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Thomas Dimitroff Producing Behind-The-Scenes Show On NFL GMs

The executive held the Falcons GM title from 2008-2020.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Atlanta Falcons

Thomas Dimitroff’s Atlanta Falcons GM tenure didn’t end with a title, but he’s bringing a championship idea to television. Michael Holley guest-wrote Peter King’s weekly “FMIA” column and had this nugget on a new project from the former head football mind in Atlanta.

“Thomas Dimitroff is on to something big,” Holley wrote in the article. “The former Falcons general manager has now interviewed 15 GMs for an unfiltered TV show that he’s producing. The idea is to show aspects of the job—and the personalities behind it—that often go unseen/unexplained. Among the 15: Howie Roseman, Jason Licht, Mickey Loomis, and Brett Veach.”

There weren’t any details on a home for the project or release date, but the idea is fascinating. Dimitroff built strong relationships in the league during his run in Atlanta, which began in 2008. The Falcons let Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn go after the team’s 0-5 start last season.

That cache is going to be a big factor in making this entertaining content. GMs are famously fickle in the amount of information they let get out to the public, but with the success of HBO’s Hard Knocks cemented, it was a matter of time before spin-offs popped up.

Maybe HBO would be interested in the program since it’s widely expected to follow a similar format to the training camp documentary aired each August. With nearly half the league on board, it’s clear there is interest in the project within league circles.

Filming may have already begun. Bar Bill Tavern in Buffalo, New York, snapped a photo of Dimitroff and Bills GM Brandon Beane going through an on-camera interview at the restaurant last month.

More news around the project should start trickling out as we approach Week One of the NFL season, the Falcons first without Dimitroff since George W. Bush was in office.

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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Sports TV News

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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Sports TV News

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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