Sounders FC announces new broadcast talent


soundersSeattle Sounders FC today announced its regional broadcast details for the 2016 Major League Soccer season, highlighted by the unveiling of Keith Costigan and Matt Johnson as the club’s new play-by-play voices for regional television and radio broadcasts, respectively.

Following the strongest regional television ratings in club history – including an 11 percent increase in year-over-year viewership and the highest regional household ratings in MLS throughout 2015 – Sounders FC continues its relationship with Q13 FOX (KCPQ-Channel 13) and JOEtv (KZJO-Channel 22) as the regional television home of the Rave Green.

Additionally, ROOT SPORTS is set to continue as the live out-of-market television home of Sounders FC throughout the Pacific Northwest, with Univision-Seattle (KUNS-TV) returning to provide Spanish-language coverage of the Rave Green in Western Washington. Additionally, Sounders FC continues its agreement with Bonneville Seattle Radio Group, as KIRO Radio 97.3 FM remains the English radio home of the Rave Green, while the club has renewed its Spanish-language radio partnership with El Rey 1360 AM.

“Not only are we proud to announce these agreements with our team of supportive and innovative regional broadcast partners, we’re also thrilled to be adding two incredible play-by-play talents to our broadcast staff in Keith Costigan and Matt Johnson,” said Sounders FC Chief Operating Officer Bart Wiley. “In Keith we’re adding a broadcaster with national and international experience from his time with FOX Sports Media Group, while Matt brings a nuanced understanding of our club from his previous experience with Sounders FC, in addition to an unrivaled background in the Seattle sports scene from the past 20 years in this market.”

For the first time in club history, Sounders FC is airing separate television and radio broadcasts to fans of the Rave Green, having previously simulcast a singular broadcast product. Costigan joins analyst and Sounders FC icon Kasey Keller in the TV booth for all 20 matches airing regionally on Q13 FOX and JOEtv, while Johnson is set to provide radio play-by-play coverage for every fixture on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, in addition to pre and post-match commentary on the club’s regional television broadcasts. Johnson is set to call matches alongside a rotating panel of analysts, including former Sounders Danny Jackson and Wade Webber, in addition to current Seattle University Head Coach Pete Fewing.

An active part of FOX Sports Media Group’s international and domestic soccer coverage, Costigan brings more than 11 years of professional broadcast experience to the CenturyLink Field booth, having worked as a play-by-play commentator, analyst and reporter during that span. Currently Costigan serves in a play-by-play role for FOX’s coverage of the German Bundesliga and UEFA Europa League, in addition to freelance work on Univision’s English-language MLS broadcasts. As a reporter, Costigan has secured exclusive interviews on behalf of FOX Sports with some of the biggest names in global football, including current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, Manchester United and England forward Wayne Rooney and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.

Costigan has also been assigned to onsite coverage of some of world soccer’s biggest events, including the UEFA Champions League and 2012 UEFA European Championship in Poland and Ukraine. A native of Dublin, Ireland, Costigan holds a UEFA A coaching license following a professional playing career that included stops with Bray Wanderers, Monaghan United and the Portland Timbers during the club’s USL era.

“First of all, it’s an honor to join an incredible broadcast team. The likes of Kasey Keller and Steve Zakuani are top-level, and I’m excited to work alongside Matt Johnson and the other staff in Seattle,” said Costigan. “I am also excited to be in one of the best soccer communities not just in America, but in world football. Seattle is a club that I have always been interested in from afar, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it now. As a commentator you aspire to work with top teams, and I’m getting the opportunity to do that. I’m sure the first time I call a match and CenturyLink Field is rocking, I’m going to have goosebumps. I can’t stress how excited I am to call games there.”

Johnson re-joins the Sounders FC broadcast team after serving as the pre-match, halftime and post-match radio host from 2009-2014. During that period, he also hosted Sounders FC Weekly, the club’s weekly 60-minute radio show on the Bonneville family of networks. The Seattle-native has spent the last 11 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks as Executive Producer of Seahawks Radio Network and worked three Super Bowls (XL, XLVIII, XLIX). In addition to his time with the Seahawks, Johnson has an extensive radio broadcast background after working at Seattle’s Sports Radio 950 KJR from 1996-2005. A lifelong fan of the beautiful game, Johnson has been to the last six FIFA World Cups, attending over 40 individual FIFA World Cup matches since 1994, in addition to 2008 UEFA Champions League Final, 2008 UEFA Cup Final and FA Cup Final. Johnson currently resides in Queen Anne and is an active participant in the Greater Seattle Soccer League.

“To come back to my hometown soccer club is an absolute dream come true. I would like to thank Adrian Hanauer, Joe Roth and Bart Wiley for extending this opportunity to me that I could not pass up,” said Johnson. “I remember watching Sounders games in Memorial Stadium, the Kingdome and being part of that first MLS match in 2009 vs. the New York Red Bulls. To say that I’m coming back to Sounders FC is a feeling I can’t put into words. I have traveled the world watching this great game, and the atmosphere in Seattle very much compares to every venue that I have been lucky enough to visit.”

