Sports TV News
Bob Iger Reportedly Wants To Buy Phoenix Suns
“Forbes currently values the Suns at $1.8 billion.”
Should the NBA’s Phoenix Suns come up for sale, it appears there’s at least one person potentially interested in buying them. That is former Disney CEO Bob Iger.
The team’s current majority owner, Robert Sarver, is being investigated by the league based on a detailed ESPN report that alleges Sarver created a toxic working environment within the franchise. The report cites incidents where Sarver exhibited racist or misogynistic behavior.
The league investigation is being spearheaded by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Like former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was eventually banned for life from the league after video showing him using racist language surfaced, Sarver could be forced to sell his ownership stake.
Forbes currently values the Suns at $1.8 billion.
Media reports say what makes Iger an appealing candidate is his connection to the commissioner and the commissioner’s office while with Disney, which owns ESPN and ABC. Both television brands are NBA broadcast rights holders.
The franchise’s current co-owners can turn down any potential buyer, and the league does have a formal sale process. So, it’s likely the team would sell for north of $2 billion if it hit the open market. That would likely require Iger to bring in ownership partners to make the sale happen.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Sports TV News
AT&T SportsNet Still Negotiating With Teams As Previous Deadline Looms
“It is likely that Warner Bros. Discovery will continue operating the channel for much if not all of the baseball season.”
Earlier this month, Warner Bros. Discovery announced it would shutter its AT&T SportsNet-branded regional sports networks.
In the announcement, AT&T SportsNet alerted teams it would give them until the end of the month to engage in negotiations to reclaim their television rights.
As the month concludes, the Houston Astros and Rockets are still in negotiations to take back their local television rights, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle.
Previously, the network had privately shared it had hoped to exit the business as MLB’s Opening Day approached. Now, according to the report from the Chronicle, the network could still exist for the majority of the MLB season.
After reporting that Astros and Rockets officials believe an agreement would hopefully be reached in the coming weeks, reporter David Barron said “it is likely that Warner Bros. Discovery will continue operating the channel for much if not all of the baseball season.”
AT&T SportsNet began airing the Astros and Rockets in 2014 after purchasing Comcast SportsNet Houston.
There has yet to be a report from the network’s outlets in Pittsburgh and Denver about a potential resolution of the local television rights for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies, Utah Jazz, and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Sports TV News
ESPN Not Reimbursing Talent That Purchase Twitter Verification
“As for the company accounts we, along with several other companies, continue to be in a beta test for ‘Verified Organizations.'”
Verification was never meant to stroke egos. The blue check mark was created by Twitter to assure the public they were getting news and opinions from reliable, authentic sources. For many ESPN employees, verification of their identity is essential to the credibility of the news they break on the platform. It isn’t a good enough reason for the network to pay for its talent to keep that checkmark, though.
Whether bosses don’t think verification is essential for their audience or they are taking a stand, a network spokesperson confirmed to Awful Announcing that it will not be footing the bill for anyone that wants a blue checkmark.
“As for the company accounts we, along with several other companies, continue to be in a beta test for ‘Verified Organizations,'” the statement continued. “No decisions will be made until that is concluding.”
League insiders have become some of the most valuable people in the sports media. ESPN has invested significantly in people like Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski. They have also spawned several impersonators on social media.
While company policy may be that paying for verification is not necessary for most employees, it is interesting that no exception has been announced for those reporters. In a business where having information first is as important as having it right, it would not be absurd to expect ESPN to do whatever it needs to in order to maintain its reporters’ credibility.
All Twitter accounts that received verification before Elon Musk took over and introduced a paid plan called Twitter Blue will lose their status on April 1st.
ESPN is not the only news organization that isn’t rushing to sign up for the new model. Both The New York Times and Washington Post are among several news outlets that have confirmed they will not be reimbursing the employees that sign up to retain their verification.
Sports TV News
Joe Davis: ‘I Never Want More Time’ During Baseball Broadcasts
“I can count on one hand how many times in my career I have wished that I had more time.”
Now that Major League Baseball’s Opening Day has come and gone, questions were answered as to what baseball’s new rules would do to both the television and radio broadcasts of the games. FOX Sports and Los Angeles Dodgers television voice Joe Davis said he never had any worries.
During a podcast interview with The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top 5, Davis admitted wishing he had more time during a broadcast has never been an issue.
“I can count on one hand how many times in my career I have wished that I had more time. I never want more time,” Davis said. “Our best broadcasts come when the pitchers are working quickly and you’re leaning forward in your seat instead of slouching back wondering when the next pitch is going to come.”
Davis did say, however, that if anyone needed and deserved more time in a broadcast, it was his legendary predecessor Vin Scully.
“None of us are Vin Scully, and none of us are ever going to be so we don’t need a bunch of time between pitches. We need balls in play and we’ll tell the stories that we’re going to tell. It’s the nature of a two-man booth versus what Vin was doing.”
After getting a few games under his belt during Spring Training, Davis said he is optimistic about the way the broadcasts will sound throughout the season.
“I think that I have a good feel and rhythm for the game. I’ve worked really hard on storytelling. I’ve studied it like it’s a discipline and have talked with great storytellers and have listened to Vin for years,” Davis said. “You’re only going to be as good as the amount of practice you put into it. And I’ve done that throughout my seven or eight years of doing this. I’m not Vin and I never will be.
“But I’d like to think that I’m better than I was last year — and a lot better than I was eight years ago — but not as good as I’m going to be at the end of this year.”