18721  EAST RUTHERFORD,NJ  11/07/04 NFL FOOTBALL /  NY GIANTS VS CHICAGO BEARS:   Giants QB #13 Kurt Warner during warm ups nest to backups #3 Jesse Palmer and #10 Eli Manning  -Thomas E. Franklin / The Record

EAST RUTHERFORD,NJ  11/07/04 NY GIANTS VS CHICAGO BEARS:   Giants QB #13 Kurt Warner during warm ups nest to backups #3 Jesse Palmer and #10 Eli Manning

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College football analyst Jesse Palmer to host ‘The Bachelor’

Jesse Palmer, most recently of ESPN college football analyst fame, has been tabbed to host season 26 of “The Bachelor,” the reality show he once participated with in the titular role.

He will serve as host for the 2022 season with a network option to renew after that.

“Falling in love is one of life’s greatest gifts, and I am humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host,” Palmer said.

Palmer, 42, was a University of Florida quarterback drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft. As a professional, Palmer played in eight games, completing 52.5 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and four interceptions.

He then appeared on “The Bachelor” during its fifth season in 2004.

More recently, he has served as a college football analyst with ESPN, and that deal has also been re-upped. He’s been with ESPN since 2007.

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; ESPN analyst Tim Tebow looks on before the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Tebow, Michael Irvin join ESPN’s ‘First Take’

After a failed tight end experiment in Jacksonville, Tim Tebow joins the cast of ESPN’s reformatted “First Take.”

The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and former New York Mets minor leaguer will talk college football with host Stephen A. Smith on Fridays.

Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin will be in the hot seat opposite Smith for NFL debates on Mondays.

ESPN announced the updates on Thursday, with the new format set to begin Sept. 6.

“This new format will pair Smith with new voices and perspectives every day of the week who will challenge him on their specific area of expertise in a completely new way,” senior coordinating producer Antoine Lewis said in a news release.

Tebow, 34, was released by the Jaguars on Aug. 17, ending his bid to return to the NFL after an eight-year absence. He has previously worked for ESPN as a college football analyst.

Irvin, 55, won three Super Bowl rings and caught 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns with the Dallas Cowboys from 1988-99.

Previous “First Take” host Max Kellerman’s last episode with the series was on Wednesday. He is joining ESPN Radio’s morning show alongside Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN signs Alex Smith to 1-year deal as NFL analyst

Former Pro Bowl quarterback Alex Smith is joining ESPN on a one-year deal as an NFL analyst.

In a move designed to test the waters for both sides, Smith will contribute to SportsCenter, Monday Night Countdown and Sunday NFL Countdown. ESPN announced the move Monday.

“I’m trying to balance this next phase with my family and ESPN was so open to the fact that they were going to kind of design something specifically for me in that sense, where I could get to do a lot of different things, which I wanted,” Smith told The Washington Post. “It was a no-brainer for me.”

Smith, 37, reportedly had tryouts with CBS and FOX to be an in-game booth analyst.

“I met with all the networks and did all the interviews,” Smith told The Kansas City Star. “I kind of just wanted to investigate.”

Smith retired in April after 16 years in the league. He finished his career with Washington, leading the team to the playoffs more than two years after suffering a devastating leg injury in Week 11 of the 2018 season. He required 17 surgeries to save his leg, repair the injury and fight a life-threatening infection.

Smith was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2020 after winning five of his six starts for Washington. He completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by San Francisco, Smith was 99-67-1 as a starter in the regular season and passed for 35,650 yards and 199 touchdowns in 174 games with the 49ers (2005-12), Kansas City Chiefs (2013-17) and Washington.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Alex Smith joins ESPN as NFL analyst

Former Pro Bowl quarterback Alex Smith has joined ESPN as an NFL analyst, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

Smith, 37, will contribute to NFL shows across the network at the outset versus jumping in full time, per the report. The role could grow over time, if both sides agree.

Smith also had tryouts with FOX and CBS to be a game-day booth analyst, but FOX hired Mark Sanchez while CBS elected not to replace Rich Gannon, per the report.

Smith retired in April after 16 years in the league. He finished his career with Washington, leading WFT to the playoffs more than two years after suffering a devastating leg injury in Week 11 of the 2018 season. He required 17 surgeries to save his leg, repair the injury and fight a life-threatening infection.

