Jets, Bears Close Out Week 3 On ESPN’s Monday Night Football

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Week 3 of the 2014 NFL season wraps tonight as Geno Smith and the New York Jets host Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears.

The Jets and Bears will face off at MetLife Stadium tonight on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Both teams have plenty to play for tonight as they both currently sit at 1 – 1 so far on the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15pm ET. Mike Tirico will have the call from the booth tonight. Analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will also be on hand for additional commentary. ESPN and ESPN Deportes will work together throughout the evening’s broadcast to recognize the NFL’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which continues through October 15th.

Monday night’s matchup between the Bears and Jets will be preceded by ESPN’s weekly pre-game broadcast of Monday Night Countdown live at 6pm ET. Monday’s broadcast will come live from MetLife Stadium. Host Suzy Kolber will be joined by analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis, Steve Young for a recap of the week’s games and a look ahead at the week’s closer between New York and Chicago. Kolber and company will be joined from ESPN’s headquarters by studio host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and Keyshawn Johnson alongside ESPN NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.

Those that can’t be close to a TV tonight can catch tonight’s game online via WatchESPN. The game will also be available to Spanish-speaking audiences on TV on ESPN Deportes. More information on tonight’s matchup is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl/mnf
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF

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Texas Native Slater Joins Longhorn Network’s On-Air Staff

ESPN has made another addition to the roster for the Longhorn Network.

Courtesy:  ESPN/Longhorn Network

Courtesy: ESPN/Longhorn Network

Officials with ESPN and the Longhorn Network announced over the weekend that Texas native Jane Slater has signed on with the Longhorn Network to serve as a studio host and reporter. Her reporting duties include reporting for reporting for Longhorn Network games and for Texas Game Day. Along with those duties, Slater will also host Longhorn Extra and will work on various stories for a number of LHN shows.

Slater is a graduate of the University of Texas. She holds a degree in both journalism and government. Her professional broadcast career started in news. She spent seven years as an anchor and reporter. Before coming on board with the Longhorn Network, she worked at her local CBS affiliate, where she covered the Dallas’ major sports teams. She also covered sports from SMU, TCU, and North Texas. Adding to her experience, Slater even hosted a one-hour pre and post-game show and pre and post-game shows for Dallas’ professional teams. Slater discussed the appointment, noting her happiness at returning home. “This really is a dream come true,” she said. “The idea of returning to Austin and working for Longhorn Network and ESPN—it doesn’t get any better than that. I have really enjoyed watching Sam (Ponder) and Kaylee (Hartung) excel in this position and hope I can keep that tradition going.”

Longhorn Network coordinating producer Tom McCollum was upbeat when discussing Slater’s addition to the LHN staff, citing her experience in broadcasting and in covering Texas sports as one reason for her appointment. “Jane’s sports and television expertise really stood out as we went through the interview and audition process,” he said. “We are excited to have her on the LHN team and expect she will make an immediate impact to our coverage.”

Jane Slater begins her duties with the Longhorn Network today.

More information on Slater and other members of the Longhorn Network staff is available online at:

Website: http://www.LonghornNetwork.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/longhornnetwork

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Yankees Fans And Baseball Fans Alike Will Enjoy MLB Productions’ Latest Release

