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Caddies Drop Clubs For Microphones

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The caddies for Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar will carry a lighter load on the PGA Tour next week. They’ll be carrying microphones instead of golf bags.

Golf Channel has hired Jim “Bones” Mackay and John Wood as part of its broadcast team for two days during the RSM Classic in Sea Island, Ga. Mackay has been Mickelson’s only caddie on the PGA Tour. Wood spent nine years with Hunter Mahan until leaving to work for Kuchar in 2016.

“What’s going to be pretty cool is hearing their point of view on what’s going on,” Tommy Roy, the golf producer for NBC Sports and Golf Channel, said Thursday. “We hear so many players refer to “we” and it’s clear it’s a team getting this done on the course. So this will be the perspective from the other half of the team.”

Mackay and Woods will be on-course reporters for key groups during Friday and Saturday rounds at Sea Island.

NBC televised the “Kiwi Challenge” in 2008 when Steve Williams, still the caddie for Tiger Woods, worked as an on-course reporter in his native New Zealand.

Roy said he has been working on this project for more than a year. He identified Mackay and Wood as prime candidates because of their communication skills and “that’s the No. 1 attribute you look for in a television announcer.”

Over the past year, Roy said he has brought the two caddies into the truck to see the operational side of a television broadcast, and he had them wear headsets to adjust to hearing Roy’s commands and how announcers are to respond.

He said Roger Maltbie would be helping them with where to stand — not next to the player, in this case — and other issues. They will have a rehearsal Thursday morning from Sea Island before going live in the second round.

“I really appreciate the chance,” Mackay said. “I think it’s going to be cool. I’m fascinated by the whole TV side of it. Tommy had us out to the truck a couple of times. We had a chance to appreciate the amazing amount of hard work and attention to detail. It’s an honor, and it will be a lot of fun. I’m excited about it, but I also want to make Tommy happy to have us out there.”

Read the rest of this article at the Tampa Bay Times which is where it was originally published

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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.”

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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