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Wouldn’t It Be Wild If…

“We have a truly talented team here at Barrett Sports Media and they all let their imaginations run wild.”



The end of 2021 is here. With so many sites and shows looking back, we thought it might be fun to look forward.

I gathered all of the columnists at BSM and asked them to turn 2022 on it’s head. The assignment was simple. Finish this sentence: “Wouldn’t it be wild if ____”.

We have a truly talented team here at Barrett Sports Media, and they all let their imaginations run wild. So sit back and enjoy our predictions, projections, and speculations of what a crazy 2022 and beyond could be for the sports media industry.

– Demetri Ravanos

“Wouldn’t it be wild if you could watch, say the Super Bowl on multiple networks in some form or fashion? If Fox had the game, it would be a straight forward broadcast for the traditionalists. Maybe CBS goes the ‘Nickelodeon’ route and gears it toward kids? NBC might feature the AFC team’s radio call and ABC can feature the NFC radio? ESPN could get into the act with a ‘ManningCast’ or something similar geared toward viewers that have no rooting interest. Of course, some network would have to feature the gambling aspect of the game as well. Would be a lot to choose from, wouldn’t it?” – Andy Masur

“Wouldn’t it be wild if the Super Bowl did indeed become a PPV exclusive? Ads are getting so ridiculously expensive and companies are becoming more and more comfortable spending their ad dollars on social promotions. I wonder if the NFL and their network partners would be better served to charge everyone $60 to watch the game. An ESPN+ exclusive, Amazon gets into the bidding war, the landscape could change quickly and you know what, we’d all pay for it.” – Brandon Kravitz

“Wouldn’t it be wild if Covid jacked up another year of events? I know. I know. ‘Boo, Noe, I don’t even want to think about it.’ I don’t either, but it’s a possibility. Heck, it’s already happening with the NHL’s mini shutdown from Dec. 22-26. Each time I look up it seems like a new fill-in player is being signed to an NBA hardship contract. Nearly 10 percent of NFL players are on the COVID list. The surge could intensify causing more games to be missed. Trust me; I don’t want people clamoring for The Last Dance 2.0 starring Aaron Rodgers or the next version of Tiger King. But another significant pause in the sports world could happen due to stupid COVID.” – Brian Noe

“Wouldn’t it be wild if New York City got a third sports talk station? The metro area has the population to sustain it. New York is too important to sportsbooks for them not to spend marketing money. That is why they were fighting for the privilege to pay a 51% tax on their business a few weeks back. With all of that money being thrown around, surely some company will see an opportunity to turn on a third sports talk station in the Big Apple. From the outside, it would be a lot of fun to see how ESPN New York and WFAN respond and just what sort of talent wars could result.” – Demetri Ravanos

“Wouldn’t it be wild if sports media entered the metaverse? With spiking case numbers amid a surge of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in the United States, it may be prudent for sports media outlets to test their capabilities in operating within the metaverse. As virtual reality becomes more popular, sports media outlets can capitalize on expanded audio and visual capabilities to modernize their platforms to stay ahead of the curve in 2022, and lead the media industry into the future. Direct-to-consumer consumption habits are becoming a new standard for broadcast consumption in an age of streaming and podcasts, but as virtual interaction and engagement proliferate, consumers will need more ways to access the content they desire from wherever they are. The metaverse, as it seems, is the future of the internet and could drive media outlets to adjust sooner rather than later; the real question is whether media wants to stay ahead or play catch-up later.” – Derek Futterman

“Wouldn’t it be wild if DraftKings purchased ESPN? The storyline most would immediately focus on would be Dan Le Batard’s possible return to the network since DK has a partnership in place with Meadowlark Media. If the stars aligned and Le Batard and crew wound up at their former place of employment, it would also suggest a possible reunion with Meadowlark CEO John Skipper, who once ran the worldwide leader. Making the scenario even more complex would be the way it’d alter relationships with all sports leagues. With each having exclusive sports betting partnerships, it’s fair to assume those sports betting partners wouldn’t be thrilled investing major dollars in partnerships with leagues which air their games on a network with a heavier interest in its own growth in the sports betting space. Additionally, that could have a massive trickle-down effect on sports rights deals, which could then create another seismic shift for sports television and sports streaming. It’s unlikely this situation ever occurs, but if it did, buy some stock, and a whole lot of popcorn, and sit back and enjoy the madness.” – Jason Barrett

