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SEC Network Extends Peter Burns, Alyssa Lang, & Dari Nowkah

Nowkhah and Burns have been anchors on the show since the inception of the SEC Network in August 2014. Lang joined them shortly after in the fall of 2018, per the report.

Kate Constable

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SEC Network

SEC Network’s flagship news and information show, SEC Now, will return next month along with its three long-time hosts.

According to ESPN Press Room, hosts Peter BurnsAlyssa Lang, and Dari Nowkhah have each signed multi-year contract extensions with ESPN.

Nowkhah and Burns have been anchors on the show since the inception of the network in August 2014. Lang joined them shortly after in the fall of 2018, per the report.

“One of our greatest strengths at SEC Network is the depth of our talent roster, and we are better having Dari, Peter and Alyssa in the SEC Now anchor chair throughout the week,” said Tom McCollum, ESPN senior coordinating producer. “Their collective passion for the conference, the connections they make with our viewers, and the relationships they’ve built with our analysts make the show a must-watch for fans.”

While the trio can be seen hosting SEC Now both in-studio and on the road during major conference events, they also all contribute to the network’s coverage in other ways.

According to the release, Nowkhah hosts his ESPN Radio show “Dari & Mel” and contributes play-by-play for basketball and baseball across ESPN networks. He can also be found hosting SEC Featured in the fall on SEC Network.

Burns’ additional roles have included providing analysis as a course reporter on SEC Network’s live coverage of the the conference’s Men’s and Women’s Golf Tournaments, contributing to studio programming across all ESPN networks, including The Paul Finebaum ShowCollege Football Live and SportsCenter, and recently serving as a commentator on PGA Championship coverage on ESPN+.

Similar to Burns, Lang has also contributed to studio programming across ESPN networks, including The Paul Finebaum Show, SportsCenter and Get Up. She also co-hosted ESPN Radio’s Primetime with Field Yates every NFL Sunday last fall, as noted in the release. Last year, a travel and lifestyle show featuring Lang called Out of Pocket debuted on SEC Network. She said on Twitter that the show will return during the 2021 season.

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Chris Fallica Leaving ESPN for FOX

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Jordan Bondurant

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A prominent sports betting voice featured on ESPN’s College GameDay will be heading to rival FOX and their Big Noon Kickoff show starting in 2023. According to Awful Announcing, Chris Fallica, affectionately known as “The Bear”, will make his last appearance on GameDay will be this weekend.

Fallica has been with ESPN since 1995. Since 2013, Fallica had been featured on GameDay making betting picks with his patented “Bear’s Board”.

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Fallica joins Tom Rinaldi as the second former GameDay voice to jump over to FOX and be featured on Big Noon Kickoff.

Both shows have experienced incredible viewership growth this season. For GameDay, there have been several weeks this season that have seen some of the largest audiences in the show’s history.

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Tim Brando Believes Executives Look For Familiarity, Not Great Voices For Announcers

“Executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio. As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tim Brando has seen the broadcasting industry has evolved in a lot of ways through the years, but one thing that’s remained constant is how infrequently some of the announcing gigs with major networks open up to younger voices.

That’s mainly because you have veteran talent already occupying those positions with no plans for the immediate future to step aside.

On a recent edition of The Sports Talkers Podcast, FOX Sports broadcaster and host Tim Brando spoke to Stephen Strom about the reality that many broadcasters face.

“Yeah there are a lot more jobs, but there are fewer great jobs,” Brando said. “A lot of guys are getting jobs, but it’s like a dead end.”

But in terms of hiring younger talent for network jobs, he thinks it’s become more about adding faces to broadcast booths rather than voices.

“There’s a tendency I think now in our business to hire more visible and perhaps more popular talent because they’ve been in the studio,” he said. “But they’re not ready to be in the booth. Not everybody can do both well.”

Tim added that there’s a nuance to calling play-by-play versus working studio coverage. Brando said that perhaps it has a lot more to do with young broadcasters bypassing getting their start in radio and going right into TV.

“It seems to me that in some circles anyway in our business, executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio,” he said. “As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Brando did mention some of the younger voices at FOX who have risen to the bigger opportunities in the booth, and how they ultimately worked their way up. He said he’s had the chance to offer advice to a few of them and act as a mentor in a way, because that’s how it was for him breaking into the industry.

“I believe in pouring into the young broadcasters out there, I really do,” he said. “Because Curt Gowdy poured into me. I think there’s a responsibility and a level of accountability for the generation before to help those that are coming up that you really respect.”

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MLB Network Airing 38 Hours of Winter Meetings Coverage

Coverage will begin on Sunday at 7 p.m. with MLB Tonight leading into the announcement of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee’s election results for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jordan Bondurant

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The annual winter meetings for MLB are set to take place in-person for the first time since 2019 next week, and MLB Network is ready to bring viewers all the coverage possible from San Diego.

The network is devoting 38 hours of live programming on-site, with shows like MLB Tonight, Hot Stove, High Heat, MLB Now and Intentional Talk emanating from the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Coverage will begin on Sunday at 7 p.m. with MLB Tonight leading into the announcement of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee’s election results for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Fans tuning in to MLB Network can expect to see Greg Amsinger, Fran Charles, Brian Kenny, Stephen Nelson, Alanna Rizzo, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Lauren Shehadi and Matt Vasgersian hosting their respective shows throughout the week. Sean Casey, Mark DeRosa, Al Leiter, Cameron Maybin, Kevin Millar, Dan O’Dowd, Steve Phillips and Harold Reynolds will contribute coverage as analysts.

MLB Network will also carry coverage of the inaugural draft lottery from the winter meetings on Tuesday, December 6 at 8:30 p.m.

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