06/30/21: ESPN revealed its talent lineup for its upcoming NHL coverage


Medias First Morning Read


Wednesday June 30, 2021

ESPN iced in its roster of talent for its upcoming NHL coverage as the Stanley Cup Final, Playoffs and NHL regular season hit ABC, ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu this fall. ESPN’s play-by-play commentary will be led by Sean McDonough, with Steve Levy leading the studio team and calling several games throughout the season. John Buccigross, Bob Wischusen and Leah Hextall will also add their voices to play-by-play. ESPN’s NHL analyst team includes Mark Messier and Chris Chelios in addition to Ray Ferraro, Brian Boucher, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Kevin Weekes, Ryan Callahan, A.J. Mleczko, Rick DiPietro, Hilary Knight, as well as Barry Melrose. Blake Bolden, along with Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski, will handle reporting duties. Linda Cohn will continue to host In the Crease. ESPN Deportes’ Kenneth Garay and Eitán Benezra will handle play-by-play commentary with Carlos Rossell and Antonio Valle contributing analysis and color commentary for NHL games on ESPN Deportes.

“This new and groundbreaking lineup will bring the NHL to an expanding legion of passionate fans,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content. “We set out to put together a roster that would excite, engage and educate the entire range of fans – from diehard to casual – while inspiring the next generation. With this lineup, we believe we have done just that. We could not be more excited to welcome this talented and diverse group to the ESPN hockey family.”

In ratings news, NBC’s coverage of the Women’s Gymnastic Finals on Sunday night took the night as the top program among all sporting events last week, averaging 5.8 million viewers. Sunday night’s viewership peaked at 6.6 million viewers during Simone Biles’ floor exercise. Friday night’s gymnastics averaged 4.6 million viewers on NBC and was the most-watched sporting event of the day. In addition, Olympic Trials across Gymnastics and Track & Field laid claim to five of the week’s 12 most-watched sporting events.

Around the dial, CBS Sports’ coverage of the WNBA matchup between the Mystics and Wings delivered an average of 567,000 viewers on Saturday. That is up 33% over the previous week’s telecast.

ESPN’s coverage of Sunday’s Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix drew an average audience of 914,000 viewers, making it the most-viewed F1 race on record from Austria. The race had the ninth-largest audience on record for F1 on cable in the U.S. Overall, F1 is averaging 928K viewers – up 53% over ’20 (608K) and 38% over ’19 (672K).

The National Hockey League announced unveiled info for the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas with festivities taking place at T-Mobile Arena and will be scheduled during its traditional midway point of the NHL regular season next year. The 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend will include the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills and the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Game, and will feature various hockey-themed events, entertainment and activities.

FIGHT SPORTS hooked the rights to Tyson Fury’s third meeting with Deontay Wilder for the WBC Heavyweight World Title in over 50 countries. Territories span from covering almost all of Asia, several countries in Europe, the Middle East/North Africa, to the Caribbean. The battle takes place on July 24.

July 4 will see the return of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest at noon on ESPN. The one-hour telecast marks the 18th consecutive year ESPN has televised the event with coverage for the women’s championship kicking off at 11:30a on ESPN3. For the second year, ESPN commentator Mike Golic Jr. will do play-by-play of the eating competition. The show will also include an in-depth analysis by Major League Eating’s Richard Shea, with reporting by ESPN’s Jason Fitz. Seven-Time Women’s Champion Miki Sudo will join Golic and Shea in the booth for the women’s competition.

Afterward at 1p, ESPN carries coverage of The American Cornhole League National Championships as top cornhole players in the country compete in a variety of payout tournaments. Competition will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN2 beginning July 2 with the ACL Pro Singles and Senior Singles on ESPN2 at 8p.

NBC Sports became the exclusive U.S. media home of The British & Irish Lions Tour of South Africa rugby this summer, with eight matches live on Peacock. Encore match coverage will air on NBCSN. The 2021 Tour of South Africa kicks off Saturday, as the Lions take on Emirates Lions in Gauteng, South Africa, live at Noon on Peacock.

