Sports TV News
Phoenix Suns Leaving Bally Sports Arizona, Moving to Local TV Stations
In a deal with Gray Television, the Suns TV broadcasts would air on stations owned by the company in Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma.
The Phoenix Suns have announced plans to move its television broadcasts to local TV stations, leaving Bally Sports Arizona in the process.
In a deal with Gray Television, the Suns TV broadcasts would air on stations owned by the company in Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma. Additionally, Suns broadcasts will be available for fans to stream on the Suns website and app.
The franchise has aired its games on Bally Sports Arizona since 2003, when it was known as FOX Sports Net Arizona.
The Suns claim the move will make games “available to nearly 2.8 million households in Arizona”, which would more than triple the current reach of Bally Sports Arizona.
“We’re not focusing on money. We’re focusing on winning, success, and taking care of fans, taking care of the community,” new team owner Mat Ishbia told ESPN. “What happens is you always end up making money. It always works out.
“We’re going to have more fans than ever before. We’re going to have more people who will have eyeballs on Devin Booker and Deandre [Ayton] and Kevin Durant, Chris [Paul] and cheer the team on. And more people buying merchandise because they’re bigger fans.”
“At the end of the day, what local viewers watch in patterns is local news and local sports,” Gray Television CEO Pat LaPlatney told Sportico. “To get back into the local sports business, that’s huge for us.”
According to several reports, Bally Sports Arizona believes it has a clause in its contract with the franchise that allows it to match any offer the team receives for its local television rights. However, as parent company Diamond Sports Group undergoes bankruptcy proceedings, it remains to be seen whether or not the company will exercise that option. Diamond Sports Group was late on its payment to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and was ordered to pay at least 50% of its rights fee to the club by a court mandate.
Games played by the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, also owned by new Suns owner Mat Ishbia, would also air its broadcasts on local television in the Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma markets.
Sports TV News
Mike Breen: My Dream Was to Be a DJ at WPLJ
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’”
These days, WPLJ in New York City is a Christian station owned by the Educational Media Foundation. When Mike Breen was a kid in Yonkers though, it was one of the most influential rock stations in America and the man who is now known as the voice of the NBA wanted to be on the air there.
On the latest edition of Dan Le Batard’s South Beach Sessions podcast, Breen revealed that he always loved sports. His first introduction to broadcasting though came from a neighbor named Tony Minecola. He was a few years older than Breen and studying to be a radio broadcaster in college.
“He built a radio station in his basement and played disc jockey,” Breen told Le Batard. “’He had commercials, records, you know, everything. Like it was a real radio station, only it only went from one room to the next. That was what he was into, and that’s what he was going to college for. And we used to hang out in the basement all the time. And one day he says, ‘Hey, why don’t you come in? You want to you want to be the DJ for a little bit?’ And I’m like, okay, let me try it.’ And I fell in love with it.”
Mike Breen didn’t just fall in love with the idea of radio. He saw it as a viable career and knew exactly where he wanted it to take him.
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’ WPLJ was like the big rock station in New York back at that time, and I thought, ‘I’m going to be a DJ on WPLJ.’ That was my first goal.
Through the 70s and early 80s, WPLJ was an album rock station. Some of its most iconic on air personalities included Carol Miller, Pat St. John, Fr. Bill Ayers, and Mark Goodman, who was eventually one of MTV’s original VJs.
Breen said he loved the rock music of the time, especially Jethro Tull and Bruce Springsteen, but he realized that a broadcasting career could keep him close to sports too.
Obviously, he chose well. That is not to say that he couldn’t have been a great DJ if given the chance, but he went on to be the voice of the New York Knicks and has called more NBA Finals games than anyone else in history.
WPLJ was out of the rock business by 1983 when it became a pop station.
Sports TV News
New Episodes of Beyond Limits Coming to CBS Sports
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi.
CBS Sports is set to premiere new episodes of its franchise Beyond Limits, which celebrates athletes who go beyond the implicit boundaries of sports and society. Three half-hour episodes will be hosted by CBS Sports reporter AJ Ross, and will also air on CBS’ linear channel and stream live on Paramount+.
The first episode of the season is titled “Who I Am,” and it will feature Byron Perkins, who is the first openly gay football player at a historically black college or university (HBCU). Perkins is a redshirt senior at Hampton University. The show will also discuss the relationship he has with his mother and how she has impacted him both as a person and an athlete.
Two more episodes will premiere throughout the season – one on making sports adaptable and accessible; and the other featuring athletes who have moved into executive roles. The latter show includes interviews with NBA Executive Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars; New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development, Swin Cash; and NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent.
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi. Its first episode premieres on Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. EST/10:30 a.m. PST, and should provide fans with unique storytelling and spotlight into the journeys of various key figures in sports and media alike.
Sports TV News
ESPN Colleagues Pay Tribute to Neil Everett
“It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett.”
Neil Everett has become one of the faces of SportsCenter. After 23 years at ESPN, he announced that he is leaving the network.
Colleagues at the World Wide Leader took to Twitter to share their thoughts. It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett. Chief among them was his SportsCenter partner of fourteen years, Stan Verrett.
If Root Sports Northwest requires references, there are plenty ESPN colleagues past and present that were immediately ready to vouch for Neil Everett.
Everett was not laid off. He turned down a new contract that would have forced him to take a pay cut.
The Walt Disney Company is in the middle of layoffs effecting every division. CEO Bob Iger has tasked his leaders with reducing costs by $5.5 billion and cutting 7000 jobs.