Posts Tagged ‘espn’

ESPN is releasing a two-hour E60 documentary titled “Unrivaled” that will chronicle the fierce rivalry between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The premiere date is not yet known but will be sometime in June.

The documentary will feature interviews from Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Patrick Roy, Adam Foote, Mike Ricci, Marc Crawford, Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Mike Vernon, Kris Draper, Darren McCarty, Vladimir Konstantinov, and Scotty Bowman.

The Avalanche and Red Wings met in the playoffs five times between 1996 and 2002 and combined to win five Stanley Cups during that seven-year span.

The rivalry took off in the 1996 Western Conference Final when Claude Lemieux broke Draper’s jaw and orbital bone with a hit from behind into the boards. The two teams engaged in one of the most famous brawls in NHL history the following season.

It was announced on Tuesday at Disney Upfront, that the XFL has reached a multi-year agreement with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN.

The multi-year agreement is from 2023 to 2027. Each season’s 43 games will air on ABC, ESPN networks, and FX.

The 2023 season will kick off on Saturday, February 18, 2023.

Below is the full press release:

NEW YORK – May 17, 2022 – The XFL today announced a new, global multi-year agreement with The Walt Disney Company (“TWDC”) and ESPN, which includes exclusive broadcast rights for all gameday content, tentpole events and more, for its upcoming 2023 season through 2027. Each season, all 43 games (40 regular season games, two playoffs, one championship) will be featured on a combination of ABC, ESPN networks and FX. Additionally, the agreement includes exclusive content rights across TWDC and ESPN’s digital, social and direct-to-consumer outlets such as ESPN+. The XFL is excited to officially announce its 2023 season will kick off on Saturday, February 18, 2023.

The announcement was revealed today at the Disney Upfront, where XFL owners Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson were in attendance and presented the news.

“Without question, we have long admired Disney’s distinct ability to engage an expansive consumer fanbase across verticals, while also maintaining a deeply authentic, nuanced and heartfelt approach to storytelling much like our own,” said Dany Garcia, Chairwoman of the XFL. “To find a partner that honors our foundation and to be able to root our vision of unwavering passion, accessibility and the future of football with Disney as our home, is a dream come true. We are extraordinarily excited to explore the endless possibilities of this partnership – today is surely just the beginning.”

“The XFL will tap into sports fans’ deep love of football by emphasizing competitive action while dedicating itself to innovation and entertainment,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content. “You can see a great path to success when you combine the reach and influence of ESPN and Disney with the collective vision of XFL leadership led by Dany, Dwayne and Gerry.”

Dwayne Johnson added, “This is a definitive moment for the XFL and the beginning of an incredible, long-term partnership for the league, building on my longstanding, very successful legacy relationship I’ve had with Disney throughout my career. We’re excited to be working with global visionaries that are aligned with the XFL’s values, are true team players and share our ambitious goals to grow the XFL as a global sports and entertainment business. Through the combined power of Disney, ESPN and the XFL, together we will create a new powerhouse on the sports calendar and bring a dynamic game of football to fans everywhere. Time to ball out.”

Gerry Cardinale said, “With today’s announcement, the XFL has launched a truly innovative partnership with The Walt Disney Company and its world-class platforms across media, culture, sports and entertainment.  It is a privilege to join forces with the incredibly talented team at Disney and ESPN and bring Dany and Dwayne’s vision for world-class football and live event entertainment to our fans and players.”

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As we’ve noted, the XFL went into bankruptcy after the COVID-19 pandemic brought an early end to their return season in the spring of 2020. WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon had sold the league to The Rock, along with business partners Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital in August of 2020, for $15 million.

Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck is expected to join Troy Aikman at ESPN and become the new voice of Monday Night Football, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

The 52-year-old will reportedly ink a contract in the neighborhood of five years and $60 million to $75 million. He has one year and $11 million left on his Fox Sports deal, per Marchand.

