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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

Ian Rapoport: I Have Never Thought It is Me vs Adam Schefter

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows.”

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In terms of NFL insiders, Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are the two biggest names out there. And sometimes it can be a race between the two to get the biggest scoops first. Especially now with the NFL coaching carousel in full swing.

This week two teams hired new head coaches – the Broncos traded two first round picks to the Saints to acquire the rights to Sean Payton and the Texans signed DeMeco Ryans.

Rapoport tweeted that Denver had pursued Ryans up until the day they announced the trade for Payton.

Not even 15 minutes later, Schefter appeared to clarify the information out there with the two teams.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday, Pat McAfee referred to the conflicting information as a “source off.”

Ian said he stood behind what he put out there.

“I know it’s fun to call it a source off or whatever, but for me I reported what I had based on the best information I can get – based on talking to many, many people throughout the course of the last month,” Rapoport said from the Senior Bowl. “And then whatever happens as a result of this I don’t really mind.”

In terms of any sort of rivalry between him and Schefter, Rapoport doesn’t view it as a head-to-head matchup.

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows,” he said. “And everyone can sort of judge for themselves whichever way to go.”

McAfee gave kudos to Rapoport for his reporting on the Ryans situation. He also said it’s a good thing Rapoport doesn’t worry himself too much about what other insiders are doing.

“I think you should feel good about it, but I do like a good source off,” McAfee said. “And I appreciate the fact that you don’t view it as you versus Schefter. But you two are at the top of the game. So that’s a compliment more so than anything.”

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Sports TV News

AEW Considers Launching Streaming Service

“It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.”

Jordan Bondurant

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All Elite Wrestling is looking into launching its own streaming service.

According to reporting from Bloomberg, a source “familiar with management’s thinking” said AEW is looking to strike a deal with broadcast partner Warner Bros. Discovery.

Since launching in 2019, AEW now puts on two weekly shows on Warner channels TBS and TNT and airs two shows on YouTube.

Last year AEW acquired Ring of Honor from Sinclair Broadcast Group. As part of that deal, AEW took ownership of RoH’s extensive content library Honor Club. So much like WWE did with WWE Network when it launched in 2014, AEW could launch its streaming service and have all of Ring of Honor’s content in a one-stop shop.

It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.

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Sports TV News

NBC Officially Unveils Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge as New Big Ten Booth

“With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

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It’s officially official: Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge, and Kathryn Tappen will join the Big Ten on NBC booth when the network begins airing the conference’s football package in 2023.

NBC made the announcement Thursday, after weeks of speculation about the moves.

“We are excited to showcase Big Ten Saturday Night on the NBC Sports’ primetime marquee,” said NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood. “When you hear Todd’s voice, you know it’s a big college football game. It has been that way for decades.

“Noah is one of the industry’s rising young play-by-play commentators, who has excelled calling numerous sports across multiple platforms for a wide range of audiences. We are thrilled to pair him in the booth with Todd.

“Kathryn has told the stories of so many memorable Notre Dame Football moments over the last decade in her on-field reporting and interviews,” Flood continued. “With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

Blackledge joins NBC after working as a college football analyst for the network for the past 17 seasons. Previously, he was the an analyst for CBS and ABC, making 2023 his 30th consecutive season covering college football as an analyst.

Eagle is the son of broadcasting legend Ian Eagle, and currently serves as the radio voice of the Los Angeles Clippers. He comes to NBC after calling college football games for FOX Sports in 2022.

Tappen has spent the past nine seasons working NBC’s college football coverage with Notre Dame. Eight of those nine seasons were spent as the network’s sideline reporter before anchoring the studio coverage from South Bend in 2022.

2023 will mark the beginning of a seven-year contract for NBC to air Big Ten football games in primetime. The move is one of the biggest notable expansions in the college football arena for the network since its partnership with Notre Dame began in 1991.

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