book will also revisit the controversies that surrounded him at points in his career. He noted the goal of the book was not necessarily to make him look good, but to help people better understand the man they see on TV each morning.

“I’ve never ran before, so there was no way I was going to start with this book,” Smith said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.