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Ice Cube Wants To Turn Fox RSNs Into 24/7 Networks

“Disney, which must sell the 21 networks in the next 3 months according to the Department of Justice.”

Jack Ferris

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Ice Cube’s latest business venture is a proposed acquisition of FOX’s former regional sports networks; with an emphasis on “proposed.”

According to a report by Forbes, the hip hop icon has laid out a plan that includes names like Serena Williams, Snoop Dogg, Kevin Hart and Michael Strahan.  Ice Cube and Big3, the parent company of his Big3 basketball league, have announced a plan to turn the networks into a platform for 24/7 culturally diverse programming built around sports.

“We’ve had the same ole people delivering us sport and culture forever and I join the movement because we’re here to change all that,” claimed Snoop Dogg in a statement.

While the celebrity list is impressive, the names have committed to content only – not cash.  Disney, which must sell the 21 networks in the next 3 months according to the Department of Justice.  The Big3 plans to put up somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 million with the Macquairie Group and Centerbridge Partners (an investment bank and equity firm respectively) offering up $1B each.  The three partners would take on roughly $7.5B in debt to get their offer to $10B.

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After Losing Out On Big Ten Rights, ESPN Turns Focus to NCAA Championships

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024.

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After reportedly losing out on the Big Ten’s television rights, ESPN is reportedly turning to securing the NCAA Championship rights from hitting the open market.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024. Those 29 championships include everything from Women’s basketball to ice hockey, wrestling, softball, and baseball. The network pays a reported $34 million for the rights to broadcast those championship events.

However, according to a study commissioned by the NCAA reveals that the women’s basketball tournament could be worth anywhere from $81 million to $112 million per year by its lonesome. The NCAA is reportedly considering selling the women’s basketball tournament rights as a standalone product in the next negotiation.

Sources told Front Office Sports ESPN remains interested in striking deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 media rights, as well as renewing a deal for the College Football Playoff.

The news comes after Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported ESPN declined a final offer from the Big Ten for a portion of the conference’s media rights. The reported deal was seven years and $380 million per year.

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ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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Sports TV News

Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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