One week after the Dallas Mavericks revoked the credentials for Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein, the two parties have reached a mutual agreement that will allowed the ESPN reporters and all other writers representing ESPN.com to be credentialed at Mavericks games.
Here is a statement from Mark Cuban.
“We are appreciative that ESPN will now commit to Mavs fans and all NBA fans with links to local and team provided coverage of every NBA game. This will assure all NBA fans that they will find team specific game reporting for every game of their favorite teams on ESPN. I am very appreciative for all the support, help and consideration that John Skipper of ESPN and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver provided towards this agreement.”
And here is what ESPN president John Skipper said about the situation.
“There have been several conversations relative to the concerns Mark has raised. Mark and I both agree that content written by individuals on site is much better. To be clear, ESPN has never contemplated automated reporting for our NBA coverage. We remain committed to first-person reporting on the NBA. As we did last year, we plan to continue to be present at most Dallas Mavericks home games. When we are not in the building, our game recaps going forward will continue to utilize AP first-person reports. In all cases, in order for fans to be able to access more game coverage of their favorite team, we will now link to team sites, such as Mavs.com, in our game recaps. I appreciate the role Commissioner Silver played in reaching this resolution.”
The disagreement had come from ESPN.com not covering the Dallas Mavericks for 82 games in a season. MacMahon, previously an ESPN Dallas writer, had moved onto a more expansive role that focused on the Mavericks but also included three other teams in the Western Conference.
You can read more about Cuban’s misgivings and the exact ESPN model that led to this here.
Adam Silver and the NBA was a key factor in helping the two sides reach an agreement. It will be interesting to see whether more NBA teams who aren’t covered on a game-by-game basis will now request that ESPN links to their personal content on their team’s official page. It does seem like that precedent has now been set, and a majority of the league lacks a full-time ESPN beat writer.
But for now, we can all welcome back MacMahon and Stein.