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Category: US television industry

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Bribes for TV soccer rights allegedly paid with ‘agreement and support’ of Murdoch’s Fox executives

Documents form part of sprawling investigation into football corruptionTestimony in Fifa trial places Fox executives in meetings with corrupt officialsSenior executives at Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox corporation are alleged to have agreed for mil…

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ESPN: can The Worldwide Leader in Sports manage its own decline?

The sports broadcaster has been buffeted by layoffs, declining revenue and a stormy political climate. Will it adapt to a changed media landscape?In the summer of 1998, ESPN did what successful American sports entities tend to do: it opened a restauran…

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NFL ratings down 7.5% as Kaepernick attorney bullish over ‘smoking gun’

NFL viewership down during time of protest – but so are Nascar figuresColin Kaepernick lawyer confident client will win grievance caseEagles’ Chris Long to donate rest of 2017 salary to education projectsThe NFL’s embattled season continues as the late…

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ESPN kneels before advertisers by silencing Jemele Hill for doing her job | Marina Hyde

ESPN asked Jemele Hill to ‘discuss sports topics, news, culture, and social issues’ and to tweet on ‘a current issue impacting sports’ – then suspended her for doing exactly thatMore than a week into her suspension for some highly anodyne tweets relate…

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Al Michaels sorry for comparing New York Giants’ form to Harvey Weinstein

Veteran broadcaster makes comments during NBC’s Sunday Night FootballHollywood producer Weinstein accused of multiple sexual assaultsAl Michaels, one of America’s most respected sports commentators, has apologised after jokingly comparing the New York …

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Kaepernick backs ESPN anchor Hill after she calls Trump a white supremacist

  • ESPN sends out apology after series of tweets by SportsCenter host
  • Former 49ers quarterback says he stands with Jemele Hill

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has tweeted his support for ESPN anchor Jemele Hill after she called Donald Trump a “white supremacist”.

Hill’s attack on the president caused ESPN to issue an apology on Tuesday, with the broadcaster saying her views “do not represent the position of ESPN.” And “she recognizes her actions were inappropriate”.

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Fox Sports president leaves amid sexual harassment investigation, say reports

  • Jamie Horowitz was at helm as jobs were cut at broadcaster
  • Executive’s attorney says Horowitz is innocent of any misconduct

A week after pushing through a policy that saw a number Fox Sports journalists lose their jobs, the broadcaster’s president of national networks, Jamie Horowitz, is leaving the company.

The news, first reported by the Sports Business Journal, came on the same day that the Los Angeles Times said Fox Sports had been investigating sexual harassment. The Times reported that several women at Fox had been interviewed about Horowitz’s conduct.

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How Rebecca Lowe went from England to become the US’s face of football

The TV presenter, who fronts NBC’s Premier League coverage, tells Dave Caldwell about the challenges and rewards of her move across the Atlantic

As a girl in west London, Rebecca Lowe simply aspired to be like her mother, Judith, and become an actor. So how in the world did Lowe end up as a sports broadcaster on a US television network, with a weekly commute across America?

“I have loved football since I was very, very small, and my dad used to take me to games,” she told the Guardian recently. “That’s what comes from my dad.”

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Warriors, Charles Barkley and Bob Ley pay tribute to fired ESPN workers

  • Around 100 employees, including well-known names, lost their jobs
  • ESPN looking to cut costs as subscriber base falls

After a tumultuous day at ESPN, in which the broadcaster laid off around 100 employees on Wednesday, including some of the network’s most popular on-air and online personalities, tributes were paid to those who lost their jobs.

Perhaps the most striking came from the Golden State Warriors. Their assistant coach, Mike Brown, spoke about Ethan Strauss, a highly respected writer who covered the team and lost his job on Wednesday.

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Warriors, Charles Barkley and Bob Ley pay tribute to fired ESPN workers

  • Around 100 employees, including well-known names, lost their jobs
  • ESPN looking to cut costs as subscriber base falls

After a tumultuous day at ESPN, in which the broadcaster laid off around 100 employees on Wednesday, including some of the network’s most popular on-air and online personalities, tributes were paid to those who lost their jobs.

Perhaps the most striking came from the Golden State Warriors. Their assistant coach, Mike Brown, spoke about Ethan Strauss, a highly respected writer who covered the team and lost his job on Wednesday.

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ESPN layoffs hit on-air reporters and anchors as 100 employees face cuts

  • ESPN to lay off around 100 on-air and online anchors, reporters and analysts
  • Employees affected include some of network’s most popular personalities

ESPN was set to lay off around 100 employees on Wednesday, including some of the network’s most popular on-air and online personalities, according to multiple reports.

The Disney-owned sports giant had no plans to announce the names of the employees affected, but a number of the anchors, reporters and analysts who were informed of their release spoke out on social media.

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NFL suffers 8% drop in TV viewers but recovers from pre-election slump

  • Dallas Cowboys seemed to spur recovery in second half of the season
  • NFL viewership was down 14% prior to Donald Trump’s election victory

TV viewership of this year’s NFL dipped 8% year-on-year – but ratings did recover from a pre-election slump, thanks in part to the Dallas Cowboys.

Related: Jim Caldwell has been a clear success in Detroit. So why is his future in doubt?

