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Robert Kraft Tried To Get FOX To Hire Al Michaels

“The broadcasting legend was told that FOX was going to pursue him, but says that information did not come from anyone officially connected to FOX and that the network never reached out.”

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft, acting in his role as the head of the NFL’s broadcasting committee, tried to get FOX to hire Al Michaels after Joe Buck left for ESPN. According to a story in the New York Post’s Sports+ newsletter, Kraft called Rupert Murdoch personally.

“When Kraft did that, I think it was more in terms of [Fox] has the Super Bowl two of the next three years and we want somebody [experienced],” Michaels told Andrew Marchand.

Calling those games would have broken Michaels’s tie with Pat Sumerall for the most Super Bowls called on television.

The broadcasting legend was told that FOX was going to pursue him, but says that information did not come from anyone officially connected to FOX and that the network never reached out.

Al Michaels was also an option for ESPN at one point in the offseason. He is convinced that if Joe Buck couldn’t have broken his contract with FOX, he would be back on Monday Night Football with Troy Aikman.

“I was in their sights,” he told Marchand. “I know that, and you knew that, too. Yes. Could I have made a deal there? I don’t know.”

Of course, Michaels eventually signed with Amazon to be a part of the company’s Thursday Night Football coverage alongside Kirk Herbstreit. The crew is getting rave reviews.

This news explains why news of the streaming giant’s interest in Al Michaels could be public for so long before a deal actually got done.

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Report: Dusty Baker to Once Again Join TBS for MLB Coverage

Baker worked with TBS in a similar capacity in 2015 and was also an analyst for ESPN in 2006 and 2007.

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Screengrab of Dusty Baker on MLB Network
Screengrab: MLB Network

World Series champion Dusty Baker, the former player and manager, is headed back to TBS. According to a report from Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post, the former player and manager will take part in some regular season broadcasts and will be a part of the studio team for the postseason where he is expected to work with co-analysts Pedro Martinez, Jimmy Rollins and Curtis Granderson.

Baker worked with TBS in a similar capacity in 2015 and was also an analyst for ESPN in 2006 and 2007.

A three-time Manager of the Year, Baker managed over 4,000 games over 26 years before retiring after the 2023 season. Baker spent time with the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds, the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros, who he won a World Series with in 2022.

As a player, Baker played 19 seasons, mostly with the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a two-time All-Star and won a World Series in 1981.

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Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese Matchup on ESPN is Most-Watched WNBA Game Since Memorial Day 2001

Eight of the nine games with more than an average of 1 million viewers have included Clark and the Fever.

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Courtesy: ESPN

The Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky have been embedded within the conversation surrounding the WNBA this season as both teams aim to contend for a league championship. The Fever selected Iowa guard and NCAA Basketball all-time scoring leader Caitlin Clark with the first-overall selection in the WNBA Draft, while the Sky chose LSU forward and former national champion Angel Reese seventh. Clark and Reese faced one another for the third time in the WNBA on Sunday, drawing an average of 2.3 million viewers on ESPN. It was the second consecutive week in which a matchup between these two rookies surpassed 2 million viewers and represents the most-watched WNBA game since Memorial Day 2001.

Before the WNBA season began, the league had not surpassed an average of 1 million viewers for a game in 16 years. Amid the 2024 regular season as it stands, the league has shattered that outcome nine times with more than half of the schedule to go. Eight of those nine games have had Clark and the Fever, which includes the team’s Friday night game against the Atlanta Dream. That matchup averaged 1.18 million viewers on ION, the largest WNBA audience the network has ever attained as it continues the second season of its three-year media rights deal.

Reese, along with Sky rookie Kamilla Cardoso, received media exemptions following a change in the WNBA media season access policy. This means that they will be exempt from media availability following morning shootarounds; however, they will still be available in pregame and postgame windows throughout the season. It is unknown if this change will extend to other teams around the league as the season continues, but the rule states that two members of the team can be exempt from speaking with media after morning shootaround. Sky players had previously demonstrated frustration by questions pertaining to the flagrant 1 foul committed by Sky guard Chennedy Carter on Clark in early June.

The NBA is reportedly negotiating media rights deals including the WNBA and is expected to leave a slate of games available for a separate deal later. NBA media rights are expected to be granted to The Walt Disney Company (ESPN/ABC), NBCUniversal and Amazon’s Prime Video following the conclusion of next season, although no resolutions have officially been announced. Reports have indicated that the NBA expected to net $76 billion over the term of the new deals, which would nearly triple the fiscal value of its existing rights. Moreover, the WNBA could quadruple the money it receives from media rights to $240 million per year, according to a recent report from Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.

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FOX Sports Draws Over 3 Million Viewers for USMNT Copa América Opener

This makes the game the most watched non-World Cup soccer telecast ever on FOX.

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Sunday night’s soccer matchup between the United States Men’s National Team and Bolivia, which the USMNT won 2-0 drew an average audience of 3,165,000 viewers on FOX Sports according to Nielsen Media Research and Adobe Analytics. This makes the game the most watched non-World Cup soccer telecast ever on FOX and the most watched English language Copa América telecast ever in the United States.

The game peaked at 4,013,000 viewers from 6:30 p.m. ET to 6:45 p.m. ET. The top local markets were San Diego, Washington D.C., Austin and Kansas City.

FOX Sports said the game was up 191% from last year’s USMNT Concacaf Gold Cup telecast and up 108% from the 2016 average of USMNT Copa América Group Stage telecasts which were carried on FS1.

The next USMNT Copa América game is scheduled for Thursday, Jun 27 against Panama at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, followed by another Group Stage game on Monday, July 1 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1. The CONMEBOL Copa América is taking place in the U.S. through Sunday, July 14.

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