MLB Considers Launching Own Streaming Service – Barrett Sports Media

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MLB Considers Launching Own Streaming Service
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A person with direct knowledge told Josh Kosman of The New York Post that the web based service could launch as soon as 2023.
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Last week BSM reported that the MLB was a potential suitor to buy a stake in Sinclair’s streaming option Diamond Sports Group. Now it seems that the MLB reportedly wants to launch their own nationwide streaming service for those to watch in-market games. A person with direct knowledge told Josh Kosman of The New York Post that the web-based service could launch as soon as 2023.
The NBA and the NHL are also considering partnering with the MLB on the new streaming service which could cost consumers between $10 to $20 a month.
The MLB believes that this new streaming service is non-threatening to cable subscriptions, as this service is for those who have already cut the cord with cable. This does not mean that the MLB is out of talks with Sinclair for a share in Diamond Sports Group, as Commissioner Rob Manfred believes that it is important to have a share in that as well.
“We believe those digital rights are crucial,” Manfred said last week at the CAA World Congress of Sports conference. “And we want to own and control the platform on which they’re delivered, we may have partners in that process.”
In exchange for Sinclair backing its new streaming plans, MLB is open to a proposal from Sinclair in which the league would cut the roughly $1 billion in annual fees Sinclair pays teams for cable broadcast rights, giving its Diamond unit more breathing room to refinance its loans before they mature in 2026, sources said.  

Reice Shipley is a daily news writer and social media assistant for BSM. He is a graduate of Ithaca University, contributor to the Syracuse Mets, and aspires to work behind the scenes in sports media in the future. He can be found on Twitter @Reice_Shipley18 or you may reach him by email at [email protected]
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Stan Van Gundy: Kevin Harlan Is A Great Coach
WFAN Proposes Limited Schedule For John Sterling In 2021
Native American Organization Calls for Fox News to Fire Hosts
Jon Stewart: Donald Trump Isn’t Some Incredible Supervillain
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“After Van Gundy was let go by the Pelicans, he told his agent that the only network he wanted to work for was TNT.”
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A new NBA season begins on Tuesday night and TNT will have a doubleheader beginning with the Brooklyn Nets taking on the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30 p.m ET followed by the Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Golden State Warriors. 
Two of the analysts this season on the TNT broadcasts will be Reggie Miller (Warriors-Lakers with Kevin Harlan and Allie LaForce) and Stan Van Gundy (Nets-Bucks with Ian Eagle and Stephanie Ready). Miller will be entering his 17th season at TNT and he enjoys getting the chance to work with some of the best play-by-play broadcasters in the game. 
“Number one, you have the best seat in the house on a nightly basis as a former player,” he said on a recent conference call. “You are between the lines and to be that close, we get to hear strategies, the trash talking. Stan understands the game so well. I get a chance to see plays or trends before they happen. 
“Having been in this 17 years already, I’ve had the chance to work with some of the great play-by-play men in Dick Stockton, obviously marvelous Marv Albert, who retired last season, Kevin Harlan. The symmetry you form as a bond to tell these stories. The game is going to tell the story for you.”
As for Van Gundy, he is entering his second stint as an analyst at Turner after he spent last season as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. Since he is fairly new at the analyst role compared to Miller, he is always trying to learn and focuses on preparation.
“I try to focus on two things. One is I try to make sure that I’m really well-prepared going in, that I know the teams I’m watching, that I’ve watched them play recent games on film, that I’ve spent time looking at all the numbers, reading everything I can. The second thing is I ask for a lot of feedback particularly from the play-by-play guys I work with.” 
The key to getting better for Van Gundy is always getting feedback not only from his play-by-play partner, but from people behind-the-scenes as well. 
“I started working at Turner two years ago with Ian Eagle. He’s not only a great play-by-play guy, but a great coach and gave me a lot of help in that regard. In the bubble, I also worked with Spero Dedes and Brian Anderson. They gave me a lot of help. I worked the other night with Kevin Harlan.
“Asking those people to give you feedback, same with the producers and directors… I don’t want people telling me great job when it wasn’t. Tell me what I can do to get better. That’s something I’ll continue to try to do all year and validate the confidence that Turner has shown in me to give me this opportunity.” 
After Van Gundy was let go by the Pelicans, he told his agent that the only network he wanted to work for was TNT. It would be a homecoming of sorts, as he was an analyst for the network during the 2019-2020 season. He mentioned that he liked working there because of the great people who put the NBA broadcast together and he wanted more of a defined role compared to what he had while at ESPN in 2018. 
“My experience working with Turner/NBATV was outstanding. They treated people really, really well. I liked not only the broadcasters, but the people behind the scenes. The atmosphere is great. It’s just great for me to still be able to be around the game and be out there every night. Quite honestly, it’s a lot less stressful.” 

Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at [email protected]
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“A report from PUCK’s Dylan Byers suggested that Disney was looking to spin off ESPN but CNBC has refuted it.”
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Disney is just fine with how their ESPN+ digital property is performing. A report from PUCK’s Dylan Byers suggested that Disney was looking to spin off ESPN but CNBC has refuted it.
Byers’ article suggested that Disney CEO Bob Chapek and his advisors were percolating the idea of splitting ESPN off from Disney as its own entity.
After Disney shares jumped to session high on a report that said the company is looking into potentially exploring an ESPN spinoff, a source tells CNBC the report is inaccurate. The source tells CNBC the company aims to pursue further value through ESPN+ and sports betting. pic.twitter.com/biW2REmpqc
“There are now conversations happening regularly at Disney about whether or not to spin off ESPN,” Byers wrote in his article.
Yet, CNBC’s sources say no move is in the works.
“I just spoke to a source close to the situation,” Julia Boorstin said on CNBC. “This person telling that report is inaccurate and that Disney is focused on building the value of ESPN+ for its digital bundle, saying that the company is happy with the role that ESPN+ is playing in its digital bundle.”
The anonymous source’s information falls in line with what ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said on the Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast this week.
“Beyond exclusive games, we have the ability to simulcast,” Pitaro said on the podcast. “We have the ability to do alternative broadcasts. We have the ability to just move more content to plus. As I sit here today, I will tell you; we like this idea of being multiple things at the same time.”
Boorstin made mention of ESPN’s continued interest in sports betting as well.
“The company has been pursuing further value in sports betting for ESPN,” Boorstin said. “Seeing that as an opportunity to grow both the value of both ESPN+ and the linear networks. So it will be interesting to see what comes of this when the company does report its earnings, but we have no official comment from Disney. Disney does tend not to comment on rumors and speculation.”
The media landscape is changing rapidly, and Disney is at the forefront of said change as they try to stay one step ahead of their competitors.

Russ Heltman is a daily news writer for BSM. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH. He also works in gameday communications for FC Cincinnati and additionally contributes to the AllBengals blog for Sports Illustrated. Russ can be found on Twitter @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at [email protected]
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“I didn’t know the Chicago White Sox. I couldn’t name a player on their team. I hadn’t done the homework. I was horrible.”
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When ESPN opened up a production facility in Los Angeles in 2009 for SportsCenter, Neil Everett became one of the facility’s main anchors along with Stan Verrett on the 1 a.m ET edition of the show. Over the last 10+ years, those two have become one of the more prominent duos for SportsCenter.
Everett was a guest this week on the Bleav in CollegeFootball Legends Podcast with Chris Smith to talk about his favorite interviews among other topics. He said on the show that he never really worked with Verrett that often in Bristol, but the two are similar people that have forged their own path at the network: 
“We both come from similar stock. We both believe in hard work. We both are two guys that I don’t think ESPN has expected as much out of us than we’ve produced. We determined our trajectory once ESPN let the reins off us and let us go a little bit. I love Stan to death.”
When Everett had his first audition with ESPN in 1999, he admitted that he wasn’t exactly prepared for the interview and the local sportscasts that he did in Hawaii were completely different than the role he was trying to apply for.
“I hadn’t done my homework. I wasn’t familiar with half the things they were talking about on SportsCenter because when I did the sports in Hawaii, we weren’t talking about half the stuff they were talking about. There were two different worlds of sports. Our local sportscast was mostly local sports. I didn’t know the Chicago White Sox. I couldn’t name a player on their team. I hadn’t done the homework. I was horrible. I knew I had nobody to blame but me, but fortunately, a year later, they called me back to do another audition.”
The second audition worked out for Everett has he has been at ESPN for over 20 years (July 2000) and he has become known for some of his catchphrases such as “Bartender, how about a Jack?” Everett mentioned that all of his catchphrases are not pre-planned.
“’How’s it’ is just a common thing in Hawaii. ‘Bartender, Jack’ just seemed like a natural. Probably just came to me. They come to you organic. Sometimes somebody will give you one and you go that’s pretty good, I’m going to use that…I got to write them down because my brain gets so fried.”
Even though Everett did not have a great first audition with ESPN, he learned from it and now is one of the faces most recognizable with SportsCenter, particularly the west coast edition out in Los Angeles. In addition to SportsCenter, Everett will be hosting pregame, halftime, and postgame shows for most of the Portland Trail Blazers road games for ROOT SPORTS this season.  

Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at [email protected]
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