Mendoza, ESPN Reach Contract Extension Agreement

Courtesy: ESPN

Another member of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team will be back with the group this spring.

Jessica Mendoza reached a new multi-year contract extension with ESPN this week.  The announcement came only a day after fellow ESPN MLB broadcast team member and MLB vet Mark Teixeira was announced to return.

Mendoza said in a news release from the network that she is glad the two sides came to terms on the contract.

“I’m beyond excited to continue to contribute analysis to ESPN’s signature MLB platform — Sunday Night Baseball — alongside Alex Rodriguez, Matt Vasgersian and Buster Olney,” Mendoza said.  “I look forward to continue helping grow the sports of softball and Major League Baseball through our second-to-none coverage by utilizing cool technology, offering exciting insights and doing it all with passion.”

ESPN Senior Vice President of Production and Remote Events Mark Gross shared Mendoza’s thoughts.

“Jessica’s preparation, expertise and work ethic are among the many attributes that make us proud to have this trailblazer with us for years to come,” Gross said.  “She forms tremendous relationships in the sports with executives, managers and players, and those connections help us inform our telecasts and make them better.  Her passion for the sport is contagious.”

Mendoza made history in 2015 when she joined ESPN’s SNB broadcast team.  It made her the first woman to ever serve as a national analyst for Major League Baseball games.  She also became the first woman to serve as an analyst for an MLB post season game on Oct. 15 when the Yankees and Astros faced off in the American League Wildcard Game live from Yankee Stadium.

According to ESPN’s news release, Mendoza is considered “one of America’s greatest softball players.”  A graduate of Stanford University, she holds records in categories, such as batting average, hits, runs, home runs stolen bases and slugging percentage.

She helped lead the U.S. Softball team to gold in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.  She also won a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Additionally, she will be inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame next year as a member of the class of 2019.

Along with her continued duties on SNB, she will also make appearances on ESPN’s MLB studio program Baseball Tonight, and will make regular appearances on SportsCenter and Get Up! according to the network’s release.

More information on this and other news from ESPN is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

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ESPN Inks Deal With Champion For MLS Broadcasts

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added a famous new name to its Major League Soccer broadcast staff.

British broadcaster Jon Champion will be the new play-by-play voice for the network’s MLS coverage.  Champion has become one of the most well-known and respected soccer anchors overseas thanks to his coverage of the English Premiere League and various other top global football events over the past 30 years.

Champion will take the reins of the network’s MLS coverage beginning with the 2019 season.  He will be joined by top analyst Taylor Twellman to round out the network’s team.

Champion said in an interview that he is looking forward to taking the next step in his broadcasting career.

“I am thrilled to be joining ESPN on a full-time basis to cover MLS and the other soccer properties now in the company’s growing portfolio,” Champion said. “It’s a big adventure to move my family to the U.S., and a personal personal challenge after more than 30 years covering the sport in Europe.  I’ve really enjoyed working on MLS on my frequent visits, and now I get the chance to call the matches on a weekly basis and to relate the whole story as the league enters an exciting phase of its development.”

He added, “I’m also looking forward to working with Taylor Twellman, who has carved out such a strong reputation as an analyst.  Taylor and I have had great fun when we’ve worked together in the past, and it will be great to develop that rapport further.”

ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer Amy Rosenfeld shared her excitement about Champion’s addition to the network’s on-air roster.

“Jon is one of the most beloved voices in soccer, so we are thrilled that fans in the U.S. who have enjoyed his commentary during major global tournaments on ESPN will now have the opportunity to hear him weekly on Major League Soccer.”

Champion’s new contract marks his second run with ESPN.  He previously worked for ESPN UK as the network’s lead football commentator, covering the English Premiere League, UEFA Europa League and the FA Cup Final from 2009-’13.

He joined ESPN in the United States in 2014 as play-by-play commentator for the World Cup in Brazil. the broadcast was Champion’s first international soccer event for an American audience.  The result of that work led to work on the 2016 UEFA European Championship in France, UEFA’s World Cup Qualifying matches and the 2017 International Champions Cup (ICC), during which he served as the English-language voice of El Clasico Miami, the first-ever meeting in North America between Spain’s Barcelona FC and Real Madrid.

Champion also called the FIFA World Cup in South Africa while on loan from ESPN.  He was joined by ESPN FC analyst and former Scotland National player Craig Burley for the tournament’s coverage.  It was one of eight FIFA World Cup tournaments that Champion covered.

