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Draft Academy Moves To ESPN+

“The first seven episodes will be available each Thursday and will highlight the lead-up to the NFL Draft on April 25, while the final episode will drop May 2 to recap the draft weekend experiences.”

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ESPN’s Draft Academy moves to ESPN+ this year to give an in depth look at six prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft Class.

Draft Academy will be an eight-episode series detailing the path of potential first round picks Ohio State DE Joey Bosa, Missouri QB Drew Lock, Alabama RB Josh Jacobs and Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown as well as Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham and Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson.

The first seven episodes will be available each Thursday and will highlight the lead-up to the NFL Draft on April 25, while the final episode will drop May 2 to recap the draft weekend experiences. Episode one debuted Thursday.

Draft Academy has proven to be about so much more than physical preparation, it’s about overcoming obstacles, fighting to beat the odds and family bonds,” said Libby Geist, Vice President & Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content. “I never imagined how loudly I’d be rooting for Shaquem Griffin before last year’s Draft Academy, and this season is sure to bring that same passion and emotion.” 

The 2018 edition of Draft Academy was the inaugural season of the series, which aired on linear ESPN networks. USC QB Sam Darnold, Wyoming QB Josh Allen, Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Central Florida LB Shaquem Griffin, Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown and Houston QB Kyle Allen were featured. The entire series is available on ESPN+

While Shaquem Griffin’s story is unrivaled, the 2019 prospects have interesting stories of their own to detail.

Joey Bosa is a lock to be taken at the top of the 2019 Draft despite a groin injury early in the 2018 season that resulted in him leaving the Buckeyes program early to focus on the NFL. Bosa is also fighting the shadow of his brother Nick who has quickly become one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Josh Jacobs was a relative unknown heading into the 2018 season for the Crimson Tide. Despite largely unrecruited and finding himself homeless, Jacobs landed at Alabama. Jacobs outshined Damien and Najee Harris in the 2018 Bama backfield to solidify himself as the top running back in the 2019 class.

Marquise Brown is the cousin of now Oakland Raider WR Antonio Brown and goes by the nickname “Hollywood” Brown. His flashy style is hard to miss, and he shows glimpses of his All Pro cousin in his game.

SEC alums Lock and Stidham both began the 2018 season as the top QB prospects, but have since been overlooked by Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins. Both are looking to prove they are worth a Day 1 selection.
Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson is the late round focus in this year’s series. Standing 6’7” and sporting a canon right arm, Jackson is fighting to hear his name called on Day 2 of the Draft.

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Barstool Sports CEO: Golf Likely Next Step For Company’s Live Broadcasts

“I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love.”

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Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini recently did a wide-ranging interview with AdAge.com about the future of the digital sports outlet’s television aspirations, and she said sports they’re familiar with will take priority.

“”We want sports that appeal to a broad audience. We’re kind of tickled to be able to broadcast things in the first place. So I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love, whether it’s basketball and football,” Nardini said. “You could definitely see that extended to golf, that would probably be the next place that we’ll play.”

The questions about Barstool’s future aspirations come after the company’s successful first broadcast of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. Barstool says the broadcast received nearly 1 million views, peaking at 130,000 concurrent viewers. The outlet also broadcasted the Barstool Sports Invitational that featured Akron, Mississippi State, Toledo, and UAB in November.

Nardini added that the company is interested live televised sports for a few reasons.

“We’re owned by a sports betting company and the more we think about building our sports platform, there’s obviously a huge opportunity for us to convey a whole bunch of offerings to our audience, but certainly betting will be one of them…I think that live sports on television is the last man standing where it’s all anyone tunes in for.”

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Fanatics to Open First Sportsbook Inside FedEx Field

“The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports licensing giant Fanatics will soon be launching its long-anticipated sportsbook.

The company will open up a physical sportsbook location in Maryland at FedEx Field on January 20. Fanatics has also been granted a license to operate in Massachusetts, tethered to Plainridge Park Casino.

The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium. Bettors in the DMV will now be able to place wagers at all their local teams’ venues, as William Hill has an on-site location at Capital One Arena – home of the Capitals and Wizards – and BetMGM has a space at Nationals Park in D.C.

Despite having a physical location at FedEx Field, bettors in Maryland will not be able to place mobile wagers through a Fanatics Sportsbook app.

According to Front Office Sports, Fanatics hopes to have the sportsbook up and running in some fashion in all states where legal by September.

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Pat McAfee Teases Major New Partnership

“We didn’t sleep much the last couple days so we haven’t really gotten to grasp this entire thing.”

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Up to something season has returned for Pat McAfee.

McAfee has routinely used that phrasing to tease viewers and listeners about major dealings in the works, and on Wednesday he said something big is coming down the pike.

“We’re up to something,” McAfee said. “We got a big partnership coming up. It’s big. We haven’t even chatted about this at all. That’s how much we’ve evolved.”

Pat continued about how the show has matured, saying he was proud they waited until this late in the game to even bring up the fact they’ve got a new deal to announce.

“If this conversation had taken place three years ago, the announcement we’re about to make, it would’ve been two weeks worth of the show,” he said. “Every single segment would’ve been brought back to oh something’s coming, something’s coming, something’s coming.”

“That is changing quickly in a big way,” he added.

McAfee noted that being on the road in Los Angeles for the college football national championship has made the reaction to the new partnership somewhat subdued.

“I should be more excited,” he said. “We didn’t sleep much the last couple days so we haven’t really gotten to grasp this entire thing. We’ve been working on this for a couple years now. Good for us, dude.”

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