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ESPN Announces Signing Day Coverage On All Networks

ESPN will deploy a multi-network approach to cover the Early Signing Period on Wednesday.

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Tomorrow is the annual College Football early signing day for the early signing. ESPN has announced its coverage plans for the day across the family of networks

Seven recruits in the ESPN top 300 will make their announcements as part of College Football Live: Signing Day Special on ESPN2 beginning at 3 p.m. ET. The two-hour special will be hosted by Matt Schick and national recruiting director Tom Luginbill. They will be joined by ESPN recruiting insider Craig Haubert, analyst Roddy Jones and reporter Tom Van Haaren. There will also be guest appearances by Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell and new Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman.

Alyssa Lang hosts with Haubert, and analysts Gene Chizik and Roman Harper joining the desk for insight and analysis on the SEC Network. Five-minute updates will be given at the top of the hour at 9, 10, and 11 a.m. before the SEC Now: Signing Day Special begins at noon.

The Huddle: Signing Day Special with host Jordan Cornette along with Eric Mac Lain, EJ Manuel and Mark Richt will provide a wrap-up of the day’s events at 6 p.m on the ACC Network.

Longhorn Network kicks off the morning at 8 a.m. with a two-hour special, Texas Football National Signing Day. The special, hosted by Lowell Galindo along with Fozzy Whittaker and Michael Griffin, as well as Alex Loeb who will be reporting live from the Texas football team office, will focus on head coach Steve Sarkisian’s first official Texas recruiting class.

Galindo and Whittaker will be back with Coach Steve Sarkesian at 7 p.m. for a 30-minute recap show, Longhorn Extra: National Signing Day Special.

Sports TV News

Stephen Watson Announced as New Host On Bally Sports Wisconsin

Bally Sports Wisconsin, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks, has announced a new host for their respective pre and postgame shows. Brewers Live and Bucks Live now have Stephen Watson as a host.

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Stephen Watson

Bally Sports Wisconsin, the television home of the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks, has announced a new host of it’s pre and postgame offerings. Stephen Watson was announced as a new host for Brewers Live and Bucks Live.

Watson comes to Bally Sports Wisconsin from WISN-TV (Channel 12). There he had spent the last seven years as a sports anchor/reporter/host and covered all of Wisconsin’s major teams. In those seven years, Watson won three Emmy Awards.

“This is a dream opportunity to continue to cover two of the most successful franchises in sports right now while working alongside some of the most talented people in this industry,” Watson said. “Wisconsin sports fans are among the most passionate and dedicated in the country, and I look forward to matching their enthusiasm in my Brewers and Bucks coverage as a host and storyteller.”

Watson will share duties of hosting Brewers Live with Craig Coshun airing before and after each Brewers telecast. He will have similar responsibilities when hosting Bucks Live.

“We’re thrilled to add Stephen to our Bally Sports Wisconsin team. He is a proven content creator; his local knowledge and relationships will greatly benefit our telecasts,” said Tony Tortorici, executive producer, Bally Sports Wisconsin.

Watson is also a collegiate graduate of the area, graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 2011.

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NBA Draft Ratings Rise 32% For ESPN and ABC

“The event peaked at 8:15pm ET when four and a half million viewers tuned in.”

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The 2022 NBA Draft may have lacked the high profile prospect that prior drafts have had, but the intrigue surrounding the top three picks led to strong audience interest.

With all eyes on the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Houston Rockets viewership for the draft rose 32% year over year for ESPN. The first round on ABC and ESPN averaged close to four million viewers (3,988,000).

Paolo Banchero wound up going #1 to the Magic, Chet Holmgren to #2 to the Thunder, and Jabari Smith Jr. #3 to the Rockets. The full two rounds of the draft averaged just over three million viewers (3,047,000). Round 2 aired exclusively on ESPN.

The first round on ESPN and ABC was the most-watched program for June 23rd across all of television in all key demos. The event peaked at 8:15pm ET when four and a half million viewers (4,500,000) tuned in.

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Shannon Sharpe Apologizes to Richard Jefferson for Calling Him Lazy

Jordan Bondurant

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Shannon Sharpe

FS1’s Shannon Sharpe took to social media to clear the air between him and ESPN’s Richard Jefferson over some comments Sharpe made about the former NBA champion.

Sharpe said Jefferson was lazy for only wanting to talk about basketball. Jefferson is an NBA analyst for ESPN and doesn’t normally appear on debate shows or provide analysis on other sports.

“There is not a person in this industry since I have retired that would ever refer to my work ethic as being lazy,” Jefferson said in a response video on his TikTok. “So as long as you live don’t ever do that again or this conversation is gonna be much different.”

Sharpe saw the video and apologized saying his assessment of Jefferson was lazy.

“I want to apologize, I come to you as a man, Rich, and apologize to you for my take on what you said,” he said.

Much like Jefferson did, Sharpe then went on to break down the differences between hosts on debate shows who have to watch and study various different sports and analysts like Jefferson who only specialize in analyzing one sport.

But ultimately Sharpe wanted to bury the hatchet and make it clear to the internet that there’s no problems between the two.

“Richard and I do not have a beef,” Sharpe said. “There is nothing going on, and this is my last time addressing this issue.”

Jefferson tweeted on Saturday accepting Shannon’s apology.

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