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Peter King: Thursday Night Football Will Be ‘Homage To Jeff Bezos’

“Instead of Amazon, the first game will be on NBC. King writes that he thinks that means that the first two nights of Thursday Night Football will be blockbusters.”

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Thursday Night Football moves to Amazon in the upcoming season and Peter King expects some big changes to come with it. He wrote this week in his “Football Morning in America” column that he expects the NFL to prioritize making its new media partner happy.

As usual, the 2022 NFL season will open on a Thursday night. Instead of Amazon, the first game will be on NBC. King writes that he thinks that means that the first two nights of Thursday Night Football will be blockbusters.

The season opener traditionally goes to the defending Super Bowl champ. Last year’s season-opener between the Cowboys and Buccaneers is also a motivator for the NFL to get the first game right. The Los Angeles Rams are locked in. Peter King suggests that Denver, San Francisco and Buffalo are all prime candidates to be the opponent.

Peter King says that Amazon will prioritize star power for its first Thursday night game.

“I’ve heard they want Kansas City and the Patrick Mahomes star power. Smart choice, if they can get it,” he writes.

He suggests that there is enough intrigue within the AFC West that if the Chiefs get the spot, it will likely be a divisional game, with the Chargers or Broncos being the most likely opponent.

The NFL isn’t just trying to satisfy a new media partner. Peter King writes that the league wants one of the world’s richest men, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, to sing the praises of the league as a business partner.

“Traditionally, the Week 2 Thursday-nighter has been a repository of mediocrity. This year, just watch: it will be an homage to Bezos.”

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David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”

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David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.

“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”

Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.

“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”

December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.

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NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”

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The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.

Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.

NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.

“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”

In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.

As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.

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NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’

“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

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A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.

“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”

The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.

The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.

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