Rachel Nichols Jumps to Showtime After Turbulent ESPN Exit


Rachel Nichols basketball-journalism profession has taken a brand new bounce.

The longtime sports activities reporter is becoming a member of Showtime’s sports activities division, the place she is going to work on the unit’s basketball content material vertical as each a number and producer.

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“We are delighted to welcome Rachel Nichols to the Showtime Basketball family,” stated Brian Dailey, senior vp of sports activities programming and content material for Showtime, in a ready assertion. “Rachel brings unmatched journalistic credibility, great familiarity with our roster and a work ethic that will take us to another level.”

She has additionally carried some baggage. Nichols left her earlier employer, Walt Disney’s ESPN, after becoming embroiled in an argument through which a video recording of her complaining a couple of colleague, Maria Taylor, being awarded a job Nichols had been assured underneath contract, grew to become public. The revelation of the video spurred inside complaints and division throughout the sports-media big. ESPN took Nichols off her each day basketball present, “The Jump,” and each she and Taylor ended up leaving the corporate.

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Nichols has for the primary time addressed the squabble and its causes. Speaking on “All The Smoke With Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, a Showtime Basketball video podcast, Nichols discussed the incident, noting that the recording was taken of her while she was in a Florida hotel room to work on site for ESPN’s NBA coverage, inadvertently leaving open a video line to ESPN’s Bristol, CT headquarters. The line was broadcasting for hours, she said, but no one at ESPN told her. “One person decided to just sit and watch and start spying on me, like I was their own personal television show,” Nichols stated. “When they heard something they thought was juicy, they picked up their cell phone and they started recording me.”

At challenge have been internet hosting duties for ESPN’s annual protection of the NBA Finals, one thing Nichols says she had been assigned as a part of contract with the sports-media outlet. ESPN executives, Nichols says, wished to offer Taylor these obligations, and pressured Nichols to offer them up. But internet hosting the Finals had been a “dream,” she says, and so she mentioned the difficulty throughout cellphone calls whereas staying within the lodge room

“I feel very sorry that any of this touched Maria Taylor, because she is a fellow woman in this business. It wasn’t her fault that any of this was going on,” says Nichols. “To even bring her into that was a mistake on my part, and that it caused her to be upset in any way — I don’t want to be that person.” Nichols says she tried to rearrange a gathering with Taylor, however was unable to take action. Taylor is now working for NBC Sports, the place she was just lately named the host of “Football Night in America.”

Basketball-themed content material on Showtime contains characteristic size documentaries and docu-series. Some of the tasks have been produced by by LeBron James’ SpringHill Company and Kevin Durant’s 35 Ventures.

Nichols has a protracted historical past with basketball. She helped create ESPN’s each day NBA program, “The Jump, “and hosted it from its inception in 2016. She spent nearly a decade writing for The Washington Post, where she covered the NHL, NBA, MLB, tennis and the Olympics. She also worked at Turner Sports from 2013 to 2016 where she hosted CNN’s “Unguarded With Rachel Nichols” and, coated the NBA, the NCAA males’s basketball event and the MLB playoffs. amongst different occasions. Her first stint at ESPN started in 2004, the place she coated the NFL, NBA, contributed as a correspondent for E:60 and frequented SportsHeart.

She joins Showtime, a part of Paramount Global, as hypothesis has begun to ramp up concerning the subsequent spherical of TV rights for the NBA. The league’s present contract with ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery’s Turner Sports lapses after the 2024-2025 season. Business observers ponder whether Warner Bros. Discovery, which is grappling with a big quantity of debut since its formation earlier this 12 months, shall be wanting to pay what are prone to be important will increase in prices to maintain the NBA underneath its aegis.

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