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#pounditTuesday, November 30, 2021

Articles tagged: NBC

Oops! TV viewers get Spanish version of Steelers-Seahawks game on NBC

NBC Sunday Night Football in Spanish

Some viewers of NBC’s broadcast of “Sunday Night Football” this week got a bit of a surprise.

During the first half of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Seattle Seahawks showdown, many watching on television tweeted that they were receiving the audio for the game in Spanish.

While it is unclear how widespread the issue was, some viewers reported that they were receiving the Spanish feed in New Orleans. Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand also shared a video of a message running across the broadcast in the affected area acknowledging and apologizing for the error.

Cox Customer Care tweeted that they were working to resolve the issue.

Interestingly enough, some viewers during last week’s broadcast of “Sunday Night Football” also reported having a very similar issue, apparently in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. These viewers tweeted that Spanish audio could be heard in the background of the main broadcast.

The issue appears to have gotten worse during this week’s broadcast, as the Spanish audio had replaced the actual game audio entirely instead of just being audible in the background. This is just the latest in what has already been an error-filled season for NBC and “Sunday Night Football.”

Maria Taylor leaving ESPN, reportedly headed to NBC

Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor finished hosting the NBA Finals for ESPN on Tuesday night, and that will be her last assignment with the network.

Taylor and ESPN both released statements on Wednesday announcing that they could not come to an agreement on a contract extension. ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro thanked Taylor and complimented her on her “remarkable success.” Taylor’s statement also indicated that the split was amicable.

“So thankful to Jimmy and all of my great teammates and friends at the SEC Network, College GameDay, Women’s and Men’s college basketball, and the NBA Countdown family — the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up,” Taylor wrote. “Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”

The statements came not long after Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported that Taylor is leaving ESPN to work for NBC. The 34-year-old is expected to be a part of NBC’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, which begin on Friday.

Marchand says Taylor could also become the host of “Football Night in America” when Mike Tirico takes over for Al Michaels as the play-by-play announcer for “Sunday Night Football.”

Taylor’s days with ESPN appeared to be numbered when she reportedly turned down $5 million per year from the network. She was said to be seeking Stephen A. Smith money, and we recently got a better idea of just how much that would be.

Then on July 4, a private audio recording was leaked to the New York Times of Rachel Nichols suggesting that ESPN stripped her of her contractual NBA Finals hosting role and gave it to Taylor to make up for their past poor record on diversity.

Marchand reports that Nichols will receive consideration to get her former job back as NBA Finals host with ESPN. Nichols illustrated with her recent social media activity that she has received a great deal of backlash over the Taylor controversy.

Report: FOX ends golf TV package, which will go to NBC Sports

Fox Sports

FOX made a big move in the golf world when it signed the rights to televise the US Open and other U.S. Golf Association events beginning in 2015. The contract, which they won in 2013, was for 12 years and $1.2 billion, meaning they were paying $100 million per year. But now FOX is getting out of that deal.

The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported on Sunday night that FOX is getting out of the last seven years of its contract. Instead, NBC Sports will take over.

ESPN and NBC held the USGA rights prior to FOX winning the bid.

NBC Sports (which also owns the Golf Channel) and CBS own the TV rights to the PGA Tour, so this deal seemingly will strengthen NBC Sports’ golf coverage.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the AP says a source told them NBC is getting a discount and the rights for less than half the amount. And no, that old sex talk incident had anything to do with this development.

Drew Brees chooses NBC over ESPN for future broadcasting career

Drew Brees

Drew Brees is planning to launch a career in broadcasting once he is done playing football, and he is the latest big name that ESPN missed out on.

Brees has chosen to sign with NBC Sports over ESPN, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported on Friday. Brees has agreed to a contract with NBC that will begin once he is done playing for the New Orleans Saints, at which point the network could groom him as a potential replacement for “Sunday Night Football” analyst Cris Collinsworth.

“Like all NFL fans, we look forward to watching Drew continue his Hall of Fame career this fall, and we are confident his post-playing career will be just as successful,” NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes told the New York Post.

