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Andrew Marchand Says He’d Be Surprised If Charles Barkley Left Turner Sports

“He’s so important to Inside the NBA. They do have a good relationship. I think ultimately if he says, ‘look I want to do LIV,’ they’re not just going to let him go,” said Marchand.

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Charles Barkley

Appearing on The Dan Patrick Show, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post expounded on his conversation with Charles Barkley surrounding the analyst’s interest in joining the LIV Tour.

Patrick asked about Barkley’s inclination to accept an offer, should it come, from the LIV Tour. Marchand said he’d like to do both, but realizes it will come down to money and right now, Barkley has some leverage.

“I think Turner knew that the market has changed with Tom Brady’s $375 million deal, Troy Aikman and Tony Romo making $18 (million),” started Marchand, “and you got the greatest studio analyst of all-time, an iconic show Inside the NBA, at $10 million. Again it’s a lot of money, but you kind of knew a new deal was coming.”

Conversation about Barkley’s potential new job would force a difficult decision to be made by Barkley to potentially leave Turner Sports. Marchand said that while that is possible, the two (Barkley and Turner) have such a good relationship that he’d be surprised if it forced a split.

“He’s so important to Inside the NBA. They do have a good relationship. I think ultimately if he says, ‘look I want to do LIV,’ they’re not just going to let him go,” said Marchand. “They are either going to offer him more money… or they say we’ll let you do these events but we want you on Inside the NBA and maybe you change his schedule a little bit, but not that much. I think it’s possible, [but] I don’t really see a scenario where Barkley’s not on Turner. I’d be really surprised if that’s where we end up here.”

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Sports TV News

Robert Griffin III Replaces Randy Moss on Monday Night Countdown

The network announced the addition of Robert Griffin III to the pre-game program.

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Robert Griffin III
David Becker, Getty Images

With Monday Night Countdown set to lead into Thursday’s preseason matchup with the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks, ESPN announced their lineup for the show.

The network announced the addition of Robert Griffin III to the pre-game program. Robert Griffin III will join Booger McFarland and Steve Young as the show’s main analysts.

They will be partnered with Suzy Kolber who returns for her sixth year as the show’s host and news breaker Adam Schefter.

It was reported in July that analyst Randy Moss would not be returning to the show, opting instead to focus solely on Sunday Night Countdown.

The first regular season action featuring Monday Night Countdown will be on Monday, September 12 when the Seahawks play the Denver Broncos.

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Leafs Nation Network, the Toronto Maple Leafs Channel, Is Going Off the Air

“Thank you for your viewership. As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

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The Toronto Maple Leafs launched Leafs TV, a team-specific specialty channel in 2001 and rebranded it as Leafs Nation Network in 2017. However, after nearly twenty-one years on the air, it will fade to black at the end of August.

“Thank you for your viewership,” the channel told viewers who have tuned in recently. “As of Sept. 1, Leafs Nation Network TV services will no longer be on air.”

The news was confirmed to the Sun. Staff said they had been informed of the news a few weeks ago however few jobs are expected to be lost, of any, as many of the LNN duties will be moved to the digital format.

Leafs TV was part of the sale of the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise sale in 2011 to Bell-Rogers communications (worth $1.32 billion). With that sale, Leafs TV began to become a “redundant” channel focusing mainly on classic games and interviews once Rogers made a 2014 deal to become the dominant NHL network, grabbing the majority of live programming.

“Leafs TV was a big bargaining chip at the time of the (Rogers-Bell sale), but they’ve come to see that (lack of game broadcast presence) doesn’t work,” a source told the Sun.

A statement from MLSE on Tuesday read in part: “With new and increasing opportunities to share content on its digital platforms, subscribers to the Leafs Nation Network were informed earlier this month that the channel would cease being broadcast on Sept. 1. Maple Leafs game day and practice coverage will continue to be shared across the team’s digital platforms, combined with exciting new content on the team’s social and digital channels. The team will continue to produce live Marlies home games with details being shared in the weeks ahead about where those broadcasts will be made available.”

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Stephen A. Smith Says He Wants Mike Francesa on First Take

Russo smiled and chirped back, ““You can’t beat me, you’re never gonna beat him.”

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Stephen A. Smith, Mike Francesa

Stephen A. Smith seems to be looking to debate every major media personality with big opinions and he has set his eyes on Mike Francesa.

Smith was on First Take on Wednesday with weekly guest Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and chastising Russo for being upset with Aaron Rodgers calling out his wide receivers. That’s when Smith brought up the former WFAN tandem of Mike and the Mad Dog.

“The thing that disappoints me about you,” Smith said to Russo, “you’re upset with honesty. You are not only hosting your own radio show, you have your own channel.”

Smith continued, “You are one of the pioneers if not THE pioneer with Mike Francesa, who, by the way, I got to get him on this show one day too, with you. You understand what I’m saying? I mean it would be my honor to have Mike Francesa too.”

Russo smiled and chirped back, ““You can’t beat me, you’re never gonna beat him.”

Smith returned once more with “I ain’t scared. I’m never gonna beat him, but I’ll try, damn it.”

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