The biggest current story in sports media is Troy Aikman’s reported move to ESPN. After the news broke Wednesday night, virtually every sports radio show in the country at least touched on Aikman leaving Fox for Monday Night Football.
That led to conversations on Aikman’s merits as a broadcaster, who the best NFL broadcast crews are, whether or not viewers really tune in for the announcers, and the massive salary that Aikman will reportedly receive.
But 670 the Score’s Parkins and Spiegel talked to someone who actually calls NFL games for Fox on their show Thursday. Adam Amin was on one of the network’s top broadcast teams with analyst Mark Schlereth and reporter Shannon Spake. (Of course, he’s also the Chicago Bulls TV play-by-play broadcaster, which is the main reason Parkins and Spiegel had him on.)
Having worked with some of the names being mentioned as possible replacements for Aikman, Amin praised Greg Olsen, who many believe will take over the No. 1 game analyst position, but also had some thoughts to share on the coaches that are reportedly being pursued as broadcasters.
“I’ve had a lot of conversations with Sean Payton and I don’t think he likes holding back when it comes to matters of the league,” said Amin. “So I think that would be an interesting person to be in the booth.”
Amin clarified that he has no inside knowledge of what Fox executives and producers might be thinking, saying that he’s in a lower tier that won’t be affected by the “big shot stuff.”
“I was curious about the Sean McVay rumors because, again, I’ve had a lot of conversations with Sean McVay and I think he’d be very insightful” he added.
“I think he’d be interesting, especially as a younger person with a different perspective on how organizations, how coaches treat analytics, how they treat 4th-and-1 situations based on yard line and score… We don’t get a lot of coaches in the booth anymore.”
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.