Courtesy:  Lionsgate/MLB Productions/A&E/A&E Home Video

Courtesy: Lionsgate/MLB Productions/A&E/A&E Home Video

The New York Yankees are in the waning days of the team’s 2014 season.  And along with the end of that season is the end of an era as Yankees great Derek Jeter is set to close out his Major League Baseball career, too.  While this season has not exactly proven to be everything that Yankees loyalists had hoped for MLB Productions has given Yankees nation reason to look back after this season’s end and still have plenty to smile about thanks to the recent release of Baseball’s Greatest Games: New York Yankees® Postseason Heroics.  This latest release continues a long-held tradition of excellence from Major League Baseball Productions as is evidenced throughout all four games contained in this set.  The inclusion of four full games is central to the enjoyment of the presentation.  That each game celebrates Jeter’s various accomplishments makes things even sweeter for fans.  As with previous MLB Productions releases, audiences are given the option to start at the top or bottom of any of the games’ innings.  They are not forced to sit through the whole game or even fast forward through to their key moments.  It adds even more enjoyment to the overall presentation.  And last but not least of all worth noting in this set is the collective video and audio mix in each episode.  MLB productions includes a disclaimer before the game, noting that there may be some discrepancies at given points.  But those discrepancies are few and far between.  If anything, seeing the games as they were originally broadcast adds to a certain sense of nostalgia among viewers, whether or not they be Yankees loyalists.  Each factor noted by itself is important to the whole in its own right.  All three together make Baseball’s Greatest Games: New York Yankees® Postseason Heroics another welcome addition to the library of any Yankees loyalist and any true-blooded MLB fan Yankees loyalist or not.

Baseball’s Greatest Games: Yankees® Postseason Heroics is a welcome addition to the library of any Yankees loyalist and any true-blooded MLB fan Yankees loyalist or not.  It is especially welcome being that New York’s season hasn’t exactly lived up to the hopes and expectations of the team or its fans.  Luckily for fans, this four-disc set features four past Yankees games on which fans can look back and smile after the season’s end.  The first of the games is Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS in which the Yankees faced off against the Baltimore Orioles.  The second game takes fans forward four years to Game 4 of the 2000 World Series.  The Yankees faced off against the Mets that year.  The key moment of this game was Jeter’s leadoff home run against the Mets.  The third game takes audiences another year forward to Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS.  That year, the Yankees faced off against Oakland.  After taking down Oakland, the Yankees moved on in 2001 to the World Series, in which the team took on Arizona for the championship. MLB Productions features Game 4 of that year’s World Series as the set’s closing game.  As with the set’s other games, Jeter’s accomplishments are highlighted here, too.  Of course it doesn’t focus solely on his achievements.  Rather, the entire game is presented from the first pitch to the last.  The commercials have been cleanly cut, again displaying that commitment to quality from MLB Productions.  Simply put, with each game, audiences get the full game experience sans the commercial limitations.  They can pause the game at any point that they choose so as to use the bathroom, get a couple cold ones, or anything else.  All things considered here, it all proves just why the inclusion of the games and their inclusion in full at that is the central point of the set’s success.

The inclusion of four important recent Yankees games is central to the success of Baseball’s Greatest Games: Yankees® Postseason Heroics is central to the success of the set.  Their inclusion in full and the fact that they are meant to highlight the accomplishments of the soon-to-be-retired Yankee great Derek Jeter makes it even more of a solid center to the set.  Adding to the set’s success is the fact that once again, audiences are able to choose the inning at which they start each game.  To be even more precise, audiences can choose whether they start at the top of an inning within a given game or at the top of said inning.  So rather than be forced to sit through the whole game or fast forward through so much baseball, audiences can pick precisely where the game starts.  So if viewers have to stop for any reason, they can just pop in the DVD, pick the inning (and its top or bottom) and go from there.  If fast forwarding is still necessary, it won’t have to be but so much as a result of this inclusion.  This is a standard that those at MLB Productions have maintained for years.  So it is wonderful to see this standard maintained even here.  It serves to make the set’s overall presentation even more enjoyable and a success.

MLB fans and Yankees fans alike will appreciate that those with MLB Productions took painstaking efforts to maintain the tradition of excellence established by the company with every one of its releases up to this point including this set.  The games included in this set are presented in full. Audiences can once again choose the point at which they start giving games, whether the top or bottom of said inning(s).  All of this taken into consideration, Baseball’s Greatest Games: Yankees® Postseason Heroics proves to offer plenty of enjoyment for MLB fans regardless of their team loyalty.  There is still one more aspect of this set that makes it a joy for audiences.  That last aspect is the fact that the games in this set are presented exactly as they were seen in their original broadcast(s).  Game 1 of the team’s 1996 ALCS matchup against the Orioles was originally broadcast on NBC while the other three games were each broadcast on FOX.  MLB Productions’ people covered their bases, including a disclaimer noting the potential issues with the games’ video.  But the reality is the video looks just fine.  As a matter of fact, seeing the games as they looked in their original airings brings back a wonderful sense of nostalgia for fans. Considering that this season hasn’t lived to the hopes and expectations of the team and its fans, that sense of nostalgia is especially welcome for the members of the Yankees nation.  Together with the aforementioned aspects of the set, the presentation of each game from its original broadcast rounds out Baseball’s Greatest Games: Yankees® Postseason Heroics and makes it complete.  It is one more reason that audiences, regardless of allegiance, will welcome this latest collection of games from MLB Productions and A&E Home Video.

