Joe Buck joined Jimmy Traina on this week’s Sports Illustrated Media Podcast and discussed his thoughts on the possibility of Troy Aikman leaving Fox for Amazon. Buck and Aikman have worked in the booth together for 20 years calling NFL games.
Buck claims that he is trying not to think about it but says he respects Aikman’s decision, no matter what.
“I try not to because it’s been 20 years and I can honestly say, the same hand to the same god, he and I have never had one moment where we have felt like… at least I haven’t, and we talk about it all the time, we’re lucky that we’re good friends,” said Buck.
“And in this business, with as much as there is on the line, at least in our own minds every time you go on, and this business can be kind of backstabby, everybody’s climbing over one another to make something happen for themselves, he and I just have never played that game. He’s legitimately one of my best friends and I think he would say the same about me.
“So I try not to think about it. And we talk about it, we talk about what’s out there. We talk about what he’s deciding between and everything else, but I only ask questions and talk about it to a point. Because that’s his life, that’s his career. He knows how I feel. I don’t want him going anywhere. And that’s understood. But at the end of the day, he’s gonna do what he wants to do.”
If you’re wondering who might replace Aikman alongside Buck, Buck is too.
“It’s funny. I haven’t said one word to Fox about all that,” said Buck. “And they have not talked to me about all that. Not at any point.”
“I think I would be in the conversation but I think they certainly are in no way, shape, or form obligated to listen to anything I have to say. They’re the boss, I’m the guy who sits in the booth.
“I’ve worked with multiple people in baseball, I’ve worked with multiple people in football. I started with Tim Green and I’ve been with Bill Maas and Brian Baldinger and different people along the way. I just… it’s been 20 years, and when you do these games, that are as intense as they are, I know where he’s going and he knows where I’m going, and I know what he wants to talk about and he knows when and what I want to talk about. That’s really hard to replicate.”
Former Hulu Exec Michael Schneider Hired To Run Bally Sports+
“Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.”
Schneider will oversee the direct-to-consumer platform that will also be the hub for Bally Sports live programming.
Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.
“Throughout his career, Michael has successfully launched and developed DTC streaming and service platforms and created immersive engagement experiences,” said Sinclair COO and president of broadcast Rob Weisbord. “He is a terrific addition to the team as we build out the Bally Sports+ offering, its exclusive content and passionate fan community.”
Even before Hulu, Schneider had a hand in streaming. He was a founding member of the PlayStation Vue launch team.
Marquee Sports Network Weighs Streaming Options Outside of Bally Sports+
“Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.”
As Sinclair Broadcast Group prepares to launch Bally Sports+, its direct-to-consumer platform that will be home to Bally Sports live events, the Chicago Cubs are weighing their options for Marquee Sports Network, which the team co-owns with Sinclair.
Despite being under the Sinclair umbrella, Marquee is its own free-standing RSN from the rest of the Bally Sports networks across the country.
Marquee is readily available on a number of cable providers, but the only thing that’s really missing is its own standalone streaming platform for games. Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.
“We’re always interested in being on the cutting edge with the ultimate deliverable to our consumer,” McCarthy said. “But there isn’t any contractual clock ticking to make us feel that way. It’s how we’ve approached things from the beginning. Between our two ownership groups, there’s a lot of aggression to get it right. And I think you’ll see something along those lines shortly.”
The TV ratings will always be of top interest for MLB, especially regional ratings. But as the league has worked to embrace more streaming options for games, striking deals with Apple and Peacock for rights this season, it’s all about providing what the fans and viewers want.
“We now have the ability to do so much more, to properly tell the story of a 162-game season,” said Crane Kenney, Chicago Cubs president of business operations. Kenney was instrumental in the launch of Marquee. “We love baseball, we love the game, and we love the opportunity we have to share it with our fans in really deep ways.”
Laura Rutledge Celebrates Chemistry Of NFL Live
“It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”
Laura Rutledge is very happy with where NFL Live is as the current lineup gets set to enter its third season together. She told The Big Lead that there is genuine chemistry between herself, Marcus Spears, Mina Kimes, and Dan Orlovsky and that is why she doesn’t feel the need to emulate any of sports television’s many debate shows.
“You don’t want to see people yelling at each other all the time and I’m really proud of the chemistry that we have struck and just letting that breathe on air and having so much fun. It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”
The 2022 NFL season will have a very different feel for ESPN. The addition of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for Monday Night Football adds new expectations to the network.
Rutledge said that the attention on the network means that she and her colleagues have to raise their respective games, but that shouldn’t be hard. There is always material to work with in this league.
“We’ve seen this offseason, we saw the previous offseason, how the NFL news cycle never stops. It’s funny because the news cycle becomes such a big piece of the story, but we’re like, we can’t wait for the games,” she said.