With Fox Sports’ foray into covering Big East college basketball beginning this season, the network today announced its slate of game announcers and analysts for the upcoming season. Big East action will be telecast on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2.
As announced earlier this year Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery will make up the lead broadcast team. Others calling play-by-play for Fox will be Justin Kutcher, Dick Stockton, Thom Brennaman, Brian Anderson, Eric Collins and Kevin Kugler. Game analysts will include Jim Jackson, Stephen Bardo, Ron Thompson, Donny Marshall, Jim Spanarkel, Bob Wenzel, Gary Williams and Kevin O’Neill.
“We are very excited about this group of announcers,” said Fox Sports Executive Producer John Entz. “They come from a wide range of backgrounds and have an array of unique and interesting stories to tell. They are incredibly knowledgeable about the game, and we look forward to experiencing BIG EAST basketball with them.”
Big East action on Fox Sports 1 begins November 8th at 6:00p.m. ET as Providence hosts Boston College. Along with 100 regular season Big East games Fox Sports also has exclusive coverage of the Big East Men’s Basketball Championship from Madison Square Garden on New York next March.
ESPN and basketball analyst Doris Burke have agreed to a multi-year contract extension.
Burke will continue to play a key role in ESPN’s NBA and college basketball coverage. Burke will also join the Wednesday editions of NBA Countdown alongside analysts Jalen Rose and Avery Johnson. She will make her Countdown debut on Wednesday, November 13, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“This next chapter in my ESPN journey is going to be exciting, challenging and most of all, rewarding.” said Burke. “Working on NBA Countdown offers me a chance to do everything I love – I get to talk basketball with my colleagues while hopefully facilitating some great discussion on NBA’s top storylines.”
“We’re thrilled that Doris will continue to be a leading voice for both our NBA and college basketball coverage.” said Mark Gross, ESPN senior vice president and executive producer. “She exhibits her passion for the sport everyday through her exemplary work. This new NBA Countdown role will allow Doris to provide her veteran insights, while also reporting news – two things that she does at the highest level.”
Fox Sports announced today that Game One of the 2013 World Series earned an average rating of 8.6 and 14.4 million viewers, up 13% and 18% respectively over the 2012 Fall Classic.
More details from Fox Sports PR:
Last night’s game propelled the network to a first place finish in primetime television Wednesday night, averaging an 8.9/14 from 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM. That marks FOX’s highest-rated and most-watched primetime broadcast of the season and the network’s most-watched primetime broadcast since January for American Idol.
Key demographics also saw impressive double-digit year-to-year increases for the World Series and won the night including Men 18-34 (+24%, 4.6 vs. 3.7), Men 18-49 (+17%, 5.4 vs. 4.6), Adults 18-34, (+16%, 3.6 vs. 3.1), Adults 18-49 (+17%, 4.2 vs. 3.6).
Last night’s game opened with a 7.8/13 which was 16% ahead of last year’s initial tune-in (6.7/11). Ratings peaked at a 9.6/15 with 16.3 million viewers at 9:30 PM ET, as the Red Sox built an insurmountable lead.
According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, Twitter activity for last night’s World Series Game 1 also saw impressive increases over 2012. The game drew over 793,000 tweets (up +6% from 2012 World Series Game 1) from more than 360,000 unique authors (up 12%) and was the No. 1 social telecast of the night in all categories.
Boston led all markets with a 39.7/61, the highest mark for a Red Sox game since Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS, followed by St. Louis’ 36.0/54. Providence (34.6/52), Hartford (20.8/32), Fort Myers (11.9/19), Kansas City (11.1/18), Richmond (11.0/16), Memphis (10.4/15), Greensboro (10.3/15), and Cincinnati (10.1/16) round out the top ten markets for Wednesday night’s broadcast.
With Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I being avid Red Sox fans, we hope you can understand why we have an abbreviated version of Sports Media Weekly this week on the doorstep of game one of the World Series.
We begin the show discussing this year’s Fall Classic, the last for Fox Sports analyst Tim McCarver. The three of us acknowledge that McCarver may not be as sharp an analyst as he once was, but I, for one, applaud his long broadcasting career.
We next tap into Tom’s expertise in asking whether the Dodgers have taken some of the luster off the Lakers shine as being the most-favored professional team in southern California.
We resume our talk from a few weeks ago about the naming controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins by examining how much damage ESPN College Football Gameday analyst Lee Corso may have caused by appearing in war paint and native American dress in picking Florida State to beat Clemson last Saturday.
We conclude the show looking at the final pieces of ESPN’s NBA Countdown being put in place with the announcement that Sage Steele will serve as host of the Friday and Sunday editions of the show.
ESPN announced today that it has reached a multi-year contract extension with on-air personality Sage Steele.
As part of the new agreement, Steele will host the Friday and Sunday editions of NBA Countdown – ESPN’s and ABC’s NBA pre-game show. She’ll be part of the newly constituted NBACountdown team with newcomer Doug Collins and returning analysts Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons. NBA Countdown makes its debut on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. (The Wednesday NBA Countdown team will consist of Rose, Doris Burke and Avery Johnson and debut Nov. 13).
Steele will continue to appear on SportsCenter and will also contribute to ESPN’s on-site NBA coverage during the NBA Finals.
“I’m thrilled to continue my career at ESPN and to embark on this exciting, new challenge.” said Steele, “I love the NBA, and like millions of other fans, I’m looking forward to the season tipoff and to guiding some great discussion from our expert analysts.”
“Sage is a dynamic, engaging personality and an avid follower of the NBA.” said John Wildhack, ESPN Executive Vice President, Production. “She has a proven track record hosting our NBA coverage, and, on Countdown, she’ll help facilitate insightful discussion amongst her new teammates Doug Collins, Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons.”