Networks are lining up for the chance to talk to Richard Jefferson. The 17-year NBA veteran has had discussions with multiple teams about making a move to broadcasting and there are at least three suitors for his services.
YES has had talks with Jefferson about joining the network’s Brooklyn Nets coverage. Jefferson played his first seven seasons in the NBA with the then New Jersey Nets. The role the two sides have discussed is something of a studio/game analyst hybrid. Jefferson, if he accepts, would work part-time in each environment. Regardless of whatever decision Jefferson makes, YES intends to keep Sarah Kustok with Ian Eagle on its lead play-by-play team.
The Los Angeles Clippers are having to completely overhaul their television broadcasts this season. Bruce Bowen and the team parted ways after a disagreement over the way Bowen criticized Kawhi Leonard. Long time play-by-play man Ralph Lawler announced his retirement earlier this week. Jefferson is a leading candidate to take over as the Clippers’ color commentator despite never having played for the team.
ESPN has also had discussions with Richard Jefferson about his broadcasting future. He has done some part time work for ESPN in the past, appearing on The Jump. The World Wide Leader envisions a studio role for Jefferson that one official described to The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand as “a similar spot to Tim Legler”. It would allow him to appear on multiple shows including The Jump, SportsCenter, and Get Up!.
For all of the interest in Jefferson becoming a broadcaster, Jefferson himself may not be on board. He told Marchand that he is planning to play an 18th season in the NBA.
“I’m a basketball player until I am not a basketball player,” Jefferson told The Post. “My goal is to play basketball this season.”
Richard Jefferson spent last season as a member of the Denver Nuggets.
As a broadcaster, Jefferson’s biggest moment may have come in podcasting. It was on the show he did with former Cleveland teammate Channing Frye where Kyrie Irving admitted he believed the Earth is flat.
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.