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Dan Shulman Explains Difficulties Of Calling TV/Radio Simulcast Of Games

“Speaking with Sean Fitz-Gerald of The Athletic, Shulman noted the differences between baseball on radio and television are significant, citing two areas specifically.”

Brandon Contes

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Sportsnet and the Toronto Blue Jays surprised many people earlier this year when they announced their decision to play the 2021 Major League Baseball season without a dedicated radio team, instead simulcasting their TV broadcast. 

In their attempts to explain the simulcast, they’ve highlighted how much of a challenge the task actually is. Bearing the brunt of that task is veteran play-by-play voice Dan Shulman. Despite his exceptional abilities and resume as a broadcaster, serving two audiences simultaneously is a different venture. 

Speaking with Sean Fitz-Gerald of The Athletic, Shulman noted the differences between baseball on radio and television are significant, citing two areas specifically.  

“One is, on radio, obviously you’re providing a lot more information more often — the score, the count, the inning, the baserunners, the outs. You need that when you’re listening on radio. On television, what we call the ‘bug’ — the scoreboard at the bottom — does that work for you. So you don’t really need to do it much at all,” Shulman told Fitz-Gerald.

“The second one is the whole “painting the picture” aspect of radio,” Shulman continued while stating he had not yet called a game that serves both platforms at the time of the interview. “So what I can say now is, I’m going to try to find the best balance I can to please both audiences. It can’t be entirely a TV call, and it can’t be entirely a radio call. It’s got to be a mix, and I want the radio listeners to know that I am going to try to keep them involved more by giving them the information they need more often than I normally would.”

Last month, Fitz-Gerald spoke to Sportsnet VP Rob Corte, who also noted Shulman’s need to find balance while speaking to different audiences at the same time. Corte declined to look beyond this season in terms of potentially returning to separate broadcasts to better service the radio and TV audiences individually. All parties are willing to acknowledge the difference in calling a game on radio and TV, but there’s still a wait-and-see approach as to how it will come together.

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David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”

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David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”

Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.

“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”

December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.

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NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”

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The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.

Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.

NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”

In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.

As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.

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NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’

“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

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A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.

“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.

The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.

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