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Skip Bayless: I’m Married to My Job, Everything Else is Second

“I live for this. It’s my whole life. It’s my calling. It’s not a job; it’s my passion.”

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Yes, it seems like everybody has a podcast. But someone who’s on television and is paid to share (shout) his or her opinions almost certainly has an audio program in a medium that continues to grow. The cup can’t runneth over.

That includes Skip Bayless, who already has two-and-a-half hours of airtime Monday through Friday (totally 12.5 hours per week) on FS1 with Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. That seems like plenty of Skip. Even he would presumably think so. But no!

Bayless recently launched The Skip Bayless Show, which provides an additional platform for punditry, another hour each week in which he can unleash his takes on the sports populace. With the NFL playoffs taking almost all of the sports spotlight right now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Bayless has put his focus there in the three shows so far.

But he also adds a personal touch, something there probably isn’t time for on Undisputed (though that show has plenty of time). In the latest episode, for instance, Bayless discussed how Tom Brady has influenced his life professionally and personally, which might make the quarterback’s retirement a bit more impactful for him.

However, Bayless also provided a glimpse at his personal ethic and how he balances work with his life. As it turns out, that work-life balance may not be balanced at all with an admission that he chose not to have children because of his devotion to his career.

“I am obsessed to this moment with what I am doing right here, right now with you,” said an emotional Bayless (via The Big Lead). “I live for this. It’s my whole life. It’s my calling. It’s not a job; it’s my passion. It’s what I was born to do and what I want to continue to do as long as my personal situation will allow it.”

Bayless went on to share that his refusal to have children cost him a marriage and another long-term relationship. But he knew that working nights and weekends “obsessively” to cover sports thoroughly would make him “a horrible father.” He was up front with his current wife when they began dating and she accepted that.

It would be easy to mock Bayless for taking himself so seriously that he avoided what many might consider a normal life, maybe even the ideal. But whether you like Bayless or not, it can’t be denied that he’s successful. Very successful. According to the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand, Bayless agreed to a four-year, $32 million contract with Fox Sports last year.

Would he have achieved that kind of financial reward by trying to have a family, what many might consider a normal life? Maybe. But maybe it would’ve been more difficult and as Bayless feared, perhaps there would’ve been repercussions.

All of this seems a bit sad and Bayless’s emotion appears to show that this has not been an easy choice for him. Whether or not you admire him for his success likely depends on what you value most in life.

Sports TV News

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.”

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Sinclair Broadcast Group and Diamond Sports Group have tapped Michael Schneider as the chief operating officer and general manager of Bally Sports+ when it launches this year.

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.

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Sports TV News

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.”

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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.”

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Sports TV News

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.”

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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.

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