NBC announced their roster for its Super Bowl coverage beginning Sunday February 4th at noon. Bob Costas, still employed by NBC, has not worked an NFL broadcast this season, but with Mike Tirico’s unavailability due to Olympic responsibilities, some thought Costas would be needed at the Super Bowl.
The game broadcast will be in the hands of 32 year NFL play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and analyst Cris Collinsworth, joined by sideline reporter Michele Tafoya. Super Bowl LII’s pre-game show will be hosted by Dan Patrick and co-host Liam McHugh. Patrick and McHugh will work alongside a cast of analysts and reporters including Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Mike Florio, Paul Burmeister, Kathryn Tappen and Randy Moss. Recently announced surprise guest, Dale Earnhardt Jr., will make his NBC debut, contributing to the network’s Super Bowl LII pre-game show.
It’s easy for NBC to say Costas isn’t involved because he hasn’t worked on their NFL broadcast the entire season, but it’s also hard to believe Costas isn’t involved due to his comments on the NFL during a November roundtable discussion. During the event involving high-profile journalists at the University of Maryland, Costas stated “the reality is that this game destroys people’s brains.”
NBC certainly could have found use for Costas during a six hour pre-game show for the Super Bowl. When a network has access to a personality as popular and recognizable as Bob Costas, they usually make sure to put him in front of an audience that will be large and broad, such as the Super Bowl.
The decision could have been NBC’s, the NFL’s, or even a mutual decision with Bob Costas himself. Had Costas joined NBC on Sunday February 4th in celebration of the National Football League, everyone involved would have appeared hypocritical.
Both NBC and Bob Costas made the following comments regarding the hall-of-fame broadcaster’s absence from the Super Bowl.
“Dan and Liam have served as hosts for our NFL pregame/studio shows on Sunday nights and Thursday nights, respectively, throughout the season and will continue on Super Bowl Sunday,” NBC said in a statement.
“Dan and Liam have done the job hosting NBC’s NFL coverage all season. It wouldn’t be right for me to parachute in and do the Super Bowl,” Costas said.
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.