Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina had Kyle Brandt on his podcast this week, and the NFL Network host shed some light on his audition for the Manningcast and finding Nate Burleson’s replacement on Good Morning Football.
Brandt was part of a small group of candidates that actually had the chance to audition with the Mannings before ESPN, and the brothers decided they didn’t need a host for ESPN2’s alternate coverage of Monday Night Football.
“There were some feeling-out meetings, a couple phone calls, and then we just did a straight-up audition, myself with Peyton and Eli,” Brandt described to Traina. “We did a game. And when it ended, one of the executives who was running the thing called me right afterward and said to me, ‘What do you think?’ And I said, the hype is real, they don’t need a host. They don’t need a third person. I think you should just do it with the two of them.”
Brandt’s old Good Morning Football teammate, Nate Burleson, left the show to pursue a hosting role on CBS Mornings. There are plenty of worthy candidates ready to replace Burleson, but the crew is making sure they check all the right boxes for the unique show.
“It’s a very difficult spot to fill, not only because of the obvious chemistry deal and the obvious work we’ve had behind us with Nate,” said Kyle Brandt. “It’s just like, we’re looking for an ex-player — he’s gotta be an ex-player, this is the NFL Network — and he has to be an ex-player who not only wants to get up at 4:30 in the morning every single day to go to a table to talk to three people who did not play in the NFL and are going to tell him his opinion is wrong. You also have to have that ex-player live in the New York-New Jersey area.”
With a month gone in the 2021 NFL season, there isn’t much of a rush to cement Burleson’s old spot. GMFB can take their time finding someone ready to take the role.
Listen to the full podcast appearance here.
Michelle Beadle To Work On Select Spurs Broadcasts
“This select role with the Spurs should still allow her to pick up duties elsewhere.”
Reports surfaced in recent weeks that Michelle Beadle could be returning to sports media very soon, and the first shots are firing on that front. Beadle is joining the San Antonio Spurs broadcast team on select occasions as a special correspondent.
Beadle has been on the sidelines over the past year as she waited out the rest of her ESPN contract. This select role with the Spurs should still allow her to pick up duties elsewhere, similar to Ariel Helwani, who is deploying a diverse media strategy after he left ESPN.
Helwani works for multiple publications and media outlets, giving him a range of freedom. Beadle could follow the same path, with the Spurs being one of multiple gigs.
Front Office Sports reported last week that Meadowlark Media CEO John Skipper has an interest in Beadle and Katie Nolan, who recently left ESPN.
“Yes, I enjoyed working with them. Yes, I think they’re talented. Of course, Meadowlark would be interested,” Skipper told Front Office Sports
Both talents raised their profiles during Skipper’s tenure at ESPN, and now they can help raise Meadowlark’s prowess should they join the team.
“I have had good experiences in the past working with both Michelle and Katie. I think they’re both very talented individuals,” Skipper said to Front Office Sports.
“At Meadowlark, we do want to recruit talented people. We’re prepared to recruit people — and give them editorial freedom — in what they say. We’re interested in people we think can range across a variety of genres. They both qualify for all that.”
Beadle won’t be on every Spurs broadcast this season, so it’ll be interesting how the organization deploys her. San Antonio also brought in a former player, Fabricio Oberto, to offer studio analysis all season long.
No word on how many broadcasts Beadle is working on but the Spurs tip their 2021-22 campaign off on Wednesday, Oct. 20, against the Orlando Magic.
Canada’s 1st Sports Betting Network Launches Tuesday
”The Parleh has taken the unknown out of sports betting and is making it fun and entertaining.”
Canada will have its first dedicated sports betting network launching Tuesday, October 12th.
Parleh Media Group, an independent content and production company and creators of The Parleh, Canada’s go-to source for sport betting news and insights, announced today the launch of Parleh TV.
The launch will coincide with the start of the 2021-22 NHL season premiering on the same day with a doubleheader on October 12th.
Canadians will have a full slate of betting shows available with the network including Puck Talks, Parleh Today, Parleh Picks, Footy Talks, Five A Side, Fast Money EPL and Spreadzies.
