Earlier this year, Adnan Virk was the play-by-play announcer for Monday Night RAW. While he was only in that role for slightly over a month, he was happy that he was able to have the experience.
On the latest episode of The Couch Potato Diary podcast with Peter Klein, Virk talked about what it was like to work for Vince McMahon and at WWE for the first time publicly. He enjoyed watching wrestling growing up, but had not watched much at all as an adult, and that was a problem.
“I think the biggest challenge for me was that it’s hard to be really well-versed in a sport when you are trying to catch a freight train that is going 100 mph,” Adnan Virk said. “I’m this guy running alongside the train trying to catch up. It’s hard to make up for that gap in time.”
Preparing to call professional wrestling doesn’t require the deep dive into a team or rivalry’s history that calling other sports does. Virk says that doesn’t mean that the job is easy.
“You are only looking at when I was broadcasting at RAW what happened the previous week or two weeks. That’s it. In that instance, you don’t need to know the history of wrestling, but as a play-by-play guy, you got to know the moves, the mechanics, the nomenclature. In all honesty and all candor, I kind of struggled to adapt to that and ultimately I wasn’t good enough for that position. Everyone there was awesome.”
Another aspect for the job that Adnan Virk did not like was the travel and being away from his family. It was something he felt he could not do every week over a long period of time since he would go from WWE to MLB Network immediately.
“I knew that I would not be able to do it for 52 weeks a year for 2 years. It was a really cool opportunity. They offered it to me, I did my best, I am grateful for the experience…I just wished I did a better job. Ultimately, I don’t have any regrets. I just didn’t have the facility to be a great wrestling play-by-play guy…It wasn’t as negative as some might think it was.”
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.