ESPN has reached a multiyear deal with Dari Nowkhah, a graduate of OU and Tulsa Union High School, to host the SEC Network and its weeknight news and information show, “SEC Now.”
The contract comes on the heels of Nowkhah’s 10-year anniversary with ESPN, having established himself as one of college sports’ most versatile hosts. The 24-hour network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN will debut on Aug. 14.
“You would be hard pressed to find a sportscaster with more passion than Dari Nowkhah has for covering a range of college sports,” ESPN’s Stephanie Druley, vice president, production, college networks, said in a news release. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that is needed for a network that will cover all of the conference’s 21 sports.”
Nowkhah, 38, a sportscaster at Tulsa’s KOTV-6 from 2002-2004, began his career at ESPN on “SportsCenter” in 2004. He has been the main anchor for ESPNU since 2011, hosting a spectrum of studio shows on the 24-hour college sports network.
Nowkhah will continue his ESPN Radio show “Dari & Mel,” which he co-hosts with NFL draft expert Mel Kiper.
“The best thing about college sports is the passion of the fans, and top to bottom, there is no conference that matches the SEC in that category,” Nowkhah said.
NBA TV to air Summer Leagues
Beginning Saturday, NBA TV will televise more than 60 games from the 2014 NBA Summer Leagues, including all four of the Thunder’s games from the Orlando Pro Summer League. The Thunder’s opener will be against the Memphis Grizzlies at 4 p.m. Saturday. Rick Kamla and Isiah Thomas will call the game.
NBA Digital will present all 92 Summer League games across NBA TV, NBA.com and NBA Mobile. All the Summer League games will also be available via the NBA Summer League Live subscription package on NBA.com.
NBA TV’s signature “NBA GameTime” studio show — hosted by a rotation of the network’s commentators — will offer live nightly highlights following Summer League games (Saturday through July 11, generally at 8 p.m.) from Atlanta.
ESPN’s two World Cup Round of 16 telecasts on Sunday set a record as the highest-rated men’s World Cup matches, in any round not involving a U.S. team, on ESPN or ESPN2. The Netherlands’ victory over Mexico holds the top spot, averaging a 4.0 rating and 6,571,000 viewers, followed by a 3.9 rating and 6,388,000 viewers for Costa Rica’s shoot-out win over Greece.
ESPN’s Wimbledon coverage continues with two more days of “Cross Court Coverage” — two networks covering the action, in addition to up to nine matches offered on ESPN3 — Tuesday and Wednesday. ESPN2 focuses on Centre Court starting at 7 a.m. while fans enjoy a “grounds pass” on ESPN with matches from Court One and elsewhere.
ESPN2 will televise three “NBA Free Agency Specials” beginning Tuesday, with a one-hour episode at 6 p.m. Additional 30-minute specials will air at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.