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Mike Breen Not Sure Gambling Talk Becomes Common On Game Broadcasts

“Neither Eagle nor Breen is a sports bettor.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: David Payne Purdum

Betting content is becoming more and more ingrained within sports broadcasts as the practice gets legalized across the country. The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch caught up with Mike Breen and Ian Eagle to see how the two approach the topic.

Neither Eagle nor Breen is currently a sports bettor, but the former had a great story about a bet he placed years ago and his current job with CBS.

“The last bet I made was on Monday Night Football 1987, the Chargers and the Raiders,” Eagle told Deitsch. “Ironically, Dan Fouts was my partner for CBS and is one of my truly closest friends in the world. I bet on the Chargers, and they took an early lead on the Raiders. It looked like it was going to win $250, which in 1987, I would have lived like a king for the entire semester. The Raiders came back, won the game. The Chargers didn’t cover. 

“Years later when I’m working with Dan, I said, ‘You know, I bet on you in 1987 to win that Monday Night Football game.’ He goes, ‘What are you? An idiot? Like, why would you do that? Who told you to do that? That’s your fault, schmuck.’ So he crushed me. I’m not a gambler. I’ve never had that interest level in it.”

Eagle says that he already puts so much time into every other aspect of a solid broadcast that the gambling lines and over/under don’t cross his radar. Yet, he’d be open to incorporating the information.

“I’m worried enough about the biographical information, the statistics, the storylines, that it doesn’t even enter my train of thought,” Eagle said. “If that’s a variable and I’m told that that’s important to the network and we need to incorporate it, I’ll be open to it. I’ll be a professional. I’ll figure out a way to do it. But to be perfectly frank, it’s not something that’s really on my radar game in and game out.”

Breen is more bearish; he doesn’t think the language will ever be commonplace on national broadcasts because not everyone watching the game gambles.

“We’ll read sponsorships,” Breen said. “This spot is sponsored by DraftKings or whatever it is. But I don’t think they’ll ever have the actual play-by-play and analyst announcers getting involved in point spreads or why a team is favored in terms of that point spread. At least I hope that because I don’t think it belongs. Again, for people that want to do it, more power to them; Like Ian, I’m not a gambler. But I don’t think it’ll ever be part of what we do during the course of the game.”

For the full interview with Eagle and Breen, click here.

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Sports TV News

MSG Considering Cable Network Spinoff

The MSG sports cable channel is currently the television home of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and New York Red Bulls.

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MSG Entertainment is considering spinning off its two iconic New York City properties, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, in addition to its regional sports network to create a new live event/media business.

MSG Entertainment is building the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas, which is slated to open for business next year. The $1.865 billion arena is located near the Las Vegas Strip and will hold 17,500 spectators. The expense of the new project is the genesis for the exploration of the spinoff.

According to a report from Bret McCormick of Sports Business Journal, MSG Sports Corp scored a record-breaking $821.4 million in revenue during the most recent fiscal year which included tickets, media rights, and other revenues associated with live events and sports broadcasts.

The MSG sports cable channel is currently the television home of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and New York Red Bulls.

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Sports TV News

Jim Kaat Retires From Broadcasting

Kaat announced games for the Twins and Yankees regional broadcasts while also working for CBS, NBC, ESPN, and MLB Network during his 40 year announcing career.

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After more than 40 years in the broadcast booth, Jim Kaat has retired from broadcasting.

The 25-year MLB veteran announced last night’s Blue Jays/Yankees game would be his final announcing assignment.

Kaat announced games for the Twins and Yankees regional broadcasts while also working for CBS, NBC, ESPN, and MLB Network during his 40 year announcing career. Kaat, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as a player in July, won seven Emmy Awards for his work with the Yankees broadcasts.

Kaat, 83, told MLB Tonight “I just felt like the last game I did, maybe three weeks ago, I’m not as in touch with the game as I was years ago. I walk in the clubhouse — and this is not a criticism of today’s players or coaches — but I don’t know anybody. I can talk to Dusty Baker all day, but there’s only one Dusty Baker. I haven’t seen Tito Francona. And I just thought, Tony Kuback told me ‘You’ll know when it’s time’. And I just thought…I think it’s time to step away.”

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Sports Radio News

Portland Trail Blazers TV, Radio Broadcasts To Call Away Games Remotely

Rip City Radio 620’s Dwight Jaynes confirmed a rumor co-host Chad Doing mentioned on the air that he had been told the Blazers broadcasters would announce away games remotely for the upcoming season.

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Portland Trail Blazers broadcasters will have a different vantage point for away games during the 2022-2023 season.

Rip City Radio 620‘s Dwight Jaynes confirmed a rumor co-host Chad Doing mentioned on the air that he had been told the Blazers broadcasters would announce away games remotely for the upcoming season.

“They will not be sending radio or television on the road with their team,” Jaynes said. “Also, what I’ve heard and I’ve tried to check this out, I have not found any other team in the league that’s doing this.”

On Twitter, a user asked Jaynes if potentially the broadcast crew asked to not travel, which Jaynes said did not happen while noting the broadcasters will “enjoy more time at home”.

Kevin Calabro and Lamar Hurd make up the Trail Blazers television crew on ROOT Sports, while Travis Demers serves as the radio play-by-play announcer. Rip City Radio 620 is the flagship of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.

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