Keith Olbermann joined Jonah Keri’s Nerdist podcast for a two-part marathon late last week. Around the 1:19:00-mark of Part I, they began talking about contemporary sports media, and Olbermann, who as we’re all aware made his bones as a SportsCenter anchor alongside Dan Patrick in the 1990’s, spelled out doom and gloom for the future of the franchise:
If you’re doing a sports broadcast that has to do with more than one sport at a time? Good-bye. There is no reason anymore for a consumer to watch SportsCenter, or the Fox version of SportsCenter, or the Canadian version of SportsCenter, or the Rogers Canadian version of SportsCenter, or SportsCenter in Spanish, or your local — I grew up watching Marv Albert do the local sports news on Channel 4 — and there’s no reason to watch that, because if they’re talking about football, and you hate football, ESPN supplies you with something at your fingertips about baseball, soccer, hockey, badminton, jai alai.
By the way, there’s a jai alai channel. There’s a horse racing channel. There’s a dog racing channel. Eventually, there will be no market for these other multi-purpose shows, and you think about this, and say, ‘Oh it’s a new phenomenon, we’ve got some time to go.’ No, it’s the dark hours now. Just name to me, what’s the most recent, multi-sport, not connected to the NFL, not connected to game broadcast, what’s the last breakthrough TV sports show?
Olbermann reckoned this to be Pardon the Interruption, which went on the air in 2001, and said that because of this prolonged stretch that there have not been many young talents who have differentiated themselves as big stars. He also said that when they point to First Take as a beacon of success (and qualified that he likes both Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith), that their record viewership had metrics akin to typical hourly numbers for the Hallmark Movies and Mystery channel, whatever that is. He acknowledged that his own most recent show never gained solid footing, and that live sports are still experiencing profound growth. He said that one-sport specialists will over take the generalists.
To read more visit The Big Lead where this was originally published
Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football
“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years.
Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.
“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.
“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.