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FOX Won’t Use Thom Brennaman For 2020 NFL Games

“The disgraced broadcaster is now in crisis mode, offering a second apology in an op-ed for The Cincinnati Inquirer on Thursday as he attempts to express remorse and a commitment to understanding LGBTQ+ issues.”

Brandon Contes

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In the hours after he said a homophobic slur in front of a hot mic, play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman was quickly suspended by the Cincinnati Reds and now FOX Sports, from his scheduled NFL broadcasts for the upcoming season. 

“FOX Sports is extremely disappointed with Thom Brennaman’s remarks during Wednesday’s Cincinnati Reds telecast,” FOX said in a statement Thursday. “The language used was abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of FOX Sports.”

Brennaman has been a national announcer with FOX for decades, calling NFL games since 1994 and MLB games from 1996-2014. Last season, Brennaman was part of FOX’s No. 3 broadcast team, alongside analyst Chris Spielman and field reporter Shannon Spake. In 2006, Brennaman joined the Reds as a play-by-play announcer, the organization where his father Marty Brennaman worked as their radio voice from 1974-2019. 

The disgraced broadcaster is now in crisis mode, offering a second apology in an op-ed for The Cincinnati Inquirer on Thursday as he attempts to express remorse and a commitment to understanding LGBTQ+ issues. 

“To the LGBTQ+ community – I am truly and deeply sorry,” Brennaman wrote. “You should never be denigrated with crude and hateful language. I failed you, and I cannot say enough how sorry I am.”

The longtime Cincinnati Reds and FOX announcer went on to state the steps he’s taking to become more informed. 

“I have spoken at length with Billy Bean, vice president and special assistant to the commissioner of baseball and an openly gay man, and Evan Millward, WCPO-TV anchorman, who have been generous with their time and patience to help me understand the impact of my actions and provided me with resources to educate myself and work to become a more informed person.

“With their help, I am going to start improving my understanding of LGBTQ+ issues and not in a way to simply check a box to keep my job, but to sincerely have an impact and change. I immediately plan to participate in   diversity, equity and inclusion training and have reached out to PFLAG for resources and guidance.”

Two hours after uttering the slur during a live broadcast, Brennaman realized his career was in jeopardy, but a statement by GLAAD said his first apology was “incredibly weak and not enough,” also “demanding full accountability” from the Reds, Major League Baseball and FOX.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again,” Brennaman said before exiting the Reds broadcast Wednesday night in the fifth inning.  If he does get the opportunity to put the headset on again, it certainly won’t be any time soon. 

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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