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ESPN Provides HBCU Football With a Mainstream Platform

The four letter network will continue putting HBCU football on its platform as next week they’ll air the April 3rd game between Jackson State Alabama-A&M on ESPN.

Eduardo Razo

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ESPN is known for its college football coverage; however, the sports network will be jumping on board in helping broadcast HBCU football games. 

This month, ESPN flexed the Jackson State-Mississippi Valley State from ESPN3 to ESPN2. Furthermore, last weekend’s Alabama State-Jackson State game also saw the jump to ESPN 2. 

Over the next few weeks, ESPN will be putting HBCU football games on its main channel. With the increase of HBCU games on ESPN, the Black Chronicle spoke to Sports Business Journal managing editor for digital Austin Karp, discussing what this exposure means for HBCU football now and in the future. 

“I think it’s actually a win for both sides, right, because you’re getting exposure on the Southern game and the Alabama A&M game that head to the main ESPN channel. To have that big platform for your football game that’s something you’re never going to get in the fall. And so that’s the win on the side for ESPN — they’re getting live content,”

“Football content, in particular at a time of year when they don’t really have a lot going on. So they’re looking for whatever live content. And if you put football on, people watch it. So I think it’s a big win, and they will probably promote it, or maybe they have Deion come on SportsCenter or something like that, but I just think it’s a boon for all sides,”

The four letter network will continue putting HBCU football on its platform as next week they’ll air the April 3rd game between Jackson State Alabama-A&M on ESPN. 

This game is the first of many HBCU games that ESPN will broadcast. The Delaware-Delaware State game on April 10th is another they’ll air on the main channel after initially being slated for ESPN 2. 

Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handles Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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Sports TV News

NFL Flex Scheduling Forces ESPN To Change Bowl Schedule

Jordan Bondurant

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The NFL flex scheduling an upcoming Las Vegas Radiers game out of Sunday Night Football on December 18 has forced ESPN to make a slight adjustment with its college bowl season schedule. But the change was something the worldwide leader was prepared to make.

The Raiders were originally scheduled to play the New England Patriots in the primetime window a week before Christmas, but with both teams losing ground in terms of the AFC playoff picture, NBC opted to go with a different game that night instead. Now fans will be tuning in to see the rematch between the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders.

The shift out of the Sunday night window for the Raiders forced ESPN to swap kickoff times for the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl the day before on December 17. Florida and Oregon State will play in Vegas at 2:30 p.m. eastern, with BYU and SMU facing off in Albuquerque at 7:30 p.m.

The switch allows workers at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas enough time to switch the venue over from college bowl game to Raiders home game.

“We are accustomed to flexibility and we anticipated having to maneuver our event schedules based on the possibility of the Raiders game being flexed,” said ESPN Events vice president Clint Overby.

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