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Turner Gets 3 Stanley Cup Finals & Winter Classic

Other details of the agreement include as many as 72 exclusive regular-season games per year, which will air on TNT and its sister channel TBS. Half of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each year can also be found on both stations.

Kate Constable

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Having announced a seven-year deal with the NHL on Tuesday, Turner officially joined ESPN as one of the league’s TV partners. The deal will begin this fall with the 2021-22 season.

According to Awful Announcing, Turner did not release the yearly fee their paying but noted that Sports Business Journal estimates the total cost at $1.575 billion over the seven years, or $225 million per year.

When adding the $400 million per season that ESPN is paying, the NHL is raking in $625 million per year, which is more than double what NBC – who had been the league’s only national TV partner for the last 10 years before being replaced – and ESPN had currently been paying, as noted by Awful Announcing.

A report by Sportico notes that “TNT will televise the three Stanley Cup Finals not already claimed by fellow newcomer ESPN, as well as the Winter Classic.”

Other details of the agreement include as many as 72 exclusive regular-season games per year, which will air on TNT and its sister channel TBS. Half of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each year can also be found on both stations.

TNT will also have streaming and simulcast rights for HBO, although Sportico notes that WarnerMedia News & Sports chairman Jeff Zucker and his team won’t rush into bringing hockey “over-the-top.”

“We’re really focused on the Turner networks, TNT and TBS, given their full distribution,” Zucker said during a call with sports reporters on Tuesday. “We’re excited to have the optionality to put these games on HBO Max as well, and that will happen in years to come as HBO Max continues to grow. We’re going to skate where the puck is going… but it’s not imminent, and it’s not going to happen this year.”

The report also notes that Turner is assembling a studio show and NHL broadcast team but, between the NBA, MLB and March Madness games, it’s undecided as to which night will serve as the weekly hockey telecast.

An NHL studio show similar to Inside the NBA is also in the works, according to Sportico.

“Obviously, there’s a style to Turner Sports, and we want to bring that same approach to the NHL,” Zucker said, before saying that the show that bows next fall will be “innovative, fun and dynamic.”

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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