“From NFL over/under and weekly CFL winners to dark-horse picks for the Stanley Cup, The Parleh has taken the unknown out of sports betting and is making it fun and entertaining for the everyday sports fan,” said Kevin Kennedy, the President and Executive Producer of Parleh Media Group.
Parleh Media plans to be partnered with “brands looking to connect with engaged sports fans.” as they are already managed by the sports media consultancy ThePostGame. They work with several big names inside and outside of Canada including NBC Sports, USA Today Sports Media Group, FOX Sports, New York Jets, Canadian Premier League, and PGA Worldwide Exhibitions. The network is also in a production partnership with workflow company FUEL to create a cutting-edge broadcast.
“We are thrilled to be working with Parleh Media Group on this innovative project to reach sports fans with their unique content; perfectly aligned to support the rapid growth of sports betting,” said Greg Morrow, General Manager of FUEL.
Eddie Olczyk: I Want Inside The NBA Crew On TNT NHL Show
“We will be keeping an eye on those ESPN games. I think personally it will only help as far as raising the bar and raising the competition level. Yes, we want to be better than those guys for sure.”
After NBC Sports owned the sole broadcast rights to the NHL for 16 years, two networks (TNT and ESPN) will share the league’s rights beginning this season. The NHL’s 2021-22 season begins on Tuesday night on ESPN. TNT will have a doubleheader Wednesday with the New York Rangers vs. the Washington Capitals (7:30 PM ET) and the Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Colorado Avalanche (10 PM).
Before the season gets underway, the lead broadcast team of Kenny Albert, Eddie Olczyk, and Keith Jones took some time to answer questions about the upcoming season and want to continue building on what they had established before last season came to an end.
“For the last 16 years as part of the NBC team, I think NBC did such an unbelievable job, said Albert. “We will try to continue the legacy and raise the bar even higher. Turner’s always willing to try new things, they pride themselves on storytelling and educating. Hopefully, we will be able to do all of those things.”
Even though the trio is new to TNT, they aren’t new to each other. That could be critical in terms of separating their broadcasts from the others.
“The chemistry for the 3 of us took front and center. TNT, to be a part of their big family, it’s going to be very exciting. It’s a new challenge. We know a lot of eyes will be on us. We have a job to do. We are going to entertain. We are going to be ourselves,” said Olczyk
Albert has experience being a part of a network that shared the NHL broadcast rights when he was doing play-by-play for the NHL on FOX from 1995-1999. During that time, FOX and ESPN would split the Stanley Cup Finals. As Albert mentioned, they used to joke at FOX that all the series would end in sweeps. He told BSM that with the league’s TV rights once again split between two different networks, it will feel a lot like those old days.
“I’m sure we will have a little bit of friendly competition with Boucher and Ray Ferraro and some of the other guys. It can only help raise the bar. The three of us and Brendan [Burke] and Darren [Pang] and the entire studio crew, we are all competitors and we want to be the best. We will be keeping an eye on those ESPN games. I think personally it will only help as far as raising the bar and raising the competition level. Yes, we want to be better than those guys for sure.”
Players are feeling the excitement of the NHL’s new media deals. Keith Jones can relate to that because he was a player when FOX got the rights to the sport.
“I thought that was pretty cool and that it was an opportunity for us to continue to grow the game. I think as players, they all want to take hockey to a new level. They want to compete with the other major sports and they want to make sure that they show just how great of a game they play and how great they are. I think they are going to embrace it even more than they have in the past. Having a couple of networks going head-to-head only makes it more exciting for everyone involved.”
Having the NHL means more opportunities for TNT to use its partnerships with the NBA and All Elite Wrestling for cross-promotion. Eddie Olczyk believes that should be great for the network and the league. He wouldn’t rule out the possibility of maybe the Inside The NBA guys playing a part in some broadcasts.
“I think everyone knows Charles Barkley loves the NHL. He loves the NHL Playoffs. It’s the one question that I’ve probably gotten more since I have become a part of the family. ‘You think Charles will be on the hockey call at any point?’ And I’m like I sure hope so. Maybe we can get Charles and Shaq and Kenny and Ernie over there and have some fun or get them on-site. I don’t know. I would assume it’s going to happen at some point.”