The entire NHL on NBC crew was on a conference call on Friday morning to talk about the upcoming Stanley Cup Finals matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars. Like the rest of the playoffs, the games will be played inside of the NHL bubble, with all action shifting to Edmonton for the Finals.
Play-by-play man Doc Emrick and analyst Eddie Olczyk were asked how long distance was effecting their usual chemistry. Olczyk is in Canada, while Emrick is calling games from his home in Michigan.
“We enjoy one another’s company so much, whether it winds up being a couple thousand miles apart or whether it’s on the air and in two separate boxes at the start of a show, it makes it just a part of a good life for me; I will tell you that,” Emrick answered.
He noted that there are times that the two will end up talking over each other, but each does his best to give the other enough space to avoid those hiccups.
Emrick was asked on the call about technical improvements that were made to limit the delay between the live action and what he sees on his screen at home. He said that he was never aware of a delay and deferred to producer Sam Flood.
“It was two tin cans, we stretched the string between it, and that sped up the process,” Flood joked. “Alexander Graham Bell was an analyst for us and helped us through, and Mr. Bell said if you go a shorter distance, which is from where you are outside Detroit to Edmonton, the sound and pictures will travel quicker, and that’s what we did and miraculously it worked. So the shorter distance sped us up.”
In reality, originally, what Emrick saw at home was being sent to him from the control room in Stamford, Connecticut after NBC received the video from its truck in either Toronto or Edmonton. In later rounds, Emrick’s feed came directly from the truck on location.
Olczyk cited the duo’s fourteen year history together. He said that no matter what, he trusts Emrick’s call just as he has in the past.
“I think it is obviously a unique dynamic, but when you’re working with the best, you follow Doc’s lead as Pierre and Bouch and I have done and will continue to do. There is a cadence that we understand, and I remember for the first time when I sat in that chair after the great John Davidson left for St. Louis to become team president of the St. Louis Blues some 14 plus years ago, and our leader Sam Flood, I remember him vividly saying, you know, late in a game, ‘Okay, guys, this is Doc time, and that’s when you pick your spots and you get in and you get out and you give Doc an opportunity to take a breath and we’d go from there.’”
He added that any praise that he and Emrick have received for covering games in the bubble is really praise for the entire NBC team.
“The team and the teamwork is second to none, and those are things that are going on behind the scenes that people don’t know about compared to a normal situation. But as we’ve all said, what the hell is normal in 2020, and we will figure it out because we’re working for and with the best, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow night.”
Outside the Lines Won’t Return to ESPN Weekend Schedule
The show, which debuted in 1990, aired as a daily show from 2003 to 2019 and aired a Sunday-edition from 2000 to 2017.
ESPN has decided to not return Outside the Lines to its weekend lineup, ending the show’s linear television run.
A report from John Ourand of Sports Business Journal claims ESPN told OTL staffers that the show wouldn’t return to the network after the Super Bowl.
The show, which debuted in 1990, aired as a daily show from 2003 to 2019 and aired a Sunday-edition from 2000 to 2017. Outside the Lines was often regarded as the “moral compass” of ESPN, and was often the source of some of the more investigative reporting employed by the network.
Outside the Lines — which was airing at 9:00 AM on Saturday mornings — averaged 303,000 viewers in the timeslot. Meanwhile, SportsCenter: AM has seen an average audience of 572,000 in the same window.
The Outside the Lines brand will continue being utilized during the Noon ET SportsCenter, as well as ESPN digital platforms, including the network’s YouTube page.
Jeremy Schaap will continue to host the Outside the Lines segments during SportsCenter, but will also be the host of a new iteration of The Sports Reporters that will air on ESPN’s YouTube channel. Schaap’s father, Dick, was the host of the ESPN Sunday morning program from 1988 until his death in 2001. The show aired on ESPN from 1988 to 2017.
CBS: Calling Meeting With Tony Romo ‘Intervention’ is ‘Complete Mischaracterization’
“We meet regularly with our on-air talent.”
An opening question in broadcasting circles is ‘What happened to Tony Romo?’, with even CBS reportedly pondering the issue.
During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast earlier this week, The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand claimed CBS attempted “an intervention” with its lead NFL analyst.
The intended mission of several alleged meetings with CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and CBS NFL producer Jim Rikhoff was to return Romo to his previous heights, which were widely regarded as the best NFL analyst in the business.
CBS Sports has responded to the insinuation that the meetings would be classified as an “intervention” with a strong denial.
“To call this an intervention is a complete mischaracterization, we meet regularly with our on-air talent,” CBS Sports spokeswoman Jen Sabatelle told Marchand.
Marchand added that CBS Sports officials plan to attempt to rectify the issues it sees with Romo again this offseason. Romo — who signed a 10-year, $180 million contract with CBS Sports in 2020 — is slated to call Super Bowl LVIII in 2024 with Jim Nantz.
Cameron Maybin Joining Detroit Tigers TV Booth
“All of us at Bally Sports Detroit are energized about this upcoming season and watching all the excitement unfold.”
After being dropped from the New York Yankees booth on YES Network, Cameron Maybin has a new television home with the Detroit Tigers.
The 35-year-old Maybin had three separate one-year stints with the Tigers during his 15-season big league career. Maybin was drafted by the franchise with the 10th overall selection of the 2005 MLB Draft.
A report from the Detroit Free Press adds that the Tigers will rely on Craig Monroe as its primary color commentator alongside play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard. Monroe played six of his nine MLB seasons in Detroit and was a member of the team’s 2006 World Series club.
Additionally, former Tigers relief pitcher Todd Jones will also join the broadcast crew on Bally Sports Detroit as an analyst for the 2023 season. Jones pitched for Detroit from 1997 through 2001 and also from 2006 through 2008.
“Tigers baseball is always a winner,” Bally Sports Detroit Senior Vice President and General Manager Greg Hammaren said Thursday in a statement. “All of us at Bally Sports Detroit are energized about this upcoming season and watching all the excitement unfold.
“Our crew behind the scenes and our engaging talent on camera are the best in the business. Starting with spring training, we are committed to bringing Tigers fans the absolute best coverage all season long.”
The news of Maybin and Jones joining the Bally Sports Detroit booth comes on the heels of the network failing to reach an agreement with Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris to return to the network. The Free Press report claims Morris was offered a reduced role with the television broadcaster, but declined.