Johnson continues, “I’m very excited to work with and learn from Keith Costigan, and to reconnect with Kasey Keller, Steve Zakuani, Wade Webber, Pete Fewing, Danny Jackson and the other talented members of the Sounders broadcast team. I am moving from one great organization to another without having to change my address – I would like to thank the Seattle Seahawks for 11 wonderful seasons. There are memories there that will not be replaced, but I’m just lucky enough to come somewhere where we’ll make some new ones.”

Highlights of Sounders FC’s partnership with Q13 FOX and JOEtv include a 30-minute pre-match show and 30-minute post-match wrap-up following each locally telecast contest, two 30-minute Sounders FC specials during the 2016 season and a weekly segment during Friday’s “Q It Up” sportscast throughout the season. Eight 2016 Sounders FC matches, including a nationally televised clash with Portland on July 17, are being carried by Q13 FOX, with the remaining 13 regional fixtures slated for JOEtv. Pre-match and halftime shows will be hosted once again by Jackie Montgomery, alongside broadcast analysts Taylor Graham, Marcus Hahnemann and Steve Zakuani.

“Q13 FOX and JOEtv are thrilled to once again bring the excitement of the Seattle Sounders to our television audience,” said Pam Pearson, SVP / General Manager of Q13 FOX and JOEtv. “As fans and partners we look forward to another incredible season.”Additionally, ROOT SPORTS returns as the live out-of-market home of Sounders FC regional broadcasts, bringing nine live matches to households throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. ROOT SPORTS is also set to re-air Sounders FC matches regionally throughout the network’s five-state regional footprint, in addition to carrying Sounders FC All-Access – a biweekly Sounders FC magazine show that provides fans with an advanced level of depth and access surrounding the club.

Sounders FC has partnered with Sinclair Broadcast Group to air Sounders FC Spanish-language programming in 2016, including a minimum of 10 MLS match telecasts on Univision-Seattle (KUNS-TV). Hosted by Univision-Seattle’s play-by-play voice Jaime Mendez and analyst Diego Arrioja, Sounders FC Fútbol en Vivo makes its 2016 debut on Saturday, March 19 when the Rave Green take on Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC at CenturyLink Field. As part of the agreement, Sinclair is set to again air 15 episodes of Sounders FC en Acción, a weekly 30-minute recap show on Univision-Seattle hosted by Mendez. Airing Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. PT, Sounders FC en Acción gives Western Washington’s Hispanic community and Sounders FC fans an inside look at their favorite Seattle Sounders FC players with exclusive interviews and appearances, as well as a recap of the Rave Green’s key happenings of the past week’s action.

Read more at Seattle Sounders FC where this story was originally published.

Onrait, O’Toole returning to FS1 this month


Courtesy of The Big Lead

Onrait-otooleFox Sports Live co-anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, who took turns this past week blasting their own network on TV, social media and on the radio, will return to FS1’s airwaves on February 22nd to debut a new version of the show, sources tell The Big Lead.

Onrait and O’Toole, who arrived from Canada in 2013 for the birth of the new network, starred on the ratings-challenged Fox Sports Live for two years before the show faced dramatic alterations. Initially hatched as a show to rival ESPN’s Sportscenter, the matchup never materialized. The advent of social media and having highlights at your fingertips 24-7, and specialized programming for fans of single sports, have sent the traditional sports highlights show into increasing obsolescence, which is what former ESPN host Keith Olbermann said this week. Olbermann and Dan Patrick made the highlights show cool in the 90s, but in recent years, TV ratings for SportsCenter have been eroding.
Read More

Brinkley new Sports Director at OKC’s KFOR


Courtesy of The Oklahoman

After conducting a nationwide search, KFOR-4 has named weekend sports anchor Brian Brinkley as sports director. He replaces the late Bob Barry Jr., who was killed last June in a traffic accident. Brinkley has been with the station for more than 25 years, working with both Bob Barry Sr. and Bob Barry Jr. “I’m humbled to be carrying on their legacy. They obviously set the standard for sports broadcasting in Oklahoma,” Brinkley said.

An OU graduate, Brinkley joined KFOR in 1990 as a production assistant. He was a sports anchor and reporter from 1992 to 2015, and weekend sports anchor from 1996 to 2015. He also has served as radio voice for the OU women’s basketball team.

Read more at The Oklahoman where this story was originally published.

Tampa’s Chip Carter retiring after 31 years


Courtesy of The Tampa Bay Times

chip carterAs a junior, Chip Carter stepped in to do color commentary for his college’s hockey team. His law school plans promptly faded.

“I thought, ‘I don’t think the world needs another lawyer, so I’m definitely going into broadcasting,'” he said with a laugh Tuesday, an hour after announcing his retirement from WTVT-Ch. 13 after 31 years in the business.

Just the third sports director in the station’s six-plus decades, Carter will make his last Fox 13 appearance on Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.
Read More

Plank upped to OU women’s softball voice


Courtesy of Oklahoma University Athletics

The University of Oklahoma baseball and softball teams will once again air local radio broadcasts in the Norman area with baseball on KREF 1400 and softball on KEBC 1560. The Sooner baseball team will have 54 of 55 regular season games broadcast, while the softball schedule features the most extensive coverage in program history with all 54 games to air.

