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Apple Releases ‘They Call Me Magic’ Trailer, 4-Part Doc Debuts April 22

Among those seen in the trailer are Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, and Michael Wilbon.

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Apple TV+ has released a trailer for its upcoming docuseries on Earvin “Magic” Johnson, titled They Call Me Magic. The multi-part documentary will debut on Apple’s streaming service Friday, April 22.

As the trailer demonstrates, the docuseries uses archival footage to chronicle Johnson’s life and career from his prep days (including the story of how he got his nickname, which was also mentioned in the second episode of HBO’s Winning Time) to Michigan State, which springboarded him to a Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Johnson won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, three Most Valuable Player awards, 12 All-Star appearances, and a college basketball national title.

Give the trailer a look below:

The story of Magic Johnson also can’t be told without including him contracting HIV, which forced him to retire from the NBA in 1991 (though he made a brief comeback in 1996). Additionally, he’s made a significant impact as a businessman, particularly with opening movie theaters and Starbucks cafes in underserved inner-city communities, which led to him becoming a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In addition to Johnson recounting the events of his own life, interviews for the documentary include many figures from his basketball career, the coaches, players, executives, and reporters who were a part of or documented one of the greatest careers in NBA history. Among those seen in the trailer are Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, and Michael Wilbon. Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, and Barack Obama also contribute to the film.

Directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope, The Mandalorian), the four-part documentary was edited by Dirk Westervelt (Ford v Ferrari), with cinematography by Academy Award nominee Rachel Morrison (Mudbound). Apple won the bidding for the docuseries over Peacock for a reported price of $25 million.

They Call Me Magic premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday, April 22.

Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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