ESPN’s ‘KayRod Cast’ seems to be to mix dialog with sport

Seven months after Peyton and Eli Manning offered a template on how alternate broadcasts might succeed, Alex Rodriguez and Michael Kay suppose they’ll enhance on it.

The “KayRod Cast” with Rodriguez and Kay debuts Sunday evening on ESPN2 when the Boston Red Sox tackle the New York Yankees. It would be the first of eight this season that may happen whereas “Sunday Night Baseball” airs on ESPN.

“Well, we’re presently in the legal maneuverings to get adopted by a pair of people so we can actually be brothers, so that will give us more of a ‘Manningcast’ feel,” Kay mentioned jokingly throughout a convention name earlier this week. “I thought the ‘Manningcast’ was great. I think we’re going to pay a little bit more attention to the game.”

Alternate broadcasts can go off the rails as a result of the sport turns into secondary to the interviews and personalities, however baseball may be the one sport that may mix each because of the tempo of play.

While Rodriguez and Kay aren’t associated just like the Mannings, they’re longtime mates. Kay has broadcast Yankees video games since 1992 whereas Rodriguez spent 12 of his 22 main league seasons in pinstripes.

Rodriguez has managed to transition into broadcasting regardless of some controversies on and off the sector. While he has been participating whereas doing studio work for Fox, he struggled as an analyst throughout his 4 seasons as an analyst within the “Sunday Night Baseball” sales space.

But Rodriguez thinks he did a few of his greatest analyst work throughout a brief keep within the “YES Network” sales space with Kay and David Cone throughout a 2019 sport in opposition to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I think it was the best four innings I’ve ever done on TV because I was in the middle of two very close friends, and it was going back and forth,” Rodriguez mentioned. “Michael knows exactly how to set me up because he knows me so well, so I think this format will do well for me.”

Rodriguez additionally thinks his suspension for taking performance-enhancing medicine — and the criticism he bought from many, together with Kay — helped put together him for his new alternative.

“That’s what’s going to make this show really, I think, good, is because you’re going to get forthrightness from both him and I,” he mentioned. “Honestly, pre-suspension, I think the show wouldn’t have been as good because I wasn’t as comfortable. I think I’m just more comfortable in my skin today, and we’re going to let it rip.”

Mark Gross, ESPN’s senior vice chairman for manufacturing and distant occasions, mentioned company through the broadcast are more likely to lean extra towards gamers who performed effectively on Sunday afternoon or through the previous week. It additionally will embody batting and fielding demos by Rodriguez.

Sunday’s present can have Kay and Rodriguez collectively at ESPN’s Seaport District Studios in New York. Some subsequent broadcasts might happen remotely, relying on their schedules. Rodriguez is spending most of his time in Minnesota as a part of the possession group of the NBA’s Timberwolves.

When it involves scores, evaluating “KayRod Cast” to “Manningcast” can be unfair. The “Manningcast” averaged 1.58 million viewers per sport final season. By comparability, “Sunday Night Baseball” was up 18% in 2021 in response to Nielsen, and averaged 1.46 million.

A greater gauge may be viewers share. Last season, 12% of the overall “Monday Night Football” viewers watched the Mannings in comparison with the primary broadcast.

Ratings apart, Kay mentioned his foremost aim is to get Rodriguez to undertaking his pure persona.

“I want to get Alex Rodriguez to be the Alex Rodriguez that I used to speak to in front of a locker where there wasn’t the confinement of this has to be done for television, you have to look here, you have to break here, because I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who knows more baseball than Alex,” he mentioned.


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