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Tony Reali Rescues Injured Falcon In Manhattan

“Speaking to panelists prior to Around The Horn, Reali noted he might not have helped the bird if it turned out to be a pigeon, but we won’t dock him any points for honesty.”

Brandon Contes

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If I had to guess which ESPN host would help an injured peregrine falcon, Tony Reali would be on the short list. 

Through social media, Reali has been transparent about many real-life topics, making him relatable to the audience in a variety of ways. He’s been outspoken in his support for the Special Olympics, helping to overturn proposed cuts to federal funding for the organization. Maybe a bit of a renaissance man, the former PTI statistician is also a pretty talented and well-rounded musician.

So while Reali’s compassion for an injured peregrine falcon may not be a total shocker, it also wasn’t required of him to seek help for the bird.

Reali described the scene in detail to Patrick Redford of the recently launched site Defector:

I told you I’m not one for animals but I love the idea of the peregrine falcon! I go to parties all the time and ask people “What’s the fastest animal in the world?” They always say the cheetah and I always say, “AHA! NO!! THE PEREGRINE FALCON!!!! 220 miles per hour!” I guess I should say these parties are birthday parties for 6-year-olds and 6-year-olds love cheetahs, but they need to respect the peregrine falcon. And now I hear they’re the King of the Raptors?! Awesome. So now I’m geeked but also scared for her because it doesn’t look good.

She’s moved from the sidewalk to the street and now she’s NEARLY UNDER A CAR that was momentarily stopped at a light, so I go into traffic and stop the car. I tried to persuade her to move—honestly, no idea what I’m doing at this point—and that’s when she attempted to fly away but was clearly having a problem with that left wing and flew into the concrete wall of the Post Office across the street. Hit the ground hard. We didn’t think she was still alive but then she got up again and flew further down Barclay street. It was all getting sadder.

It’s a group of about five of us now. One woman called 311 and I went Defcon 1: Twitter thread. The photos got the attention of the Wild Bird Fund and then we were able to get the falcon in a box through some ingenuity from Post Office Police Officer Ho. He brought the box out and we kind of approached from multiple angles, (like the RAPTORS IN JURASSIC PARK now that I think of it! ). The box went over her head and then Officer Ho flipped it gently but quickly, like a trick a magician would do at 6-year-olds’ birthday parties to cheer up kids who just found out their precious cheetahs aren’t the fastest after all. I could feel her barely moving in the box as I carried it. I stayed with her for 15 minutes checking to make sure she was still breathing and then handed her over to NYPD Precinct 1 for the ride up to Wild Bird Fund and hoped for the best.

Speaking to panelists prior to Around The Horn, Reali noted he might not have helped the bird if it turned out to be a pigeon, but we won’t dock him any points for honesty. A recent update from the Wild Bird Fund noted the falcon has a serious head injury and they were working to stabilize her. Although this bird may have gotten lost or confused in the city, it’s not uncommon for the peregrine falcon to inhabit Manhattan. 

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Sports TV News

Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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