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Fox Retains Rights to UEFA Champions and Europa League Soccer

Last week’s speculation is now official: Fox Sports has renewed its exclusive U.S. rights to the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues.

The terms of the agreement call for Fox to continue to televise the matches exclusively through the 2017-2018 season. Fox has had the Champions League Rights since 2009 and the Europa League since 2012.

Under the agreement Fox plans coverage across multiple channels and platforms including Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports Regional Networks and FOX Soccer Plus, as well as online via FoxSports.com and on mobile devices through the Fox Sports GO app.

“We are elated to continue our partnership with UEFA and serve as home of its flagship properties through at least 2018,” said David Nathanson, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.  “The combination of UEFA Champions and Europa leagues provides viewers with the complete club competition experience at the highest level.   The fact that all the leading European teams and players continue to be seen on one destination speaks to FOX Sports’ commitment to showcase the world’s best.  No other sports television franchise has an elite international soccer schedule that even comes close.”

 

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Sports Media Weekly No. 175- Joe Flint, LA Times & Joe Tessitore, ESPN

The weather is frigid across much of the country so why not cozy up to the latest edition of Sports Media Weekly?

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for our news segment this week by Joe Flint, media and entertainment reporter for the LA Times.

We dream of warm weather to start the show, talking about the news that ESPN will add Curt Schilling to its Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth.  Schilling replaces Orel Hershiser, who will be joining the broadcast team for the Los Angeles Dodgers new regional sports network which will launch in 2014.

We move to the NFL, discussing the flexing of Bears/Eagles to NBC’s Sunday Night Football for week 16 while Patriots/Ravens moves to CBS at 4:25pm ET.  We also speculate as to which game will be flexed to SNF for the week 17 finale.

For the second straight week we talk Canadian sports media as it was announced that CTV and TSN will be the home for NFL football north of the boarder.

We end the news segment looking at the report by John Ourand at Sports Business Journal that Fox appears to be the front runner to retaining the rights to the UEFA Champions League matches here in the United States.

Our second guest this week is ESPN’s Joe Tessitore.  Ken speaks with Joe about his upcoming new role as lead studio host for the SEC Network which will launch late next summer.

Week 15 NFL Schedule, with Announcer Assignments

Here is the week 15 NFL schedule, along with the announcers calling each game:

THURSDAY, DEC. 12
GAME TIME/SCORE TV ANNOUNCERS
San Diego at Denver 8:25 pm NFL Network Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock
SUNDAY, DEC. 15
GAME TIME/SCORE TV ANNOUNCERS
Washington at Atlanta 1:00 pm FOX Sam Rosen, Heath Evans, Molly McGrath
San Francisco at Tampa Bay 1:00 pm FOX Dick Stockton, Ronde Barber, Kris Budden
Seattle at N.Y. Giants 1:00 pm FOX Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Erin Andrews
Philadelphia at Minnesota 1:00 pm FOX Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
New England at Miami 1:00 pm CBS Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Buffalo at Jacksonville 1:00 pm CBS Andrew Catalon, Rich Gannon
Houston at Indianapolis 1:00 pm CBS Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcotts
Chicago at Cleveland 1:00 pm FOX Thomm Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin
Kansas City at Oakland 4:05 pm CBS Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
N.Y. Jets at Carolina 4:05 pm CBS Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
Green Bay at Dallas 4:25 pm FOX Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
Arizona at Tennessee 4:25 pm FOX Justin Kutcher, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink
New Orleans at St. Louis 4:25 pm FOX Chris Myers, Tim Ryan, Jennifer Hale
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh 8:30 pm NBC Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
MONDAY, DEC. 16
GAME TIME/SCORE TV ANNOUNCERS
Baltimore at Detroit 8:40 pm ESPN Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden

College Basketball This Week on ESPN

Here is this week’s college basketball schedule, along with announcer assignments, on the networks of ESPN:

Date Time(ET) Game / Commentators Networks
Thu, Dec 12 7 p.m. Maryland at Boston College
Tom Hart & Len Elmore
ESPNU
Fri, Dec 13 8 p.m. Arkansas-Little Rock at No. 16 Memphis
Greg Gaston & Darrin Horn
ESPN3
  9:30 p.m. No. 23 Iowa at No. 17 Iowa State
Mike Couzens & Reid Gettys
ESPNU
Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers (Dec. 18-25)
Sat, Dec 14 Noon Western Kentucky at No. 6 Louisville
Bob Wischusen & Kara Lawson
ESPN2
  VCU at Northern Iowa
Rich Hollenberg & Mark Adams
ESPNU
  1 p.m. Eastern Kentucky at No. 4 WisconsinWayne Randazzo & Kevin Lehman ESPN3
  2 p.m. Tennessee at No. 12 Wichita State
Mark Jones & Jimmy Dykes
ESPN2
  Louisiana Tech at No. 7 Oklahoma State
Dave Armstrong & Bryndon Manzer
ESPNU
  3:15 p.m. Notre Dame at Indiana
Dave O’Brien & Dan Dakich
ESPN
  4 p.m. No. 5 Michigan State at Oakland
Carter Blackburn & Bruce Pearl
ESPN2
  UNC-Greensboro at Rutgers
Jonathan Yardley & Mo Cassara
ESPN3
  5:15 p.m. No. 11 Kentucky at No. 18 North Carolina
Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale & Jay Bilas
ESPN
  6 p.m. Detroit at NC State
Roy Philpott & Stan Lewter
ESPN3
  7 p.m. New Mexico at No. 13 Kansas
Dave Flemming & Fran Fraschilla
ESPN2
  Furman at Clemson ESPN3
  9 p.m. Illinois at No. 15 Oregon
Roxy Bernstein & Sean Farnham
ESPN2
Sun, Dec 15 Noon Philadelphia University at Boston College
Eric Frede & Malcolm Huckabay
ESPN3
  3 p.m. UNC-Asheville at USC Upstate ESPN3
  7 p.m. Western Michigan at No. 24 Missouri
Dave Neal & Jon Sundvold
ESPNU

