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Shaq, Charles Barkley Debate Players’ Obligations To Press

The 76ers have blown two straight big leads to the Hawks.

Russ Heltman

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courtesy: TNT

Joel Embiid and the 76ers have been on the wrong end of an historic two-game stretch. According to ESPN, they became the first NBA team in the past 25 years to blow an 18-point lead in back-to-back playoff games. Their biggest cushion over the Hawks on Wednesday was 26 points, the third-largest blown playoff lead over the past 25 years.

It’s been a brutal time to be a Sixers player, and that prompted Joel Embiid to skip his media availability after Game Five. It was something TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal debated on Wednesday’s Inside the NBA.

“I wanna say this one thing, and I’m not mad,” Barkley explained on the show. “I wanna say this about Joel Embiid. I think he’s a great player and a good kid, but I don’t like it when players don’t talk to the press. Cuz if you have a great game, you run to the microphone. I don’t like it when any player in any sport does this; you should always talk to the press. Because they’re not paying you $35 million to just play basketball.”

Shaquille O’Neal has been in Embiid’s spot before and had empathy for the All-NBA level player. He bandied back at Barkley by saying it’s not part of a player’s contract, but his TNT teammate was undeterred.

“The reason those guys are making that money is because TNT and ESPN, we’re paying them a lot of money,” Barkley said back to Shaq. “I think these guys do have a responsibility. You know, these guys get all bent out of shape. Listen, you should say, ‘Hey, you know what, we let one get away,’ like Doc Rivers said after Game Four. I would love to see Joel Embiid say, ‘You know what, I’ll take responsibility, I’m the best player on this team.’ Like I said, I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. You don’t get to talk to the press just when you win. I don’t like that.”

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Bomani Jones Signs Extension With ESPN

“I’m very happy to continue The Right Time with ESPN,” said Jones.

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Bomani Jones and ESPN have officially agreed to a new contract extension that will keep the host and commentator with the network.

The Right Time with Bomani Jones podcast will continue to publish three times per week under the new agreement. He’ll also continue to make appearances on ESPN Radio and contribute to the network’s television studio lineup, including SportsCenter, First Take, and Pardon The Interruption among others.

“I’m very happy to continue The Right Time with ESPN,” said Jones. “I remain indebted to everyone who has worked to build the podcast, particularly my producer Gabe Basayne.”

Jones told podcast listeners in July that he didn’t know when he would return, after stepping aside for vacation time. Barrett Sports Media reported his contract was slated to expire during his time away. BSM also reported Jones and ESPN had agreed to a new deal when the podcast returned in September.

“Bomani is a leading voice in the audio space and has created a signature podcast with The Right Time that strongly resonates with fans and has only continued to grow,” ESPN Vice President of Digital Production Mike Foss said. “He is an impactful contributor across our lineup and we are excited to have him continue with ESPN.”

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Sports TV News

NBC: Big Ten Media Rights Is Biggest New Property Deal Since NFL

“I can’t think of a bigger deal in the 16 years I’ve been here than the Big Ten. It’s very rare to see these properties change hands.”

Jordan Bondurant

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NBC Sports can’t be more excited to be a part of the new Big Ten media rights deal going into effect in 2023.

As part of their share of the $1 billion per year agreement, NBC will shell out $350 million each season to the conference for rights to 14-16 football games over the next seven years.

On a recent edition of SportsProMedia’s StreamTime Podcast, Peacock chief commercial officer Rick Cordella said this was the biggest acquisition for NBC since the network became the home to Sunday Night Football in the NFL in 2006.

“I joined NBC just after the NFL deal and [since then] we’ve re-engaged with NASCAR in 2013 and have signed some pretty important renewals along the way,” he said. “But in terms of a new property, I can’t think of a bigger deal in the 16 years I’ve been here than the Big Ten. It’s very rare to see these properties change hands.”

Cordella added that while NBC’s relationship with Notre Dame is historic and something to hang their hat on, it’s the longevity of the future of the Big Ten as a conference and pseudo-mega conference that makes being in on the new deal so monumental.

“We have a long relationship with Notre Dame that’s pretty unique and something we’re proud of, but to have Big Ten football every week in the fall…that conference is going to be a dominant force in college athletics, and we don’t have to worry about teams being poached and leaving (the conference),” he said.

The fact that Peacock will also be streaming football and men’s and women’s basketball games is another perk.

“It was the right spot to focus our investment and we’re excited to have content across both NBC and Peacock,” Cordella said. “That was an important factor.”

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Sports TV News

12.6 Million Tune in to Rams-49ers Monday Night Football Matchup

Additionally, the ManningCast featuring Peyton and Eli Manning saw its biggest audience this season.

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday Night Football

ESPN continues to generate massive audiences for its Monday Night Football telecasts.

The network reported that 12.6 million tuned in across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes to watch the San Francisco 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams.

Additionally, the ManningCast featuring Peyton and Eli Manning saw its biggest audience this season. ESPN says 1.63 million caught the alternate feed.

That number ranked Monday’s broadcast tied for fourth among 12 previous editions.

Next week’s Monday night game features the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Las Vegas Raiders.

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