Michael McCarthy

Quarantines And Room Service: Inside NBA Bubble With Malika Andrews

  • Up to 10 NBA reporters must pay $550 a day to live and work inside the bubble for three months.
  • ESPN's Andrews says testing and safety protocols are all top-notch.

[Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the number of days Andrews was quarantined for once she entered the bubble. It was four days, not seven.] The first glimpse ESPN reporter Malika Andrews saw of the NBA’s ‘bubble’ was the sight of Walt Disney World rides listlessly moving back and forth – with no passengers. As the sole potential customer at a Disney theme park, Andrews thought she was either experiencing a child’s wildest dreams, or trapped in […]

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World TeamTennis Brings In New Sponsors Thanks To Return To Play Plan

  • WTT’s 2020 season will be played entirely at The Greenbrier from July 12-Aug. 2.
  • CEO Carlos Silva says picking The Greenbrier as the sole location pushed some sponsors off the fence.

Tennis fans have been starved for live-action. And so have corporate sponsors trying to reach the sport’s affluent audience.  Despite the coronavirus pandemic, World TeamTennis (WTT) is poised to announce a blue-chip lineup of corporate sponsors for its 2020 season, which will be played at luxury resort The Greenbrier from July 12-Aug. 2. WTT Chief Executive Officer Carlos Silva told Front Office Sports that it has secured several category-specific sponsorships for the league’s 45th season. Those include: Wilson (official racket […]

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UFC’s ‘Fight Island’ Could Become Basketball or Soccer Island

  • Before the first strike is thrown at UFC 251, Abu Dhabi tourism officials are already talking about holding other international sporting events on Yas Island.
  • Fight Island will cost less than the $150 million NBA ‘Bubble’ at Walt Disney World Orlando, say officials.

The return of live sports during the coronavirus pandemic will face another big test as the UFC’s long-awaited ‘Fight Island’ becomes a reality this weekend. The human-made Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates’ capital city of Abu Dhabi will host UFC 251 and three ESPN Fight Night events from July 11-26. Within the island, the UFC and UAE officials have closed off a roughly 11km-long “safe zone” from the public, including hotels, restaurants, and training facilities.  Fight Island represents […]

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Colin Kaepernick Signs Partnership Deal with Disney, ESPN

  • Disney's first-look deal extends across all platforms, including ESPN, Walt Disney TV, Hulu, Pixar and The Undefeated.
  • Kaepernick has asked ex-ESPN anchor Jemele Hill to work alongside ESPN Films as a producer on his life story.

While Colin Kaepernick’s future on the football field remains to be seen, the former NFL quarterback who has inspired thousands of athletes to take a knee for social justice is evolving into a growing media brand. On July 6, the Walt Disney Co. announced a first-look production deal with Kaepernick and his production arm Ra Vision Media. That will include ESPN Films producing an exclusive docuseries on his life. The first-look deal extends across all Walt Disney platforms, including Walt […]

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TNT’s Kenny Smith Says It’s ‘Inevitable’ He’ll Leave TV For Front Office

  • Co-star of ‘Inside the NBA’ created a ‘virtual’ basketball academy during the pandemic.
  • Smith hopes to sign up 1 million customers worldwide for the new ‘Jet Academy.’

Kenny “The Jet” Smith has always been entrepreneurial. Rather than taking it easy during the coronavirus pandemic, he created a “virtual” basketball academy for kids featuring real NBA and WNA stars. His new online basketball camp, “The Jet Academy,” is set to take flight July 20. The co-star of Turner Sports’ “Inside the NBA” will host live weekly online sessions with NBA stars Kemba Walker, Trae Young, and Victor Oladipo as well as the WNBA’s Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and […]

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Jason Whitlock Drives New Readers To Rebranded Outkick

  • Whitlock attracted 3 million unique visitors in just 10 days - crashing the website.
  • New Operating Partner Sam Savage predicts 7 million uniques in June, 15 million in July, and 100,000 VIP subscribers by the end of the year.

Digital media executive Sam Savage got a surprising endorsement of his decision to invest in Clay Travis’ Outkick media company on what should have been a sleepy summer Friday. Newly hired columnist and equity partner Jason Whitlock attracted so many readers that he crashed its website on June 26. Within hours, the site was back up. But Savage was shocked Whitlock’s debut content helped drive 3 million unique visits in 10 days.  “There’s been so much traffic it’s been insane,” […]

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Q&A: Jemele Hill Opens Up on Bubba Wallace, NFL Protests, and ESPN

  • Regardless of FBI’s Wallace investigation, ‘racism in NASCAR is an issue,’ warns Hill.
  • Once games return, Hill expects players from multiple sports to kneel for racial justice.

Jemele Hill has become a multimedia brand since leaving ESPN nearly two years ago. She serves as a contributing writer for The Atlantic and hosts a weekly podcast on Spotify dubbed “Jemele Hill is Unbothered.” In April she launched a podcast devoted to the HBO drama, “The Wire,” for Bill Simmons’ The Ringer. This summer, she and former ESPN colleague Cari Champion will co-star in a weekly Vice TV talk show called, “Disruptors with Jemele Hill and Cari Champion.”  Along […]

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NFL TV Partners Debate Showing Player Protests

  • TV coverage of NFL protests dropped the last few years. This season, will the NFL's TV partners largely show it or cut to commercial?
  • Jemele Hill warns it would be ‘journalistically irresponsible’ for news networks not to cover breaking news.

It appears to be a given that many NFL players will protest against racial inequality during the playing of the U.S. national anthem and presentation of the American flag during the 2020 season.  The question now is: Will the NFL’s TV partners cover these protests live on the air, or will they cut to commercials and mostly ignore kneeling players as they have the past two seasons?   That strategic question is being debated behind the scenes at NBC Sports, CBS […]

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Bleacher Report Sees Shakeup As CEO Howard Mittman Departs

  • Daniels is assuming business control of Bleacher Report from CEO Howard Mittman, who's leaving the company
  • Under new interim management structure, Turner doesn't currently plan to replace Mittman as CEO

Bleacher Report CEO Howard Mittman is leaving the company, according to sources. Turner Sports President Lenny Daniels is taking over business control of Bleacher Report, and there are no current plans to replace Mittman as CEO.  Under the new interim management structure, Bleacher Report COO Alex Vargas and CMO Ed Romaine will directly report to Tina Shah, Turner’s senior vice president of business affairs. Shah and B/R Chief Content Officer Sam Toles will report to Daniels. On the revenue side, Bleacher […]

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DAZN Expected To Triple Bundesliga Rights in Europe

  • DAZN expected to stream three Bundesliga matches per week from 2021-2025
  • Under four-year deal, DAZN expected to land exclusive rights to Friday and Sunday matches

DAZN is poised to make another big move in international sports media rights. German soccer league Bundesliga is expected to announce Monday that DAZN will start showing three matches per week from 2021-2025, according to sources. Under the four-year deal, DAZN is poised to land exclusive rights to Friday night and Sunday afternoon Bundesliga matches in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  The deal is expected to triple DAZN’s Bundesliga portfolio, said sources. It could mark the largest package of domestic football […]

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