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DirecTV Spins Off From AT&T

NFL Sunday Ticket airs on DirecTV through the 2022 NFL season.

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Courtesy: DirecTV

AT&T has spun off DirecTV, adding more fuel to the NFL Sunday Ticket fire. According to Sportico, the standalone TV service’s enterprise value is $16.3 Billion following the move by AT&T. The telecommunications giant made acquiring NFL Sunday Ticket a breaking point in their negotiations to take over DirecTV in 2015, but that move seems to have backfired.

When DirecTV renewed its Sunday Ticket deal in October 2014, it agreed to up rates by 50%, signing off on a commitment to pay the NFL $1.5 billion per year on average through the end of the 2022 season. When looking at subscriber totals and doing simple math, it’s clear that DirecTV is taking a bath on that deal.

Insiders told Sportico the service has roughly 2 million subscribers paying for the $300 per season service. How much the service has helped combat advances from rivals like Dish Network is another equation entirely. DirecTV should hold onto the rights through the current agreement year of 2022, but sharks smell blood and have begun circling the property.

Sportico pointed to Apple and Amazon as the two media giants that could swoop in and add Sunday Ticket to their growing offerings on Amazon Prime and Apple+. The former is already fully vested with the NFL after the league granted them complete control of Thursday Night Football starting next season. 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Apple CEO Tim Cook were spotted talking at the Allen & Co. tech and media conference in Sun Valley last month, but Apple hasn’t crossed the fifty-yard line on their live sports plans, let alone approached the endzone like Amazon.

Looming above them are Comcast and Disney, who could lump Sunday Ticket into their current sports offerings on ESPN+ and Peacock. All of these entities could be in a bidding war next year at this time, hoping the service boosts their subscriber number dramatically. Unfortunately for DirecTV, that strategy couldn’t keep Americans from cutting the chord over the last few years.

Sports TV News

Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football

“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”

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While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years. 

Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.

“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”

Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.

“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck. 

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Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Sports TV News

Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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USA Today

Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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