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John Canzano: ESPN’s PAC-12 Coverage ‘A Low-Budget’ Disappointment

Multiple sources told Canzano that ESPN used saved money by utilizing “low budget” trucks to carry the signal on Saturday night.

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It appears that the Pac-12 has the disservice of getting stuck with the short end of the stick at ESPN, and John Canzano of The Oregonian and 750 The Game in Portland has had enough of it.

The longtime columnist wrote a piece yesterday about the quality of broadcast that the Pac-12 has been receiving on ESPN compared to Pac-12 Network broadcasts. He says the difference is pretty clear, calling the ESPN broadcast “a fuzzy, low-budget disappointment.”

Jon Wilner of The San Jose Mercury News captured two different screenshots, one from a broadcast on the Pac-12 Network, and one from an ESPN broadcast this Saturday night.

On the left is the Pac-12 Network and on the right is ESPN’s broadcast last weekend. Anyone who knows anything about cameras or production can clearly see that the ESPN broadcast is just not up to par with what should be the standard nowadays of high definition for a nationally televised college football game.

Multiple sources told Canzano that ESPN used saved money by utilizing “low budget” trucks to carry the signal of Oregon’s win over Washington State on Saturday night.

It appears that ESPN did this simply because they knew that they can get away with it. Pac-12 games are on at 10:30 ET which is typically the lowest viewed game on the network on most college football Saturdays. Canzano reached out to ESPN on the production quality and has yet to hear a response back on the matter.

Canzano hosts a syndicated radio show The Bald Truth across Oregon. With the Oregon Ducks in the thick of the College Football Playoff discussion for the first time in years, it makes sense that he was so agitated by the production of the product.

His biggest takeaway is that the PAC-12 has to be a better advocate for its schools and its football product.

“The Pac-12 needs to take note of this and ensure that it doesn’t happen with future TV contracts,” John Canzano wrote. “Raise the number of minimum cameras at the stadiums. Ensure that the crews are staffed and ask that pylon cameras and isolated camera operators who can better follow the action are mandatory. Also, require ESPN to use a truck that will give viewers a quality picture on their television vs. the low-budget rig it sent to Eugene on Saturday.”

Regardless this type of quality should be unacceptable in 2021 for any major network and the Pac-12 may seriously want to consider this when they do their next round of media right negotiations.

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.

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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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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.

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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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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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