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Cameron Maybin Excited to Join YES Network: ‘I Couldn’t Turn It Down’

“After three innings, that’s all they wanted us to do, I put down the headset, Peter [Rosenberg] and I turned to Cameron and said ‘You are going to be a huge star.'”

Ricky Keeler

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Once the 2022 Major League Baseball season actually begins, there will be a new addition to the YES Network booth. Cameron Maybin will be one of the new in-game analysts calling New York Yankees games this season (joining Carlos Beltran)

His broadcasting agent, Mark Lepselter, told BSM that Cameron Maybin is scheduled to be the analyst on 40 games this season working alongside Michael Kay, who auditioned him.

Maybin had a 15-year MLB career, which included one season with the Yankees in 2019 (batting .285 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 82 games) where he became a fan favorite.

Maybin was the fill-in host for CC Sabathia this week on The Ringer’s R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco, who could be the play-by-play announcer on some of the games Maybin broadcasts this season. Ruocco said he knew that Maybin was going to be a star in this industry:

“I know the kind of career you are about to have in this business. For me to just be a part of the spark, I take great pride in that,” said Ruocco.

“When you came in and did your audition for YES, as soon as you were done, I had Troy Benjamin [lead producer for Yankees]… When you were a Yankee, I told him, dude, we should be tracking Cam when he’s done, he’s going to be a great analyst. He texted me the second you were done and he was just like, ‘Cam was incredible. He crushed his audition.’”

Michael Kay also talked about Maybin’s audition on The Michael Kay Show on Thursday. Kay and Maybin did three innings of a Yankees-Mets game from last year as part of Maybin’s audition and Kay enjoyed every second of it.

We sat in a studio in Stamford and we did the first three innings of a Yankees-Mets game from last year,” Kay explained. “After three innings, that’s all they wanted us to do, I put down the headset, Peter [Rosenberg] and I turned to Cameron and said ‘You are going to be a huge star.’ People are going to be shocked at how good this guy is. The first time he ever put on a headset, totally natural, funny, engaging, handsome, current, young. He’s going to be a star.”

“It’s a tremendous opportunity working with John Filippelli [President of Production and Programming] over at YES,” Lepselter said. “I know Cameron was very appreciative of Michael Kay’s guidance in the audition process.”

Maybin mentioned that he loves listening to baseball games and he wants to bring something different to the games in the booth this season because of the experience he had playing the game:

“I love listening to the game. I really enjoy listening to Michael Kay, David Cone, Nate Burleson. Even the guys who don’t do the broadcast,” said Maybin.

“I’m a people person. I love everyone. I thought what an opportunity to give people a different perspective, different voice, different flavor. 15 years of experience, I’ve been in three different decades of baseball… The opportunity that I had, the experience I was able to have, I want to share that with people. I enjoy sharing moments so why not share those moments with the fans.

“I fell in love with New York playing for the Yankees. So to have the opportunity to cover the Yankees, I think one of the more historic franchises in sports history… The opportunity to come to the YES Network, continue to feel like I am still somewhat a part of the Yankees family. The opportunity couldn’t work out better for me. I couldn’t turn it down. I am excited about the journey and doing it at the highest level.”

Even though baseball has been a game focused on analytics in recent years, Maybin wants to bring to the viewer what he is seeing as a former player:

“I’m by no means the smartest guy in the room,” he said. “I want to be able to connect with those fans that don’t know all the numbers. Tell me what’s going on, tell me what’s happening, why it’s happening. A lot of fans, they just want you to tell them what’s going on in the game. I want to bring that organic aspect.” 

This is just the first major deal for Maybin. Lepselter says his client will have two more announcements in the near future.

Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

Jordan Bondurant

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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Return of Bob Iger Puts Pac-12 ‘Not Exactly In A Great Place’

“I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12.”

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The Pac-12 is currently in a media rights negotiation with partners for its next TV deal after the departure of USC and UCLA. The conference has remained committed to the stance that it feels it can match the dollar amount given to the Big 12 from FOX and ESPN. However, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post isn’t so confident.

During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Marchand said the recent return of Bob Iger as Disney CEO, coupled with recent layoffs from Amazon, could spell bad news for the PAC 12’s quest to match what the Big 12 received.

“Do I still think they can get the same number as the Big 12? I do, but you start thinking about where this is going and that’s not exactly a great place to be if you’re the Pac-12. They might get the number, but the idea that they’ll get a lot more than the Big 12 — which I’ve already said is not gonna happen — I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12…I think there’s some rough waters out in the Pacific.”

Marchand said if the University of California Board of Regents won’t allow UCLA to join the Big Ten as expected, the conference would then set its sights on Washington and Oregon, which would continue to decimate the Pac-12.

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