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ESPN May Revive Daily Version of Baseball Tonight

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Both Awful Announcing and Andrew Marchand of The New York Post report that ESPN is considering bringing Baseball Tonight back to its daily lineup. The show switched to a Sundays-only schedule after the company went through a massive round of layoffs in 2017. Intentional Talk, which originates from MLB Network, has been airing on ESPN2 to fill the void since that time.

The deal with MLB Network ends in April, and according to Awful Announcing, ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro wants to bring back a daily baseball show. Whether or not that show would be called “Baseball Tonight” and when or where it airs are details that still need to be worked out.

The change in programming philosophy comes as a result of Pitaro wanting to add more play-by-play of the MLB Playoffs to ESPN’s portfolio. Currently the World Wide Leader only has rights to a single Wild Card game. Pitaro has described getting at least one full series as a “top priority” for ESPN.

ESPN already has an impressive staff if they want to revive a daily baseball show. Karl Ravech and Adnan Virk are still under contract. They both served as hosts of the show during the last two seasons. Analysts Mark Texiera, David Ross, and Eduardo Perez are still under contract. The network also has insiders Buster Olney, Pedro Gomez, and Tim Kurkjian still under contract.

Apparently ESPN is not resting its hat on those names alone. Marchand reports that the network isn’t done adding baseball talent to its roster.

ESPN already has had talks to add Ryan Howard, according to sources. The Post previously reported the network has signed Yahoo’s Jeff Passan to be its Adam Schefter of baseball. Passan will begin in January. ESPN may look to acquire another analyst or two.

Whether this show airs on ESPN, ESPN2, or even ESPN+ is still up for discussion. It could even float between networks to accommodate play-by-play schedules. Whatever the case is, it does appear that a daily baseball show is coming back to ESPN and that show will play a key role in the network expanding its involvement in broadcasting MLB Playoff games.

Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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Sports TV News

NFL Flex Scheduling Forces ESPN To Change Bowl Schedule

Jordan Bondurant

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The NFL flex scheduling an upcoming Las Vegas Radiers game out of Sunday Night Football on December 18 has forced ESPN to make a slight adjustment with its college bowl season schedule. But the change was something the worldwide leader was prepared to make.

The Raiders were originally scheduled to play the New England Patriots in the primetime window a week before Christmas, but with both teams losing ground in terms of the AFC playoff picture, NBC opted to go with a different game that night instead. Now fans will be tuning in to see the rematch between the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders.

The shift out of the Sunday night window for the Raiders forced ESPN to swap kickoff times for the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl the day before on December 17. Florida and Oregon State will play in Vegas at 2:30 p.m. eastern, with BYU and SMU facing off in Albuquerque at 7:30 p.m.

The switch allows workers at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas enough time to switch the venue over from college bowl game to Raiders home game.

“We are accustomed to flexibility and we anticipated having to maneuver our event schedules based on the possibility of the Raiders game being flexed,” said ESPN Events vice president Clint Overby.

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Sports TV News

FOX Scores Most-Watched PAC-12 Championship Game Ever

Jordan Bondurant

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Friday night’s Pac-12 championship game between Utah and USC drew the largest audience in the game’s history, according to FOX.

Over 6.2 million tuned in to watch the Utes dominate the Trojans 47-24 and dash USC’s hopes at making the College Football Playoff.

The network said viewership was up 45% compared to the 2021 title game, which aired on ABC and also featured Utah. The Utes won the conference crown in convincing fashion that year too, posting a 38-10 victory over Oregon.

The Pac-12 will be without USC and UCLA as member schools following the 2023 season. The Trojans and the Bruins will join the Big Ten in 2024.

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