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SEC Network To Debut 4 New SEC Storied Films

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ESPN announced it was working on four new SEC Storied documentaries for football season during the SEC Network presentation at SEC Media Days. The SEC Storied series started on ESPNU back in September 2011 as a partnership between ESPN and the league. The new films will all air on the SEC Network.

The new movies will air on SEC Network. They will debut throughout August and September.

The first documentary up will be Stacy’s Gift. It tells the story of University of Arkansas golfer Stacy Lewis, who overcame scoliosis as a child to pursue her golf dream, win a national championship, and eventually climb to the top of the women’s golf world rankings. Stacy’s Gift was directed by Kenan Holley, who has helmed three other SEC Storied projects. It premiers August 26.

Scramblin’ Fran will debut on September 4. It is a biography of Fran Tarkenton, who became an SEC legend after choosing the University of Georgia over Georgia Tech. It will be a co-production alongside NFL Films and will cover Tarkenton’s life from a high school star in Athens, to UGA, to the NFL, all the way up to his current day business ventures.

ESPN Films will be adapting a 30 for 30 Short into a full length documentary for the third SEC Storied film. The Sweet Solution is about a sports drink developed for the University of Florida football team in 1965. You may remember the old commercial featuring one of the scientists behind the beverage saying “naturally, we called our stuff Gator-Aide”. The 30 for 30 Short, The Sweet Solution debuted in 2015 to celebrate Gatoraide’s 50th anniversary. The full length documentary debuts September 18.

Finally, By Grantland Rice will debut on September 25. It celebrates the life of Grantland Rice, a Vanderbilt University graduate that had one of the most prolific careers the sports journalism world has ever known. By Grantland Rice is directed by Joe Lavine, who directed the SEC Storied film In Search of Derrick Thomas and the 30 for 30 film Playing for the Mob.

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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