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ESPN Signs Insiders Adam Schefter, Adrian Wojnarowski to Multi-Year Extensions

Both insiders will create content for ESPN+ as part of their new agreements with the network.

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Rumblings in the sports media industry that ESPN insiders Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski might leave the network and take their brands to sports betting outlets like Caesars had been gaining volume as each reporter neared the end of their respective contracts.

But neither Schefter or Wojnarowski will be going anywhere else in the near-future. Both reporters have agreed to multi-year extensions with ESPN, the network announced Thursday.

Schefter, who’s been with ESPN since 2009, will continue reporting and breaking news on social media, ESPN.com, and the ESPN app, while appearing across ESPN programming, including NFL Live, SportsCenter, Get Up, and First Take, along with pregame shows Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown.

Additionally, he hosts The Adam Schefter Podcast and will contribute to NFL Draft and Super Bowl coverage.

As part of his new agreement, Schefter will also have new opportunities, such as producing content for ESPN+.

Earlier this month at the BSM Summit, Schefter was honored with the Champion’s Award, which goes to someone in sports media who has made a significant difference for the industry and those involved in it. Schefter’s efforts for helping the family of Jeff Dickerson, who passed away in December, were recognized.

In addition to his work for ESPN — which was preceded by reporting for NFL Network, the Denver Post, and Rocky Mountain News — Schefter has written several books, most recently The Man I Never Met, about his wife’s first husband, who died in the September 11 attacks.

Wojnarowski, who’s been with ESPN since 2017, will continue reporting and breaking news on social media, ESPN.com, and the ESPN app, while appearing across network studio programming, including NBA Countdown, SportsCenter, and NBA Today. He also contributes to NBA Draft coverage, while hosting The Woj Pod.

Creating content for ESPN+ is also part of Wojnarowski’s new agreement with the network.

Prior to joining ESPN, Wojnarowski was an NBA insider for Yahoo Sports and edited the outlet’s basketball site, The Vertical. During his career, he also authored The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable Dynasty.

Schefter had been attracting interest from Caesar’s Sportsbook, according to Front Office Sports, aware that the insider’s contract with ESPN was nearing its end.

Sports betting companies have also been trying to present themselves as media companies, not just gambling enterprises, in recent months by hiring former ESPN personalities, like Trey Wingo, Kenny Mayne, and Mike Golic. Adding an established reporter such as Schefter or Wojnarowski would boost the credibility of such efforts.

As Schefter has also invited controversy with recent reporting on domestic violence and sexual misconduct stories, the possibility of taking his brand to a non-news outlet may have had some appeal. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said Schefter’s interest was an open secret in the industry.

Though ESPN presumably has other talent already in-house that could have taken over Schefter’s insider duties — including Jeff Darlington, Dianna Russini, and Dan Graziano — the network clearly values Schefter’s work and has given him a number of opportunities outside his NFL reporting, such as NBA reporting.

Sports TV News

Netflix CEO: ‘We’re Not Anti-Sports, We’re Just Pro-Profit’

“He characterized expensive media rights as a “loss leader” in the streaming world and noted that Netflix doesn’t view sports as a necessity to grow.”

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Netflix will not join Apple and Amazon in the rush to gobble up live sports rights. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos addressed the streaming giant’s disinterest at the UBS Global Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Wednesday.

He characterized expensive media rights as a “loss leader” in the streaming world and noted that Netflix doesn’t view sports as a necessity to grow.

“We’re not anti-sports,” Sarandos said according to Deadline. “We’re just pro-profit. We have yet to figure out how to do it. But I’m very confident we can get twice as big as we are without sports.” 

Questions about the interest the company has in carrying live sports have come up several times in the past. Sarandon made similar comments last year when asked about it.

Reed Hastings, Sarandos’s co-CEO at Netflix, has a slightly different view. In 2021, he indicated that Netflix could be interested in F1 rights someday thanks to the success of its documentary series Drive to Survive, but that would be a special case. Any league interested in doing business with Netflix, he said, would have to allow Netflix to control all of its content.

Ted Sarandos echoed that sentiment in his most recent comments. He said that the company does not see a way to profit by “renting big-league sports.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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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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