The entire NHL on NBC crew was on a conference call on Friday morning to talk about the upcoming Stanley Cup Finals matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars. Like the rest of the playoffs, the games will be played inside of the NHL bubble, with all action shifting to Edmonton for the Finals.
Play-by-play man Doc Emrick and analyst Eddie Olczyk were asked how long distance was effecting their usual chemistry. Olczyk is in Canada, while Emrick is calling games from his home in Michigan.
“We enjoy one another’s company so much, whether it winds up being a couple thousand miles apart or whether it’s on the air and in two separate boxes at the start of a show, it makes it just a part of a good life for me; I will tell you that,” Emrick answered.
He noted that there are times that the two will end up talking over each other, but each does his best to give the other enough space to avoid those hiccups.
Emrick was asked on the call about technical improvements that were made to limit the delay between the live action and what he sees on his screen at home. He said that he was never aware of a delay and deferred to producer Sam Flood.
“It was two tin cans, we stretched the string between it, and that sped up the process,” Flood joked. “Alexander Graham Bell was an analyst for us and helped us through, and Mr. Bell said if you go a shorter distance, which is from where you are outside Detroit to Edmonton, the sound and pictures will travel quicker, and that’s what we did and miraculously it worked. So the shorter distance sped us up.”
In reality, originally, what Emrick saw at home was being sent to him from the control room in Stamford, Connecticut after NBC received the video from its truck in either Toronto or Edmonton. In later rounds, Emrick’s feed came directly from the truck on location.
Olczyk cited the duo’s fourteen year history together. He said that no matter what, he trusts Emrick’s call just as he has in the past.
“I think it is obviously a unique dynamic, but when you’re working with the best, you follow Doc’s lead as Pierre and Bouch and I have done and will continue to do. There is a cadence that we understand, and I remember for the first time when I sat in that chair after the great John Davidson left for St. Louis to become team president of the St. Louis Blues some 14 plus years ago, and our leader Sam Flood, I remember him vividly saying, you know, late in a game, ‘Okay, guys, this is Doc time, and that’s when you pick your spots and you get in and you get out and you give Doc an opportunity to take a breath and we’d go from there.’”
He added that any praise that he and Emrick have received for covering games in the bubble is really praise for the entire NBC team.
“The team and the teamwork is second to none, and those are things that are going on behind the scenes that people don’t know about compared to a normal situation. But as we’ve all said, what the hell is normal in 2020, and we will figure it out because we’re working for and with the best, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow night.”
FOX Doubles Ad Price For Premiere US World Cup Matches
FOX has capitalized by charging $600,000 per 30-second commercial during its coverage of USA/England.
The 2022 World Cup is underway and the opener received a gigantic ratings increase for FOX Sports. Now, according to a report from Front Office Sports, the network has doubled its ad price for the USA match versus England.
USA/England will air in a lucrative window, at 2:00 PM ET on Black Friday, and FOX has capitalized by charging $600,000 per 30-second commercial during its coverage of the match. That price, according to Front Office Sports reporters Michael McCarthy and Doug Greenberg, is double what the network had asked for from advertisers for other matches.
While the event opener saw a sharp increase, the first match featuring the United States saw a decline from previous World Cup openers for the country. 11.71 million watched the match in the US between FOX Sports and Telemundo. In 2014, 11.1 million watched on ESPN and in 2010 13 million watched the first US match on ABC.
Analysists have predicted FOX Sports could garner nearly $125 million in ad revenue for the duration of the tournament.
Telemundo’s Miguel Gurwitz Announcing World Cup, NFL Thanksgiving Games For 18 Straight Hours Thursday
With the game expected to end at 2:00 AM local time, that means Gurwitz will be announcing games for over 18 hours on Thursday.
With the World Cup happening at an unprecedented time, there were bound to be scheduling conflicts. The conflicts for Telemundo’s Miguel Gurwitz, however, might be the real unprecedented nature of the event being played in November.
Gurwitz works on Telemundo’s coverage of the World Cup while calling matches as the secondary play-by-play announcer. Beginning at 11:00 AM in Doha, Gurwitz will work the network’s coverage of the event.
But as the soccer day turns to tonight, Gurwitz will call Telemundo’s broadcast of the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings game from Qatar. With the game expected to end at 2:00 AM local time, that means Gurwitz will be announcing games for over 18 hours on Thursday.
He will also do the feat again on Sunday, as he’ll broadcast World Cup matches for the network during the day and then announce the Packers and Eagles game for Sunday Night Football.
Kevin Burkhardt: ‘Honor To Be In People’s Homes’ During Thanksgiving Broadcast
“There were a couple on the calendar that I thought that it might hit me and be very, very cool.”
On Thanksgiving, Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen will call their first Thanksgiving Day game for FOX when the New York Giants take on the Dallas Cowboys (4:30 PM ET). It’s been a memorable year for Burkhardt and Olsen in their first year as the A broadcast team for FOX that will end in the duo calling the Super Bowl in February.
Burkhardt was a guest on The Season with Peter Schrager podcast this week and talked about the honor of getting the chance to be on the call for a Thanksgiving Day game.
“The whole job is big and we are doing big games every week. There were a couple on the calendar that I thought that it might hit me and be very, very cool. One of them was Dallas-Green Bay, which turned out to be epic a couple of weeks ago.
“The playoffs and the Super Bowl will be great, but Thanksgiving Day. Growing up in a football family, it was kind of eating around both games. Catch the early game, halftime, go throw the football in the street, eat the meal between games, then the Cowboys game comes on, you watch that. Maybe halftime you watch or maybe you throw the football again. Watch the rest of the game, you have dessert after the game. That was the day.
“It is an honor because you are in a lot of people’s homes every week. I feel like you really are in people’s homes…. You are kind of like hugging everybody. I think it’s beyond awesome, I really do.”
Burkhardt mentioned to Schrager that he and Olsen knew they had big shoes to fill after taking over for Joe Buck and Troy Aikman (both now at ESPN) and it felt like walking in to a new job, but the A crew at FOX helped them and he liked that he and Olsen got to do it together.
“It’s been awesome. It really has. When you go into a situation like this, Joe and Troy were there for 2 decades, that’s a long time. People have long-standing relationships. Even though I’ve been at FOX for 9 years and Greg was there last year, we are the new guys essentially.
“You walk in, you don’t know how they are going to react to you, what they are going to think of you, if they think you are any good and all that stuff. From Day 1, it was like welcome to the family, we love you. I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s been awesome. It felt like we’ve just fit right in. I think there’s been some cool symmetry, the fact that Greg and I got to do it together because we have such a bond.
“The fact that we got to jump in together I think has kind of been fun and helped us both because he knows me really well and I know him really well. Then, it was just getting everyone else to know us and vice versa.”
The one thing that Burkhardt did have to adjust to was a different style of show and that each production team has different viewpoint and creativity.
“The crew I’ve been on my whole life with Pete Macheska and Artie Kempner, they do a different show than Z (Richie Zyontz) and Russo (Rich Russo) do it. It’s not good, bad, or indifferent. Everyone has different viewpoints and creativity. I think it was just getting used to each other in terms of that, but it’s felt like I’ve worked with them for 25 years. It’s felt seamless. It’s felt fun.”
Even though Burkhardt is now the lead NFL play-by-play voice for FOX, that doesn’t mean he is going to change how he does a game.
“I’m not going to change my style or who I am. I’m not saying I’m not open to critiques and wanting to get better and to get coached. The basis of what I do and how I do it, I’m not going to change that now because I’m on the A crew. They liked me enough to put me here, so I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. Maybe tweaks here and there, but if I radically changed now, I’d be a moron.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.