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Doris Burke Told Holly Rowe To Take Jazz Analyst Job

“I told her what the opportunity was and the first thing she said was you can do it. That’s all I needed to hear.”

Ricky Keeler

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This fall, Holly Rowe added another job to her great broadcast resume when she became an analyst on the Utah Jazz TV broadcasts with Craig Bolerjack and Thurl Bailey. Her journey to getting this role started before COVID at a play in New York City. 

On the latest episode of The Sports Media with Richard Deitsch Podcast, Rowe talked about the story that led her to getting the Jazz position and her initial assumptions about the offer. 

“I was at a play with my son before COVID hit and these two men walked up to me and said, Are you Holly Rowe? It turned out to be part of the ownership group for the Utah Jazz now. At that time, they were executives at Qualtrics, Mike Maughan and Ryan Smith. They wanted me to come out and do an interview with Adam Silver at their big convention in Salt Lake City. I did that 3 years ago and I got to meet Oprah.

“We kind of started a relationship. I knew them then and they ended up buying the Jazz with an investment group a little bit later. This summer, somebody from the Jazz emailed me and said, hey, we’d love to talk to you about becoming a part of our organization. It was Bart Sharp, their chief officer of marketing, so I kind of thought it was a marketing role. I live in Utah, I’m frequently talking about the Jazz, so I kind of thought it was along those lines.” 

Rowe told Deitsch that she was shocked that she was considered for an analyst role because it wasn’t something she was actively pursuing. In the end, she sought guidance from friend and ESPN colleague Doris Burke.

“I told her what the opportunity was and the first thing she said was you can do it. That’s all I needed to hear. If Doris Burke had any pause at all, I would not have done it because her opinion means everything to me. She knows my knowledge of basketball. That’s all it took for me.” 

With Rowe in this new role, she hopes that the industry will go to more of positionless broadcasting in the future and not focus on who has a specific title.

“We get so caught up in who is doing the play-by-play, who is the sideline reporter. We get caught up in these titles. I said ‘I’d love it to be positionless broadcasting. I kind of think that’s what we’re in’…We are all working together. We are just talking basketball and I think that’s cool. Positionless basketball is a cool thing right now, so we are kind of on that trend.” 

Since the Jazz told her that they wanted more storytelling on their broadcasts, it’s tough to say that they didn’t find a great fit by adding Rowe, who does a good job telling stories of athletes on college football, college basketball, women’s softball, and WNBA broadcasts. 

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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Sports TV News

LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

Jordan Bondurant

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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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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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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