Manish Pandey, writer and producer of documentary Senna, has been given exclusive rights by Bernie Ecclestone, who built the Formula 1 franchise, for an 8-part docuseries, Lucky! Content will be produced by Pandey’s company Jiva Maya with access to archival footage from Formula 1 Management. The series is represented by ICM Partners for sales worldwide.

Esports Business Summit


October 18-20, 2021| Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

This event brings together all sectors of the esports ecosystem for three days of networking, education, and inspiration. If you’re looking to understand the power of esports, learn how your brand can profit from this billion-dollar industry and make the connections you need, EBS is your gateway to get in the game.



The NBA and its 30 teams reeled in record sponsorship revenue during the 2020-21 season despite a late start and shorter season, according to IEG, which estimates sponsorship spending in the NBA reached $1.46 Billion, and topping 6% year-over-year growth. IEG’s Sponsorship Intelligence Database shows league-level partnerships led the sponsorship surge, with the NBA reaching 13 new deals including one with Microsoft, making the tech giant the Official Artificial Intelligence Partner and an Official Cloud and Laptop Partner of the NBA. NBA League-level sponsorship spending has increased by nearly 50% since the 2017-18 season. Major League Soccer is the only league with a higher rate of growth during that same period.

NBC Olympics will launch “Rings Across America” this week, featuring a life-sized set of Olympic rings touring the country and stopping as an interactive exhibit in locations in six cities ahead of the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony on July 23. The initiative begins in LA at Universal CityWalk on July 3-4 and rolls into Chicago, Miami, Orlando, DC and concludes at 30 Rockefeller Plaza Channel Gardens in NYC from July 23-25. In addition to fan engagement in the six cities, the Rings will sit on the flatbed of a truck during transit, allowing for visibility throughout the entire tour across the country.

The NCAA Division I Council on Monday formally recommended that the Board of Governors adopt a name, image and likeness policy on an interim basis when the board convenes today, less than 24 hours before NIL laws are enacted in at least seven states. Among the points of consideration, according to CBS Sports, is creating the possibility for schools and conferences to create their own NIL policies if their states do not have any set to go into law on Thursday.

Clean nutrition brand Orgain revealed its Athlete Advisory Council, described as “a group of elite athletes that will work with the brand to offer first hand perspective and insight to enhance product innovation, functional benefits and ingredient selection.” The group is made up of current and former professional athletes including Victor Oladipo (NBA, Miami Heat), Langston Galloway (NBA, Phoenix Suns), Thaddeus Young (NBA Chicago Bulls), Byron Jones (NFL, Miami Dolphins), Joe Thomas (NFL, Cleveland Browns), Mark Sanchez (retired NFL) and Desmond Howard (retired NFL).

The West Haymarket Joint Public Agency (JPA) retained Learfield IMG College for multimedia rights and sponsorship sales representation of Pinnacle Bank Arena through June 30, 2029. The company has held the rights to Pinnacle Bank Arena since 2012. The agreement provides for the establishment of a dedicated local team operating as “Pinnacle Bank Arena Sports Properties” (PBASP). Led by General Manager Aaron Babcock, PBASP will work directly with Pinnacle Bank Arena General Manager Tom Lorenz on all sponsorship activities and opportunities related to the venue.

English Premier League champions Manchester City entered into a new partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai that will see the largest event in the Arab world become the Club’s Official Exhibition Partner. The partnership will cover both City’s men’s and women’s teams, as well as the Club’s esports operation with Expo 2020 Dubai running Oct. 1-March 31.


Sportradar and the NHL entered into a 10-year global partnership, naming Sportradar the Official Betting Data Rights, Official Betting Streaming Rights and Official Media Data Rights Partner of the NHL, as well as an Official Integrity Partner of the NHL. The duo will work together to expand the reach of the League by leveraging Sportradar’s technology solutions, providing fans with deeper access and enhanced insights into the game. As part of the robust partnership, Sportradar will distribute the NHL’s official data and statistics to media, technology and sports betting companies worldwide, including real-time data from the NHL’s new Puck and Player Tracking technology.

OneTeam Partners and Opendorse announced an alliance to deliver group licensing opportunities to athletes at scale. The partnership designates OneTeam as the exclusive group licensing partner of Opendorse. “This partnership with Opendorse enhances our ability to deliver innovative licensing opportunities to athletes at every level,” said Ahmad Nassar, CEO of OneTeam Partners. “As landmark changes on NIL go into effect, and on the heels of last week’s Supreme Court decision, college athletes can at long last license their NIL to the biggest brands in sports.”