Champion started his broadcasting career with BBC Radio in the 1980s. He covered his first World Cup tournament at the age of 25.  He joined BBC TV’s iconic program Match of the Day in 1995.  In 2001, he moved to ITV, where he called games in the English Premiere League, UEFA Champions League and seven League Cup Finals.

More information on Champion’s addition  to ESPN’s on-air roster is available online now along with all of the latest sports headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Imagine Dragons Tapped To Headline CFB Championship Halftime

ESPN has announced the halftime entertainment for the College Football National Championship.

Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons will perform at halftime live from Treasure Island at San Francisco Bay.  Network officials made the announcement Monday. Fans with passes to Treasure Island will get in to the show for free. A trailer for the band’s appearance is streaming online now here.

Courtesy: ESPN

According to a news release from ESPN, the band is scheduled to perform a handful of songs from its most recent album Origins.  The band’s performance is just one part of a season-long partnership between ESPN, Interscope Records and Universal Music Group Nashville.That partnership also saw ESPN feature Imagine Dragons’ hit song ‘Natural’ as ESPN’s college football anthem.

This is the second year that ESPN has partnered with Interscope Records for its college football broadcasts.  The network featured Kendrick Lamar as the halftime headliner for last year’s College Football Championship.  Alabama defeated Georgia in overtime in that game, which was watched by 29.9 million viewers, making it the second most watched cable presentation ever.

More information on ESPN’s College Football Championship coverage is available online now along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/college-football

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espncfb

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The ACC Network Is Coming

Courtesy: ESPN

The ACC Network is going to become a reality next year.

ESPN announced this week that it will launch its new college sports network Aug. 22.  The network’s first college football broadcast will feature Georgia Tech on the road against Clemson on Aug. 29 for a Thursday night showdown.

According to a news release from ESPN, the ACC Network is expected to broadcast 1,300 live ACC events annually on its TV and digital platforms.  Those events will come from all 15 of the conference’s schools and 27 sponsored sports.

ESPN President and Disney Media Networks Co-Chairman James Pitaro said he is optimistically anticipating the network’s launch.

“With just under nine months until launch, we are all systems go with ACC Network preparations,” Pitaro said.  “The strength of the season-opening game between Georgia Tech and Clemson is indicative of the robust schedule and programming we have planned for ACC fans.”

ACC Commissioner John Swofford echoed Pitaro’s comments in a prepared statement.

“We continue to look ahead to the launch of the ACC Network with great anticipation,” Swofford said.  “Showcasing all of our outstanding programs remains a top priority, and our partnership with ESPN allows fans to have greater access than ever before.  I also commend our schools, who have done an outstanding job in their preparations for a successful launch.”

The ACC Network’s first TV spot is scheduled to air live Dec. 1 during the Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship game.  The game is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

More information on the ACC Network is available online now at http://www.getaccn.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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Networks Announce Broadcast Schedule For Week 11 Of College Football’s 2018 Season

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced its broadcast schedule for Week 11 of the 2018 college football season.

This week’s schedule features a number of games that have major playoff implications.  One of the most notable of the week’s games is an ACC matchup between undefeated No. 2 Clemson and No. 22 Boston College.  The headlining Saturday Night Football game is scheduled to air live at 8 p.m. Saturday on ABC.

ESPN’s College GameDay Built by the Home Depot will set up the game Saturday morning starting at 9 a.m.  It will broadcast live from the campus of Boston College.  Saturday’s broadcast marks the first time since 2009 that College GameDay Built by the Home Depot has aired from Boston College.

The Eagles are 4-1 in ACC play and second to Clemson in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.  The matchup is critical in Clemson’s search for a division (and conference) title, and for the team’s hopes for a spot in this year’s College Football playoffs.

Other key matchups featured in this week’s schedule are No. 7 Oklahoma taking on Oklahoma State at 3:30 p.m. on ABC and No. 8 Washington State on the road against Colorado at the same time on ESPN.  Both games have their own importance to this year’s college football playoffs impacts.

Also, if the Sooners and Cougars each win their games, they will play in their respective conference title games.  A win for either team additionally puts each group in good position to be considered for the playoffs.