Smith was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2020 after winning five of his six starts for Washington. He completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by San Francisco, Smith was 99-67-1 as a starter and passed for 35,650 yards and 199 touchdowns in 174 games with the 49ers (2005-12), Kansas City Chiefs (2013-17) and Washington.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III (3) rushes the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Griffin III joins ESPN as football analyst

Former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III joined ESPN as a college football and NFL analyst, signing a multi-year contract on Thursday.

In his new role, Griffin will call a college football game on ESPN or ABC every week of the season and “contribute to the network’s coverage of the College Football Playoff, Super Bowl and other major events.”

NFL Network reported that Griffin’s deal will include a clause that would allow him to pursue a return to the NFL should he have the opportunity. Most recently, Griffin served as Lamar Jackson’s backup with the Baltimore Ravens, starting one game apiece in 2019 and 2020.

“College football has always been an integral part of my life, first as a kid watching it, then as a young man playing it,” Griffin said in a statement. “Some of my greatest sports memories come from my collegiate days surrounded by the pageantry, the traditions and the passion of the fans. College football is life-changing for many and I will always look back on my time playing it with tremendous gratitude.”

Griffin won the Heisman in 2011 while starring for Baylor. He passed for 4,293 yards, 37 touchdowns and six interceptions while beating out Stanford’s Andrew Luck for the honor.

The No. 2 overall draft pick in 2012, Griffin played three seasons for Washington and one for the Cleveland Browns before finding his way to the Ravens. He won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 and led Washington to the playoffs before a knee injury set his career on a different trajectory.

In seven NFL seasons, Griffin played in 56 games, starting 42. He threw for 9,271 yards, 43 touchdowns and 30 interceptions with a 63.0 percent completion rate. Griffin also ran for 1,809 yards and 10 touchdowns.

For ESPN, Griffin’s hiring comes on the heels of the sports media giant reaching an agreement with Peyton and Eli Manning to take turns starring in an alternate broadcast of “Monday Night Football” for the next three seasons.

–Field Level Media

OU's DaShaun White (23) and Delarrin Turner-Yell (32) bring down Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) during the Sooners' 53-45 win in Dallas on Oct. 10, 2020.

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Big 12 sends ESPN cease-and-desist letter over alleged meddling

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby alleged in a cease-and-desist letter that ESPN reached out to at least one of the conference’s member institutions to try to convince it to leave the league.

The letter was leaked to media outlets Wednesday in the wake of Texas and Oklahoma formally applying for membership in the Southeastern Conference a day earlier.

Bowlsby alleged that the sports media giant “has taken certain actions that are intended to not only harm the Big 12 Conference but to result in financial benefits for ESPN.”

Bowlsby wrote, in part, to Burke Magnus, ESPN’s president of programming and original content, “The Big 12 Conference demands that ESPN immediately cease and desist all actions that may harm the Conference and its members and that it not communicate with the Big 12 Conference’s existing Members or any other NCAA Conference regarding the Big 12 Conference’s Members, possible conference realignment, or potential financial incentives or outcomes related to possible conference realignment.”

ESPN responded to the allegations in a brief statement: “The claims in the letter have no merit.”

Only eight universities would remain in the Big 12 if and when Texas and Oklahoma are granted membership in the SEC. The Big 12 may not have long-term standing as a power conference as a result, and ESPN and other media partners in turn may be incentivized to restructure their future partnerships with the Big 12 and other conferences.

Bowlsby told CBS Sports that ESPN actively tried to “pursue” three to five members of the Big 12 to join the American Athletic Conference, long seen as the sixth-best college football conference behind the power five leagues. The AAC had no comment on the allegation, the Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Feb 29, 2020; College Park, Maryland, USA;  American sports broadcaster Rece Davis stand curtsied before the between the Maryland Terrapins and the Michigan State Spartans is at XFINITY Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Rece Davis signs contract to remain with ESPN

Dec 29, 2020; San Antonio, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman is being interviewed during the first half against the Colorado Buffaloes at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rece Davis is staying with ESPN and will continue to host “College GameDay,” the network announced Monday.

Davis, 55, signed a multiyear deal. Length and financial terms were not announced.

Davis has been with the network for more than 25 years and will begin his seventh season as host of football’s “College GameDay” this fall. He also will host coverage of events such as the NFL Draft on ABC and the College Football Playoff National Championship game, with play-by-play duties mixed in.

