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ESPN Rolls Out NBA Finals Coverage Plans

Brandon Contes

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The fourth installment of the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors for the NBA Championship begins Thursday night on ABC with Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Doris Burke calling their ninth Finals together.

For any fans looking for more variety with their viewing experience, ESPN will also offer a broadcast featuring Dan Le Batard. It won’t be quite as extensive as their Megacast coverage of college football’s national championship game, but ESPN released their plans for covering the NBA Finals which includes a split-screen telecast on ESPN3 and the ESPN App called Full Court Press.

Reporter Cassidy Hubbarth will host alongside Alvin Gentry, Richard Jefferson and Caron Butler during Game 1 and be joined by Tom Thibodeau, Jefferson and Butler in Game 2. Game 3’s Full Court Press will feature Dan Le Batard, ESPN has not announced which NBA personalities will join the popular radio host.

The NBA Finals will also be available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes featuring play by play announcer Alvaro Martin partnered with analyst Carlos Morales for their 19th Finals broadcast together.

Marc Kestecher will provide the play-by-play with Hall-of-Famer Hubie Brown providing analysis in his 17th NBA Finals. Ramona Shelburne will join the broadcast as the in-game reporter.

Additional Finals coverage from ESPN will include The Jump being on-site for their daily weekday broadcasts as well as expanding to a 90-minute show on game days. Kobe Bryant’s ESPN+ show, Detail, will see the five-time NBA Champion offer analysis of each Finals game. SportsCenter will also have a strong on-site presence, including Stephen A. Smith hosting a special 7 p.m. ET edition before weeknight Finals games.

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

Tom Crean Returns to ESPN As College Basketball Analyst

“You look around, you realize everybody is working at an extremely rapid pace. I might get emails for the next morning’s ‘SportsCenter’ at 2:30 in the morning.”

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Tom Crean is returning to ESPN as a college basketball analyst.

A report from Front Office Sports details Crean returning to the worldwide leader after previously working for the network during the 2017-2018.

“The game has changed completely,” Crean said. “There’s a 1,000-foot level of what people want you to think this is all about. But here’s the 10,000-30,000-foot level of what it really is. I don’t think I will have any fear of talking like that. There’s so many things changing around the game with how you recruit. And I had to live it.”

Crean was fired as the head coach of Georgia after four seasons on the job. He added that the work ethic shown by ESPN employees is a motivator for working for the network.

“You look around, you realize everybody is working at an extremely rapid pace. I might get emails for the next morning’s ‘SportsCenter’ at 2:30 in the morning.”

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Sports TV News

ESPN Plans 20 Hours of College Football Playoff Selection Coverage

The College Football Playoff teams will be unveiled at 12:15 PM ET, with the rest of the New Year’s Six matchup being revealed at 2:30 PM.

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ESPN has more than 20 hours of studio coverage planned for the selection of the College Football Playoff.

The College Football Playoff teams will be unveiled at 12:15 PM ET, with the rest of the New Year’s Six matchup being revealed at 2:30 PM. Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway, Jesse Palmer, and David Pollack will be on the main set as the selections are revealed.

Several other personalities will join the show including analysts Greg McElroy, Robert Griffin III, and Dan Mullen, in addition to Paul Finebaum, Matt Barrie, and Chris Fowler.

ACC Network and SEC Network will also separately produce shows discussing the bowl selections.

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Sports TV News

Chris Fallica Leaving ESPN for FOX

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Jordan Bondurant

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A prominent sports betting voice featured on ESPN’s College GameDay will be heading to rival FOX and their Big Noon Kickoff show starting in 2023. According to Awful Announcing, Chris Fallica, affectionately known as “The Bear”, will make his last appearance on GameDay will be this weekend.

Fallica has been with ESPN since 1995. Since 2013, Fallica had been featured on GameDay making betting picks with his patented “Bear’s Board”.

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Fallica joins Tom Rinaldi as the second former GameDay voice to jump over to FOX and be featured on Big Noon Kickoff.

Both shows have experienced incredible viewership growth this season. For GameDay, there have been several weeks this season that have seen some of the largest audiences in the show’s history.

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