MLB Productions and A&E Home Video have a long history together, releasing wonderful pieces of baseball’s history every year.  Baseball’s Greatest Games: Yankees® Postseason Heroics is one more wonderful piece of that history.  The inclusion of four games in their entirety proves that right off the top.  That audiences can once more choose where they start viewing each game makes it even more of an enjoyable experience.  And the still quality video and audio mix of all four games rounds out the entire set.  All things considered, Baseball’s Greatest Games: Yankees® Postseason Heroics proves to be its own home run for any Yankees loyalist and any true-blooded baseball fan in general.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from The Lionsgate online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/product.asp?Id=31220&TitleParentId=9945.  More information on this and other releases from Lionsgate and A&E Home Video is available online at:

 

Lionsgate

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lionsgate
Twitter: http://twitter.com/linosgatemovies

A&E Home Video

Website: http://www.aetv.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AETV
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AEHomeEnt

MLB Productions

Website: http://mlbproductions.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mlbprod

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AL Central, NL Central Matchups Take Center Stage This Weekend On ESPN’S MLB Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell closes out its 25th season of MLB coverage this weekend when the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals host division foes the Cincinnati Reds.

Sunday night’s matchup will be the closer in a three-game series between the NL Central foes. Dan Shulman will have the call for Sunday night’s broadcast. He will be joined by analysts John Kruk, Curt Schilling, and reporter Buster Olney for commentary. Coverage of the game is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET. Before Shulman and his SNB colleagues bring audiences Sunday’s season-ending broadcast, Karl Ravech and MLB Hall of Famer (and Cincinnati Reds great) Barry Larkin will have all of the latest baseball headlines on Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet live at 7pm ET. For those that won’t be near a TV, the game will be simulcast on ESPN Radio affiliates nationwide and online at WatchESPN. Spanish-speaking audiences can catch the game on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.

Tonight, ESPN2 will have another matchup with even bigger playoff implications as the Kansas City Royals host the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a three-game series between the AL Central foes. Detroit currently leads the Royals by only half a game. And it looks to end its current two-game skid as it comes into Kansas City today in that series’ first game. This weekend’s series looks to be a close one as the Royals and Tigers are evenly matched. Detroit is 43 – 35 on the road while Kansas City is 41 – 36 at home. Interestingly enough, Kansas City is 4 – 6 in its last 10 games while Detroit is 7 – 3 in its last 10 games. Dan Shulman and company will be on hand for tonight’s broadcast. Hakem Dermish and analysts Alex Cora and Mark Mulder will have all the latest from around the league before the game at 7pm ET on Baseball Tonight. Fans can also catch the series’ second game live Saturday on their local ESPN Radio affiliate. Jon Sciambi will have the call for that game. He will be joined by Jim Bowden for additional commentary. The duo will also have full coverage of Sunday night’s game between the Cardinals and Reds.

More information on this weekend’s MLB coverage is available online at

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Tigers Host Giants Live Sunday On ESPN’s SNB Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will come live from Motown this Sunday night.

The Detroit Tigers will host the San Francisco Giants live on ESPN this Sunday night in the third game of a three-game series between the teams. ESPN’s Dan Shulman will anchor Sunday night’s broadcast. He will be joined by analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney for additional commentary throughout the game. As with each week’s broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell, Sunday’s telecast will be preceded by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7pm ET. MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin will join host Karl Ravech for the show.

