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Shannon Sharpe Criticizes Panthers For Cam Newton Release

“Former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe took the Panthers to task over their handling of the situation on the Wednesday edition of FS1’s Undisputed.”

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An accepted courtesy when ending a long term relationship is to do it face-to face. Apparently, the Carolina Panthers missed the memo. It was recently revealed that the Panthers’ organization informed star quarterback, and former NFL MVP, Cam Newton that they were moving in a different direction via text message. 

Former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe took the Panthers to task over their handling of the situation on the Wednesday edition of FS1’s Undisputed.

I am disappointed in the Panthers,” Sharpe said. “They could have handled it better. I understand wanting to do some spring cleaning. You have a new owner and a new head coach, you want a new quarterback. They were perfectly within their rights, but Cam Newton deserved better than that (a text message). He was the face of your franchise for nine years.”

As a contrast, Sharpe describes how he was released from the Ravens.

“(General Manger) Ozzie Newsom called me and wanted to know what I was going to do (for the next season),” Sharpe said. “I had just led the league in catches for tight end that year. I was going to play. Ozzie said, ‘You know we drafted Todd (Heap) and we are going to play him. Somebody’s going to want you though. Go and find out. If not, you can always come back, but just know Todd is going to be our starter.’ I had no problem with that.”

Sharpe then asks the Panthers’ organization some pointed questions.

“Are you telling me they could not do the same for Cam?  Marty Hurney, you drafted this man. Are you telling me you can’t at least pick up the phone and say, ‘Cam, we are going in another direction. Thank you and we wish you the best?’ Instead you send him a text?  Man, that’s cold. That’s how you know the relationship is over. The Panthers were saying we are really, really done. We are done with everything about you, with you. It’s over. I’m going to forget  the word courtesy and say they did not even have the decency to even pick up the phone and call Cam. He gave them everything he had for nine years. This is an awful look for Carolina.”

Sharpe reiterated the same point on his personal Twitter account after the show aired and it resonated with followers. The tweet and accompanying video clip of the show has received 2.4 thousand likes and 106,000 views.

Sports TV News

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.”

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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Sports TV News

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.”

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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.

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