Georgia hosts Auburn at 7 p.m. on ESPN in yet another key matchup for Week 11. ESPN2 will feature yet another big game at noon as UCF and Navy (AAC) face off in Florida.  The Knights have the nation’s longest winning streak while the Midshipmen are coming off a loss to Cincinnati in Week 10, so they will be hungry to get back in the “W” column, and to stop the Knights’ streak.

The full schedule of this week’s games is noted below.

Date

Time (ET)

 Matchups/Commentators

Network

Tue, Nov 6

7:30 p.m.

Kent State at Buffalo

Kevin Brown, Ray Bentley

ESPNU

Wed, Nov 7

7 p.m.

Ohio  at Miami (Ohio)

Matt Barrie, Rocky Boiman

ESPN2

8 p.m.

Toledo at Northern Illinois

Chris Cotter, Desmond Howard

ESPNU

 Thu, Nov 8

7 p.m.

North Carolina Central at Bethune-Cookman

Tiffany Greene, Jay Walker

ESPNU

7:30 p.m.

Wake Forest at No. 21 NC State

Dave Flemming, Tim Hasselbeck/Matt Hasselbeck, Laura Rutledge

Radio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Ian Fitzsimmons

ESPN/ESPN Radio

Fri, Nov 9

7 p.m.

Louisville at No. 19 Syracuse

Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer, Olivia Dekker

ESPN2

 

10:15 p.m.

No. 23 Fresno State at Boise State

Mike Couzens, Kirk Morrison, Alyssa Lang

ESPN2

Sat, Nov 10

Noon

Wisconsin at No. 14 Penn State

Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Molly McGrath

ABC

 

South Carolina at Florida

Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill

ESPN

 

Navy at No. 12 UCF

Anish Shroff, Ahmad Brooks, Roddy Jones

ESPN2

 

Tulsa at Memphis

Mike Corey, Rene Ingoglia

ESPNU

 

Vanderbilt at Missouri

Dave Neal, DJ Shockley, Dawn Davenport

SEC Network

 

SMU at UConn

Drew Fellios, Al Groh

ESPN3

 

Akron at Eastern Michigan 

Dan Gutowsky, Bob Carpenter

ESPN3

 

Coast Guard Academy at Merchant Marine Academy

Robert Lee, Matt Chatham

ESPN3

 

12:20 p.m.

North Carolina at Duke

ACC Network Extra

 

1 p.m.

Troy at Georgia Southern

ESPN+

 

2 p.m.

North Texas at Old Dominion

ESPN3

 

2:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Marshall

ESPN+

 

3 p.m.

Liberty at No. 25 Virginia

ACC Network Extra

 

Middle Tennessee at UTEP

ESPN+

 

Jackson State at Alabama State

ESPN3

 

Bowling Green at Central Michigan

Chris Vosters, Marcus Ray

ESPN+

 

3:30 p.m.

Oklahoma State at No. 7 Oklahoma

Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay

ABC

 

No. 8 Washington State at Colorado

Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard, Allison Williams

ESPN

 

Purdue at Minnesota

Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman

ESPN2

 

Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh

Kevin Brown, Andre Ware

ESPNU

 

Kentucky at Tennessee

Taylor Zarzour, John Congemi, Kris Budden

SEC Network

 

4 p.m.

East Carolina at Tulane

Jay Alter, Dustin Fox

ESPNEWS

 

Appalachian State at Texas State

ESPN3

 

5 p.m.

Georgia State at Louisiana

ESPN+

 

Louisiana-Monroe at South Alabama

ESPN+

 

Arkansas State at Coastal Carolina

ESPN+

 

7 p.m.

Auburn at No. 6 Georgia

Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe

ESPN

 

Miami at Georgia Tech

TV: Clay Matvick, Dan Orlovsky, Paul Carcaterra

Radio: Bill Rosinski, Barrett Jones, Ian Fitzsimmons

ESPN2 and ESPN Radio

 

South Florida at Cincinnati

Bill Roth, Mike Golic Jr.

ESPNU

 

Rice at Louisiana Tech

ESPN+

 

Florida International at UTSA

ESPN+

 

7:30 p.m.

No. 3 LSU at Arkansas

Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic

SEC Network

 

8 p.m.

No. 2 Clemson at No. 22 Boston College

Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor

ABC

 

10:30 p.m.