“Wouldn’t it be wild if the Manningcast gets an NBA sibling? Peyton Manning has called an audible. Many reports have Manning leaving his ManningCast duties for partial ownership in the Denver Broncos. Instead, Manning and his brother Eli are signing an extension with ESPN through 2026 and expanding. In a big way. Not only will Omaha Productions continue co-producing Monday Night Football on ESPN, but they will do the same for a weekly NBA game-but with fresh talent. Charles Barkley, who has said he wants to retire from TNT, is leaving Turner and will start a weekly ChuckCast of NBA games on ESPN. Barkley said the guestlist for the ChuckCast will be as impressive as the NBA All-Star Game weekend and his first guest list is Denzel Washington, Jack Nicholson, and Barack Obama.” – Jeff Caves

“Wouldn’t it be wild if Amazon purchases more sports rights on an exclusive basis, while Netflix premieres its first sports broadcast like an F1 race or season? Apple also purchases some limited sports broadcast content to stream.” – Jeremy Evans

“Wouldn’t it be wild if the NFL put one of their marquee games exclusively on a subscription based streaming platform? Not only is this not that wild, but I feel this is a certainty. The NFL has already dabbled with putting games up on Amazon Prime, Yahoo, YouTube, etc. But what if they aired Sunday Night, Monday Night or Thursday Night football ONLY on an online subscription based platform? Companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google have deeper pockets than many of the terrestrial broadcast networks and they are starved for premium content. One of them will overpay to get it.” – Ryan Maguire

“Wouldn’t it be wild if ESPN and FOX Sports go all in on NIL deals with college athletes? You’re already seeing some of this with The Volume hiring Heisman winner Bryce Young to do a podcast. What if ESPN and FOX get even more aggressive and pay money to athletes to get exclusive interviews and content? The possibilities are endless and could potentially mean players are on the air during pregnancy and postgame shows, as well as game broadcasts during bowl season. One thing we’ve learned with NIL is anything is possible. If ESPN and FOX find an avenue to bring this type of content, it could change the way college sports is covered. Especially since college programs are becoming less and less accessible to the local media.” – Tyler McComas

BSM Writers

Mike Tirico Has ‘Never Pretended to Be Friends’ With Athletes

“I like having a healthy relationship where if I need something, I can ask whether it’s for on-air or for background and build trust.”

Ricky Keeler



Mike Tirico has been covering sports on network television for 32 years. Over those 3+ decades, he has made it a point to not be so close with the athletes he covers in whichever sport he is broadcasting.

Tirico was a guest on the most recent episode of the GOLF’s Subpar podcast with Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz. While Tirico knows he is not doing extensive journalism work, he wants to make sure that he can be able to ask the hard questions if he has to any athlete.

“I never pretend to be friends with the athletes I cover. I like having a healthy relationship where if I need something, I can ask whether it’s for on-air or for background and build trust. I’m not in a position where I’m working for Outside the Lines at my old place, ESPN. It’s not a knock. It’s just you’re not in a position where you have to do these journalistic-type interviews all the time, but there are times you have to ask hard questions. I always try to keep a little bit of a buffer or a distance.”

The context of that question came when Tirico was asked about how good of a relationship he has with Tiger Woods.

“It’s good….If I reach out, he will usually get back to me. He’s been really good and really nice along the way.”

As for broadcasting sports in this day and age of social media, Tirico believes that it can make a broadcaster better whether or not the complaint from someone on Twitter is real or not.

“It makes us better because you know that people are going to catch you. If something is artificial or not, real or not, embraced or not, it forces you to be better at what you do.”

For that same reason, Tirico thinks that LIV Golf is going to make the PGA Tour have to be better going forward because now they have another tour to go up against.

“I think LIV Golf, and we all have our own opinions on it, is going to force the PGA Tour to be better. Competition is good. Checks and balances are really good.”

Even though Tirico doesn’t feel nervous about many broadcasts anymore, there was one event in the last decade where the nerves kicked in when he was hosting his first Olympics at NBC.

“The only time in the last 10 years that I’ve been nervous was coming on for the first time hosting the Olympics because Bob Costas has done that since most of us have been alive and most people had never seen anyone but Bob Costas host the Olympics in primetime…2 minutes before, I’m like ‘should I be this? Should I have fun?’ and then the minute before, I cracked a joke in the studio.”

