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Mike Breen Not Sure Gambling Talk Becomes Common On Game Broadcasts

“Neither Eagle nor Breen is a sports bettor.”

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Courtesy: David Payne Purdum

Betting content is becoming more and more ingrained within sports broadcasts as the practice gets legalized across the country. The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch caught up with Mike Breen and Ian Eagle to see how the two approach the topic.

Neither Eagle nor Breen is currently a sports bettor, but the former had a great story about a bet he placed years ago and his current job with CBS.

“The last bet I made was on Monday Night Football 1987, the Chargers and the Raiders,” Eagle told Deitsch. “Ironically, Dan Fouts was my partner for CBS and is one of my truly closest friends in the world. I bet on the Chargers, and they took an early lead on the Raiders. It looked like it was going to win $250, which in 1987, I would have lived like a king for the entire semester. The Raiders came back, won the game. The Chargers didn’t cover. 

“Years later when I’m working with Dan, I said, ‘You know, I bet on you in 1987 to win that Monday Night Football game.’ He goes, ‘What are you? An idiot? Like, why would you do that? Who told you to do that? That’s your fault, schmuck.’ So he crushed me. I’m not a gambler. I’ve never had that interest level in it.”

Eagle says that he already puts so much time into every other aspect of a solid broadcast that the gambling lines and over/under don’t cross his radar. Yet, he’d be open to incorporating the information.

“I’m worried enough about the biographical information, the statistics, the storylines, that it doesn’t even enter my train of thought,” Eagle said. “If that’s a variable and I’m told that that’s important to the network and we need to incorporate it, I’ll be open to it. I’ll be a professional. I’ll figure out a way to do it. But to be perfectly frank, it’s not something that’s really on my radar game in and game out.”

Breen is more bearish; he doesn’t think the language will ever be commonplace on national broadcasts because not everyone watching the game gambles.

“We’ll read sponsorships,” Breen said. “This spot is sponsored by DraftKings or whatever it is. But I don’t think they’ll ever have the actual play-by-play and analyst announcers getting involved in point spreads or why a team is favored in terms of that point spread. At least I hope that because I don’t think it belongs. Again, for people that want to do it, more power to them; Like Ian, I’m not a gambler. But I don’t think it’ll ever be part of what we do during the course of the game.”

For the full interview with Eagle and Breen, click here.

Sports TV News

Meadowlark Media Partnering With Skydance Sports On Documentaries

Up first will be a documentary series titled Good Neighbors, which chronicles the soccer rivalry between the United States and Mexican men’s national teams.

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Since launching Meadowlark Media with Dan Le Batard, former ESPN president John Skipper has said that he wants the start-up sports media company to make a big push with video content, citing an opportunity in the sports documentary space.

On Thursday, Meadowlark announced a new partnership with Skydance Sports, a division of Skydance Media, to produce unscripted sports content. The production companies will collaborate on two upcoming projects.

Up first will be a documentary series titled Good Neighbors, which chronicles the soccer rivalry between the United States and Mexican men’s national teams. The series is currently in production and plans to debut before the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The second project from Meadowlark and Skydance will be a documentary on women’s basketball star Diana Taurisi, billed as “the definitive and authorized chronicle of [her] remarkable life and career.”

Last November, Meadowlark hired Deirdre Fenton as the company’s executive director of unscripted content. Fenton previously produced documentaries at ESPN and DAZN, with O.J.: Made in America and The Last Dance among her credits.

Skipper and Fenton will work alongside Skydance Sports executives Jon Weinbach and Jesse Sisgold in producing the upcoming documentary projects.

“Deirdre and I are excited for the tremendous opportunity to work with Jesse and Jon, who share our vision of using sports storytelling to explore and explicate larger cultural and societal issues,” Skipper said in the official announcement. “Our two first documentaries are a wonderful way to launch this partnership.”

It isn’t yet known with which streaming outlets or networks these projects will land. Meadowlark has a first-look deal with Apple TV+, but that is likely an exclusive agreement unrelated to the new partnership with Skydance Sports.

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HBO Releases ‘Terry Bradshaw: Going Deep’ Trailer: “It’s Been An Amazing Life”

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HBO Sports

HBO has released a trailer and poster image for its Terry Bradshaw: Going Deep documentary, just over one week after the project was announced.

In collaboration with NFL Films, Going Deep is a combination of footage from a stage show that Bradshaw performed in Branson, Missouri (with singing, music, stories, and monologues), archival clips from the quarterback’s football career, and a new interview with the Fox NFL studio analyst.

Check out the trailer below:

Bradshaw taking the stage to tell personal stories and singing country-style music, with a band playing behind him, should help this HBO Sports special stand apart from a more conventional documentary with football-related interviews and clips. For example, Bradshaw’s A Football Life episode for NFL Network in 2019 or the 2003 installment of ESPN’s SportsCentury series.

Directed by longtime NFL Films documentarian Keith Cossrow, Going Deep appears to be Bradshaw telling his own life story and sharing personal anecedotes, rather than a filmmaker cutting together footage to tell his or her own version of the story. Though longtime NFL Films documentarian Keith Cossrow directed this film, not Bradshaw himself.

“As you can imagine, God knows I’ve had a lot of therapy,” Bradshaw jokes with the Branson audience, as shown in the trailer.

Terry Bradshaw: Going Deep premieres Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and will be available for streaming on HBO Max.

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Lindsey Vonn To Be NBC Primetime Correspondent For Winter Olympics

“My first memories of Olympics were from NBC broadcasts, so I am very excited to be working with a team that has been there for so many amazing Olympic moments.”

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Lindsey Vonn will be the newest former Olympian to join NBC to cover the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.

Vonn is one of the most well-known names in winter sports and one of the most accomplished. She has won 82 World Cup races, four overall World Cup championships, is one of six women to have won World Cup races in all five disciplines, and she took part in four Olympics, winning three medals. 

Vonn has worked for NBC before, once during the 2014 Sochi Olympics as a correspondent while she recovered from injury. This role, however, provides Vonn the opportunity as a “primetime correspondent” in Beijing. It seems that by title alone, this position carries a little more weight.

Executive Producer and President, Molly Solomon, had this to say about the addition of Vonn:

“As one of the greatest Olympic skiers of all time and a superstar who has transcended her sport, we’re thrilled to have Lindsey join our team,” said Molly Solomon, Executive Producer & President, NBC Olympics Production. “Lindsey will provide a perspective unique to an athlete known for excellence, intensity and determination on the world’s biggest and most competitive stage.”

Vonn seems grateful and enthusiastic about the opportunity.

“I am excited to share my perspective along with my insight on what athletes might be feeling during high pressure moments,” Vonn said. “My first memories of Olympics were from NBC broadcasts, so I am very excited to be working with a team that has been there for so many amazing Olympic moments.”

Since she retired, Vonn has made the move into sports media a priority. Other than her correspondent work, she is also a co-director and executive producer of the upcoming Peacock documentary Picabo, on revolutionary American downhill racer Picabo Street which will premiere Friday.

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