Buck has worked at Fox Sports since 1994 and is synonymous with its brand. He’s been the network’s top MLB play-by-play man since 1996 and leading NFL play-by-play man since 2002. He’s also lent his voice to other sports at times.

ESPN has looked to solidify its Monday Night Football booth since Mike Tirico left for NBC Sports in 2016. Steve Levy handled play-by-play duties the last two seasons, with analysts Louis Riddick and Brian Griese flanking him. Griese recently relinquished his role to become the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterbacks coach.

Aikman, the Hall of Fame quarterback who sat next to Buck at Fox Sports, agreed to a five-year, $92.5-million contract at ESPN earlier this year, according to Marchand. The former Dallas Cowboys star expressed hope that he’d reunite with Buck at his new broadcasting home.

Disney, the parent company of ESPN, will air Super Bowl LXI in 2027 after joining the broadcasting rotation in the NFL’s last media rights deal. Disney hasn’t owned Super Bowl broadcasting rights since 2006 when Al Michaels and the late John Madden worked the booth for Super Bowl XL.

ESPN is in negotiations to make Fox Sports’ Troy Aikman its lead analyst on Monday Night Football, according to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand.

The five-year deal is being finalized, sources told Marchand. Aikman’s contract will likely be worth around the same figure as Tony Romo’s 10-year, $180-million deal with CBS.

Aikman, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, has also attracted the attention of Amazon, which holds the broadcast rights to Thursday Night Football.

ESPN has employed a three-man booth of Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, and Steve Levy over the past two seasons.

Aikman is a staple of Fox’s NFL coverage, partnering with Joe Buck on the network’s top broadcast team. Aikman, 55, has covered six Super Bowls during his broadcasting career.

ESPN could make a run at Buck with his contract set to expire next year, Marchand reports. Buck – who also calls the World Series for Fox – would need permission from the network to leave early.

One of the most vocal figures in hockey will soon be back in front of the camera.

ESPN hired John Tortorella as a studio analyst for next season.

Tortorella and the Columbus Blue Jackets parted ways in May. He served as the club’s head coach for six seasons, helping the team make the playoffs in four of those campaigns. Columbus shockingly knocked out the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2018-19 postseason.

The two-time Jack Adams Award winner guided the Lightning to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2004. He also helmed the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks over a coaching career spanning nearly two decades.

ESPN already added Mark Messier, Chris Chelios, Rick DiPietro, Ray Ferraro, and Brian Boucher as analysts for 2021-22, when it’ll regain U.S. broadcast rights along with TNT.

The network’s NHL broadcasts will feature several female voices as well. A.J. Mleczko, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, and Hilary Knight will provide color, and Leah Hextall will do play-by-play. Hextall will also fulfill other roles.

Tortorella was well known for being incredibly outspoken during his coaching career, but he was also tight-lipped at times. The NHL fined him $25,000 last August after he abruptly walked out of a press conference following the Blue Jackets’ postseason elimination. He was reportedly fined more than $160,000 throughout his coaching career, usually for comments criticizing officiating.

The 63-year-old previously worked as an in-studio broadcaster for TSN when he was between jobs in 2008.

ESPN is partnering with Peyton Manning and his Omaha Productions to create the Monday Night Football “MegaCast,” the company announced Monday.

Peyton will team up with younger brother Eli Manning on a new broadcast for 10 games each season over three campaigns beginning in 2021.

“This partnership with ESPN and The Walt Disney Company reflects an ongoing, shared commitment to offering fans fun, innovative content,” said Peyton.

The show will include guests and celebrity appearances as the brothers broadcast remotely. It will air on ESPN2, with potential distribution across other Disney properties.

“Offering multiple Monday Night Football viewing options for the next three seasons continues our innovation efforts and provides additional value for our fans,” said the chairman of ESPN and Sports Content Jimmy Pitaro.

“Peyton and Eli will bring a different approach, delving into conversation about broader, big-picture topics while also honing in on the game, much like fans do when watching with their family and friends,” he added.

