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Mark Sanchez: ESPN Supported My Move To FOX

“He had two years on his contract at Disney, but still auditioned for multiple networks.”

Ricky Keeler

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One of the new voices that you will hear as an analyst on FOX’s NFL coverage this season is former USC and eight-year NFL veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez. Sanchez will be the color commentator with Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and Laura Okmin (sideline reporter) when their season begins with 49ers vs. Lions in Week 1. 

On the latest episode of the Green Light with Chris Long podcast (52 minute mark), Sanchez was asked how about the opportunity to go from doing studio work with ESPN to now being a part of the game action for FOX. He said he was nervous, but became comfortable very quickly.

Even more interesting is that Sanchez revealed that he wasn’t exactly a broadcasting free agent when the opportunity to leave ESPN came his way. He had two years on his contract at Disney, but still auditioned for multiple networks.

“I auditioned for CBS, auditioned for FOX. Boom, negotiations started with FOX,” Sanchez told Long. “I called everybody at ESPN and said this is the direction I’m going and they were great. They wished me the best and I was very appreciative to them because I knew they had prepared me for this moment…This was the right move for me.”

To prepare for this season, Sanchez says he has been watching great color commentators past and present and trying to learn how their strengths could work within the context of his personality.

“Watching old Madden clips, watching old Gruden clips. Watching Phil Simms, Tony Romo. You pick little things that you love about each of them. At the end of the day, I got to be me. I got to have fun doing it…I’m a little self-deprecating. Hopefully I have good insight on something, but I want the game to be fun.” 

The other part of preparation was that Sanchez had Kugler at his house this summer to talk about their expectations for each other and they watched a Jaguars-Jets preseason game that Kugler called with Mark Brunell in which Sanchez was playing QB for the Jets. 

Sanchez knows the expectations that comes with this job and that he sometimes is going to have to call out a bad performance from a player and he hopes they don’t take it personally: 

“I think there is a fine art to it. Some guys are better at it than others. At the end of the day, you really got to criticize the performance and not the person. Once you start getting into the person, that’s a little out of bounds. The other thing is I try not to take anything personally as a player. Hopefully, these guys do the same thing.” 

In addition to calling NFL games, Sanchez will also be doing some studio work for FS1. It will be interesting to watch the next chapter of his career as he goes from quarterback to studio analyst to taking on a new challenge and calling games from the booth.  

Sports TV News

Peyton Manning Rejected ESPN Proposal To Add To ManningCast Schedule

“ESPN has certainly mentioned going up to 12 games or more, and Eli and I held strong.“

Jordan Bondurant

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There’s no secret based on the last two seasons that NFL fans really do enjoy tuning in to watch Peyton and Eli Manning on Monday nights.

Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli, affectionately known as the ManningCast, has proven to be a ratings success for ESPN. Monday night’s wild card playoff edition drew in an audience of 1.7 million. That’s an increase of 17% compared to last year.

The Mannings spoke to Jeff Beer of Fast Company and Peyton said as much as the fans love watching, the two brothers and legendary quarterbacks love doing the show.

“One thing I think comes through is just how much Eli and I enjoy this,” Peyton said.

But Peyton added that they do care about oversaturating the space, which is why he said they turned down the idea of increasing the number of shows this season from 10 to 12.

“We laugh a lot. If you maybe go to 17 games, maybe we’re not laughing as much, and it starts to get repetitive,” he said. “ESPN has certainly mentioned going up to 12 games or more, and Eli and I held strong. We just feel the show is better if we keep it to the 10.”

“I don’t want to see him every week and get his voice memos of breaking down (game) film,” Eli joked. “There’s something to people wanting more, and if we’re on too much, they might not want more. It keeps me motivated.”

One of the things that people love so much about the show is just how organic the exchanges between Peyton and Eli and Peyton, Eli and their guests can be. Peyton gets the appeal from fans and knows viewers think of it as meeting up with them at a bar to watch the game.

“Football is always more fun when you watch it with friends,” Peyton said. “Eli and I get to sit on our couches and watch it together, and the viewers are all of our friends, and the guest is just right there with us. We’re on the couch, we’re at a bar, let’s have a conversation.”

Eli said they do try to make sure things stay focused on football and the game they’re watching when the time calls for it. But he also admitted that he and his older brother are always going to find ways to have fun with each other when they can as well.

“If there’s great football happening, and it’s a tight game, you want to keep it about football,” he said. “But if it’s a blowout, you have to do something else, maybe tell a story, take a shot at Peyton, you don’t know where that’s going to go. It’s authentic. That’s what would happen if we were sitting on the couch watching the game and it’s a bit boring; I might take a pillow and throw it at my brother’s head.”

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Sports TV News

Expanded NFL Season And Playoffs Could Cost NBC Golden Globes

“The 2023 edition of the show was on NBC after the two sides struck a one-year deal back in September.”

Jordan Bondurant

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There’s no hiding the fact that the NFL reigns supreme in TV ratings. Unfortunately for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Golden Globe Awards, the NFL is too strong to compete against.

Since the NFL expanded the regular season to 17 games over 18 weeks, and added a seventh playoff team in each conference, in 2021-22, NBC’s obligation to football has taken precedent over its obligation to airing the Golden Globes.

The award show this year aired on Tuesday, January 10. On January 8, NBC aired the final regular season game of the year on Sunday Night Football between the Lions and Packers. The game drew an audience of 23.9 million, which NBC said was the highest rating a SNF finale has gotten in six years. NBC carried an AFC wild card playoff game this past Sunday night with the Bengals and Ravens. That game averaged 21.2 million.

Meanwhile the Golden Globes drew in 6.3 million. That number was down 9% compared to the 2021 ceremony. NBC didn’t air the Golden Globes in 2022 amid a Los Angeles Times expose into the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

With the HFPA mired in scandal and waning interest in their award show, NBC could be done with the Golden Globes. The 2023 edition of the show was on NBC after the two sides struck a one-year deal back in September. So there are questions abound about if NBC will continue to air it. However knowing that even with the expanded season and playoffs, the option to shift the award show to later in January on a Sunday night after NBC has fulfilled its obligation to the league is on the table. But that could throw a wrench in the award season schedule as well.

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Sports TV News

LIV Golf Nearing TV Deal With The CW Network

“LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.”

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LIV Golf

According to a report from Front Office Sports, LIV Golf has laid out a deal with The CW Network for television carriage in the United States.

The deal is a multi-year agreement that will see the tour own real estate in lesser-viewed time slots on the network. A revenue-sharing relationship between the tour and the television network is expected to be struck.

LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.

After a standup comedy show in West Palm Beach last week, Feherty reportedly told the crowd “Have you heard of CW? I might get fired for this, but…,” according to report from Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post.

Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand had previously reported a deal between the Saudi-backed breakaway golf tour and the network was likely.

Nexstar Media Group — the nation’s largest television owner — is the majority owner of The CW Network. There are around 220 affiliates of the network on over-the-air television stations. Rumors of an acquisition of LIV Golf’s rights come on the heels of The CW Network being linked to the potential launch of a college football bowl game that would air exclusively on the network.

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