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Michael Phelps Joins NBC Olympics Crew

The swimmer has been involved in every Summer Olympics since 2000.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympics broadcast team just got a huge influx of gold medals. NBC announced today that they are adding Michael Phelps to their broadcast team. The most decorated Olympian of all time is joining the network’s swimming coverage.

A 28-time medalist, including 23 gold medals, Phelps is filling the role of primetime analyst throughout the weeks in Tokyo while also joining Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines in the booth for a few swimming events.

“From the moment he joined our team at Trials, Michael’s ability to provide insightful analysis, thoughtful commentary and tell entertaining stories was apparent,” Executive Producer & President of NBC Olympics Production Molly Solomon said in the press release. “We’re thrilled to have him join us in Tokyo, and our audience will benefit from hearing the perspective of the most decorated Olympian of all time.”

The new gig isn’t Phelps only connection to NBCUniversal. The five-time Olympian is also working on a Peacock series called Michael Phelps: Medals, Memories & MoreThe three-part series dives into the most important moments that shaped the greatest Olympic career of all time.

Over the last decade, Phelps has primarily focused on his foundation aimed at helping kids lead healthy lives. The Michael Phelps Foundation focuses on youth swimming and expanding access to pools for kids across the country.

As Solomon highlighted above, this isn’t Phelps’s first foray into the broadcasting waters. The 36-year-old had a test run at this year’s U.S. Olympic Trials, and NBC liked what they saw. Swimming events get rolling this weekend with the familiar face still involved all these years removed from Sydney. 

Fans would have to rattle the memory back to Atlanta in 1996 for the last time Phelps wasn’t tied to an Olympics in some way. If anyone can garner instant credibility during their first Olympic broadcast on the mic, it’s Phelps.

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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NFL Studio

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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Sports TV News

ESPN Assigns Broadcast Teams for MLB Wild Card Round

In preparation for the postseason, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

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Wild Card
David Berding/Getty Images

There are just a few games left in the MLB season and the postseason begins this weekend with the Wild Card round. In preparation, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

Andrew Marchand reports that the team assigned to the presumptive New York Mets Wild Card series will be Karl Ravech, David Cone and Eduardo Perez. The Mets still mathematically can win the NL East but they trail the Braves by two games with three to play.

He also reports that the St. Louis Wild Card series will be called by Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. The Cleveland series will be broadcast by Boog Sciambi and Doug Glanville while the Toronto series will be called by Dave Flemming, Jessica Mendoza and Tim Kurkjian.

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Sports TV News

Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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