We have seen the back-and-forth debate about old media vs. new media in the news lately involving Draymond Green and Stephen A. Smith. As more and more athletes enter the sports media landscape, all they are asking for from hosts and commentators is to be a little more specific with their takes. That’s what Richard Jefferson says.
Jefferson was on the latest episode of What Did I Miss? With Michelle Beadle podcast. On the episode, the ESPN analyst mentioned that he views himself as part of the first group of players that played as social media was getting popular and they could hear what people said about them:
“As far as the new media goes, I just think we are the first generation. We are the guys that in the middle part of our careers, social media blew up. Then, we were able to see the Skip’s and Stephen A’s, we watched all of these guys. Guys have been keeping receipts.”
“It’s not to come and say you’re wrong or you’re this. Now, we are entering into the media space. We all have our own podcast. We all have our own social media followings and now we are all financially secure. We are getting into the media space to set the record straight, to give a more honest retired player’s viewpoint. I think that’s where it is going to have a positive effect.”
So, what do athletes like Jefferson want to see from Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, or Colin Cowherd? They want to see the hosts talk about specifics during debates rather than just speaking broadly:
“There are guys in the media like Stephen A. and Colin Cowherd, they have to talk about everything and it’s a f***n skill, but they do use some broad generalities because that’s part of the gig. Now when you have guys like JJ [Redick], myself, Draymond, C.J. [McCollum] did a great job, guys now jump in and are like no, no, no, we are not talking broad generalities, we are talking about specifics. For me, that raises the bar on a lot of these shows.”
“If you aren’t ready to either debate or have a conversation about specifics, it’s not going to look really well. There is a group of athletes that are coming into the media now because we’ve been privy to the social media and the growth of television media from the sports debate side…It’s cool to be a part of the group that’s not tweaking or changing, but having a new type of voice.”
Even though new media is on the rise as more athletes start podcasts and get their voices heard, Jefferson doesn’t think that it means that athletes don’t need Skip or Stephen A:
“You need them because I don’t want to f***n talk about football. That s**t is so hard. They have to talk about everything, so they have to use generalities. I couldn’t do Stephen A.’s job, I couldn’t do Skip’s job. I say I couldn’t as in I don’t want to. That’s where they are so good.
I think it’s good because I think if we can make basketball more specific, then I think as more football players come in, they become more specific, so the broad talking people have to get more specific, which I think raises the bar for all of these shows because you have a little bit more honesty and you have athletes that have been in this fire of social media for 10-15 years.”
The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket
The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.
DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?
Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.
Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.
According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.
An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.
F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights
ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.
The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.
Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.
Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.
Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement
“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”
Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.
The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.
Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.
“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”
Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.
“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”
Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.
“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”