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ESPN Gave Mike Greenberg Tapes Of Chris Berman & Trey Wingo To Study For NFL Draft

“Being a part of the NFL Draft isn’t new for Greenberg. He was the co-host of ESPN Radio’s Draft coverage from 2004-2006 when it was at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, but he doesn’t expect that his radio experience will be anything like TV.”

Ricky Keeler

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Next Thursday night, Mike Greenberg will be in the lead chair of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage live in Cleveland, Ohio alongside Louis Riddick, Booger McFarland, and Mel Kiper Jr. 

This week, Greenberg was on The Adam Schefter Podcast with Schefter to talk about his preparation for hosting the draft. He told Schefter that hosting Rounds 1-3, means he has to know more about this draft than anyone before it.

“I love the draft, but I usually know about 20 of the players intimately. This time around because I am doing the first 3 rounds, I set a goal of knowing 120 players intimately. That takes a lot of work. By the time we get there, I will have not only done notes, but watched tape on 120 players with the hope nobody sneaks in.” 

Hosting the draft brings back great memories for Greenberg. Back in 1991, his first ever assignment as a sports reporter was covering the Chicago Bears draft that season. He told Schefter he got paid $20 to cover the event from 8 AM-midnight, but he would have paid $20 to cover it back then. 

Being a part of the NFL Draft isn’t new for Greenberg. He was the co-host of ESPN Radio’s Draft coverage from 2004-2006 when it was at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, but he doesn’t expect that his radio experience will be anything like TV.

“It couldn’t be more different. You can’t see anything on the radio. There was nothing to do but us talk. In this case, we are seeing these great pictures of the crowd reacting, the players and their families reacting. You want to let that breathe a little.”

Part of Greenberg’s research was to watch some past drafts. The producer of the NFL Draft, Bryan Ryder, sent him two of them, one hosted by Chris Berman and one hosted by Trey Wingo so Greenberg can look at the mechanics of hosting. In fact, Greenberg looks at advice Berman gave him that has stuck with him about how to host the NFL Draft.

“We’ve exchanged a lot of notes and the most interesting piece of advice he gave me was I’ve approached this like an NFL show, from the NFL team point of view. Now that I have heard him say that, you can hear it philosophically [from the past coverage]. You have the power structure of the entire league being re-shaped while at the very same time, the wildest dreams of 32 young men and their entire families coming true. When he said that to me, it really crystalized in my mind.”

So, what is Greenberg’s goal for a successful draft coverage? He hopes he can help the other people at the desk shine.

“I am facilitating our coverage of the draft. If everyone feels like the coverage was really good, I got everything I wanted and they don’t remember who was sitting in the middle of it all, then I did a good job.”

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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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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