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Kenny Mayne: My Tweets Were On A Watchlist At ESPN

“While Mayne is adamant that he doesn’t believe anyone at ESPN wanted him fired for sharing political opinions, he is just knows it made some in power very uncomfortable.”

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Kenny Mayne reflects on life after ESPN in an interview with John Gonzalez of The Ringer. While Mayne was never one to hide his political opinions, he did note that he felt a new ability to be “forthright” since exiting Bristol in May.

Mayne admits that he did fear getting fired if his tweets were deemed offensive by managment. He even claims that he was told in no uncertain terms that ESPN was keeping an eye on everything he put up on social media. He described it as “definitely on the watchlist” and said that he felt like bosses were “clearly threatening” him.

He described an incident that landed him in Norby Williamson’s office for a reprimand. It was January of 2018 and then-President Donald Trump said that White House doctors had just told him that he was going to be extraordinarily healthy for a long time. Mayne took to Twitter to make a joke he says was “making fun of the doctor, not making fun of the president—directly.”

Kenny Mayne says that when Williamson asked him why he had to do politics on Twitter he responded “Because I have four daughters and a wife and I want to look at myself in the mirror.”

While Mayne is adamant that he doesn’t believe anyone at ESPN wanted him fired for sharing political opinions, he is just knows it made some in power very uncomfortable.

When Gonzalez asked ESPN about Mayne’s comments and his conversation with Williamson, the company issued a very generic statement.

“Kenny was a key figure in building ESPN. We’ll always be grateful for his creativity, passion and work ethic. We wish him continued success.”

So where will the success continue? Kenny Mayne told The Ringer that he has had discussions with Caesar’s Entertainment and Meadowlark Media about creating content for their respective companies. He also is collaborating with Marshawn Lynch on a project he did not elaborate on. He has hinted in the past that he is working on a podcast project.

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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