He also will continue to host “College GameDay” during basketball season, and this summer, will host the UEFA European Football Championship.

“I’m extremely grateful to ESPN and pleased to continue working with my extraordinarily talented colleagues and friends on all of these remarkable projects,” Davis said. “I get to cover the sports I am most passionate about with people who care deeply not only about the show, but the sports themselves. That is what makes our place special, and it’s something I never take for granted.”

Davis is a two-time Sports Emmy Award nominee.

–Field Level Media

Aug 31, 2018; Madison, WI, USA; ESPN College Football logo on a tv camera prior to the game between the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Canceled bowl games cost ESPN estimated $21.7M

ESPN will lose an estimated $21.7 million in advertising revenue due to the 14 bowl games it lost due to COVID-19 issues, according to a report by Front Office Sports.

The network broadcast 36 of 41 bowl games last season, averaging 5.7 million viewers per game.

Based on 2019-20 figures, the biggest advertising losses this year are:

–Pinstripe Bowl, ESPN: $3.1 million
–Las Vegas Bowl, ABC: $3 million
–Guaranteed Rate Bowl, ESPN: $2.6 million
–Quick Lane Bowl, ESPN: $2 million

It continues to be a difficult year for ESPN, which has been hit hard since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Subscribers are down 6 percent and the company laid off hundreds of employees earlier this year.

Earlier this month, ESPN and the Southeastern Conference announced a 10-year deal beginning in 2024 that will make the network the exclusive rights holder of the league’s football and men’s basketball games.

Though terms were not disclosed, ESPN’s annual fee is expected to be in the low $300-million range. The SEC currently received $55 million from CBS as part of a deal that was made in 1996 and runs through the 2023 season.

–Field Level Media

Aug 31, 2018; Madison, WI, USA; ESPN College Football logo on a tv camera prior to the game between the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Canceled bowl games cost ESPN estimated $21.7M

ESPN will lose an estimated $21.7 million in advertising revenue due to the 14 bowl games it lost due to COVID-19 issues, according to a report by Front Office Sports.

The network broadcast 36 of 41 bowl games last season, averaging 5.7 million viewers per game.

Based on 2019-20 figures, the biggest advertising losses this year are:

–Pinstripe Bowl, ESPN: $3.1 million
–Las Vegas Bowl, ABC: $3 million
–Guaranteed Rate Bowl, ESPN: $2.6 million
–Quick Lane Bowl, ESPN: $2 million

It continues to be a difficult year for ESPN, which has been hit hard since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Subscribers are down 6 percent and the company laid off hundreds of employees earlier this year.

Earlier this month, ESPN and the Southeastern Conference announced a 10-year deal beginning in 2024 that will make the network the exclusive rights holder of the league’s football and men’s basketball games.

Though terms were not disclosed, ESPN’s annual fee is expected to be in the low $300-million range. The SEC currently received $55 million from CBS as part of a deal that was made in 1996 and runs through the 2023 season.

–Field Level Media

Aug 31, 2018; Madison, WI, USA; ESPN College Football logo on a tv camera prior to the game between the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Canceled bowl games cost ESPN estimated $21.7M

ESPN will lose an estimated $21.7 million in advertising revenue due to the 14 bowl games it lost due to COVID-19 issues, according to a report by Front Office Sports.

The network broadcast 36 of 41 bowl games last season, averaging 5.7 million viewers per game.

Based on 2019-20 figures, the biggest advertising losses this year are:

–Pinstripe Bowl, ESPN: $3.1 million
–Las Vegas Bowl, ABC: $3 million
–Guaranteed Rate Bowl, ESPN: $2.6 million
–Quick Lane Bowl, ESPN: $2 million

It continues to be a difficult year for ESPN, which has been hit hard since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Subscribers are down 6 percent and the company laid off hundreds of employees earlier this year.

Earlier this month, ESPN and the Southeastern Conference announced a 10-year deal beginning in 2024 that will make the network the exclusive rights holder of the league’s football and men’s basketball games.

Though terms were not disclosed, ESPN’s annual fee is expected to be in the low $300-million range. The SEC currently received $55 million from CBS as part of a deal that was made in 1996 and runs through the 2023 season.

–Field Level Media