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Dan Le Batard Says Papí Is ‘Happy & Healthy’

“While we’re unsure if he will return as a regular contributor to Highly Questionable, Papi is currently scheduled to appear at Le Batard’s Mas Miami event, Saturday Dec. 14.”

Brandon Contes

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After about a month away from his ESPN radio and television shows, Dan Le Batard returned Nov. 11, but Papi remains off-air, sparking audience concern. We’re not sure when or if Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard will return to ESPN’s Highly Questionable, but according to Dan, his father is happy and healthy.

“He is just 76-years old, he’s been working, punching the clock for 50 straight years and he doesn’t feel like working that hard right now, so he’ll come in when he wants to,” Le Batard said Wednesday amid growing concern from the audience regarding Papi’s lengthy absence.

Papi contributed to Highly Questionable early on while his son was away, but was off-air during most of Dan’s hiatus. Le Batard is back on-air a married man, after taking time off for his wedding, pre-wedding honeymoon and ‘personal matters,’ as the show now continues without his father. 

“We miss him as much as you do, but he’s happy and healthy. Thank you for your concern,” Dan added.

At 76 years old, having worked for well over a half-century, Papi has earned the right to enjoy modern load-management tactics. While we’re unsure if he will return as a regular contributor to Highly Questionable, Papi is currently scheduled to appear at Le Batard’s Mas Miami event, Saturday Dec. 14.

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

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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Sports TV News

LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

Jordan Bondurant

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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