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Sports TV News

Donald Trump, Trump Jr To Call Triller Fight Card

“Interested fight fans can purchase the pay-per-view for $49.99. They have the option of watching the Trump “gamecast” or the traditional telecast.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Triller

Triller is bringing the Trumps to town for this weekend’s exhibition bout between Vitor Belfort and Evander Holyfield. Former President Donald Trump is putting on a headset for every fight on the card. He is calling the “gamecast” with his son, Donald Trump Jr., at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood Casino on Saturday.

Trump hosted a litany of boxing events at his New Jersey hotel in the 1980s and ’90s.

“I love great fighters and great fights,” Donald Trump Sr. said. “I look forward to seeing both this Saturday night and sharing my thoughts ringside. You won’t want to miss this special event.”

Triller says the father-son duo is calling all four fights on the card. Names like David Haye and Joe Fournier are matching up against each other. Meanwhile, Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz rekindle their MMA fighting days in a head-to-head bout.

The headline fight almost didn’t happen when Oscar De La Hoya tested positive for COVID-19, but Holyfield, a 58-year-old former heavyweight boxing champion, stepped in to face the 44-year-old Belfort. The former UFC light heavyweight champion last fought for the promotion in May 2018.

Trump follows in a line of celebrities to call pay-per-view events for Triller over the past year. Snoop Dogg made appearances during November’s Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. telecast and popped up in the April fight between Jake Paul and Ben Askren. Comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson also appeared on the April telecast.

Interested fight fans can purchase the pay-per-view for $49.99. They have the option of watching the Trump “gamecast” or the traditional telecast.

Triller tapped HBO Boxing veteran Jim Lampley to call the traditional broadcast. Former welterweight champion Shawn Porter is joining Lampley ringside for all the action. The free preview of the event starts at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, with the paid broadcast beginning at 7 p.m. ET

Sports TV News

Al Michaels: Condensed Prep Time For Thursday Night Football ‘A Downside’

“It’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us.”

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There were bound to be unexpected hiccups and unintended consequences as Al Michaels moved to Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime Video.

He told The Boston Globe Thursday that one of the downsides of the week’s schedule is less prep time with the teams playing in the game.

“When we go to see the teams, it’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us,” Michaels said. “And all the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve built some great relationships with coaches and players and GMs and owners and you name it, and I don’t get that much time to spend with them anymore. That’s a downside part of it for me. Some of the best stories you get come from those relationships.”

Michaels has raised eyebrows this season while not being shy about his disdain for some poor matchups early in the schedule. However, he now understands that there are quality games as the season approaches its close.

“The schedule was a little leaky with the Carolina-Atlanta game and a couple of other games that we’ve had, but now we’re positioned for a nice run down the stretch,” said Michaels.

The 78-year-old was also asked how he remains energetic and passionate for the job he’s held for so long.

The games are exciting. I love sports. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no script. And unscripted television is the greatest.”

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Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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