In Sacramento, Gary Gerould is best known as the radio voice of the Kings. Around the rest of the country, he’s better known for his coverage of motor sports on TV.
After 37 years covering every type of motor sports, from Formula One to hydroplane boat racing, he’s hanging up his headphones. His last broadcast will be Sunday on ESPN for the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona.
“It’s been a combination of things,” Gerould said. “The NHRA is going to a new platform next season, taking things in-house, and they have a new contract with Fox Sports. Plus, I’m 75 years old. I’m going to slow it down and become more of a fan.”
Gerould has no plans to step away from his duties calling Kings games, which he has done since the team arrived in Sacramento in 1985, making him one of the NBA’s longest-tenured announcers. The NBA season has overlapped with his motor sports duties, forcing him into some frantic travel.
“It won’t hit me until next May when hoops is over,” Gerould said. “It will probably be tough to handle. I’ve been with ESPN for 11 years and have developed a lot of great relationships. This weekend may be the last time I see a lot of them. I’m a little melancholy in a sense.”
Gerould also has worked in the booth for NBC’s pro football coverage and was a member of NBC’s broadcast team for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
Gerould started his broadcasting career at KHSL-TV and radio in Chico in 1962 after graduating from Anderson University in Indiana. He joined KCRA in 1965 and left in 1977 to pursue freelance auto racing assignments, and he since has been busy as a radio and TV reporter and announcer.
“I spent 25 years doing IndyCars coverage, and I’ve had the privilege of being in the pace car twice,” Gerould said. “When you look back over your shoulder at the field of 33 cars and see 400,000 race fans … man, the hair stands up on my arms now just thinking about it.”
Gerould has seen the world with his wife, Marlene, often by his side. He said the golden age of network TV sports coverage allowed him to travel in style, and his bosses had no problem springing for Marlene’s tickets and accommodations, too. That era is over as fragmentation of TV sports has led to smaller and smaller production budgets, Gerould said.
Gerould, who said he will call Kings games as long as the team wants him, is giddy about calling games at the Golden 1 Center downtown next season. But he’ll also continue to glance at the TV to see who is the fastest NHRA qualifier that week or who is leading the points chase in NASCAR and IndyCar.
“What a ride it’s been,” Gerould said.
Read more at the Sacramento Bee which is where this article was originally published
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.