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Bob Costas: David Letterman Wanted Me to Follow Him To CBS

“At a different crossroads in my life, I undoubtedly would have done it.”

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Brett Davis USA TODAY Sports

Bob Costas recently appeared on the Marchand and Ourand podcast to discuss discuss his career, favorite interviews, favorite players, and more.

During this, he announced that he received very interesting offer that he was considering heavily that would have changed the course of his career.

“I never mentioned this for 20, 30 years, but I have mentioned it a couple of times because I’ve been asked,” said Costas. “I guess it’s far enough in the rearview mirror, but, when David Letterman left NBC after Jay Leno got The Tonight Show rather than David, and went to CBS, part of the deal was that he controlled the hour after his. 

“And to sweeten the pot, CBS offered me a correspondent spot on 60 Minutes. So I would have done the hour after David Letterman and then a correspondent on 60 Minutes and it was very, very tempting.” said Costas.

Costas said that in a different point in his life, he may have taken the offer. “But at that time NBC had a treasure trove of sports riches. I had a very close relationship with [NBC Sports chairman] Dick Ebersol.”

Costas said that another reason that he did not take the offer was his kids.

“As corny as it sounds, you can say to a little kid, ‘hey, wanna go to the ballgame? We’ll stand by the batting cage, we’ll say hi to Ozzie Smith.’ ‘Wanna go to the Bulls game? Well, we’ll watch Michael Jordan.’ Or ‘lets everybody go to the Olympics.’ It’s a little harder to have a kid’s attitude perk up when you say, ‘I’m interviewing the Secretary of State, wanna come along?’ That was actually part of the decision.”

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XFL Signs Exclusive Deal With ESPN

“Games will return in 2023. The season opening slate will be played February 18.”

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All 43 games in the 2023 XFL season will air on Disney’s sports networks. The entire schedule will be seen on ABC, ESPN, and FX. Dwayne Johnson and Dani Garcia made the announcement at the 2022 Disney Upfront presentation.

This will be the third iteration of the XFL. The first attempt in 2001 ended after a single season. The 2020 revival was shut down due to Covid. Johnson and Garcia and their partners purchased the brand two years ago for $15 million.

“The XFL will tap into sports fans’ deep love of football by emphasizing competitive action while dedicating itself to innovation and entertainment,” Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content said in a press release. “You can see a great path to success when you combine the reach and influence of ESPN and Disney with the collective vision of XFL leadership led by Dany, Dwayne and Gerry.”

Games will return in 2023. The season opening slate will be played February 18.

“The XFL is going to be a league of passion, a league of pride, and a league of culture,” Johnson said at the event, promising that those three principles will drive every decision for the league.

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NBA Playoff Ratings Hit 8-Year Highs

“At 3.71 million, the average audience for games this postseason is up 14% from last year. It is up 4% from 2019, the last time the playoffs started on time.”

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More people are watching the NBA Playoffs than have done so in a long time. Through the first two rounds in 2022, the league is enjoying its best postseason ratings in eight years.

The average audience across TNT, ESPN, ABC and NBA TV is 3.71 million people per game. If you take the less widely available NBA TV out of the mix, the NBA is averaging 4.08 million viewers per game.

At 3.71 million, the average audience for games this postseason is up 14% from last year. It is up 4% from 2019, the last time the playoffs started on time.

The Boston Celtics have been one of the most reliable performers this postseason. They have been involved in two of the three most-watched games. Sunday’s Game 7 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks is one of two games this postseason that now rank as the most-watched early round games in a decade. The other was Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Golden State has also been a hot draw. The Warriors have been involved in four of the seven most-watched playoff games.

With both teams still alive and plenty of star power left in the playoffs, the NBA is poised to deliver one of its most-watched postseasons in years.

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Domonique Foxworth: Tom Brady Contract Is About Impressing NFL

“I think that’s why the booths look the way they look. It’s because the league wants their games to feel big, and it’s worth it to them.”

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The shake-up of NFL TV broadcast booths has been one of the top storylines in the league this offseason.

Part of the reasoning is because of the massive sums of money involved. Whether it’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman or Tom Brady, NFL broadcasters have been getting paid. And it doesn’t seem like the spending is going to slow down anytime soon.

Speaking to Bomani Jones on The Right Time, Domonique Foxworth said the NFL just wants to continue to get bigger and bigger even with its broadcast crews.

“These TV partners want to be in good with the league. And I think that’s what this Tom Brady contract comes down to,” Foxworth said. “I think that’s why the booths look the way they look. It’s because the league wants their games to feel big, and it’s worth it to them.”

Even with some feeling like Brady is uninteresting and likely won’t move the needle as an analyst, it’s the name recognition factor that will set the table for Brady in the booth.

“I do believe that if you turn on an NFL game, and Tom Brady’s talking about it, it feels bigger no matter what he’s saying,” Foxworth said.

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