Toby Rowland will anchor the play-by-play coverage for baseball following the end of the OU men’s basketball season. Chris Plank moves from his spot as dugout reporter on baseball broadcasts to the booth as the play-by-play voice on softball games. Plank, the sideline reporter on OU football broadcasts, joined Sooner Sports Properties full time in the fall of 2015.
Read More

Albert staying with NBA on TNT


Courtesy of Yahoo News

Albert-MarvVeteran announcer Marv Albert has agreed to a multiyear contract extension with TNT to call NBA games.

Albert will no longer work the NCAA Tournament under the new deal announced Tuesday. Turner Sports’ NBA broadcasters have been part of the college basketball postseason during the company’s partnership with CBS. But Albert says four games a day in the early rounds was too much strain on his voice, forcing him to take off some NBA telecasts to recover.

Albert will call this weekend’s NBA All-Star Game in Toronto, his 21st year providing commentary for the event. He’ll continue to work regular-season and playoff games for the network.

The Hall of Fame broadcaster has been associated with the NBA for nearly 50 years.

Turner Sports executive Craig Barry calls Albert a ”legendary broadcaster” and ”a true icon in the industry.”

Albert is in his 18th season as a play-by-play commentator for TNT. He has won five national Sports Emmy Awards and was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame last year.

Read more at Yahoo News where this story was originally published.

Ex-TCU soccer player Bullington lands Jacksonville FC gig


Ashlea Bullington(February 9, 2016) Ashlea Bullington’s Division I college soccer experience is coming in handy in her new job. An STAA member since 2013, Bullington has joined Jacksonville Armada FC as Multimedia Coordinator/Reporter.

In her new role, Bullington will serve as the sideline reporter on match day broadcasts, co-host a weekly TV show and contribute to a weekly radio show. She will also assist in producing multimedia content for the team.

The Armada opportunity was emailed to STAA members in October. It was not posted publicly on STAA’s job board.

A 2013 graduate of Texas Christian University, Bullington was a goalie on the Horned Frogs women’s soccer team. As a high school senior, she set the Texas state single-season shutout record with 18.

Also while at TCU, Bullington worked as an intern/correspondent and women’s college soccer analyst for Fox Sports Southwest and produced content for the TCU media department at GoFrogs.com.

Bullington moves to the Armada after working as a sideline reporter and studio host for the American Sports Network. Prior to ASN, she was a General Assignment MMJ/Reporter at KATC TV 3 in Lafayette, Louisiana.

(Visit Ashlea’s website).

Chris Johnson re-joins ESPN 980


Courtesy of DCRTV

Some news about ESPN 980. They have hired Chris Johnson as their new program director. This is his 3rd stint as PD at WTEM. He is not really going to be the program director. That will still be Larry Michael from the Redskins who is the VP of all programming, but Johnson will serve as the in house PD under Larry Michael, who is still based at Redskins Park. Michael will make all personnel decisions. Big changes to the lineup will be announced soon.

Read more at DCRTV where this story was originally published.

Red Bulls, MSG agree to extension


Courtesy of The NY Red Bulls

msg-network-logoMSG Networks Inc. and Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls have agreed to a new multi-year rights agreement extension, ensuring that MSG Networks will continue as the exclusive regional telecast home of the Red Bulls.

MSG Networks and the Red Bulls (and its predecessor the MetroStars) have enjoyed a long and mutually-beneficial relationship that dates back 20 years. This past season, the Red Bulls won their second Supporters’ Shield in three seasons and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the second consecutive year. Household ratings for the Red Bulls on MSG Networks were the highest in three seasons and were up over 65% from the previous season.

MSG Networks will again feature a robust schedule of Red Bulls games, including six of the first seven games of the season. Overall, MSG Networks is scheduled to telecast at least 17 matches in 2016, including the season opener March 6 vs. Toronto FC from Red Bull Arena. In addition, each game televised on MSG will also be streamed on MSG Networks’ authenticated streaming platform, MSG GO.
Read More

Car crashes into ESPN Charlotte studio during show


Courtesy of The Charlotte Observer

An automobile collision sent a car into the studio of ESPN 730 near the conclusion of Marty Hurney’s radio show Monday afternoon.

Two vehicles collided just before 3 p.m. on Monday in front of the Charlotte studio on the corner of Morehead and Church streets as the three-hour show featuring the Carolina Panthers’ former general manager was wrapping up.

Hurney and former Charlotte Observer columnist Tom Sorensen had been discussing the Panthers’ loss in Super Bowl 50 when one car crashed into the building, bending frames of the picture window looking onto Morehead Street and sending shards of glass into the studio. Sorensen, Hurney and other ESPN personnel weren’t injured.

“We were actually hearing the music in our ears (to end the show) when we heard the crash,” Hurney said. “I heard the crash, and then we got out.”

“I was sitting right there,” Hurney said, pointing to a seat with shards of glass in it.

At least one person was taken away in an ambulance, but police haven’t released an update on the injured person’s condition.

Read more at The Charlotte Observer where this story was originally published.