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Rece Davis: No One On ESPN Wants To Know CFP Rankings Beforehand

“We go out of our way to make sure we don’t see it beforehand.”

Ricky Keeler

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Rece Davis

This Tuesday, the College Football Playoff rankings will be released live on ESPN (7:00 PM ET) and there will be some shakeup to the rankings after Georgia’s win over Tennessee and losses by Clemson and Alabama. As in past years with the weekly specials, Rece Davis, along with the rest of the analysts, will react the same way we do because it’s a surprise to them as well.

Davis was on The Pat McAfee Show  last week and he said when they started revealing the rankings in 2014, there was some debate whether or not to look at the rankings before the public knew, but they wanted to have authentic reactions, so they chose not to.

“Revealed live on-air. When we started this — and this is the 9th season of it — we went back and forth about that and ultimately decided I think the first week of revealing the rankings in 2014 that ‘Let’s give this a try and see how this works with us not having a single clue as to what the rankings are going to look like and just react genuinely and authentically’. It’s worked out and we make it a point not to see it.”

Even if someone in the ESPN production crew tries to give Davis a hint as to what to look for when asking a question to the head of the selection committee, Davis wants nothing of it the same way we all try to avoid spoilers for games or TV shows we DVR’d.

“Drew Gallagher, the coordinating producer of GameDay, says before the show here’s a question you might want to and I said stop right there. When you tell me what question you think I ought to ask, I’m going to know something because I know how you think and vice versa, so don’t tell me. We go out of our way to make sure we don’t see it beforehand.”

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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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YES Network

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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Sports TV News

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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Pac 12

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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