Behind the Mic: Shams Charania Stays at Stadium; ESPN Re-Signs Field Yates to New Multi-Year Deal

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, Stadium re-signs NBA Insider Shams Charania to new multi-year deal, ESPN signs Field Yates to new multi-year contract extension, and more.

Stadium Re-Signs NBA Insider Shams Charania to New Multi-Year Deal

Stadium has re-signed NBA Insider Shams Charania has re-signed to a multi-year deal. Charania, 28, has cemented himself as one of the preeminent insiders across the entire sports landscape and will continue that role with Stadium moving forward.

Arriving at Stadium in 2018, Shams has made his mark by appearing both on-camera and in original content made exclusively for digital and social media. Additionally, Shams has been a core contributor to the Stadium-produced “The Rally” which airs weekdays across the Sinclair-owned Bally Sports regional sports networks (RSNs), providing expert insight and updates to viewers across the country.

Stadium has seen a dramatic rise in viewership, specifically on Twitter, year-over-year. Stadium’s 2022 “Inside the Association: Presented by AT&T 5G Draft Special” from Brooklyn delivered 4.56 million views on Twitter alone, which marked the highest Twitter view count in Stadium history. From 2021 to 2022, Stadium witnessed a 68% increase in views with the NBA Draft and NBA Free Agency specials.

Sinclair’s lineup of Bally Sports RSNs is the largest collection of RSNs in the marketplace today, with an extensive footprint that includes exclusive local rights to 42 professional teams consisting of 14 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, 16 National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, and 12 National Hockey League (NHL) teams.

ESPN Signs Field Yates to New Multi-Year Contract Extension

ESPN has signed NFL Insider and Fantasy Football analyst Field Yates to a new multi-year extension.

Yates hosts the daily Fantasy Focus Football Podcast and Fantasy Football Now on ESPN2, and provides NFL insights and analysis year round on a variety of ESPN shows including NFL Live and SportsCenter.

Yates also contributes to Fantasy Football rankings on and writes his weekly ESPN+ exclusive Field Pass column, tapping into ESPN’s network of NFL experts for insights on the most important, fantasy-related storylines to create a comprehensive, quick-hitting guide for both casual and hardcore fans.

ESPN’s new agreement with Yates comes during a record-setting start for ESPN Fantasy Football this season, including more than 11 million fans signed up to play, 9.2 million unique visitors on the ESPN Fantasy App during Sunday of Week 1, and ESPN Digital setting all-time, best-day-ever records, as well.

Before joining ESPN in 2012, Yates spent two seasons on the scouting and coaching staffs of the Kansas City Chiefs, following four summers as an intern in the New England Patriots front office. A native of Weston, Mass., Yates earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Wesleyan University in Middeltown, CT. He and his wife Chapin have a daughter, Kinley, who was born earlier this year.

Former Super Bowl Champion Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders Joins NFL Network

Former Super Bowl champion wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has joined NFL Network as a studio analyst, it was announced today.

Sanders will make his NFL Network debut on NFL GameDay Morning Sunday at 9:00 AM ET, joining Rich Eisen, Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin, Steve Mariucci, Ian Rapoport, Cynthia Frelund and Rachel Bonnetta on the most comprehensive pregame show on television.

In his role with NFL Network, Sanders will appear regularly on NFL GameDay Morning throughout the season, in addition to various other NFL Network programs and live coverage of such events as Super Bowl. Sanders will also co-host a new podcast to be developed for the NFL Podcast Network.

Sanders joins NFL Network following a 12-year NFL career in which he amassed 9,245 total receiving yards and 51 receiving touchdowns. A third-round draft pick in 2010 out of SMU, Sanders spent the first four seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Following the 2013 season, Sanders signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent and spent five full seasons in Denver, during which he was named to the Pro Bowl twice and became a Super Bowl champion when the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. During the 2019 season, Sanders was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, after which he spent the final two years of his career with the New Orleans Saints (2020) and Buffalo Bills (2021). On September 7, 2022, Sanders announced his retirement as a member of the Broncos.

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