IMPACT Wrestling announced the expansion of the promotion’s content on Pluto TV—furthering the promotion’s reach across the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The move comes as a continuation of IMPACT Wrestling’s partnership with Pluto TV, which kicked off in April 2018 with the U.S. launch of IMPACT Wrestling’s content on the country’s top free ad-supported streaming television service.

DDSports entered into a new partnership with IMPACT to expand content creation around and visualization of, ShotTracker’s elite-level real time analytics, which have been deployed to a growing number of NCAA men’s and women’s basketball broadcasts. “ShotTracker’s open APIs allow our partners to take our data and deliver engaging content to a growing audience of consumers and media customers,” said ShotTracker Co-Founder and President Davyeon Ross. “This partnership with IMPACT will help us expand access to our data to even more media platforms not just in the U.S. but around the world. This is a great way for us to grow our reach at a time when engagement in data content is at a premium for consumers, media companies and broadcasters.”


ESL Gaming and Monster Energy tied up a deal for the beverage brand to become a new Global Partner with activation that includes 18 competitions within the ESL Pro Tour CS:GO, including Intel Extreme Masters, the ESL Pro League, DreamHack Open, and ESEA Premier; as well as ESL Gaming’s Dota 2 properties, ESL One and DreamLeague Dota 2 leagues. In addition, they will become the first-ever global partner of the analytics platform CS:GO Hub. “What started as a new and exciting partnership between DreamHack and Monster Energy in 2014 has since developed into one of the longest and most successful partnerships within the esports and gaming industry,” said Monster Energy CMO Dan McHugh. “Not only have we enabled top-tier DreamHack esports tournaments, but we have also been an integral part of their festivals throughout the world with exciting on-site activations that have gathered fans of all ages and backgrounds. We look forward to growing our relationship even further with ESL Gaming and being a part of the future of esports across the globe.

Swiss organization Team BDS is entering the LEC, announcing that it had purchased Schalke 04 Esports’ slot in the league. Schalke 04 will continue to compete in the LEC until the end of the 2021 season. We wish the team the best of luck in their remaining matches and look forward to making some great final memories together.

Blizzard announced that The Arena World Championship returns for Shadowlands Season 2 Circuit on August 31, as the top 16 teams across North America and Europe face off in the Season 2 Circuit and their share of the $160,000 global prize pool. They’ll compete in a four-week round-robin, beginning on July 31, with the top four teams in each region advancing to the Shadowlands 2021 Grand Finals for a shot at standing as the best PvP teams in all of Shadowlands and the $300,000 prize pool


The Washington Football Team announced that Tanya Snyder has been named co-CEO. “Tanya is one of the most important figures in this organization, and that has only become more true over the last 18 months as her involvement has deepened,” said owner and co-CEO Dan Snyder. “Publicly, many know Tanya for her incredible and impactful work in breast cancer awareness and her leadership of our charitable foundation. But behind the scenes, she has had a profound impact on the direction of the Washington Football Team. She was instrumental in our decision to evolve the brand and modernize our fan experience – including the entertainment team.”

The Big Ten Conference named veteran sports executive Jon Schwartz as SVP of Communications, Marketing, Digital and Social Media. Prior to joining the Big Ten, Schwartz was SVP of Communications and Public Affairs for the NFL.

PointsBet appointed Rachelle Carpenter as Chief People Officer. In her position, Carpenter will be responsible for developing, driving, and leading all aspects of PointsBet’s Human Resources function for the company, as well as design and implement Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives that align with PointsBet’s greater business strategy and culture goals. Carpenter joins PointsBet after having spent the previous 10 years with DISH Network.

The Professional Fighters League announced that Derek Chang, CEO of Friend MTS and former CEO of NBA China, has been named to the company’s Board of Directors. “Derek is the rare international sports and media executive with vision of the vast opportunities for sports leagues in the global world,” said Donn Davis, Chairman and Founder of PFL. “And, importantly, Derek’s sterling reputation and extensive business relationships can help PFL forge partnerships and chart expansion worldwide.”

