NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took time to praise President Donald Trump earlier this week on the completion of the new USMCA Deal. It may seem odd to have the commissioner of a league that Trump bashes whenever he wants to score points with his base offer the President praise. He has certainly faced some backlash for it in the media, but in a statement released by the NFL, Goodell notes that the new deal offers “a resolution to our intellectual property issue in Canada”.
The specific intellectual property in question is Super Bowl commercials. Until 2017, Canadian cable and satellite operators would simultaneously substitute (or “simsub”) the commercials on the American broadcast of the Super Bowl for ones purchased in Canada. While this wouldn’t effect people watching the official Canadian broadcast, it did effect Canadians watching the game on whatever US network had that year’s broadcast rights. It is common for Canadian television providers to offer the four major American networks via local affiliates near the border.
Andrew Bucholtz has a very detailed breakdown of the simsub debate and what it has meant for Canadian television over at Awful Announcing. For SportsRadioPD.com though, let’s stick to how this particularly effected the Super Bowl.
There are very few events where commercials are part of the appeal. The biggest of these is, of course, the Super Bowl. For years, there was no way for Canadians to see the high concept American ads on broadcast television. That was until a 2017 Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission ruling that deemed the simsub practice illegal. The NFL lobbied the White House to put an end to the practice, and it seems the league got its way.
This is expected to help the NFL as it negotiates its next round of Canadian broadcast rights. Bell Media, the current rights holder in Canada, reported that the ruling against the simsub practice cost the company $8.5 million (US) in ad revenue for Super Bowl LII. While Canadian broadcasters do not charge nearly as much as American ones do for ad space during the Super Bowl, it is still valuable air time. Not having it to sell makes the NFL a less valuable property in the Canadian market.
Greg Olsen To Partner With Kevin Burkhardt For Super Bowl LVII
“Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.”
The deal isn’t done yet, but Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reports that Greg Olsen is on his way to joining Kevin Burkhardt in the top NFL booth at FOX. Although Tom Brady will take over that role after he retires and leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olsen will spend at least this season on FOX’s A-Team.
Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.
Earlier this year, the former Panther told The Mac Attack on WFNZ in Charlotte that he was disappointed he didn’t get to call a postseason game. He will more than make up for that in 2023. As Burkhardt’s partner, Olsen is in line to be the analyst for Super Bowl LVII.
Marchand writes that we could get a taste of what is to come in February. He speculates that if the Buccaneers are not in the Super Bowl, it is possible Tom Brady could make his FOX debut, either in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen or as part of the network’s studio show.
Now, FOX has to make a decision about it’s number 2 NFL booth. According to Marchand, Drew Brees is a candidate to be the analyst. Adam Amin and Joe Davis have emerged as candidates for the play-by-play role.
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.