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Paul Finebaum Takes Meeting With DAZN

“Last month DAZN began seeking new investment funds, but interest in Finebaum could mean they still have budget room for potential high-priced talent.”

Brandon Contes

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It’s no surprise other platforms are interested in Paul Finebaum, but will ESPN let their popular sportscaster walk? According to Bobby Burack of The Big Lead, Finebaum met with former ESPN president and current executive chairman of DAZN Group John Skipper, signaling mutual interest between the two. 

Since DAZN launched in Germany and Japan in 2016, entering the U.S. market in 2018, the OTT subscription sports service has continued to expand at a rapid and expensive rate. Last month DAZN began seeking new investment funds, but interest in Finebaum could mean they still have budget room for potential high-priced talent. 

It was Skipper who brought Finebaum to the Worldwide Leader in 2013 and according to The Big Lead, they were discussing a contract extension for well over $3 million annually when the ESPN president surprisingly left in 2017. Contract negotiations stalled without Skipper as Finebaum neared free agency in 2018, but ESPN and the college football expert ultimately agreed to a deal averaging around $2 million per year.

Finebaum remains under contract with ESPN, after having just signed the extension in July 2018. As The Big Lead notes, Finebaum is represented by Nick Kahn of CAA. Kahn previously negotiated huge deals in the $6 million per year range for Skip Bayless and Colin Cowherd to leave ESPN for FS1. FS1’s president at the time, Jamie Horowitz, is now DAZN’s current EVP of content. Kahn and Finabaum both having relationships with DAZN decision-makers could help the OTT service lure the sportscaster away from ESPN.

As DAZN develops, they’ve invested heavily in fight sports, including a $1 billion partnership with Matchroom Boxing and signing boxer Canelo Alvarez to a $365 million contract. DAZN (pronounced “da-zone”). While they continue to be interested in live sports, DAZN also recently partnered with Pat McAfee and Westwood One, displaying a radio/simulcast model that could be replicated for other talent like Finebaum.

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

Joy Taylor Says Aaron Rodgers Is More Likeable After Pardon My Take Appearance

“It makes him astronomically more likeable,” Taylor said.

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Joy Taylor

On Monday, the Pardon My Take podcast dropped their latest episode which featured an interview with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Big Cat, one of the show’s co-hosts, is a Chicago Bears fan and has spent a lot of time not liking Rodgers publicly.

Colin Cowherd saw one of the many clips that the show shared and brought up how much he thought that Rodgers took ribbing from Big Cat and the podcast in stride. That’s when Joy Taylor offered that the interview could help Rodgers in the long run.

“It makes him astronomically more likeable,” Taylor said. “When you can show that you don’t take yourself that seriously, all of the animosity that people have towards you just kind of starts to wither away.”

She added that the disarming quality helps if people don’t perceive Rodgers as thinking he has all the answers.

“When people feel like they are projecting ‘I know more than you’ and ‘I’ve got it all figured out’ energy, people are like: ‘you got to be the smartest guy on the room all time time? You’re not.’

This is so likeable,” Taylor said. “It’s really funny.”

Cowherd agreed and even said he is probably going to go listen to it after the show.

“Aaron is genuinely laughing as they make fun of him and that is an incredibly endearing quality.”

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Sports Radio News

WNSR Debuts ‘Power Hour’ with Sami Kincaid

Nashville’s WNSR debuted Power Hour with host Sami Kincaid.

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Power Hour with Sami Kincaid

Nashville has a brand new voice to listen to on WNSR and her name is Sami Kincaid. On Saturday, the station debuted Power Hour with host Sami Kincaid.

The debut show featured Associated Press writer Teresa Walker, Vanderbilt women’s basketball guard Jordyn Cambridge and North Georgia assistant softball coach Alea White. The show is focused on women that are operating inside sports.

The show airs Saturdays from 9-10a CT.

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Sports Radio News

Toucher and Rich: Dennis Eckersley’s Retirement a “Huge Loss”

“When Eckersley got in there (the booth),” Shertenlieb started, “he was great. It made all of them better when Dennis Eckersley was around. It’s going to be a huge loss.”

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Dennis Eckersley

On Monday, Dennis Eckersley announced that he was going to retire from the Boston Red Sox television booth at the end of this season. The current NESN analyst is leaving after twenty years on the air with the team.

The news broke during Toucher and Rich on 98.5 the Sports Hub and it gave show co-host Rich Shertenlieb a chance to mention the news and praise the departing personality.

“When Eckersley got in there (the booth),” Shertenlieb started, “he was great. It made all of them better when Dennis Eckersley was around. It’s going to be a huge loss.”

The show spent the rest of the segment talking about what Eckersley offered that made him so unique. That’s when Matt McCarthy, fill-in for Fred Toucher, said that Eckersley was exactly what you wanted in an analyst.

“You want someone that’s going to give you an opinion,” McCarthy said. “Eck gave you an opinion. He’ll be missed.”

McCarthy also pointed out that this is the latest major shakeup that has happened to the television broadcast in recent years.

“There’s no doubt this is a blow,” McCarthy added. “This is a tremendous loss to that Red Sox broadcast to which has taken a lot of hits over the years with the loss of Jerry Remy, the decision to move on from Don Orsillo and now Dennis Eckersley retiring… they are going to have to find an entertainer in there. Matt McCarthy

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