Brees is expected to begin with NBC as a game analyst for Notre Dame football and a studio analyst on “Football Night in America.” NBC is reportedly planning to have Mike Tirico take over for Al Michaels as its play-by-play announcer following the Super Bowl in 2022, and Brees could partner with Tirico at that point. It’s also possible that Brees and Collinsworth could both be color analysts for NBC if the network adds a second NFL package in the next phase of TV negotiations with the NFL.

Obviously, ESPN appears to once again be the biggest loser in all of this. The network has desperately been looking for a big name to add to its “Monday Night Football” broadcast, and they reportedly made a massive offer to Brees. Marchand reports that ESPN’s offer was in the $6 million range, and Brees gave a counter-offer that ESPN declined. ESPN executives felt the price was too steep and wanted to move forward with a plan that will have a more immediate impact.

ESPN tried to lure Tony Romo away from CBS before the former Dallas Cowboys star signed an extension, and they also made a mammoth offer to Peyton Manning.

There was talk that ESPN could get creative in an attempt to lure Michaels away from NBC, but it is highly unlikely anything will come of that. They will now have to move on to Plan D.

Report: NBC denies ESPN’s request to trade for Al Michaels

Al Michaels

ESPN is looking to make some major upgrades to its NFL broadcasting before next season, but the chances of Al Michaels being a part of those changes looks very slim.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported last week that ESPN executives have dreams of hiring Michaels away from NBC and pairing him with Peyton Manning on “Monday Night Football.” Since Michaels is still under contract with NBC, the only way ESPN would be able to hire him is by offering NBC some sort of compensation. According to a new report from Marchand, NBC is not interested in a trade for its legendary play-by-play man.

ESPN reportedly approached NBC with the idea of talking about a trade package for Michaels, but NBC declined.

“We look forward to Al completing his contract and calling ‘Sunday Night Football’ games on NBC,” NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes told the New York Post.

Michaels, 75, is under contract with NBC through 2022. There’s a good chance Mike Tirico will take over as the lead man on the “Sunday Night Football” broadcast once Michaels’ contract expires, and Tirico could even call some games beginning next season. It’s possible that ESPN could convince NBC to talk trade at some point before then, and Michaels may also choose to sign with ESPN if he becomes a “free agent” in two years and does not want to retire.

While the idea of a trade involving a play-by-play broadcaster seems unusual, it is not unprecedented. When John Madden left ABC’s “Monday Night Football” for NBC in 2006, Michaels informed ABC parent company ESPN that he wanted out of his deal. ESPN released Michaels from his contract, but NBC had to send the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to ESPN as part of the deal. Oswald was the precursor to the creation of Mickey Mouse, and the rights to the character were then owned by NBC’s parent company Universal. The Disney family wanted Oswald back, so the rabbit was included as part of a deal for Michaels.

Even without Michaels, ESPN is not going to give up on pursuing Manning. It’s unclear if Manning has any interest in a career in broadcasting, but he is reportedly being offered an insane amount of money from ESPN.

NBC exec says there will be some gambling references during NFL broadcasts


The NFL and its television partner networks have tried to take a cautious approach since the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting, but one major network is going to allow some gambling talk on the air during the 2019 season.

On Tuesday, an NBC executive said there will continue to be some “somewhat isolated” gambling references during NFL broadcasts this season.

If you remember, CBS told its announcers to avoid gambling references last year just before the NFL season got underway. However, they seem to find a way to trickle out at times on NBC, usually courtesy of Al Michaels.

Fans tend to enjoy when announcers make references to gambling, as many viewers have money on the games or are taking part in pools involving spreads and other Las Vegas odds. Michaels has always had a penchant for mentioning point spreads and betting odds while calling games, and Joe Buck alluded to that while providing some gambling commentary of his own during an NFL game two years ago — even if his reference didn’t make much sense.

While the NFL has called on Congress to regular sports betting, league officials know how important gambling is for ratings and interest. NBC executives know, too.

Viewers confused by yellow TV graphics in Notre Dame-Michigan game

NBC yellow graphics

TV viewers of Saturday’s Michigan-Notre Dame game on NBC threw a flag over the excessive yellow used in the graphics for the game.

