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ESPN, FOX Executives Floated As Next Big Ten Commissioner

“Here’s the problem with getting a TV executive right now is that their media deal is done for long-term.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Last week it was announced that Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren would be departing for a job with the Chicago Bears, and the speculation on a replacement has started.

With the conference last year inking a multi-billion dollar media rights deal with CBS, NBC and FOX, it’s believed that a TV executive could be considered one of the top candidates.

But on The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand thought that might not be the play even though some names in various leadership positions have been floated around.

“Here’s the problem with getting a TV executive right now is that their media deal is done for long-term,” Ourand said. “So the names that consistently come up – Burke Magnus who has a big job at ESPN now, but he’s also the guy who launched the ACC Network, the SEC Network, he cut his teeth on ESPNU. He’s someone that knows, understands and loves the college game and somebody who would be great in that position I think.”

Ourand also wondered if FOX Sports president Mark Silverman would also be considered. But Ourand then thought about some of the other conference commissioners out there who could potentially throw their names in the running.

ACC commissioner Jim Phillips came to mind for Ourand.

“He’s cut his teeth as commissioner a the ACC,” he said. “Is this something that he could be interested in? I think that’s worthy of taking a look at.”

But Ourand did say when you look at conferences like the Pac-12, Big 12 and the Big Ten, often the name that emerges is someone that wasn’t necessarily grown in college sports.

“George Kliavkoff wasn’t on anybody’s list. He just sort of came out from nowhere,” Ourand said. “Brett Yormark at the Big 12. Nobody would’ve predicted that he would’ve gone in there. So the traditional route of you need to be an AD or you need to be in sort of college sports to rise up to commissioner, that’s been thrown on its head by the Pac-12 and the Big 12.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Wins Universal Praise From Sports Media Colleagues

“Greg Olsen has plenty of fans amongst his sports media colleagues and they were vocal on social media on Sunday.”

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Greg Olsen

Usually, if a game analyst ends up trending on Twitter, it is because people are picking his work apart. Fns of Greg Olsen may have had their hearts skip a beat on Sunday when they saw his name, but clicking on the trending topic showed that the former tight end was drawing near universal praise for his work alongside Kevin Burkhardt in San Francisco.

Albert Beer of Sports Illustrated led the praise by echoing an observation plenty have made during the season.

Breer was not alone though. Greg Olsen has plenty of fans amongst his sports media colleagues and they were vocal on social media on Sunday.

FOX signed Tom Brady to a $375 million contract before the 2022 season kicked off. The plan is for him to join Kevin Burkhardt in the network’s top NFL booth when he retires. What that mans for Greg Olsen remains unclear.

No matter what his future holds, Olsen will get the chance to call a Super Bowl. He and Burkhardt will call Super Bowl LVII next month. FOX has said that Tom Brady is not part of its coverage plans for the game.

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Sports TV News

5 Former Red Sox To Serve As Analysts On NESN in 2023

“The network will have former Red Sox players Kevin Millar, Kevin Youkilis, Will Middlebrooks and Tim Wakefield split time in the broadcast booth along with Lou Merloni.”

Jordan Bondurant

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NESN will be going with a rotating group of color commentators for Boston Red Sox games this season.

The network will have former Red Sox players Kevin Millar, Kevin Youkilis, Will Middlebrooks and Tim Wakefield split time in the broadcast booth along with Lou Merloni. Merloni will call the bulk of the Red Sox schedule, but not always on TV. He will split his time between the NESN and WEEI broadcasts.

Dave O’Brien will handle the majority of the play-by-play duties, but Mike Monaco will also call a select numberof games.

“We are continuously evolving our broadcast to bring viewers the best possible experience,” NESN president and CEO Sean McGrail said in a statement. “We’re excited about our booth lineup this year and look forward to an exciting season.”

The change comes after longtime color analyst Dennis Eckersley retired at the end of last season.

Jahmai Webster will be reporting from the field this year.

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Sports TV News

Matt Ryan Joining CBS Sports As Guest Analyst This Weekend

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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan is joining CBS Sports this weekend as a guest analyst.

Ryan will appear on That Other Pregame Show on CBS Sports Network at its regularly scheduled time of 9:00 AM ET before joining The NFL Today at 2:00 PM ET on CBS. The NFL Today — which usually airs from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM ET — begins at 2:00 PM ET before the network’s coverage of the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills at 3:00.

He will bring a fresh perspective to the CBS shows, after defeating two of the four remaining teams in the AFC.

The on-air opportunity could be viewed as a tryout of sorts for the 37-year-old quarterback. Ryan struggled in his first season with Indianapolis, playing in 12 of the team’s 17 games after being benched at the behest of owner Jim Irsay. Ryan was later reinserted to the starting lineup after the franchise fired head coach Frank Reich and replaced him with ESPN NFL analyst Jeff Saturday, before he was ultimately removed once more.

It is not the first broadcasting role Ryan has held. In 2020 — while still a member of the Atlanta Falcons — he hosted a 12-hour radiothon on 680 The Fan for Advance The Lives, a charity focused on combatting systemic barriers Black youth face in the greater Atlanta area.

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