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Joe Thomas Begins Pursuing a Career in Sports Television

Brandon Contes

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Joe Thomas had his pick of NFL teams if he chose to keep playing, but the now retired offensive lineman might also have his pick of broadcasting opportunities.

After announcing his retirement from the Cleveland Browns, Thomas revealed, “I’ve got several options that are on the table,” via his podcast, The ThomaHawk Show by Uninterrupted.

“I’ve auditioned for a few colors jobs on TV. I’m going to audition for one coming up. I’ve had a number of broadcast people reach out to me to gauge my interest. Like I mentioned, the Browns have talked to me about doing something with them,” said Thomas.

According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, the “colors jobs” Thomas was referring to included broadcast opportunities with Fox and ESPN. Fox was reportedly very impressed with Thomas’ audition, especially his studio work.

Both networks have prime opportunities with Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football in need of color analysts. In addition to TNF, Fox has openings on its fifth and seventh broadcast teams, they could also add him to another tandem as the third person in the booth. If Thomas is interested in studio analysis, it makes ESPN a more viable option, since he would currently be considered an underdog to land the MNF opening.

Thomas launched his podcast last December with an eye toward life after the NFL. The former lineman played his entire 11-year career with the Cleveland Browns, making the pro-bowl in each of his first ten seasons, a feat matched by only four other NFL players, Merlin Olsen, Mel Renfro, Barry Sanders and Lawrence Taylor.

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

NHL All-Star Game Ratings See 31% Increase

The event on ABC saw an average of 1.5 million viewers over the weekend, with the game peaking at 1.9 million viewers.

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After a less-than-stellar report on the television ratings front for the first half of the NHL season, ESPN saw encouraging news from the 2023 NHL All-Star Game ratings.

The event on ABC saw an average of 1.5 million viewers over the weekend, with the game peaking at 1.9 million viewers.

That number is a 31% increase over the 2022 edition of the event, ESPN reported. In the coveted 18-49 demographic, the festivities were up 52% compared to a season ago.

On Friday evening, the NHL All-Star Skills event was the top-rated cable program in the 18-49 demo, with an average of just over 1 million viewers.

However, last year’s events — bot the NHL All-Star Skills and NHL All-Star Game — were faced by competition from the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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Candace Parker, Draymond Green Joining NBA All-Star Game Broadcast

The 36-year-old Parker will make history as the first woman to work as an analyst for the event.

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WNBA superstar Candace Parker and Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green will join the NBA All-Star Game broadcast crew later this month.

Parker will team with play-by-play man Brian Anderson and Reggie Miller for the broadcast on TNT. Dennis Scott will work as the sideline reporter for the broadcast.

The 36-year-old Parker will make history as the first woman to work as an analyst for the event. Parker currently serves as a game and studio analyst for the NBA on TNT but will be announcing her first NBA All-Star Game.

The event is also the first for Anderson, who joins an illustrious group of play-by-players like Bob Costas, Marv Albert, and Kevin Harlan as voices of the NBA All-Star Game.

Green will be joined by the Inside the NBA studio crew — Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, and Charles Barkley — for the alternate broadcast on TBS.

A four-time All-Star in his own right, Green is a contributor to TNT throughout the NBA season.

The 2023 NBA All-Star Game takes place on Sunday, February 19th in Salt Lake City.

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Sports TV News

Kevin Harvick Only Spoke to FOX About Broadcasting Opportunities

“They’re very similar to the things I like to do — being a little bit edgy and doing things their own way.”

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NASCAR legend Kevin Harvick is joining the NASCAR on FOX booth for the 2024 season. The former series champion said the network was the only one he discussed broadcasting opportunities with.

Harvick told Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern that FOX was the only outlet he would have considered joining, claiming “they’re very similar to the things I like to do — being a little bit edgy and doing things their own way.”

The 60-race winner will join longtime play-by-play announcer Mike Joy and former teammate Clint Bowyer in the NASCAR on FOX booth after completing his final season of competition in 2023.

Harvick added he is looking forward to getting to know more people behind the scenes at the network.

“One of the most intriguing things to me is being more involved in the whole process and getting to know the production people and producers.”

FOX had been seeking a replacement for another NASCAR legend — Jeff Gordon — after he departed the booth to join Hendrick Motorsports as its Vice Chairman after the 2021 season. Meanwhile, the NASCAR on NBC analysts roles are currently held by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton, both somewhat recently retired drivers in their own right.

The addition of Harvick to its broadcast team could be considered a signal that FOX Sports is serious about continuing a relationship with NASCAR. The motorsports entity is reportedly planning to take its television rights to the open market as its contracts with FOX Sports and NBC Sports end after the 2024 season.

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