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Greg Olsen: FOX Was Upfront About Brady Joining Network

“When the Brady news broke, we weren’t exactly sure what that meant…to FOX’s credit, they were super upfront and they called us and they said this was too good of an opportunity to pass up, but we would love you and Kevin to be back together again and call this year as the A crew…”

Ricky Keeler

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Greg Olsen

With the news of Tom Brady joining FOX Sports once his career is over, the one person that it could have the most effect on going forward is Greg Olsen. This year, Olsen gets a promotion from the number two analyst to being an analyst on the A team that will call the Super Bowl with Kevin Burkhardt.

Olsen was a guest on The Adam Schefter Podcast this week and he said he appreciated that FOX was upfront in telling him about Brady joining the FOX family and he appreciates getting a chance to call the Super Bowl this year:

“It was just a long offseason of speculation and rumor and reports of who was going to get the job. We always knew we were in the mix. We [Olsen and Burkhardt] weren’t exactly sure who else was in the mix. We had some conversations over the winter.”

“When the Brady news broke, we weren’t exactly sure what that meant. We weren’t exactly sure where we fit into that picture. To FOX’s credit, they were super upfront and they called us and they said this was too good of an opportunity to pass up, but we would love you and Kevin to be back together again and call this year as the A crew and call the best game that we have.”

“It’s a great opportunity for me to do it. I don’t know if it’s going to be one year or two years. For the time being, I’m going to go out there and try to have a great year and give people a fun broadcast.”

Since Olsen decided to join FOX after his playing career, he has always wanted call the Super Bowl and be on the top team. It is something he told the network at the beginning of his broadcast career:

“I always dreamed and I always aspired and I told the folks at FOX from the beginning, listen, I’m getting into this because one day I want to call the top game, I want to aspire to call Super Bowls and playoff games and what-not, but I understand there’s a little bit of a process involved in growing into that….Never in a million years did I think in Year 2 I would get an opportunity to call a Super Bowl.”

While Olsen will be analyzing some of Tom Brady’s games this year, Brady will not be on his mind and he understands that this is a business:

“Other than when we call Bucs games, not really at all. I can’t control all that stuff. Tom Brady is Tom Brady. I get it. I’m not naïve. I understand the way things operate. I’m going to go out there and do what me and Kevin did last year and try to even get better. If that day comes, that I get replaced by Tom, I get it. In the meantime, I’m not going to be looking over my shoulder and be afraid to mess up. I’m just going to let it rip…I have no hard feelings or animosity towards Tom. I have all of the respect in the world for Tom.”

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Pac-12 Networks Content Could Be Headed To ACC Network

“Dellenger and Forde report that talks to make the deal a reality are in the very early stages.”

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ESPN has been at the center of a lot of conversations about the future of college sports following the Big Ten plucking UCLA and USC out of the Pac-12. The network could be part of a broadcasting partnership that is meant to secure the futures of the Pac-12 and the ACC.

In a joint report for Sports Illustrated, Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde write that the two conferences would not merge, but that the ACC Network could get renamed and include content centered on both conferences.

A deal like this would pay dividends for all involved. The ACC would get more TV revenue and the Pac-12 would get broader distribution that it had with its proprietary Pac-12 Networks, which was reportedly struggling to even stay afloat. It could also secure the conference’s future as some members consider leaving for the Big 12. As for ESPN, this deal would put them back in business with the Pac-12.

A programming alliance between the two conferences could create some marquee non-conference matchups for football and basketball. That would give ESPN event programming to promote and sell.

Dellenger and Forde report that talks to make the deal a reality are in the very early stages. They write that “those briefed on the ACC–Pac-12 proposal believe it has plenty of hurdles to clear and details to be ironed out before becoming a reality.”

The obvious question all parties involved will want to be answered is would merging ACC Network and Pac-12 Networks content generate enough new revenue to make the move viable. Sources told Sports Illustrated that it is what they will be focused on if talks progress.

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Brian Windhorst Explains What Was Behind His Viral Rant

“To be honest with you, part of what I was doing was trying to do was avoid aggregation,” he said. “Because if I come out and go I think the Jazz are going to trade Rudy Gobert today, then everything on the internet is ‘Windhorst Report: Jazz trade Gobert.’ And then maybe they don’t trade him.”

Jordan Bondurant

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There wasn’t a ton of NBA free agency news leading into the long holiday weekend last week, but what news there was became wildly more interesting thanks to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Windhorst, appearing on First Take on Friday, went on an entertaining rant about the Utah Jazz trading Royce O’Neale to Brooklyn, throwing tidbits out there that insinuated more was to come.

The monologue went viral and became the subject of plenty of memes.

Talking on his podcast Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective, Windhorst explained that the ‘A’ block of First Take is 30 minutes long, much different than the other ESPN shows he appears on. He said he approached it from a podcasting perspective and added that First Take was really the only place he could’ve pulled something like that off given a multitude of factors.

“It had to have occurred on a show like that,” Windhorst said. “So I was able to kind of draw out and kind of have a conversation about the Utah Jazz.”

Windhorst said he knew the Jazz were going to trade Rudy Gobert, which happened not long after his rant started circulating the internet. But he said he needed to avoid tipping others in the media off or potentially even wrecking the trade before it became official.

“To be honest with you, part of what I was doing was trying to do was avoid aggregation,” he said. “Because if I come out and go I think the Jazz are going to trade Rudy Gobert today, then everything on the internet is ‘Windhorst Report: Jazz trade Gobert.’ And then maybe they don’t trade him.”

Windhorst said he knew he was becoming the subject of many a meme, but after being on the road so long and away from home covering the NBA playoffs, he didn’t really have a chance to relish in the moment.

“I came back home and had nonstop family stuff to do, and they didn’t care about any of that,” he said. “I was getting like 250 text messages and seeing all these memes, but I had to prepare for the people we had coming over for the 4th of July. I couldn’t really focus on it.”

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UFC Draws Record Ratings for UFC 276 Prelims on ESPN and ABC

The ratings make it the second-most watched UFC telecast since the promotion began airing on ESPN in 2019. It was also the top telecast ever for a preliminary card.

Jordan Bondurant

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UFC, ESPN and ABC have plenty to celebrate following this weekend’s UFC 276 pay-per-view.

Ratings for the preliminary card show a combined audience of 1.8 million tuned in across ABC and ESPN. ABC drew 929,000 viewers for their portion of the card, which marked the first time UFC aired in primetime on the network.

ESPN drew 871,000 in the lead-up to the main card from Las Vegas.

The ratings make it the second-most watched UFC telecast since the promotion began airing on ESPN in 2019. It was also the top telecast ever for a preliminary card.

UFC will return to ABC on July 16 but won’t air in primetime. Coverage of UFC Fight Night from UBS Arena on Long Island will air in the afternoon.

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