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BSM Writers

Kyle Brandt’s Rant a Reminder to Consider the Messenger

This doesn’t mean Brandt is wrong or even that he is being told to echo the NFL’s position, it’s to note that he took a very powerful stance on a very powerful platform and they both matter.



Kyle Brandt

This week, a massive announcement was made in the National Football League regarding the immediate future of Deshaun Watson. Judge Sue L. Robinson recommended a six -game suspension with no additional monetary fine for the quarterback. While the NFL mulls what it will say further, most others didn’t, including a really prominent personality: Kyle Brandt.

Brandt, a co-host on Good Morning Football, reacted like a lot of people did upon hearing the decision: forcefully. On Monday, Brandt denounced the decision to limit Watson’s suspension to six games, saying in part, “…I look at six and I find it very light. I hope it doesn’t stay that way personally. I think that Deshaun Watson leveraged his status as an NFL player against women. In my opinion. And I think it happened more than one time and I think it was was in closed doors in small rooms against women who were probably intimidated. And it pisses me off to even talk about it. And frankly it pisses me off to see the number six. And I don’t think it’s going to stay that way and I hope it doesn’t.”

Those words resonated. Once they were said, the clip was grabbed from the show and then distributed on Brandt’s Twitter account which reaches 333,000+ followers and on his Instagram which speaks to 96,000+ followers. That video has been seen over two million times. Viral, they say. Here it is if you did happen to miss it. Passionate stuff from Brandt.

If you believe in the message, it’s an easy to like, retweet or share idea. It’s not a hot take, frankly, because there is a large section of those that have been following this story that agree. Deshaun Watson is settling cases because people believe he did something bad. Something bad enough that judge did seem fit to point it out and recommend what is generally speaking, a strong suspension. The only problem here is the platform hosting the message.

This is not a Kyle Brandt-bashing piece. He isn’t the platform. If anything, he’s the vessel of this message he wants out. He also, very likely, feels exactly the way he said he did in the above tweeted video. In fact, the next day, Tuesday, Brandt doubled down on his opinion. The newer video was viewed over 400,000 times. You can check it out right below these words.

The distinction needs to be noted that the message Brandt is delivering, is the NFL’s message. It is what Roger Goodell wants to be the prevailing wisdom regarding how we feel about the current state of Watson’s suspension. That message is being amplified by a very popular co-host, on a very popular morning television show that is seen by a lot of people and that is owned by the National Football League.

Again, I am here waving to you wildly to say that I have no reason to believe that Brandt is being told this particular messaging needs to be voiced. But, I do know that the NFL has until Thursday to appeal the decision. Three days is a lot of time to gather data on whether or not the public might support you appealing for more games, something that the league most certainly will look into judging by their statement released shortly after the ruling.

I also know that the NFL was seeking a much longer suspension as well as a hefty fine to be issued to Watson. The NFL has taken a lot of hits for how it has handled players violating league rules and the player conduct policy. No matter which case you look at, comparing it to the one previous or the one right after is an exercise is madness. The one common theme seems to be is that when the NFL feels like it is delving out punishment, it wants to be severe, no matter the consistency. Remember, Tom Brady was a short ‘yes’ answer away from appealing his case to the Supreme Court. The NFL isn’t particularly interested in just letting things go.

It is well within the realm of possibility that the NFL is getting what it rarely gets: an overwhelming opinion that actually sides with it in terms of punishment. For the majority of the modern cases I can remember, more fans than not disagreed with the NFL’s stance on a case. This time, they might have the court of public opinion on their side. I hear far more ‘kick him outs’ in reference to Watson than I do ‘no suspensions’.

We might have the perfect storm for the NFL in terms of support and Kyle Brandt’s message lines up exactly with the leagues desires, no matter how they may have gotten there. Both want more punishment for the Cleveland quarterback. Brandt can hope, the NFL can fight.

This doesn’t mean Brandt is wrong or even that he is being told to echo the NFL’s position, it’s to note that he took a very powerful stance on a very powerful platform and they both matter.

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BSM Writers

Producers Podcast Episode 6: Jackson Safon, The Volume

Brady Farkas



Jackson Safon has produced for a number of high profile digital networks. Now, as a freelancer, The Volume has put its faith in him to get the most out of Draymond Green, and CC Sabathia and Ryan Ruocco have trusted him to make R2C2 the best it can be.






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Barrett Media Writers

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