Sports TV News
Turner, ESPN Bidding For Italian Soccer Rights
The US broadcast right’s for Italy’s top soccer division Serie A are on the market again, and they are generating much more interest this time around. The games had been shown in the States on beIN Sports, but bigger players have entered the picture in 2018, likely because of the pending Serie A debut of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The top bidders for the rights are ESPN and Turner. Both companies would likely look for Serie A to fill some programming holes on their over-the-top streaming services (ESPN+ and B/R Live), but Turner may be in the best position to offer Serie A a spot on basic cable.
ESPN’s weekends in the fall are already filled with college football. The Serie A season also stretches into a time when ESPN would be showing college basketball. That isn’t a problem for Turner, who’s only weekend afternoon sports content is MLB games in the second half of the season.
World Soccer Talk presumes the US TV rights to Serie A will again be packaged with the rights to England’s FA Cup. The prime placement presumably makes Turner the favorite, but having Serie A and the FA Cup to package with MLS, the EFL Championship, and the Cabaro Cup could make the appeal of turning ESPN+ into the go to streaming destination for soccer fans enough for Disney to put big money into its bid.
Sports TV News
Bleav To Launch 2 FuboTV Channels
“Over 1,000 hours of original content is produced by Bleav each month.”
Sports and entertainment media production company Bleav has officially launched two channels available now on FuboTV.
Bleav Sports and Bleav Football will utilize content from its podcast network to comprise programming on the TV side.
“We are excited to be partnering with Fubo, one of the premiere companies for sports streaming,” Bleav president Eric Weinberger said.
Over 1,000 hours of original content is produced by Bleav each month. Former NFL and NBA standouts like Ahman Green, Rudy Gay, Lamar Odom, LenDale White, Ike Taylor and Jonathan Stewart are just some of the hosts for Bleav.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Sports TV News
Neil Everett Exits ESPN After 23 Years
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life.”
Neil Everett’s SportsCenter days are over. Front Office Sports reports that the anchor has chosen to say goodbye to ESPN after 23 years at the network.
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life,” Everett said. “Time to write a new chapter.”
The network reportedly offered Everett a new deal. Had he agreed to it, the anchor would have taken a salary reduction.
This is a significant moment for SportsCenter. Everett moving on means one of the show’s longest-tenured partnership comes to an end. He had worked with Stan Verrett since 2009.
Everett’s exit comes in the same week that it was revealed Chris Chelios would not return to the network’s NHL coverage next season. The Walt Disney Company is currently in the middle of trying to cut 7000 jobs to save $5.5 billion.
As for the future, Everett says he will seek to increase his TV role with the Portland Trail Blazers. He has been part of the team’s broadcast crew on NBC Sports Northwest for the last two years.
Sports TV News
Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica To Make FOX TV Debut on Belmont Coverage
“Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”
As the college football season was winding down, fans found out one of the foundational members of the College Gameday staff would be leaving ESPN. Chris “The Bear” Fallica left the network and has been working for FOX since the new year. This weekend during the network’s coverage of The Belmont Stakes, he will finally make his TV debut for his employers.
“It’s been great. This will be my first TV appearance, so I’m excited,” Fallica said in an interview with FOXSports.com. “But we’ve been cranking out content on the digital side since January, and I’m very happy with how the USFL picks have been going (4-0 last week for those of you counting at home). Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”
Fallica, who worked for ESPN for nearly three decades, is going to be a major presence in FOX’s gambling content both on air and online. Making picks is nothing new. He had been doing it on College GameDay for years prior to his exit.
In addition to making football picks, horse racing is going to be a major part of what The Bear does for FOX. While this will be his TV debut on FOX, Fallica put the spotlight on one of his colleagues.
“It was a great decision to bring Tom [Durkin] back for this call. His voice is synonymous with the sport for a generation of racing fans, so it will be a treat to hear him call a race again.”
Durbin is coming out of retirement to call the race. This is the first year that the Belmont is airing on FOX as part of a rights deal with the New York Racing Association.