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First Take Blasted For Arch Manning Segment

First Take took on the topic of whether or not Arch Manning will surpass his famous uncles and grandfather as the best QB in the family.

MIchael Quirk

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The days sandwiched between the end of the NBA season and the beginning of the NFL season are the dog days of sports reporting. It’s a time when networks and publications latch on to the NBA Draft and free agency period, the MLB trade deadline, NFL camps, and really anything that can get a reporter through the day. First Take is never one to miss an opportunity to start the silly season early, and Tuesday was no exception as they discussed the topic “Will Arch Manning surpass Peyton, Eli & Archie to become the greatest Manning yet?”

If you are keeping score at home, or at a specific family reunion near New Orleans, let’s take a quick look at the credentials. Peyton Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion and one of the top 5-10 quarterbacks to ever play the game. Eli Manning is also a two-time Super Bowl champion whose legendary playoff runs are cemented in NFL lore. Archie Manning is the patriarch who architected the familial football dynasty and was a dynamic signal-caller in his own right relegated to what was at the time considered football purgatory in the Bayou. Arch Manning, however, just wrapped up his sophomore year in high school.

“Peyton Manning was like the most excellent player who ever lived until it mattered most and then Eli was the best,” Max Kellerman lobbied while breaking down Peyton, Eli, and Archie’s attributes. “He may have all of that in him. He doesn’t have to be the best at each category, just mix it all up in there.”

It is a topic that did not go unnoticed by the sports media. Many writers and talking heads had the same conclusion: it is nuts to be talking about this right now.

For context, Arch is by all accounts an elite prospect at this point in his high school career. He’s had eyes on him since middle school due to his highly-publicized surname, with his Isadore Newman football games broadcast on the ESPN family of networks in recent years. He is the No. 4 overall player in the country by the 247Sports composite for the 2023 class, including the No. 1 quarterback in the class. While his recruitment is being played close to the chest, the options he is reportedly considering at this early stage are Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, SMU, and Texas along with his mother’s alma mater in Virginia, and his father, uncle, and grandparents’ alma mater in Ole Miss.

The recruiting machine and the content machine are two that seemingly are never-ending. Though, contemplating whether or not a kid who has yet to attend his junior prom is destined for greatness surpassing his legendary family members seems like at least one of those machines may have a loose cog in it.

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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