The name Ryan Leaf may be synonymous with struggle for NFL fans, but college football fans remember the former Washington State Cougar as one of the most gifted quarterbacks to ever play in the Pac 12. Life certainly has not been easy for the second overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft since leaving Pullman, but he seems to have turned things around and that is enough for ESPN to put their faith in him. Leaf will serve as a game analyst for college football on the World Wide Leader this season.
Leaf will be paired with play-by-play man Clay Matvick. He expects to call games all over the country. The duo will mostly be seen on ESPN2 and ESPNU.
2019 won’t be Leaf’s first season in a broadcast booth. He worked for the Pac 12 Network last season. He has also been co-hosting the morning show on Sirius XM’s Pac 12 Radio.
Ryan Leaf was arrested in 2012 in Montana. He had broken into a home with the intention of stealing prescription drugs. The charge violated terms of his probation in Texas. As a result the former QB spent two years in prison.
Upon his release in 2014, Leaf considered going to law school, a career in entertainment, or pursuing his dreams of becoming a sportscaster.
“I had a broadcast journalism degree from the Murrow School at Washington State so I had the ability to do it. Or at least the know-how,” Leaf said in an interview with the Associated Press. “I just didn’t know what I was going to do.”
Leaf credits a lot of people with helping him achieve his goal. He told the AP that Fox’s Jay Glazer served as his mentor, Sirius XM’s Steve Cohen built a show around him, and ESPN’s ED Placey helped get him on the right radars. Leaf landed an audition for ESPN after shadowing Greg McElroy in Los Angeles last season.
“Ryan has experienced the highs and lows in the game of football, putting him in a position to relate to a wide range of situations players can find themselves in,” ESPN’s vice president of production, Lee Fitting told the AP. “He will be able to rely on those experiences — including an unbelievable college career where he was an All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist — in his analysis, making him a tremendous asset for our team.”
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.”
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.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing 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 and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”