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Dan Orlovsky’s ESPN Contract Reportedly Set to Expire Soon

If ESPN lets Orlovsky go to free agency, other networks — notably Amazon — have interest in hiring him.

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Add another name to ESPN’s list of on-air talent facing contract renewals in the weeks and months to come.

Outkick’s Bobby Burack reports that Dan Orlovsky’s contract is set to expire in the next few months. And apparently, the NFL and college football analyst’s possible availability was a popular topic among media, agents, and executives in Los Angeles during Super Bowl week.

ESPN presumably wants to re-sign Orlovsky and keep the crew for what’s become a popular NFL Live show together. The network’s reboot of the show with Laura Rutledge, Marcus Spears, Mina Kimes, and Orlovsky not only resonates with TV viewers, but also engages with fans on social media with clips of behind-the-scenes and off-air frivolity in addition to highlights from the show.

In addition to NFL Live, Orlovsky appears regularly on Get Up, First Take, and calls college football games. He’s regarded highly by network executives as well as powerful on-air figures like Stephen A. Smith.

But if ESPN lets Orlovsky go to free agency, other networks — notably Amazon — have interest in hiring him. He could fill either a top game analyst role or a prominent studio analyst position at another network. Though it’s difficult to imagine he would be as valuable across so many platforms as he is with ESPN.

Two years ago, there were also reports that Orlovsky had attracted interest from NFL teams about joining their coaching staffs. That outcome seems unlikely here, considering that Orlovsky moved his family (with four children) to Connecticut when he was hired by ESPN (after contributing to NFL Network’s Good Morning Football based on analysis he was posting online).

Part of the reason Orlovsky wanted to go to ESPN was because he had the opportunity to call college football games in addition to his NFL studio analysis. That’s not an option he would have at other networks. Of course, a generous offer could compel him to look past that.

The report of Orlovsky’s contract expiring soon follows up on news (via the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand) that ESPN has several other deals running out, including those for Randy Moss, Tim Hasselbeck, Booger McFarland, and Brian Griese. (Sunday NFL Countdown host Samantha Ponder is also nearing free agency.)

Yet of all the names mentioned here, it seems most likely that Orlovsky would be the one ESPN brings back, if it comes to that.

Sports TV News

LIV Golf Nearing TV Deal With The CW Network

“LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.”

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According to a report from Front Office Sports, LIV Golf has laid out a deal with The CW Network for television carriage in the United States.

The deal is a multi-year agreement that will see the tour own real estate in lesser-viewed time slots on the network. A revenue-sharing relationship between the tour and the television network is expected to be struck.

LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.

After a standup comedy show in West Palm Beach last week, Feherty reportedly told the crowd “Have you heard of CW? I might get fired for this, but…,” according to report from Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post.

Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand had previously reported a deal between the Saudi-backed breakaway golf tour and the network was likely.

Nexstar Media Group — the nation’s largest television owner — is the majority owner of The CW Network. There are around 220 affiliates of the network on over-the-air television stations. Rumors of an acquisition of LIV Golf’s rights come on the heels of The CW Network being linked to the potential launch of a college football bowl game that would air exclusively on the network.

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Stephen A. Smith: ‘I Don’t Feel Obligated To Agree With Black Community’

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Stephen A. Smith is out promoting his new memoir Straight Shooter. He recently sat down for a conversation with Men’s Health magazine.

Interviewer Rachel Epstein covers a wide variety of topics with Smith. Some are about what can be found in the book. Some are about the First Take star’s public perception.

She asked how Smith balances the responsibility of representing the Black community with his brand. On ESPN, Smith is known for being unique and unapologetic for his sometimes over-the-top persona.

“Number one by being fair,” he said. “By trying to gather as much information and educate myself on issues as much as I possibly can.”

He added that he has never felt pressure to think a certain way or say a certain thing. Even if pressure existed, he prides himself on not giving in to it.

“I never feel an obligation to agree with my community. I believe we all have a right to think the way we want to think. But I do feel a responsibility to make sure that the perspective emanating from my community is heard, even if I disagree.”

Stephen A. Smith is one of the highest-paid and most visible employees at ESPN. He said that a certain responsibility comes along with that status. He wants the Black community to know that even if he doesn’t agree, he will make sure people know what he is hearing when he is on TV talking about an important subject.

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Sports TV News

Kathryn Tappen Joining NBC’s Big Ten Coverage

“Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.”

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NBC has tabbed Kathryn Tappen as its sideline reporter for the network’s upcoming coverage of Big Ten football, according to a report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.

According to Marchand, Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.

Tappen has hosted Notre Dame football’s studio coverage and Peacock Sunday Night Football Final. She also worked as NBC’s lead interviewer for its coverage of the PGA Tour, but left that broadcast team at the end of 2022 as part of the network’s larger shakeup of its golf coverage.

The appointment of Kathryn Tappen conceivably concludes the Big Ten on NBC broadcast crew. Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge are expected to pair as the network’s play-by-play announcer and color analyst, respectively. NBC has yet to officially unveil its coverage plans for the 2023 college football season.

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