ESPN has reached a contract extension with analyst and lead studio host LaChina Robinson, who will continue her role on the network’s WNBA events. She will also be adding NBA duties to her repertoire.
Robinson’s first assignment under her new deal is this weekend’s WNBA Draft Lottery. The 2022 Draft Lottery special will air live on ESPN at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 19, in between the Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase doubleheader.
“I’m excited to be an integral part of ESPN’s expanded WNBA coverage and grateful to Dave Roberts and his team for their commitment to growing my presence on the network,” said LaChina Robinson. “In my 14 years of covering the WNBA, I’ve watched the league grow exponentially and there is no better time to be at the forefront of its coverage.”
This has been a great season for the WNBA, as they recently delivered the most watched regular season since 2009. They averaged 309,000 viewers on the season, nearly a 49% increase from the 2020 season.
“LaChina is a versatile talent with deep knowledge of the game,” said David Roberts, Senior Vice President NBA & Studio Production. “Her commitment to showcasing the WNBA is unwavering and a constant presence. Those attributes will serve all sports fans extremely well as she provides distinctive coverage of this exciting, growing league.“
LaChina Robinson has been at the worldwide leader since 2009, and is an award-winning analyst and host.
She has served for 12 seasons of college basketball and is entering her 15th season of WNBA coverage across various networks throughout her career, including ESPN, Turner, and FOX. Robinson also started her own podcast with SiriusXM back in August called Huuuge Fan.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Shannon Sharpe Apologizes to Richard Jefferson for Calling Him Lazy
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.