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Overtime Elite Looking For Traditional TV Deal

“Porter isn’t eyeing a media deal currently but told Sportico he’d like to secure one within ‘three or four years.'”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Overtime Elite

Overtime Elite doesn’t currently have a traditional media rights deal lined up, but Overtime hoping enough momentum grows for its startup basketball league to secure one in a few years. The league–mostly made up of elite high school basketball players–opens play today.

OTE sports investors like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Drake–aiming to be a professional haven for the best high school players in the country to grow their game, make money, and receive an education. 

Sportico caught up with founder and CEO Dan Porter to gauge his goals for the league over the next few years. Porter is the brain behind Overtime’s social media rise, which is the whole reason this league came together. Porter started the social media-based company in 2016, and it now boasts over five million Instagram followers.

Porter isn’t eyeing a media deal currently but told Sportico he’d like to secure one within “three or four years.”

“We want to develop an audience that’s global in nature,” Porter told the site earlier this month. “One that’s big in Europe, and eventually in Asia, and not just North American-focused.”

How they will get to international fame without television remains a bit murky but they are documenting all of the player’s journeys throughout the season. A lot of that coverage will come in the form of YouTube and social media videos to attract new fans and corporate sponsors.

The league held its Pro Day last week at a brand-new facility in Atlanta, GA, and a few journalists, including The Athletic’s John Hollinger, came away impressed.

“They pretty clearly spent some money on it,” Hollinger said on the Hollinger & Duncan NBA Show. “You could tell a pretty significant investment was made and that they had their sh*t together. The day was completely organized and I’ve been to a lot of workouts where that certainly was not the case.”

Now, who else will the league start scheduling for this unique group of players to take on? Answers to that question should arise throughout the league’s inaugural season.

Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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Sports TV News

Michael Irvin Removed From NFL Network Super Bowl Coverage

“I came into the lobby and I talked to somebody. I talked to this girl. I don’t know her, and I talked to her for about 45 seconds.”

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A complaint from a female to NFL Network has caused the network to remove Michael Irvin from its Super Bowl coverage.

NFL Network did not comment on the nature of the complaint or the allegation of any impropriety by Irvin, simply stating Irvin would not be a participant in coverage of the event from Arizona.

“Michael Irvin will not be a part of NFL Network’s Super Bowl LVII week coverage,” said NFL Media Vice President of Communications Alex Riethmiller in a statement.

Irvin claimed the interaction happened during a brief moment Sunday after having dinner and drinks with former Cowboy defensive back Michael Brooks.

“This all happened in a 45-second conversation in the lobby,” Irvin told The Dallas Morning News. “When I got back after going out … I came into the lobby and I talked to somebody. I talked to this girl. I don’t know her, and I talked to her for about 45 seconds. We shook hands. Then, I left…That’s all I know.”

Irvin, 56, admitted he didn’t recall the conversation between him and the female but called the interaction “just a friendly conversation”. He defended himself by saying “There was definitely nothing physical”.

The report from The Dallas Morning News added that Glendale police officials do not know about any incident regarding Irvin.

A report from Front Office Sports claims ESPN executives are “poised to pull the plug” on Irvin’s scheduled appearance on First Take from Radio Row Friday.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer has been with NFL Network since 2009, and in August of last year signed an extension to remain with the cable channel.

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Sports TV News

Pro Bowl Lowest Rated Since 2006

While the numbers decreased, the Pro Bowl was still the second-highest rated All-Star Game for the major professional sports leagues.

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The NFL completely revamped its Pro Bowl format for the 2022 season, and the changes did not garner more viewers.

An average of 6.28 million viewers tuned into the event across ABC, ESPN, and DisneyXD Sunday for the first 7-on-7 event. That number is a decrease of 6% compared to last year and is the lowest-rated Pro Bowl since the 2006 event saw just 5.96 million viewers. That figure excludes the 2021 Pro Bowl, which was a “virtual” event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the numbers decreased, the Pro Bowl was still the second-highest-rated All-Star Game for the major professional sports leagues, with the MLB All-Star Game seeing an average viewership of 7.51 million. The 6.28 million who watched the Pro Bowl is a virtual tie with last season’s NBA All-Star Game.

The Pro Bowl Skills Challenge — now produced by Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions — did see a large increase in viewership compared to last year. More than 1 million viewers tuned into the Thursday night primetime event, which is the second-best figure on record. That audience is a 23% increase compared to last year’s event.

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