New Trends, New Categories
The 9th Annual Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards and the It List reflects the evolution of the industry in this year’s categories. Put your best work on the map by winning a Model D or It List award…but you can’t win if you don’t enter.



On this Day
1934: Detroit radio executive George Richards buys the NFL’s Portsmouth Spartans, and moves the team to Detroit, renaming them as the Lions.

According to fictional character Patches O’Houlihan, what are the five “D’s” of dodgeball? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Straight, pike, tuck and free are all body positions used in which Olympic sport? Answer: Diving. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Christine Ecklund-AMC Networks/NY; Chris Madigan-BZA PR/NY; Lori Paterson-Spectrum Reach/NY; Holli Sarner-Playfly/Home Team Sports/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Peter Lasser-Lasser Productions/Atlanta; Allison Weiner-MMSI/Warwick; Rick Dascher-WarnerMedia Studios/Atlanta; Joy Watson Jarrell-BroadBased Communications/Jacksonville; Creed Heilskov-ImOn Communications/Cedar Rapids; Lexi Betcher-Playfly/Home Team Sports/Chicago; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Bob Ramsey/Merida; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Quarter Alumni Development/Calgary; David Hauptman/Denver; Greg Moloznik/GLM Media/Scottsdale; John Baghdassarian-Olympusat/LA; Jack Simmons-US Army Reserve/LA; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente; Larry Hutchings/San Luis Obispo

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Chris Pursell
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Job of the day


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REELZ/NYC, NY: Create/revise upfront/scatter media plans, account stewardship & serve as agency liaison. Should be comfortable presenting and cultivating agency relationships. A min. 5 yrs ad sales exp. Strong written and verbal communication skills, strong media math skills. Proficient in Wide Orbit, MS Suite. Full info HERE (7/17)

Seeking entry level office/set Production Assistant to support the Production Management Team. This is for a live, daily early morning NFL talk/news show in Lower Manhattan. The job will start Monday, July 19th and will continue for approximately 8 months and TBD beyond. Full info HERE (7/17)

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AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA GROUP/NYC, LA, ST PAUL, MN: Oversee editorial strategies and loyalty products that significantly grow and engage audience and convert anonymous listeners to known fans. 7+ years of work experience in loyalty, engagement or conversion funnel roles with measurable results in attracting and converting consumers into loyal users/subscribers required. Full info HERE (7/10)

Top rated nationally syndicated daytime talk show looking for a NY based talent booker to join an established team booking newsworthy, topical celebrities in pop culture and cover various facets of entertainment. Must have previous celebrity booking experience, strong contacts and a finger on the pulse what’s happening in pop culture. Full info HERE (7/10)

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MARATHON VENTURES/EAST COAST/REMOTE: Responsible for generating revenue and achieving sales targets and maintaining and developing our direct response account business. Analyze sales data, execute strategies for revenue growth, build relationships with existing accounts and consistently develop new business. Established relationships required. Full info HERE (7/6)

Manages the execution of the pricing and planning function for all media and digital platforms.15 years progressive and related Ad Sales, Pricing & Planning and/or Operations experience. BA Degree in Communications, Advertising/Marketing, Business Admin, Finance or related field required. Full info HERE (6/30)

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Manages the day-to-day operations of the office of the President & CEO. All matters pertaining to the CEO including discrete handling of confidential and sensitive information. Undergraduate Degree or 4 years of equivalent executive administrative experience, preferably with Entertainment Industry and an expert level using MS Office Suite and building PowerPoint decks. Full info HERE (6/30)


Manages the day-to-day administrative work of the Business & Legal Affairs team, with focused support for the EVP, General Counsel. This position serves as a key coordinator for the Business & Legal Affairs team, as well as a key coordinator between the Crown Media Business & Legal Affairs team and the Hallmark Legal team. Full info HERE (6/30)


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Design technology, content, customer service and marketing teams to deliver a best-in-class streaming experience across multiple device platforms. Own the user experience, feature set and AB testing for engagement campaigns. 2-4+ years’ experience designing, launching, and maintaining digital D2C products required. Full info HERE (6/30)

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