UNLV at San Diego State

Mark Neely, Ray Bentley, Alex Corddry

ESPN2

 

10:30 PM

California at USC

Adam Amin, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich

ESPN and ESPN Radio

 

Colorado State at Nevada

Roy Philpott, Tom Ramsey

ESPNU

Not all digital games are exclusive

More information on the ESPN networks’ college football coverage is available online along with all of the latest college football news at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/college-football

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espncfb

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces 2018 NBA Pre-Season Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced its early broadcast schedule for its coverage of the NBA’s 2018 pre-season.

The ESPN networks will broadcast five NBA pre-season games, beginning with a Western Conference matchup between the Denver Nuggets (Northwest Division) and the Los Angeles Lakers (Pacific Division) on September 30.  Coverage for that game is currently scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The second game on the schedule — another Western Conference matchup — is scheduled to be broadcast October 5 at 10:30 p.m. ET, also on ESPN.  This time, the Sacramento Kings (Pacific Division) are scheduled to visit fellow Pacific Division foes and defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors in that game.

NBA fans get a double treat on October 10 as ESPN will carry a double header schedule that day.  First up at 8 p.m. ET, the Chicago Bulls will host the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Central Division.  At 10:30 p.m. ET the Lakers play host to the Warriors in the Western Conference Pacific Division.

The Lakers and Warriors play one more time October 12, this time on ESPN2.  Coverage of that game is scheduled to start at 10:30 p.m. ET.

The full broadcast schedule for ESPN’s NBA pre-season is outlined below.  All five games on the schedule will also be simulcast online via the ESPN app.

Full schedule:

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Location

Platform

Sun, Sept. 30

9:30 p.m.

Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers

Valley View Casino Center,

San Diego, Calif.

ESPN, ESPN App

Fri, Oct. 5

10:30 p.m.

Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors

KeyArena, Seattle, Wash.

ESPN, ESPN App

Wed, Oct. 10

8 p.m.

Indiana Pacers at Chicago Bulls

United Center,

Chicago, Ill.

ESPN, ESPN App

10:30 p.m.

Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers

T-Mobile Arena,

Las Vegas, Nev.

ESPN, ESPN App

Fri, Oct. 12

10:30 p.m.

Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors

SAP Center,

San Jose, Calif.

ESPN2, ESPN App

More information on ESPN’s NBA coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNNBA

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Red Sox, Rays Close Out Key Weekend Series Live Sunday On TBS

Courtesy: Turner Sports

The race to Major League Baseball’s 2018 post season is heating up, and this weekend, two American League foes will face off in a three-game series with serious playoff implications for both teams that culminates Sunday on TBS.

The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays face off in a three-game series that launches Friday night.  The series is critical for both teams as Boston (currently 89-39 on the season) looks to extend its lead both in the American League and major League Baseball’s overall standings.

The Rays (66-61) meanwhile will be fighting for their playoff lives as they are just above the American League’s cut line right now for the post season.  this is despite being third overall in the American League East.

No starting pitcher has been named yet for the Rays for Sunday’s series closer on TBS at the time of this posting.  That name will likely be announced very soon.  Nathan Eovaldi (5-5) is expected to get the start for Boston.

Eovaldi’s last time on the mound was August 21 against Cleveland.  The Indians won that game 6-3, with Eovaldi taking the loss for Boston.  Eovaldi struggled in the game, allowing four runs on 10 hits, four earned runs, one walk and one home run while striking out only two batters.

Sunday’s series closer (and the weekend’s series in whole) looks to be a big one not just for its playoff implications for both teams but because of the teams’ records.  Tampa Bay, who will play host to the Red Sox for the series, is currently in the midst of a four-game in streak and is 6-4 in its last 10 games.  The team also has proven to be far better at home this season than on the road, having gone 37-24 at home so far this season versus its far more dismal 29-37 road record.

Boston meanwhile is also 6-4 in its last 10 games, and just got back in the “W” column Wednesday after dropping two to Cleveland August 20 and 21.  Last weekend though, the Red Sox took two of three from the Rays in another of the teams’ showdowns, adding even more interest and importance to this weekend’s series.

Coverage of Sunday’s game on TBS currently scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET.  Ernie Johnson will have the call.  He will be joined in the booth by analyst Ron Darling for additional commentary.

More information on TBS’ Major League Baseball coverage is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.tbs.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TBSNetwork

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tbsnetwork

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.