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News: U.S. Open, Chicago, ACC-ESPN, Arizona Bowl



NBC will go with a four-man booth during its broadcast of the U.S. Open, with two teams alternating calling odd and even holes. Plus: Three Chicago teams partner with Standard Media Group for television broadcasts; A South Carolina court rules that the ACC must turn over its ESPN contracts to Clemson; Arizona Bowl inks deal with Snoop Dogg‘s beverage line.

NBC announces broadcast plans for U.S. Open

NBC will roll out a four-man lead broadcast team during its coverage of the U.S. Open next month, the network announced Monday. Lead play-by-play commentator Dan Hicks and analyst Brandel Chamblee will call even numbered holes, while Mike Tirico and analyst Brad Faxon will call odd numbered holes. The decision comes as the network continues its search for a permanent replacement to Paul Azinger after his exit late last year. NBC has tried out a number of analysts in the lead chair this season, including Chamblee and Faxon, but has yet to settle on a permanent successor. Later this summer, English golfer Luke Donald will sit in the lead analyst chair for NBC’s coverage of the Open Championship according to a report in Sports Business Journal on Monday, suggesting NBC may still be weighing its options for the role. (NBC, 5.6) (SBJ, 5.6)

Bulls, Blackhawks, White Sox agree to terms with new broadcaster

Three of the major professional sports franchises in Chicago, the Bulls, Blackhawks, and White Sox, have agreed to a broadcast partnership with Standard Media Group, per The Athletic on Saturday. The agreements will begin in October when the three teams’ current contracts expire with NBC Sports Chicago. Standard Media Group is expected to create a network that will air the three teams and will be “available across ‘multiple platforms,’ including over-the-air and carriage agreements with cable and streaming providers,” per the report. The network will have no affiliation with Stadium, the network owned by Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. (The Athletic, 5.4)

South Carolina court orders ACC to hand over ESPN contracts to Clemson

A South Carolina court ruled Friday that the ACC must turn over documents related to its agreements with ESPN, which Clemson University has requested in a lawsuit against the conference. The ACC will have seven days to produce unredacted versions of the television agreements, though the documents will not be made public. Currently, ACC schools can only view the documents at league headquarters in North Carolina. Clemson’s lawsuit claims that the grant of rights provisions within the conference’s contracts with ESPN are “unenforceable.” The provisions would levy significant exit fees on departing schools. A similar lawsuit was filed in Florida on behalf of Florida State University last month which, if successful, may subject broadcast agreements between conferences and networks to public disclosures. (AP, 5.3)

Arizona Bowl and Snoop Dogg reach sponsorship deal

The Arizona Bowl has reached a sponsorship deal with Snoop Dogg’s beverage line Gin & Juice, Yahoo reported Monday. Previously sponsored by Barstool Sports, the Arizona Bowl is one of the only bowl games not owned and operated by ESPN. Per the report, The Snoop Dogg Arizona Bowl is scheduled for December 28th and will be televised on a network “with wide linear distribution,” though no deal is currently in place. Last year, the Barstool-sponsored version of the event aired on The CW. (Yahoo, 5.6)

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