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Carlos Beltran’s YES Network Gig Would Benefit From Addressing Astros Scandal

Beltran stands to benefit by talking about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal far more than he would suffer.

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Last week, YES Network announced that Carlos Beltran was being added to the roster of analysts for New York Yankees telecasts. The former Yankees slugger is expected to call 36 games, making up for David Cone’s decreased workload after joining ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball crew.

More than calling games for his former team and taking a broadcast gig that has been a springboard to national baseball broadcasts, Beltran working for YES is being viewed in some circles as an attempt to redeem his reputation.

The veteran outfielder was considered the “ringleader” of the 2017 Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme in Major League Baseball’s investigation. That association with one of baseball’s worst cheating scandals in decades resulted in Beltran being fired as New York Mets manager before he could begin the 2020 season.

According to the New York Post‘s Ken Davidoff, the Yankees aren’t requiring Beltran to address the sign-stealing scandal as a condition of the job. But in the columnist’s view, YES could be missing out on an opportunity for some media goodwill and potential TV ratings.

What if Beltran held a press conference before spring training to answer questions from reporters about his role in the Astros’ scandal? What if YES aired a special with Beltran answering questions from one of the network’s reporters, like Jack Curry? That could presumably settle any concerns or quiet down any snark viewers might have about Beltran’s analysis.

If the Yankees end up signing free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa — who was a protégé of Beltran’s on that 2017 Astros team — after the MLB lockout ends, the matter will already have been addressed. Correa would still face questions about the sign-stealing, of course, since Houston defeated the Yankees in the 2017 American League Championship Series. But Beltran Could give Correa something to lean on.

Then there’s the larger-picture reason that Beltran may want to answer questions about the 2017 sign-stealing scandal. He’ll be on the 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. With a .270 career avearge, .837 OPS, 2m725 hits, 435 home runs, 1,587 RBI, and 312 stolen bases, Beltran presents a strong case for election, especially in a year when no other first-timers stand out while Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are no longer on the ballot.

As Davidoff points out, Beltran stands to benefit by talking about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal far more than he would suffer. Rip off the Band-Aid quickly and move on.

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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Sports TV News

LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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