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October 4, 2015


ESPN Gives Chris Berman a Contract Extension

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 19th 2010 10:07PM
chris_berman_espn_2009Chris Berman is a fixture at ESPN. He's like the Jay Leno of ESPN, and as such, Berman's just gotten an extension to remain with ESPN for ... forever. Or so it seems. Berman's deal has been termed multi-year. Considering that he's going to be 55 on his birthday -- May 10 -- and he claims that he doesn't want to be broadcasting in his 60s, that means he's probably going to be doing the Swami for at least five more years.

Berman has been called the face of ESPN, and that's probably true. He's been there since 1979, just one month after the sports cable giant began as a fledgling idea that many assumed would never make it. An all-sports network? Are you mad? Seems hard to believe that now, but 31 years ago it was a radical notion and Chris Berman was a wannabe sportscaster in Hartford, Connecticut, who took a chance with the cable start up. It paid off big time when ESPN became the worldwide leader in sports broadcasting.

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Happy 30th birthday, ESPN!

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 7th 2009 2:03PM
ESPN_logoToday marks 30 years since the premiere of ESPN. Happy birthday, ESPN! Hard to believe there was actually a time when there wasn't a cable channel devoted completely to sports. In fact, the idea of a cable network that just covered sports was considered as ridiculous as one that only reported the news. Don't even get me started on the radical notion of an all-food channel or one that specialized in weather!

Yes, once upon a time, all those concepts were deemed losers. Back in 1979, if you wanted to know the score of a game in progress, you had to hope it was playing on the radio or TV to tune in. Or, more often than not, wait till the local news broadcast at six o'clock for the score. How did we ever get by?

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The NFL draft expands into primetime

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 24th 2009 6:00PM
NFL_draft_shieldUnless you're a National Football League fan like me, the idea of watching hours and hours of college players being selected one by one to potentially play for a team, is as boring as watching someone in fishing for bass. Well, it turns out there's an audience for both! No seriously, when ESPN began covering the NFL Draft in 1980, the network could have never anticipated that it would grow into a ratings draw.

Now, the draft has been supersized. In 2010, the NFL Draft will be three days long and in mostly in primetime. The 75th annual National Football League Draft will commence on Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 - 11 p.m.. That'll just cover round one. Rounds two and three continue on Friday, April 23 at 6:30 - 11 p.m., with the final four rounds dominating daytime on Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to whenever it's over.

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Monday Night Football to feature McCain & Obama on election eve

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 30th 2008 2:15PM
MNFAt the rate they're going, the 2008 presidential candidates will have made appearances on every kind of TV program before voting day arrives. No show is too insignificant, it seems. (Seriously, if only we could have seen Obama and McCain do the cha-cha on Dancing with the Stars!)

Therefore, it comes as no big shock that on the eve of the election -- Monday, November 3 -- the presidential candidates are going to appear on ESPN's Monday Night Football.

They will be interviewed -- separately on tape -- by half-time anchor Chris "Boomer" Berman. The anticipated time is 10:15 p.m. (ET), but because of the flow of the game, it could be closer to 10:30.

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ESPN takes on NBC Sunday Night Football

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 3rd 2008 12:24PM
NFL badgeFor nearly 20 years, NFL football fans could feast on Sunday games and then flip on ESPN for a complete wrap up on NFL Prime Time hosted primarily by Chris "Boomer" Berman and Tom Jackson. It was a staple. Then in 2005, ESPN dropped the show.

Now, it's coming back (sort of) and in addition to Boomer and Jackson, John Saunders will be rejoining them, re-creating the original troika from 1987. The essence of NFL Prime Time will be found in the 7 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter each Sunday during football season. Essentially, they'll be doing what they did on NFL Prime Time, and in doing so, they'll be taking aim at NBC's Football Night in America, that network's lead in show for the Sunday Night Football game.

This should be really interesting because the NBC pre-game show is like Thanksgiving dinner -- loaded with stuffing. They have stars galore, including the recently added, former ESPN stalwart, Dan Patrick.

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Zach Braff goes to Bristol University - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 4th 2008 1:01PM
Zach Braff on ESPN adOne of the things that helps me keep my cool when I meet or speak to celebrities is the knowledge that at one time, they were just another person struggling to keep his or her head above water, just like everyone else. Take Zach Braff, for example: it wasn't too long ago that Zach was just another struggling actor and not one of the highest-paid stars on TV. And, thanks to the fun that is the interwebs, we can find evidence of that very easily.

The video after the jump is from a commercial for ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown show, which looks like it was from 1998 or so. At the time, those wacky guys at the Worldwide Leader were referring to themselves as "Bristol University" (the network is located in Bristol, CT), and this particular ad shows student registration for classes like "History of the AFC Central Division 1994-1997," taught by Chris Berman. But the most popular class is the one taught by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (of course), and Braff is one of the students who get to ask the cheerleaders about the class' content. You can see some elements here of what made him a good choice to play J.D. on Scrubs three years later. It's just too bad that class doesn't exist ...

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Chris Berman takes his crew to effin' TV school - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 1st 2008 6:24PM
Chris BermanThis video has been floating around the blogosphere for a few days -- thanks to Deadspin, who always seems to be able to dig up fun clips like this -- but I wanted to put it up here, for those who missed it (or those who find it so funny that they want to see it over and over again):

The clip is an outtake of Chris Berman doing a Monday Night Football halftime show in 2000 (when MNF was on ABC and was still semi-relevant). Apparently, people were moving within Berman's line of sight while he was doing said halftime show, and he didn't like it. Nope, he didn't like it one bit. He hated it so much, that went on an obscenity-laden tirade, only to pause to take a dainty sip of what looks like a Diet Coke.

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