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ESPN Announces 2 Promotions

Mike Shiffman and Brian Lockhart are moving up within the company.

Russ Heltman

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ESPN has announced some notable promotions within their ranks. They elevated Brian Lockhart to senior vice president of ESPN+ Original Content and ESPN Films and elevated Mike Shiffman to senior vice president of production. 

Lockhart is carrying out the strategy and development of all original programming initiatives. Projects like ESPN Films & 30 for 30 are now under his umbrella, as well as original series and studio shows on ESPN+.  

Shiffman will continue watching over the production aspects of ESPN’s basketball categories, including event and studio broadcasts for the NBA, WNBA, and college basketball.

Lockhart arrived at ESPN in January 2019 from his role with NFL Media as vice president and executive producer of original content. He has won eight Emmy awards during his career and helped launch Peyton’s Places on ESPN+.

“Brian is a valued senior leader and an award-winning content creator who brings a vast array of experience and energy to our team,” said ESPN executive vice president of programming and original content Burke Magnus. “As we continue to develop high-quality narrative sports storytelling across a variety of platforms, Brian’s strategic insight, strong leadership, and ability to deliver creative and compelling content, will be fundamental in exploring how we best bring these stories to life for sports fans.”

Shiffman has had a hand in productions like NBA Finals, WNBA Finals, NCAA Women’s National Championship Game, NBA Playoffs along with The JumpNBA Countdown, and College GameDay. He started at ESPN in 2000.

“Mike has repeatedly proven to be instrumental in elevating all of our basketball properties in recent years through his vision, creativity, and passion,” said executive vice president of event and studio production Stephanie Druley. “He played an integral leadership role in guiding us through the NBA and WNBA Bubbles and continues to drive innovation, including in the ever-changing world of college basketball. We are thrilled for Mike.”

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Report: ESPN Declines Final Offer From Big Ten

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports ESPN declined a seven-year, $380 million per year offer from the Big Ten to remain a media partner of the conference.

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What came as speculation Monday night is now being reported as fact: ESPN is out of the Big Ten media rights negotiations.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports ESPN declined a seven-year, $380 million per year offer from the Big Ten to remain a media partner of the conference. ESPN has owned, at least a portion, of Big Ten football and basketball rights for 40 years.

The Big Ten is expected to announce a partnership with Fox, CBS, and NBC that will see three conference games air on network television each Saturday. Fox will air the Big Ten during their Big Noon Kickoff timeslot, CBS will replace the SEC with the Big Ten at 3:30 eastern, and NBC will feature a Big Ten game in primetime.

Several reports put the Big Ten’s latest television rights deal at or exceeding $1 billion per year. CBS is expected to pay roughly $350 million for the Big Ten package.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Reportedly To Lose Big Ten Media Rights For the First Time in 40 Years

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Jordan Bondurant

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BIG TEN, CBS, NBC, FOX SPORTS

After several months, it appears the Big Ten is nearing the finish line on a new media rights deal. And despite still reportedly being in negotiations with the conference, ESPN is looking set to lose out on media rights.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC are the frontrunners to join with FOX.

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Ourand reported his sources told him ESPN’s deal to keep the Big Ten was not as strong as the one offered by the other two networks.

It would mark the first time in four decades that ESPN didn’t have some involvement in Big Ten sports. But Ourand indicates the worldwide leader could pivot into bundling Big 12 and Pac-12 rights as an alternative. Additionally the network would then pursue keeping its deals with NCAA for championship coverage as well as being the home for the College Football Playoff.

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Sports TV News

Pat McAfee: Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because The Show Comes First

“Energy, time, anything away from this show… we got a lot going on. This is my number one focus and it should remain as such…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Last week, it was announced that Pat McAfee would be hosting his own version of the popular Manning Cast only for college football games.

McAfee, co-host AJ Hawk, and the rest of his cast and crew from The Pat McAfee Show will host an alternate feed for six college football games this season.

McAfee was rumored to be in talks with Amazon about potentially hosting an alternate broadcast for its Thursday NFL games, and the former Colts punter had also reportedly talking with ESPN about potentially being featured on College GameDay.

McAfee said to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that ultimately the Amazon and GameDay deals didn’t come to fruition because it just didn’t make sense.

“I’ve had great conversations with both companies, we just weren’t able to get to a point where ‘the ask’ and ‘the business’ were where it needed to be to get a deal done on both fronts,” McAfee said.

McAfee on his show on Monday elaborated a bit further, trying to put to bed that he was being courted for Thursday Night Football.

“I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we were talking about, by the way,” he said. “I was never really approached for anything for Thursday Night Football. That was never really anything.”

Pat read from the full response to Marchand’s questions, posted under the Post story which appeared on the paper’s site Monday. He reiterated that his daily show and the small business he built around his show, take precedent over anything else.

“Energy, time, anything away from this show, this operation, this crew; we got families being built, we got houses being bought, we got 12 employees, we got a lot going on,” he said. “So this is my number one focus and it should remain as such because I have a brain, and also I care a lot about this operation. I love it, actually.”

Still, McAfee made it clear that just because no deal was signed with ESPN and Amazon for 2022 means the ship has sailed permanently. He’s keeping his doors open.

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