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Fred Toucher: Sunday Ticket Subscription Will Change My Role on Toucher & Rich

“I will get the YouTube Sunday Ticket because I like out-of-market teams.”

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Fred Toucher
Courtesy: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Ahead of kickoff for the 2023 National Football League’s regular season, football fans around the country are making the decision whether or not to sign up for NFL Sunday Ticket, which is on YouTube TV for the first time. The out-of-market sports package had been available exclusively through DIRECTV since its launch in 1994. Google and the NFL agreed to a seven-year deal reportedly worth just over $2 billion per season, and there have been a litany of promotions for users to sign up.

Despite trying to put it off for a long time, Fred Toucher is finally giving in and plans to sign up for NFL Sunday Ticket in the near future. As a fan of the New York Jets and Detroit Lions, the Boston sports radio host is preparing for the upcoming season and will navigate through the onboarding process for the lucrative package.

“I know they had an early bird special that I didn’t take advantage of,” Toucher said Wednesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub. “There are games – I don’t know if I’d watch them anyway – they’re good games, some of them, that I’m just not going to see. I will get the YouTube Sunday Ticket because I like out-of-market teams.”

Toucher watches a considerable amount of NFL action for the show each week and knows he can more effectively tell the story of the matchup by watching the game in its entirety instead of highlights. He also recognizes that access to every NFL game could change what is expected of him from Toucher & Rich listeners.

“Jon [Wallach] is selling out this year and not getting it because he’s just going to stay completely localized,” Toucher said. “Whenever it comes to Jon talking about any game that wasn’t on TV locally, you can’t listen to him.”

Toucher plans to watch every snap new quarterback Aaron Rodgers takes with the Jets this season, his first away from the Green Bay Packers in his 18-year NFL career. Since he hosts shows in Boston, he will also tune in to the New England Patriots to ensure he can effectively carry out his job.

“Now the responsibility completely falls on me,” Toucher said. “When the Jets are in the Super Bowl, you guys are going to be sitting here scrambling going, ‘What the hell’s going on?,’ and I’m going to have to be like, ‘Dude, you didn’t see Week 3? You didn’t sit there from the beginning to end of Week 3?’”

While NFL Sunday Ticket includes out-of-market games on linear television, it does not include any of the Peacock or ESPN+ exclusive contests. Earlier in the year, the NFL announced that Peacock would be the exclusive home of a playoff game in the Wild Card round. Fans of the local teams will be able to see the action on networks to be determined, but other football fans will need to watch through NBCUniversal’s streaming service.

“If they made it to where you actually had to spend money to watch a playoff game, that’s pretty low,” Rich Shertenlieb said. “I don’t see them doing that, [and] I could see the backlash biting them in the ass.”

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Tom Crean Added to SiriusXM NBA Draft Coverage

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine.

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NBA Draft logo, SiriusXM logo and a photo of Tom Crean

The 78th edition of the NBA Draft will be the first to be held over two days. The first round will take place on Wednesday June 26 and will be followed by the second round on Thursday June 27. The draft will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. SiriusXM will provide full coverage on SiriusXM NBA Radio channel 86, and they have announced Tom Crean will take part in a preview show prior to each round.

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine, on Tuesday, June 25 on Wednesday, June 26 prior to Round 1 at 4 p.m. ET, and on Thursday, June 27, prior to Round 2 at 2 p.m. ET.

Crean returned to ESPN as a college basketball analyst in December 2022 after having worked for them previously during the 2017-2018 season. Crean was fired after four seasons at Georgia, prior to his ESPN return.

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Dan Woike: ‘I Can’t Imagine’ JJ Redick and LeBron James Podcast Will Continue

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JJ Redick
Courtesy: Phil Ellsworth, ESPN Images

Following the conclusion of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks, JJ Redick has reportedly agreed to a contract to serve as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Redick, who recently broadcast the best-of-seven series for ESPN on ABC with play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Lisa Salters, is reportedly in the process of compiling his coaching staff for his first season leading the Lakers. Although Redick does not have any NBA coaching experience, he played 15 seasons in the league with six teams and has been an analyst for ESPN over parts of the last four years. Outside of his work with ESPN, Redick also built his ThreeFourTwo Productions company and co-hosted The Old Man and the Three podcast.

This past March, Redick launched a new podcast with Lakers forward and four-time NBA champion LeBron James titled Mind the Game. Episodes of the show contained nuanced basketball discussions that some people feel gave Redick an inherent edge in the head coaching search. Dan Patrick recently had Dan Woike, Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, on his program, the Dan Patrick Show, and asked about the future of the podcast with James.

“I can’t imagine it’s going to continue,” Woike said. “Sad, right? We might get a season finale episode…. Who knows what’s going to happen here.”

Woike spoke about Redick’s eclectic interests that include basketball, broadcasting, golf, wine and fancy suits. Part of this transition that Woike will be watching is how Redick makes the adjustments and focuses the energy that he has. The organization, he stated, is not hiring a podcaster and believes that Redick has an aptitude and shrewdness towards basketball and is serious about the endeavor. While Redick and James have a good relationship with strong rapport, it is relatively new and something Woike perceives as critical to everything going on. Nonetheless, he does not think they can continue the show because it would be an “unnecessary distraction” to the team.

“They’re paying him to coach, they’re not paying him to podcast,” Woike said. “His divestment from his podcast empire is sort of an interesting media side-note to this to see kind of how much he steps back and kind of what happens to it because it’s been really successful for him.”

Rather than asking him another question, Patrick presented Woike with a sentence and asked him to complete it. The statement was, “If he doesn’t have the podcast with LeBron…,” and Woike proceeded to outline that the Lakers would then have more questions about his ability to coach James. Patrick then immediately followed up by asking if he still would have landed the Lakers’ head coaching job if he did not have the podcast, to which Woike replied that he believed it would still be possible. Former Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski was reportedly advising the organization throughout its head coaching search, and Redick previously played for him at the university.

Woike referenced a specific clip from the podcast in which Redick and James were discussing analytics and three-point shooting. At one point, James pushed back against the analytics by asking what would happen if a team missed 27 straight three-point shots, as the Houston Rockets did in Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Redick quickly replied by asking if it had happened since, leading James to admit that he was right.

“Now how that plays in the locker room at halftime when you’re down 17 to the Charlotte Hornets and everybody’s tired, who knows,” Woike said. “That is a huge question, but I think, to be quite fair, there was going to be elements of question with that with Dan Hurley too.”

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ESPN LA 710 Announces New Fall Lineup

This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

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Logo for ESPN LA 710 and a graphic for their new fall lineup
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN LA 710

ESPN LA 710 announced more news today, introducing a new lineup which will start on Monday, September 9. This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

The new lineup will see morning drive start with Mike Greenberg’s Greeny , followed by Travis Rodgers and Allen Sliwa moving back an hour to start at 9a PT. Steve Mason and John Ireland will then air from 12p to 3p PT followed by the afternoon team of Jorge Sedano and Scott Kaplan moving to 3p-6p PT.

In addition to USC and the Kings, the station has play-by-play agreements with the Lakers, the Rams, the Angels and LAFC.

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