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Joe Buck: ‘Couldn’t Be More Proud’ Of Athletes Speaking Out On Social Issues

Buck says he is sure his famous father would feel the same way.

Ricky Keeler

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Since 1994, Joe Buck has been on everybody’s television screens calling NFL games or Major League Baseball games (since 1996) for FOX. However, if you ask him, he felt he was more lucky enough to work for a network that had the rights to those sports, so he could have that opportunity. 

This week, Buck was on the The Athletic Baseball Show with Jayson Stark and Doug Glanville. One of the things he talked about is how people think Buck hates their team when he calls games: 

Stark asked Buck if he would have told Buck back then that he would end up calling 23 World Series and 6 Super Bowls as well as calling baseball for a total of 30 years (both locally in St. Louis and nationally), what would he say? The son of the late, great Jack Buck thought what he’s done is more of an indication on how great FOX is doing than what he is doing: 

“It’s weird for me to look back. I was just trying to make sure I wasn’t going to get exposed as some fraud. A lot of stuff was swirling around and I just remember thinking let’s get through this one. Calling my dad before and after games and just knowing I ended up in a place that just continues to buy the rights to baseball. I didn’t win a national title search and Simon Cowell isn’t evaluating my broadcasts. FOX wrote the bigger checks and I was lucky enough to audition when they got football and get in the door. I just ended up at the place that continues to want to pay to cover baseball in October at a network level.” 

Glanville asked Buck about what the difference is between baseball and football in terms of being able to elevate big moments, such as a home run call.

“I think baseball lends itself to those moments a little bit more. The NFL doesn’t lend itself to that. Baseball has so much nuance and so much more time to talk about how we talk to the manager, here is the matchup he’s looking at, here’s who on his bench. The guy could be at the plate fouling off pitches. There’s time to do that. If you love the strategy of baseball which is becoming less and less part of the game in my opinion unfortunately, you love calling this game.”

Glanville also asked Buck what he thinks about athletes voicing their opinion on social issues. Buck says his dad told him before Buck started calling Triple-A games to realize how hard it is for people to play the game.

“I think my dad would be very proud that the people he admired so much are willing to use their voice for social change. I think that is the next step in the evolution of the professional athlete. I couldn’t be more proud of what I see around me. The way Colin Kaepernick grew up is so different than the way I grew up and I respect that.  Then, when they start putting money and time behind these efforts, you realize how special a lot of these athletes are. I’m very proud that the people I get to cover are also making a difference in society.”

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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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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FOX Sports VP: ‘USFL Proves Spring Football As Valuable As Rising Properties’

“We want to show we belong in that category, and I think that happened.”

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Michael Mulvihill says the USFL accomplished exactly what FOX needed it to. It proved there is a large enough audience for spring football that it has a value on par with some of the hottest properties in sports media right now.

 “All we wanted to do is demonstrate that spring football can do viewership at the levels of Premier League, NHL regular season, Formula One or MLS,” the FOX Sports Executive VP said according to Sports Business Journal. “We want to show we belong in that category, and I think that happened.”

While none of those properties are pulling in the kind of media rights money the NFL or major college football is, Mulvihill pointed out that all of them have been in the news for the right reasons.

“You’re talking about properties that have all recently negotiated deals at substantial increases, or with F1, people know it’s about to.”

The USFL had a solid broadcasting footprint with games airing on FOX, NBC, FS1 and USA. Regular season games for the first year of the revived league averaged just under 700,000 viewers.

Mulvihill said fans behaved exactly how he expected them to in the first season of the USFL. Without any team loyalties, he isn’t surprised that people watched less of an average USFL game than they did the NFL or college football.

The USFL Playoffs begin this weekend. Canton, OH will host the league’s first championship game on July 3.

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