ESPN has signed Hall of Famer Mark Messier to a multi-year deal as an NHL studio analyst, the company announced Thursday.

His contract begins in 2021-22.

Messier is regarded as one of the best players of all time. During his 25-year playing career, which ended in 2003-04, he won six Stanley Cups, two Hart Trophies, and a Conn Smythe Award. He sits third on both the all-time games played list and all-time points list.

The 60-year-old spent 12 years with the Edmonton Oilers, where he won five of his rings. He also played 10 campaigns with the New York Rangers, bringing the Stanley Cup to the Big Apple for the first time in 54 years in 1994. Additionally, Messier had a three-year stint with the Vancouver Canucks.

ESPN signed a seven-year deal for half of the NHL’s U.S. TV rights package, beginning in 2021-22. The company has already brought in Kevin Weekes, Ryan Callahan, Ray Ferraro, Brian Boucher, and AJ Mleczko Griswold as analysts. New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban is also doing analysis for ESPN for the remainder of the 2021 postseason.

The network reportedly targeted Wayne Gretzky for an analyst role before The Great One took his talents to TNT, which bought the other half of the NHL’s U.S. TV rights package.

Derek Jeter is getting his own documentary.

The New York Yankees legend and Hall of Famer is the focus of an ESPN Films production titled “The Captain” that will come out in 2022, the broadcasting company announced Tuesday.

The multi-part doc will be about the shortstop’s 20-year career with the Yankees, which included five World Series titles. The film will also touch on the 14-time All-Star’s life off the field, his role as a team owner and executive with the Miami Marlins after retirement, and his journey into Cooperstown.

ESPN Films, the creators of “The Last Dance” doc that focused on Michael Jordan, will team up with Emmy-winning director Randy Wilkins on the Jeter project.

Director Spike Lee is also one of the executive producers involved.

Former WWE on-air talent Charly Caruso (Charly Arnolt) recently spoke with Dana Bebow of The Indianapolis Star about her time with WWE and her future with ESPN.

Caruso announced in late March that she was leaving WWE to take a full-time position with ESPN. She had been working part-time with the sports network since 2018, but recently inked a multi-year contract extension. It was noted that Caruso’s “First Take, Her Take” podcast will continue, but she will also continue to be immersed in ESPN’s other shows, which we’re already seeing. First Take, SportsCenter, SportsNation and other ESPN digital shows are now a part of Charly’s job, and she hopes there will be more.

Caruso said she looks forward to growing with ESPN.

“There are so many opportunities,” Caruso said. “And the big thing I told myself for these next few years, when they come to me asking to try something, my answer is ‘Yes, I’ll do it. Yes, I’ll try it.’

“I am so truly happy to be full time there. I know I’m going to grow so much as a broadcaster.”

Caruso started with WWE back in August 2016. It was noted that some days she would stand in disbelief as the WWE spectacle played out around her, and how her feisty personality and sports acumen fit perfectly into the WWE world. Caruso said the spectacle was insane.

“The spectacle that you witness watching WWE as a fan is what it’s like when you work there,” Caruso said. “It’s insane. There were many times I would be at work and go, ‘Wait, is this really my job? This is crazy.’ It really is just as wild working there as you would expect it to be as a fan.”

NFL fans might not have heard the last of Philip Rivers, dadgummit.

ESPN will reach out to the recently retired quarterback about joining the Monday Night Football broadcast team, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports, citing sources.

Though the current plan is for the network to keep the three-man crew of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, and Brian Griese, ESPN’s top two choices would be to land Peyton Manning and – in failing to do so – pivot to Rivers.

Rivers announced the end of his 17-year playing career on Wednesday. He already has a post-retirement gig lined up as a high school football coach, but the Monday broadcasts shouldn’t interfere with his schedule.

One of the league’s most memorable trash talkers, Rivers’ schtick should work well with television networks as he refrains from cursing.