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Golf Channel Adds Foley, Diaz and Rosaforte

Jason Barrett

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The Golf Channel announced three talent additions with swing coach Sean Foley, as well as journalists Jaime Diaz and Tim Rosaforte exclusively joining the network.

Foley will serve as host of the networks primetime show, Playing Lessons and provide analysis for Golf Central.

“Sean is a dynamic personality who has a keen intellect and curiosity about the science behind the golf swing. But what makes Sean so unique is his ability to translate his swing philosophy from golf’s elite to amateur golfers looking to improve their games and simply become more consistent,” said Molly Solomon, executive vice president, content, Golf Channel.

Foley is currently the swing coach for eight-time PGA TOUR winner and 2013 U.S. Open Champion Justin Rose. His modern take on golf instruction utilizing biomechanics has also provided tutelage for Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan, Lee Westwood and other elite golfers over the years.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to partner with Golf Channel in re-launching PlayingLessons, as well as sharing my observations and analysis throughout the year during the most exciting moments in golf,” said Foley.

The Golf Channel also announced the addition of renowned journalist Jaime Diaz along with the increased role of their own insider Tim Rosaforte.

 “Jaime is one of the most-accomplished writers in our industry. Between his decades of experience coupled with Tim now contributing his editorial coverage in addition to his on-air efforts, we’ve strengthened our ability to deliver the most quality coverage to golf fans who share our deep passion for the sport,” said Geoff Russell, senior vice president and executive editor of Golf Channel.

Diaz will provide coverage for the Golf Channel making regular appearances on Morning Drive and Golf Central, as well as journalistic contributions for the network’s digital platforms. Tim Rosaforte already worked for the Golf Channel as an insider, the recent announcement states Rosaforte will now report exclusively for the channel while also writing a weekly column and long-form feature articles.

“I’ve worked with Jaime at Sports Illustrated and Golf World / Golf Digest since the mid-90s, so it’s good to keep the band together on all Golf Channel platforms,” said Rosaforte. “I consider him the best golf writer of my time and look forward to teaming up once again in this new era of golf journalism.”

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Sports TV News

Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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