This weekend’s inter-league matchup will prove to be an interesting one for both teams as the Tigers have proven so far this season to be better on the road than at home. The team is 35 – 30 at home but 42 – 33 on the road. However, it is coming into tonight’s game on the heels of an 11 – 4 drubbing of Cleveland yesterday at home, giving the team even more motivation going into this weekend’s series as it hosts the Giants. San Francisco will pose its own threat for the Tigers this weekend. It has proven to be almost as good on the road as it is at home going 38 – 33 at home and 38 – 31 on the road so far this season. San Francisco comes into tonight’s game after having a day to rest up yesterday following Wednesday’s 9 – 2 loss to Colorado. So the team will be ready to go against Detroit.

Sunday night’s game is the third in a three-game series between the Tigers and Giants. The series’ first game is tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7:08pm ET. Game two is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. It is currently expected to start at 1:08pm ET. ESPN Radio will have full coverage of the game beginning at 12:30pm ET.

Anyone that is not near a TV Sunday night can still catch the game live on ESPN Radio. Spanish-speaking audiences can also catch Sunday’s broadcast live on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.

More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN, Verizon Sign New Deal For SEC Network Broadcasts

Courtesy:  ESPN/SEC Network

Courtesy: ESPN/SEC Network

ESPN and Verizon have signed a new television deal.

The deal between ESPN and Verizon will allow Verizon to carry its brand new SEC Network on Verizon’s FiOS platform.  The terms of the deal will allow the SEC Network to air on Verizon FiOS beginning before August 28th.  Verizon customers in Florida and Texas that already receive ESPN as aprt of their FiOS TV package will be able to get the SEC Network on channels 75 and 575.  FiOS subscribers in all other markets who already receive FiOS Extreme and Ultimate will be able to pick up the SEC network on Channnel 75 upon the network’s launch through FiOS.

Terry Denson, Verizon’s VP for content acquisition and strategy, was optimistic about the new deal between Verizon and ESPN.  He noted the predictions for SEC teams in a number of preseason polls and ratings for SEC football games as reasons for Verizon’s deal with ESPN.  “We welcome the SEC Network to FiOS TV and look forward to carrying the studio content and athletic events it will offer, including the season-opening football doubleheader on Aug. 28,” he said.  “The preseason college poll lists eight SEC teams in the top 25; SEC football ratings are head and shoulders above other conferences; and SEC fans are extraordinarily and uniquely passionate about not only those teams but the entire conference as well. This deal with Disney-ESPN reinforces our already strong partnership with them which involves much more than this great new network.”

Sean Breen, Senior VP of affiliate sales for Disney and ESPN Media Networks also discussed the deal, noting that the deal means an even broader swatch of audiences will be able to receive the SEC Network.  “With the addition of Verizon FiOS, SEC Network is now available on nine of the top 10 multichannel video distributors in the country,” he said.  We look forward to serving their customers in time for college football season.”

Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Thought, it is known that included in the deal is the rights to the FiOS Mobile app as well as live-viewing rights and additional live and on-demand content scheduled for both the SEC Network and various mobile platforms via WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com.  The FiOS mobile app will be available to FiOS customers in the near future.

More information on the SEC Network, its broadcast schedule and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/SECNetwork and http://getsecnetwork.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Fitz And The Tantrums Kick Off ESPN Networks’ US Open Coverage

Courtesy:  Elektra Records

Courtesy: Elektra Records

Fitz and the Tantrums will be live at the U.S. Open next Monday, August 25th.

The hit pop group will kick off the ESPN networks’ coverage of the U.S. Open Monday night with a special live performance as part of the annual tournament’s opening festivities. The group is scheduled to perform at 7:45pm ET on ESPN2. The group has posted a video to YouTube to tease its upcoming live performance. It can be viewed online now here.

More information on this and every upcoming live performances by Fitz and The Tantrums can be viewed along with all of the latest news from the group online now at http://www.facebook.com/fitzandthetantrums and http://fitzandthetantrums.com. More Than Just a Dream, the group’s latest full length release, is available now in stores and online. It can be downloaded via iTunes now at https://smarturl.it/fitzdream. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.