Temporary refuge from Greg Hardy talk on Sunday came during – of all places – NBC’s broadcast of the Cowboys-Eagles game. At least it did until halftime.
As expected in the wake of published photos of Hardy’s handy work against a woman back in North Carolina, he was the topic de jour in every network’s Sunday NFL studio from coast to coast.
But just before the game, analyst Cris Collinsworth excused himself and play-by-play voice Al Michaels from the chorus, saying they were at AT&T Stadium to call a football game.
Collinsworth is going to take lots of heat for his pronouncement but what exactly else was he supposed to say? After Michaels and Michele Tafoya gave the Joe Friday facts, Collinsworth offered this:
“We’re going to call the game,” he told what will surely be the largest national television audience of the week. “We’re going to do our job. We are as uncomfortable as anybody is with what we saw in those pictures and what we know of this court case… We’ll call the game. We may do a little commentary at some point but we’ll let it go at that.”
That point came after a 7-7 first half in which defensive end Hardy was a bit player.
Collinsworth expressed contempt for Hardy’s actions by imploring the NFL Players Association to cut his likes loose.
“We want to make sure the NFL and its players stand for something better than what Greg Hardy was a part of,” he said.
— By the way, NBC made sure it had a camera focused on Hardy all game. Ditto for Dez Bryant, who made the catch of the game in answering Matt Cassel’s “Hail Mary” pass.
— During NBC’s pre-game, Bob Costas cut the NFL slack in the Hardy affair, pointing out that commissioner Roger Goodell tried to impose a 10-game suspension that was cut to four games by an arbitrator. He called Hardy “a bad guy who happens to be a good football player.”
— In the CBS studio, Boomer Esiason was harshest of all. “(Hardy) should be in jail,” he proclaimed.
In the NFL Network studio, Brian Billick who, as a coach, won a Super Bowl with Ray Lewis as his defensive leader for the Baltimore Ravens, pointed a finger at Jerry Jones: “To me, what the Cowboys are doing is reprehensible. I think Jerry Jones is rendering his head coach absolutely useless.”
And finally, CBS’ Tony Gonzalez: “Because this whole situation from top to bottom, DeMaurice (Smith, the NFLPA boss), the Cowboys organization, everything has been handled poorly. It’s not good for the NFL. It’s not good for the fans and it’s not good for anybody.”
— Early tweet of the game, courtesy of @netw3rk, who appears to be a New Yorker with 80,000 followers: “Jason Garrett looks like if Duke from GI Joe was going through a mid-life crisis.”
— Prophetic tweet of the game from Will Cain in the fourth quarter: “I feel the pain coming.”
Credit to the Dallas Morning News who originally published this article
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.