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Bill Simmons Hints at Future Partnership with ESPN

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Some ESPN personalities venture away from the network and find expanded success, others make their way back to The Worldwide Leader after concluding there might not be a better opportunity available to them. ESPN has never been afraid to welcome back past employees, just look toward Keith Olbermann, Rachel Nichols and Stephen A. Smith for examples. Could Bill Simmons be next?

Simmons had an ugly divorce from ESPN in 2015, one that probably would have had him shocked if he was told he’d be pondering the idea of collaborating with the network three years later. While Simmons’ website and podcast network, The Ringer, is reportedly profitable, his partnership with HBO has been very disappointing.

Simmons welcomed former ESPN NBA Countdown co-host Jalen Rose to the latest Bill Simmons Podcast. At the end of the podcast, Simmons hinted at working with Rose again in the near future.

“I would say…I’m going to put the odds at maybe 4 to 1 that you and I are doing the Bill and Jalen NBA preview in October. I think I’m going to make it work,” Simmons told Rose.

It sounded as if Bill was en route to saying he thinks enough time has passed since he left ESPN, but Jalen jumped in before Simmons finished the statement. Rose was very surprised by Simmons’ prediction and asked if he was about to break news.

“You’re coming back home?” said Rose.

“No, I’m not coming home, but I think I can collaborate on certain projects down the road,” Simmons answered.  “Number one on the list is could we collaborate on a Ringer, ESPN, Bill and Jalen NBA preview that we put either on YouTube or the OTT app?”

It certainly wasn’t definitive, but the fact that Simmons floated the idea of launching an ESPN partnership within the next few month indicates the relationship must have improved since he departed in 2015. If elite ESPN personalities can return to the network, why not add Simmons to that group?

His show, Any Given Wednesday was canceled by HBO after just five months. HBO remains an investor in The Ringer and reportedly carries first pass rights on all of the website’s projects. Still, HBO can’t be satisfied with the return they’ve received on the reported $7-9 million per year paid to Simmons. Bill also can’t feel as if his departure from ESPN has been vindicated, but after three years, it sounds like a return to the network may not be far off.

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

Sports Radio News

David Feherty Launches Weekly SiriusXM Show

“David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind.”

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Via NBC Sports Pressbox

SiriusXM announced today that David Feherty, who has been entertaining golf audiences with his witty perspective on the game for more than two decades, is joining SiriusXM to launch a new weekly show.

Feherty will team up with fellow former pro and SiriusXM host John Maginnes for Feherty and Maginnes. The show will be on Monday evenings on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel.

They will preview the new show this Wednesday at 5pm. The show officially starts in its new time slot on January 3rd, as the PGA TOUR season picks up steam with the Hawaii tournaments.

“I can’t wait to work with John Maginnes,” said Feherty.  “He is one of my favorite people and SiriusXM will be a really fun platform for us. The over/under on both of us getting canceled is about six weeks!”

The format will include long form interviews with personalities from the world of golf with storytelling to the listeners coming from the golf expertise of Feherty and Maginnes, who both had playing careers on the PGA Tour.

“David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer. “SiriusXM is the perfect platform for his many great stories and the insightful and revealing conversations he’ll have with his guests.  We are thrilled to pair him up with John and bring together two terrific personalities who will deliver an entertaining, must-listen show for our listeners.”

Feherty spent time following his playing career at CBS and NBC as well as his own show on the Golf Channel.

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Sports Radio News

Industry Analyst Predicts Crypto Will Surpass Gambling In Sports World

Industry sources believe that crypto could grow into a $100 million dollar industry for sports television within the next year.

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Industry insiders have believed for quite a while that sports betting was the future for sponsorship and advertisement revenue, but it appears that there is a new venture on the rise that is quickly surpassing it.

Crypto.com made a huge statement in purchasing the Staples Center in what will be known as Crypto.com Arena come Christmas Day.

SponsorUnited Founder and President Bob Lynch believes that there is no doubt that Crypto and Blockchain will far exceed sports betting as the premiere revenue money maker for the sports industry over the next decade.

“They’re essentially buying equity,” which would be particularly valuable in an industry that is still widely doubted, Lynch said on Crypto.com’s purchase of the arena. “The Lakers and Clippers have global exposure, media value and mentions that give instant brand legitimacy with top-of-mind awareness through national/global TV exposure,”

Crypto has already started to push its way into major advertisements for key events in the world of sports. Cryptocurrency exchange FTX purchased an ad in this upcoming Super Bowl, and already has the backing of the biggest star in professional football. Tom Brady has an equity stake in the company.

Crypto.com is already the sponsor of FOX‘s college football studio show, Big Noon Kickoff, on top of running ads during broadcasts of the game as well.

Industry sources believe that crypto could grow into a $100 million dollar industry for sports television within the next year. It seems that the possibilities are endless for crypto within the sports landscape. While sports gambling certainly isn’t going away from the public eye, it could be overtaken by crypto in terms of ad spending and sponsorship visibility very soon.

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Sports Radio News

Colin Cowherd: Lincoln Riley At USC Is Good For Networks

“Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches.”

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FS1

Colin Cowherd is a self-professed college football fan. When the sport is interesting, he talks about it. The sport may never be more interesting than when the coaching carousel is spinning.

On Mondy’s edition of The Herd on FS1 and FOX Sports Radio, Cowherd dove in on USC’s hire of Lincoln Riley. He says that it is good for college football that Riley left Oklahoma for Los Angeles.

“My phone blew up yesterday, not only because people know I’m kind of a USC honk, but network people,” Cowherd said. “They’re like ‘do you understand how big this is for networks?’”.

Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches. He noted that when USC lost to Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl, ABC scored a 22.5 rating in the city.

“The networks want USC to be good. You know why? Because New York, DC, and Boston have never watched college football. Chicago does and LA does. So the Big Ten being good is good for college football TV ratings. But LA doesn’t watch college football anymore. They will now.”

As for the hard times USC has fallen on and been stuck in mostly since Pete Carroll bolted for the NFL, Cowherd is not particularly worried. He pointed out that Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame were all down before they hired the right coach. Programs at the blue blood level in the sport have a way of bouncing back quickly.

Network executives are hoping Cowherd’s assessment is correct. USC is the only brand on the West Coast capable of resonating on a national level.

The Los Angeles sports landscape has changed though. When USC was a celebrity program under Pete Carroll, the city did not have an NFL team. Now it has two. The Dodgers were not annual contenders in Major League Baseball. The Lakers had stars, but the Clippers didn’t. Now both do.

Does LA love college football enough for the Trojans to turn some heads in the city with the most stars in the sports world?

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