Not only was there plenty of yellow on the field between the colors of Michigan and Notre Dame, but there was too much yellow used in the graphics. In addition to Michigan’s score box being colored in yellow, the down and distance box at the bottom of the screen was also in yellow. That caused confusion for fans because it made many think there was a flag thrown on the play.

For most telecasts of football games, the box is typically only colored in yellow to indicate there was a penalty flag on the play. Take a look at all the viewers who said something about it on Twitter:


Mike Tirico reportedly leaving ESPN to join NBC

Mike Tirico

One of ESPN’s longest tenured personalities is reportedly departing the network, with Mike Tirico headed to NBC.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, Tirico, whose ESPN deal ends this summer, will join up with NBC and become the voice of their new “Thursday Night Football” package.

At first glance, it seems like a reduced role for Tirico, who would be leaving behind “Monday Night Football” as well as NBA and college basketball coverage to make the move. Al Michaels is NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” voice, but his contract expires in 2017 and he’s 71 years old, so there may be some succession planning in play here. You can also expect Tirico to be a part of NBC’s PGA Tour coverage.

Tirico has been with the Worldwide Leader since 1991 and has done a little bit of everything for the network, so this will be an enormous loss to ESPN. Sean McDonough is reportedly a leading candidate to replace him on “Monday Night Football.”

Perhaps now that Tirico is moving from basic cable to network television, Kim Kardashian will learn who he is.

NBC pulls ‘Bodies in Motion’ video after receiving backlash

NBC removed a video from its website after receiving criticism for the way the video appears to objectify women.

The video (seen above) is entitled “Bodies in Motion,” and it mostly focuses on specific female body parts. Unsuspecting viewers are greeted with a compilation of clips depicting female athletes often bouncing around in slow motion, with the shots frequently focusing on the women’s backsides and chests.

The tone for the video is set in the first few seconds when a track and field athlete (believed to be Jessica Ennis) is shown stripping off her pants. Couple that with a musical bed in the background more suited for a soft-core adult movie, and the result is a video that seems designed to leave males with their tongues wagging rather than celebrate the athletic prowess of women at the Olympics.

The video, which was heavily criticized by sites like Jezebel and Think Progress, represents a gross departure from the human interest stories and family-friendly broadcast style NBC has embraced throughout the London Games. The realization that this was not the image they wanted to portray, coupled with the backlash they faced, probably led to the removal of the video (the URL now redirects to NBC Olympics’ homepage).

NBC has earned strong ratings throughout the Games, but their telecasts have not gone on without several hitches. The network ran a promo video that spoiled the outcome of a tape-delayed swim meet they were about to air; was criticized for an ill-timed monkey on rings commercial; aired an exposed breast on live TV during a water polo game; and even one of the local affiliates complained about the coverage. Some of those issues were minor or even accidental, but this video was not.

You can bet NBC wished it never published the video.

Of course we at LBS can’t be too critical of NBC; four years ago we created this list and aren’t too proud of it.

H/T Huff Post

NBC apologizes for airing ill-timed commercial of monkey on the rings after Gabby Douglas’ win (Video)

NBC apologized for the timing of one of its commercials that featured a monkey on the Olympic rings. The commercial was promoting NBC’s upcoming sitcom “Animal Practice” and it aired immediately after Bob Costas discussed Gabby Douglas’ gold-medal winning effort in the women’s all-around gymnastics. You can see the awkward segue below:

The poorly-timed commercial received plenty of attention online, and NBC has apologized for it.

“Gabby Douglas’ gold medal performance last night was a historic and inspiring achievement,” NBC said in a statement to the Daily Mail on Friday.

“This spot promoting ‘Animal Practice,’ which has run three times previously, is one in a series with an Olympic theme which have been scheduled for maximum exposure. Certainly no offense was intended.”

It’s rather silly that NBC actually had to apologize for this. The commercial is for a show called ANIMAL PRACTICE and has been running throughout the Olympics. It’s a pure coincidence it aired at that moment and I don’t fault NBC at all. The network has made some mistakes for which they should be blamed, but this was not one of them.