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Ray Ferraro Turned Down Olympic Assignment

“I might have thought different if it was in, uh, almost any place else.”

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Hockey fans shouldn’t count on seeing Ray Ferraro on NBC in 2022. He recently told Julie Stewart-Binks that he has turned down the chance to call Olympic hockey in Beijing.

Some analysts expected Olympic fatigue to affect viewership. Ferraro proves it can affect broadcasters too.

“I turned down the Olympics this year,” Ferraro said on an episode of FuboTV’s Drinks with Binks that will air this weekend. “It was hard to do, but I’m not gonna go do it. And I’ll tell you, one hundred percent it’s because of last year. I just did this for three weeks. I can’t do it again.”

Stewart-Binks revealed that she had also turned down an opportunity to go to Beijing to cover the 2022 Winter Olympics, but said the decision for her was easy.

“It’s a lot to put yourself through while you’re trying to do your job. And you’re dealing with a global pandemic that isn’t eradicated yet,” she said.

Ray Ferraro admits that he will be disappointed to miss out on Olympic hockey, particularly if the NHL allows players to go. When Stewart-Binks mentioned that the games being in China helped make her decision, Ferraro concurred.

“Julie, I might have thought different if it was in, uh, almost any place else.”

Certainly, there are political and humanitarian reasons to oppose going to China. Ferraro said that there are other factors at play too. He said that he was thinking of worst-case scenarios that could affect his future and his employment at ESPN.

He joked that he couldn’t imagine his bosses would be happy with the extended time he would be forced to quarantine before returning to the country.

Any Olympics represents a moment in history, both for the sports world and society at large. Ray Ferraro knows that is true. He says he hasn’t lost sleep over the decision to skip the 2022 Games though.

“It’s was hard, but once I let it go, once I said I wasn’t gonna do it, I haven’t really thought about it again. I know I made the right decision for me.”

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David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”

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David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”

Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.

“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”

December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.

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NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”

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The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.

Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.

NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”

In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.

As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.

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NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’

“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

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A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.

“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.

The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.

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