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WWE Announces NIL Program To Recruit College Athletes

“The WWE NIL program has the potential to be transformational to our business.”

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There have been many crossover between college athletes and the WWE once those students’ playing careers are over. Now, the WWE is taking advantage of the new NIL rules in the NCAA. It could be a huge advancement for the company to recruit new talent.

WWE has constructed a comprehensive program to recruit and develop potential future Superstars. Dubbed “Next In Line,” the NIL program aims to enhance the talent development process through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds.

“The WWE NIL program has the potential to be transformational to our business,” said Triple H, WWE’s Executive Vice President. “By creating partnerships with elite athletes at all levels across a wide variety of college sports, we will dramatically expand our pool of talent and create a system that readies NCAA competitors for WWE once their collegiate careers come to a close.” 

Athletes who take part in the NIL deal will have access to the WWE’s performance center in Orlando as well as access to the resources that the athletes at the WWE receive including brand building, media training, communications, live event promotion, creative writing and community relations.

WWE dipped their toe into NIL deals this past September when they signed heavyweight freestyle wrestler Gable Steveson, who won both a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and a national championship at Minnesota. The deal allowed Steveson to return to Minnesota for his senior season while also beginning his training at the performance center to become a WWE Superstar.

WWE plans to unveil its first class of NIL deals in the next few weeks.

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Peacock Will Stream July 3rd Royals-Tigers Game Without Announcers

Instead or traditional play-by-play and color analysis, the broadcast will feature something “completely different,” as Sam Flood, NBC Sports executive producer puts it. The broadcast will show reporters that will take fans around the ballpark and view the game from different vantage points.

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Tiger, Royals, Peacock
Peter Aiken-USA Today Sports

On July 3rd, the Detroit Tigers will play host to the Kansas City Royals. That division battle will air on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. That game will also air without any announcers.

Instead or traditional play-by-play and color analysis, the broadcast will feature something “completely different,” as Sam Flood, NBC Sports executive producer puts it. The broadcast will show reporters that will take fans around the ballpark and view the game from different vantage points.

“The whole idea of this is treating a game completely different. We’re going to take you out to the ballpark,” said Flood. “We just want to be the ultimate fan’s experience and spend it like anyone else. It’s an American holiday celebration weekend. We’re going to lean in and treat baseball like fans do.”

Ahmed Fareed, MLB Sunday Leadoff host and in-game reporter will be part of the game. He will be joined by Bally Sports Detroit analyst Craig Monroe and NBC Sports’ Britney Eurton.

It’s not the first time that networks have attempted to do a game telecast without traditional announcers. TNT attempted “players-only” broadcasts a few years ago, but stopped doing them shortly after due to the lack of interest in the format, to be kind.

“One of our goals for the Peacock game has been to celebrate the game and the players and everything that makes the sport special. So for this game that kind of gives us an opportunity to celebrate everything that makes baseball special off the field,” Fareed said.

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BetMGM Agrees to Become Exclusive Sportsbook of the The BetQL Network

The partnership is an exclusive multi-year agreement that significantly expands the current relationship between BetMGM and Audacy. The BetQL Network launched in June of 2021 and has expanded from two markets to 31 markets.

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BetMGM and BetQL

On Monday, a partnership between BetMGM and The BetQL Network was made official. It was announced that BetMGM will become the exclusive sportsbook of the network, owned by Audacy.

The partnership is an exclusive multi-year agreement that significantly expands the current relationship between BetMGM and Audacy. The BetQL Network launched in June of 2021 and has expanded from two markets to 31 markets.

“We are delighted to expand our strategic partnership with BetMGM, highlighted by their new exclusive position with the BetQL Network,” said David Field, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Audacy. “Barely a year old, the BetQL Network has a bright future ahead of it as legalized sports betting continues to expand over the next decade.”

BetMGM will have category exclusivity of the network’s full slate of programming, including flagship program You Better You Bet, commencing in September.

BetQL Network’s weekly lineup will distribute approximately 100 hours of original content per week on the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms. Audacy will also produce content for live audiences at various MGM Resorts across the country who will host the network inside of BetMGM sportsbooks.

“We’re excited to further our strategic partnership with Audacy and to bring our market-leading sports betting and gaming entertainment content to millions of listeners nationwide across the entire BetQL Network platform,” said Matt Prevost, Chief Revenue Officer, BetMGM.

BetMGM hasn’t been shy in attempting to increase their market share. They announced earlier this month that they have partnered with Carnival to offer sports betting on select cruises ships.

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Aqib Talib, Andrew Whitworth Expected To Join Amazon’s Thursday Night Football

Talib and Whitworth are expected to be a part of the studio team but will not be analysts as the desk. They will contribute in other portions of the Amazon studio and produce other NFL content.

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Aqib Talib and Andrew Whitworth

The roster is continuing to load up for Amazon’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts. Two more recent retirees are expected to be a part of the games’ coverage. Aqib Talib and Andrew Whitworth are the two former players expected to sign on soon.

Talib and Whitworth are expected to be a part of the studio team but will not be analysts as the desk. They will contribute in other portions of the Amazon studio and produce other NFL content.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.

Talib retired in 2019 after his last season with the Los Angeles Rams. Whitworth retired after this past season after winning the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams.

So far, the reported crew is Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit in the booth, Charissa Thompson (reported, not confirmed) to host the “studio” desk, Tony Gonzalez will be on the desk as well as will Richard Sherman and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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