NBC Flexes Bears/Eagles for NFL Week 16

The NFL announced today that the week 16 game between the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles will be flexed onto Sunday Night Football (SNF) on NBC.

The original SNF match-up, the New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens, will now air Sunday, December 22nd at 4:25pm ET on CBS.

Here is the reconfigured week 16 NFL schedule (All times local):

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22

 

MIAMI AT BUFFALO 1:00 PM (ET) CBS
NEW ORLEANS AT CAROLINA 1:00 PM (ET) FOX
MINNESOTA AT CINCINNATI 1:00 PM (ET) FOX
DENVER AT HOUSTON 12:00 PM (CT) CBS
TENNESSEE AT JACKSONVILLE 1:00 PM (ET) CBS
INDIANAPOLIS AT KANSAS CITY 12:00 PM (CT) CBS
CLEVELAND AT NEW YORK JETS 1:00 PM (ET) CBS
TAMPA BAY AT ST. LOUIS 12:00 PM (CT) FOX
DALLAS AT WASHINGTON 1:00 PM (ET) FOX
NEW YORK GIANTS AT DETROIT 4:05 PM (ET) FOX
ARIZONA AT SEATTLE 1:05 PM (PT) FOX
*NEW ENGLAND AT BALTIMORE 4:25 PM (ET) CBS
PITTSBURGH AT GREEN BAY 3:25 PM (CT) CBS
OAKLAND AT SAN DIEGO 1:25 PM (PT) CBS
*CHICAGO AT PHILADELPHIA 8:30 PM (ET) NBC

MONDAY, DECEMBER 23

ATLANTA AT SAN FRANCISCO 5:40 PM (PT) ESPN

Curt Schilling Joins Sunday Night Baseball Crew

With the announcement that Orel Hershiser will be working on the Los Angeles Dodgers game telecasts, ESPN wasted no time today announcing who will take his place on the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast crew.  Curt Schilling will fill Hershiser’s role beginning next season.

Schilling has served as a Baseball Tonight studio analyst since 2010, and has also provided analysis for select MLB game telecasts on ESPN. He will continue to make studio appearances for the network.

“I’m excited to join an already outstanding team,” said Schilling. “I would like to bring a perspective that will help fans get inside the head of the guy on the mound, and behind the plate, while also helping fans to better understand the work and preparation that goes into pitching in the big leagues.”

“Curt is one of the most unique announcers we have ever had on baseball, or any other sport, for that matter.” said Jed Drake, ESPN executive producer and senior vice-president, production. “He speaks his mind, and when he does, it is almost always fascinating, insightful and quite often, provocative. People will watch Sunday Night Baseball because of what Curt might say – that’s a rare gift. And, did I mention that he was a ferocious competitor, who has three World Series rings? Enough said.”

Photo Courtesy ESPN

Sports Media Weekly No. 174- John Ourand, Sports Business Journal

After a week off for the holiday Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for another edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken and me this week is John Ourand from Sports Business Journal.

We start the show by looking back at the big sports media story from a week ago, the news that Rogers Communications has won the sole national NHL media rights in Canada away from TSN and CBC.  We look at the impact the deal will have in Canada as well as what it may mean for sports rights deals here in the U.S.A.

We move on to the NFL and the news from Fox Sports that it has already sold its entire ad inventory for February’s Super Bowl XLVIII.  The news proves once again that football is king on TV and with sponsors.

We look back at the spectacular weekend of college football and, in particular, CBS’ coverage of the Alabama/Auburn Iron Bowl.  We all give kudos to CBS for its coverage of the game and striking the right tone both in pictures and in words from Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, and Tracey Wolfson.

As ESPN prepares for coverage of its final World Cup for a while we discuss the potential U.S. rights fee battle for the UEFA Champions League matches.  Fox Sports currently holds the rights, but ESPN and NBC are looking to snatch the package away.

We wrap the show by discussing Deadspin’s purchase of a baseball Hall of Fame vote and how that may shake out.