The NFL has a few big stories that sports media observers and reporters will follow in the months to come, notably the talent Amazon will hire for its Thursday Night Football coverage. But the development that could concern fans and viewers the most is the future of the NFL Sunday Ticket package.
Once DirecTV’s exclusive agreement for out-of-market Sunday games expires following the 2022 season and it appears to be a virtual certainty that the NFL wants the package to be available beyond satellite customers (and streaming subscribers for the past two seasons).
From all accounts, the league wants Sunday Ticket to move to a big-time streaming platform. Disney CEO Bob Chapek has said his company will pursue the rights for ESPN+. Apple TV has also been floated in speculation as a possible landing spot, as has Discovery/Warner Media, which could put Sunday Ticket on HBO Max.
But DirecTV shouldn’t be counted out entirely. In an interview with CNET, DirecTV chief content officer Rob Thun acknowledged that the NFL doesn’t want an exclusive deal with the satellite provider any longer. But DirecTV is pursuing a “co-exclusive” agreement in which the rights would be split between companies.
Hopeful thinking? Perhaps. So many DirecTV customers subscribe to the service because of NFL Sunday Ticket.
But maintaining an agreement with DirecTV would appear to be in the NFL’s best interests. Bars and restaurants are still a popular venue for watching football games, and satellite packages are key to providing that entertainment. Additionally, there are still consumers who still prefer watching through “regular” TV — whether it’s over-the-air, cable, or satellite — and prefer not to “cut the cord.”
Wherever NFL Sunday Ticket ends up, it will be an expensive acquisition for the outlet that lands the package. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said he’s heard that the NFL could get as much as $7.5 billion per year in a new deal. (By comparison, DirecTV has been paying $1.5 billion annually in its eight-year agreement.)
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.