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NBC Sports Washington Brings Back Prediction Game

“Last season, NBC Sports Washington used their Predict The Game broadcasts for eight Wizards games. This season, that number has been increased to a 20 game schedule.”

Brandon Contes

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NBC Sports Washington announced a return for their Predict The Game broadcasts this NBA season, beginning Nov. 6.

Available as a secondary broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus, Predict The Game features on-screen, multiple choice questions such as ‘Who will lead the Wizards in rebounds this quarter?’ Contest points are awarded to viewers who choose to participate at the end of each quarter. The free-to-play contest can earn viewers up to $2,000, an increased prize pool from last year.

“We are proud of our partner NBC Sports Washington for raising the game when it comes to providing fans with even more ways to enjoy our teams’ live game broadcasts,” Monumental Sports & Entertainment SVP of Strategic Initiatives Zachary Leonsis said in the official release. “NBC Sports Washington’s expanded Predict the Game schedule reflects our joint leadership and investment in the emerging category of gamification, while also providing fans with a unique experience that leverages advanced statistics to enhance their knowledge and insights.”

Last season, NBC Sports Washington used their Predict The Game broadcasts for eight Wizards games. This season, that number has been increased to a 20 game schedule. In addition to contest questions, the broadcasts will feature betting-focused on-screen graphics, including over/unders and money lines.

“Our predictive-gaming experiments have proven effective in engaging fans and enhancing the already quality experience of live sports coverage, so we are excited to announce a 20-game schedule covering the Wizards with more gaming features integrated,” NBC Sports Washington SVP and GM Damon Phillips added in the release. “It’s our priority to advance this product in meaningful ways and provide more opportunities for fans to participate.”

Predict The Game could represent a glimpse into the future of sports on TV, offering viewers a more interactive and engaging experience. NBC Sports Washington also used their Predict The Game concept for Redskins preseason games earlier this year.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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Notre Dame Expects Next Media Rights Deal to be Worth $60 Million Annually

Notre Dame is reportedly seeking $75 million per year, while Sports Business Journal figures the school would get closer to $60 million.

Jordan Bondurant

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Chris Coduto

There are still a few more seasons until Notre Dame starts the process of hammering out a new media rights deal, but it’s believed the FBS independent could have its next partner shelling out more than double what NBC is currently paying.

NBC, which appears to be a front-runner alongside CBS to be one of the key rights partners in the Big Ten’s new contract, currently pays $25 million each year for rights to Fighting Irish football according to Front Office Sports.

Notre Dame is reportedly seeking $75 million per year, while Sports Business Journal figures the school would get closer to $60 million.

Viewership for Fighting Irish games was reportedly down 48% year-over-year for the 2021 season, averaging 2.5 million viewers. The year before that, the pandemic season in 2020, viewership for Notre Dame was its best since 2005.

Notre Dame remains an independent in football, but is in the ACC for its other programs. The Fighting Irish do play some ACC schools in football. With NBC and the Big Ten apparently becoming new partners, it’s believed that Notre Dame would then have more Big Ten opponents in football.

The current contract between the school and NBC ends in 2025.

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Robert Griffin III Replaces Randy Moss on Monday Night Countdown

The network announced the addition of Robert Griffin III to the pre-game program.

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Robert Griffin III
David Becker, Getty Images

With Monday Night Countdown set to lead into Thursday’s preseason matchup with the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks, ESPN announced their lineup for the show.

The network announced the addition of Robert Griffin III to the pre-game program. Robert Griffin III will join Booger McFarland and Steve Young as the show’s main analysts.

They will be partnered with Suzy Kolber who returns for her sixth year as the show’s host and news breaker Adam Schefter.

It was reported in July that analyst Randy Moss would not be returning to the show, opting instead to focus solely on Sunday Night Countdown.

The first regular season action featuring Monday Night Countdown will be on Monday, September 12 when the Seahawks play the Denver Broncos.

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Leafs Nation Network, the Toronto Maple Leafs Channel, Is Going Off the Air

“Thank you for your viewership. As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

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The Toronto Maple Leafs launched Leafs TV, a team-specific specialty channel in 2001 and rebranded it as Leafs Nation Network in 2017. However, after nearly twenty-one years on the air, it will fade to black at the end of August.

“Thank you for your viewership,” the channel told viewers who have tuned in recently. “As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

The news was confirmed to the Sun. Staff said they had been informed of the news a few weeks ago however few jobs are expected to be lost, of any, as many of the LNN duties will be moved to the digital format.

Leafs TV was part of the sale of the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise sale in 2011 to Bell-Rogers communications (worth $1.32 billion). With that sale, Leafs TV began to become a “redundant” channel focusing mainly on classic games and interviews once Rogers made a 2014 deal to become the dominant NHL network, grabbing the majority of live programming.

“Leafs TV was a big bargaining chip at the time of the (Rogers-Bell sale), but they’ve come to see that (lack of game broadcast presence) doesn’t work,” a source told the Sun.

A statement from MLSE on Tuesday read in part: “With new and increasing opportunities to share content on its digital platforms, subscribers to the Leafs Nation Network were informed earlier this month that the channel would cease being broadcast on Sept. 1. Maple Leafs game day and practice coverage will continue to be shared across the team’s digital platforms, combined with exciting new content on the team’s social and digital channels. The team will continue to produce live Marlies home games with details being shared in the weeks ahead about where those broadcasts will be made available.”

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