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Gator Anderson: It Seems Like ESPN is Trying to Leave Basic Cable

“We no longer gonna see it on basic cable? That would be disturbing to me.”

Jordan Bondurant

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A photo of Doug Karsch and Gator Anderson
Photo: 97.1 The Ticket

As ESPN continues to have conversations with potential partners to develop a standalone streaming service, 97.1 The Ticket’s Gator Anderson thinks this will be The Worldwide Leader’s opportunity to leave linear television.

On Karsch & Anderson on Friday, Anderson was reacting to reporting from Front Office Sports on Thursday that Amazon was the latest entity to inquire about a potential minority ownership stake in the Disney-controlled network. And with the minority stake, Amazon would work with ESPN to launch a direct-to-consumer offering. The FOS piece also indicated that the asking price per month would be in the range of $20-35.

Anderson wasn’t sure what to make of the news, but he said the idea of Amazon and ESPN coming together makes him wonder how much is too much.

“If I’m gonna pay $25 a month for a streaming service like this, (show producer) Khang, I better be getting Amazon Prime, Disney – like the Disney+ – and ESPN. I want all three,” Anderson said. “I want it bundled together in a nice little package there. I’d be willing to pay like $30 a month if it meant that I didn’t have to shell out all the money I am for Amazon to have Amazon Prime and to have Disney+ and to have ESPN.”

“I get it man. I like combo meals myself. I always like the fries and the drink too,” Khang responded. “But I got bad news for ya, I don’t think that’s what’s happening here.”

He added that the DTC version of ESPN would be different from ESPN+, which is bundled together with Hulu and Disney+.

“They have these games, right, these national games,” he said of ESPN’s media rights to properties like the NFL, NBA, NHL. “Amazon we already know they have football. They’ve been trying to get more involved with sports as part of theirs. So the advantage for Amazon getting into this is they’re gonna help ESPN convert to streaming and they’re gonna get a piece of that pie. They kind of want to be like an investor and also they’re gonna help them do this whole streaming thing because that’s what Amazon does.”

Anderson had a question considering that it felt like ESPN had outgrown being strictly a cable channel.

“It sounds like what ESPN is gonna become eventually if this comes to fruition – and correct me if I’m wrong because I’m trying to figure this out – is that ESPN ends up being like HBO or Showtime,” he said. “It’s its own pay channel. It’s no longer part of basic cable. Is that what I’m seeing, or do you think that’s where it’s going?”

Khang said that was sort of how it was going to go, with the emphasis on removing or reducing the number of commercials and spotlighting more programming.

Anderson remained unsold on the idea.

“I think we’re really heading towards disaster when it comes to this,” he said. “If this is gonna turn ESPN into its own streaming service, and they’re gonna be like a Disney+ and HBOMax or Max or whatever they’re calling it these days. And are we no longer gonna see it on basic cable? That would be disturbing to me.”

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John Kincade Celebrates 700th Show at 97.5 The Fanatic

“In radio, if you could find a show that’s faced more adversity in 700 shows, I’d like to buy them a beer.

Jordan Bondurant

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A photo of John Kincade
Courtesy: John Kincade

97.5 The Fanatic host John Kincade reached a milestone for his show on Tuesday – show number 700.

Kincade has been on the air at the Philadelphia station since 2020. He made sure to show love to everyone involved with the show for all they’ve done.

“Congratulations to the entire crew,” he said.

The road to 700 for Kincade in Philly hasn’t always been an easy one. One thing John has been dealing with has been a colon cancer diagnosis back in the spring that led to a brief time away from the show.

Still, Kincade was thankful for the listeners who’ve continued to tune in and get the show to this point.

“In radio, if you could find a show that’s faced more adversity in 700 shows, I’d like to buy them a beer. That is what I would say to you,” Kincade added. “We appreciate all of you being a part of us for 700 shows, and we hope you’re gonna be with us for the next 700.”

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Paul Allen: I Don’t Know What We’ll Do if Taylor Swift Says Yes to Announcing With Us

Allen offered to let Swift announce a portion of the upcoming Vikings/Chiefs game with him on KFAN.

Jordan Bondurant

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Paul Allen
Courtesy: Dan Myers

It’s been a few days since VP of programming for iHeart Twin Cities Greg Swedberg attempted to get Taylor Swift’s attention ahead of Sunday’s Chiefs/Vikings game in Minneapolis. But Swedberg’s offer for Swift to come to the KFAN FM 100.3 broadcast booth and potentially do some play-by-play with Paul Allen still stands.

Swedberg was a guest with Paul Allen on Tuesday. Allen, the radio voice of the Vikings, asked Swedberg what exactly the plan was for Swift if she happened to see him and say hello.

“I thought she could come in and give you a break on play-by-play,” Swedberg joked.

“That’d be sweet! That’d be great!” Allen responded.

Swedberg has known Taylor Swift since she was a teenager just breaking through on the country music scene. While he said he wouldn’t consider them close friends, they know each other as associates.

Allen asked what would happen if she did show up. She usually rolls pretty deep with security and the like, so the situation in the broadcast booth could be crazy. But Swedberg did say he realizes Swift likely isn’t going to come say hello or anything on Sunday. He acknowledged that it’s possible Taylor doesn’t even show up in Minnesota at all. He just wishes some people would let people enjoy things.

“It’s a bit. Pretty much everything we do here is a bit to a certain extent,” he said. “But, I wouldn’t rule it out. It’s possible.”

“We would make room, wouldn’t we?” Allen asked.

Paul asked Greg the possibility that Swift and Travis Kelce’s family could be situated in a suite near the broadcast booth. Swedberg said if that’s the case, it would make it hard for her to ignore stopping in to say hi.

“If she wants to come in, it’s a quick trip from that booth – I’ve made that little trip myself – into your booth,” Swedberg said.

“It’s an extreme longshot, but hey, you know somebody for 17 years you take a shot,” he added. “And she’s very conscious of PR, and it would be a great scene!”

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Greg Hill: NFL, Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift All Working Together for Publicity Stunt

“I don’t think Taylor Swift needs the publicity.”

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A photo of Greg Hill
(Photo: WEEI)

Are Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, and the NFL in cahoots to drive publicity for each other? That’s what WEEI morning host Greg Hill believes.

During The Greg Hill Show Tuesday, the Boston-based host led a discussion about whether or not Swift was more popular than the NFL. Co-host Courtney Cox argued that it’s undeniable she is more famous than the NFL on the global stage. Meanwhile, colleague Jermaine Wiggins argued the pop start isn’t even the most popular artist in America.

“The reason this came up is because of the massive fraud, charade that is being pulled on America by all of them,” Hill said. “And that’s Kelce, that’s her, and that’s the NFL. Who is it benefiting the most? I think Courtney is right. I don’t think Taylor Swift needs the publicity.”

Producer Chris Curtis claimed 2.5 million people in Brazil watched Super Bowl LVII, while only 2 million attempted to get tickets for Swift’s shows in the country. Cox argued that was an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Hill maintained the alleged relationship between Swift and Kelce is simply a ploy by the NFL to seek out a new potential fan base with Swift’s massive following.

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