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Laura Rutledge impresses on ‘NFL Countdown’

Laura Rutledge impresses on ‘NFL Countdown’

NYPost

Sports Business Journal and the New York Post today released the third episode of a new podcast hosted by the best sports media reporters in the business, SBJ’s John Ourand and the Post’s Andrew Marchand. the topics this week: the start of the NHL and NBA seasons, which networks will get the next deals for soccer media rights, and whether Disney will spin off ESPN.

Quick hits from today’s episode:

Marchand says of ESPN’s Laura Rutledge, who stepped into NFL Countdown when Sam Ponder was out because of COVID protocols: “Laura Rutledge comes in on Countdown and she doesn’t miss a beat, and I’d say the show was even better. If you look at the future of NFL coverage for ESPN, look down the road to who’s going to host a Super Bowl … I think there is a very good chance of it being Laura Rutledge.”

Ourand says the top ad sales execs from Disney and Turner are up based on the start of the NBA. It’s the first time in three seasons that the league will have a full season with full arenas and broadcasters at the games calling the game. Ourand: “This NBA season is going to be huge in terms of ratings and in terms of revenue.”

Marchand also predicts that with Fox’s forthcoming deal for the Euros, the network will be out on future MLS rights. He also thinks there could be a streamer involved in the Euro agreement. He also says that Karl Ravech has some important backing to be Alex Rodriguez’ partner on Sunday Night Baseball, and there are some important folks who are high on Eduardo Perez, who could be involved.

Ourand says that ESPN’s new deal for a Monday night NFL playoff game could squeeze the College Football Playoff if it expands: “College football is the second most popular sport in the United States by far to the NFL, and they have to jump through all these hoops because the NFL is expanding and X-ing them out a little bit.”

Ourand also predicts that Disney won’t spin off ESPN for several years, if ever: “Certainly there have been talks. We know there have been talks. There should be talks. Why wouldn’t there be?”


New episodes of “The Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast” will debut each Wednesday. The audio podcast is available on Spotify, Apple and other podcast platforms. The video version will be offered through SBJ.TV and on the Post website.

Each episode will include Marchand and Ourand’s takes on the biggest topics in sports media, as well as their picks for best calls of the week, and who’s up and down in the media business.

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