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Thursday Night Football: a ‘poopfest’ that was never meant for fans

For nearly a decade TNF has helped the NFL hold sway over television executives. But it may have outlived its usefulness

A popular perception is that the NFL’s Thursday night games – broadcast on the league’s own NFL Network and recently described by the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman as a “poopfest” – are a product of greed. This is not entirely true. Thursday Night Football had a lot more to do with power and leverage than a simple sniff at the money.

This week the Giants play the Eagles in what could be the final ever, regular Thursday night telecast. Recently, Profootballtalk.com reported the league is looking hard at cutting back their schedule of Thursday night games, citing a source that said the games don’t generate enough money to be worth the overload of prime time football (never mind that the match-ups are often underwhelming and leave little time for players to recover if they have played the previous weekend). The NFL denied the report but it is clear that Thursday Night Football has now served its mercenary purpose and has become a drag on the rest of televised football. At the very least, the broadcast will have significant tweaks if it returns.

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Is America’s dalliance with the Premier League coming to an end?

There has been plenty of attention on the NFL’s struggles to attract viewers this year. But figures are down for a European upstart too

On Sunday, Arsenal and Tottenham played out a draw in a North London derby that could prove to have serious repercussions for the Premier League title race. But American fans had to get up early or find means to record the match and watch it in a spoiler-proofed room. Kickoff, after all, was at noon in London – 7am in New York and 4am in Los Angeles.

Ideally for American fans, the match would have aired live on the NBC Sports Network early Saturday or Sunday afternoon in the United States, but the NBC Sports Network has no input when starting times are determined before the season for matches in the first two months of the season. Two British networks, Sky Sports and BT Sport, paid an enormous amount for that privilege – understandable given that, despite the Premier League’s international reach, it is still an English product.

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Roger Goodell on NFL TV ratings slump: ‘We don’t think we’ve lost viewers’

  • Commissioner rejects suggestion that anthem protest has turned people off
  • ‘A lot of times, people will leave a game for whatever reason,’ Goodell says

Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, remained defiant on Tuesday about the health of the league, despite a TV ratings slump that has seen viewership plunge 11% in the first six weeks of the season.

Related: Paper 1, Microsoft Surface 0: Patriots head coach dumps tablet in five-minute rant

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Why Fox Sports, not ESPN, is winning America’s summer of soccer

ESPN’s Euro 2016 coverage has been mixed, while Fox has been sharper, funnier, and truer to an authentically American culture of the sport

Who has won America’s summer of soccer – ESPN or Fox Sports? To frame the question in this binary is to ignore, of course, the claim of another channel perhaps more familiar to the occasional American football fan. For long stretches of the winter, while MLS is in hibernation, the summer international tournaments are either long forgotten or far in the future, and the people of this country turn their attention to the double thrill of dressing in weather-flexible layers and making jokes about coffee flavored with pumpkin spice, football’s cultural airtime is occupied almost entirely by NBC’s coverage of the English Premier League.

Related: Chile beat Colombia after long weather delay to set up final with Argentina

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Abby Wambach joins ESPN in wide-ranging broadcast role

  • Former USA striker will act as analyst and reporter
  • World Cup winner will also host podcast and discuss controversial topics

Retired US soccer star Abby Wambach is joining ESPN as an analyst and a contributor.

Wambach, the leading goal scorer of all time, will cover the European Championships in France and the Rio Olympics in August. But her role won’t be limited to soccer: she will work across multiple platforms including ESPN Films and shows including Outside the Lines, according to the network.

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Katie Nolan is challenging the way we think about women covering sports

Her show, Fox Sports 1’s Garbage Time, takes on the boys club of sports media – and she isn’t afraid to ‘poke the bear’ or tell you how she really feels

Katie Nolan refuses to be a victim. All the TV host needs to do is scroll through her Twitter feed, read YouTube comments, or turn on some sports radio show to hear people say how annoying, slutty, and talentless she is. Once, when she hosted her first radio show, a caller phoned the station, shouted “Fuck you, cunt!” live on air, and hung up.

Nolan could be discouraged. Pissed off. Or worse, quiet. Instead, it just makes her double-down harder, getting ready for her show Fox Sports 1’s Garbage Time with Katie Nolan to return for a second season on 4 May.

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Curt Schilling: ESPN has ‘some of the biggest racists in sports commentating’

  • Former pitcher’s comments come after firing from network
  • Says political views are not allowed unless part of the ‘liberal agenda’

It was unlikely that a figure as outspoken as Curt Schilling was going to stay silent for long after ESPN fired him last week – but when the comeback came, it was extraordinary.

Schilling was dismissed from the network after sharing a transphobic post on Facebook but in an interview with the Breitbart News “patriot forum” on Thursday, hosted by Sirius XM, he accused ESPN of racism.

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Skip Bayless leaves ESPN and expected to join Fox Sports

Skip Bayless, the controversial co-host of First Take, is leaving ESPN after 12 years, the sports network confirmed on Tuesday. Bayless is widely expected to join Fox Sports.

ESPN said in a statement: “Skip Bayless has decided to leave ESPN when his contract expires at the end of August. His final appearance on First Take will be the day after the NBA finals conclude. We want to thank Skip for his many contributions to ESPN. His hard work and talent have benefited ESPN for 12 years.”

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