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Bob Fescoe: ‘I’ll Pay $200/Month for All-Sports App’

“Just let’s streamline this thing and make it easy.”

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Bob Fescoe
Courtesy: Building Hope for Autism Foundation

On the first day of the National Football League season, there were many questions to be answered about players and teams as months of anticipation came to a halt. In the media space, sports fans and consumers were wondering about the performance of NFL Sunday Ticket, which is operating through YouTube and YouTube TV for the first time in its 29-year history. Count Kansas City radio host Bob Fescoe among those changing their consumption habits, watching NFL RedZone for the first time ever on Sunday.

Google is paying the NFL $2 billion annually in a seven-year contract to be the exclusive home of the out-of-market package, ending its tenure on DIRECTV. Since the service is no longer on the multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD), it also marked the end of its exclusive RedZone channel. Instead, the company is now carrying NFL Media’s RedZone show, which is hosted by Scott Hanson, and welcomed a new legion of fans for the first time yesterday for seven hours of commercial-free football.

After 24 years of having NFL Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV, Fescoe made the decision not to pay for the service in its new home and instead is opting to watch out-of-market games through the RedZone channel. The assimilation process took some time, but is something he eventually came to accept as the afternoon went on.

“I felt like I was watching live highlights and didn’t have a real investment in the games watching this,” Fescoe said on Monday morning. “I didn’t feel like I was invested in the games; [instead], I felt like it was more a movie or a TV show as opposed to watching live football games.”

Fescoe quipped that the best part of the service was that when he was asked to complete a task by his wife, he would say that he would do it at the next commercial break. As he said this, he wholeheartedly knew that there are no commercials on the channel, instead simply presenting football unimpeded for hours on end.

“Did I like RedZone? It’s okay; it’s a nice tool to have in my toolbox, but I still would rather watch full games,” Fescoe said. “[But] it is nice though to be able to go to that when the full game that they give you is a turd.”

For co-host Josh Klingler, he does not get to watch NFL RedZone that often since he works as the sideline reporter for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network. Since the Chiefs played on Thursday night in the NFL Kickoff game this week, he had the rare opportunity to watch the rest of the games around the league.

Even so, he would rather focus on one game in front of him since he does not gamble, nor is he playing fantasy football this year. Multitasking when it comes to watching football is a task that is less than desirable to many people who are accustomed to watching full-length games, but it can serve its purpose when certain matchups end up being lopsided.

“I had CBS on one TV watching that early Browns game and then I had the RedZone on the other,” Fescoe shared. “That Browns game clearly got out of hand, so I was paying more attention to the RedZone.”

Fescoe, however, is frustrated by the current media landscape where programming is divided among numerous platforms that all have their separate fees. Consuming sports right now takes a lot of effort, leaving him yearning for a day where he can simply sit and use his remote to flip between all of the games going on in the sports universe. While such a proposition is difficult to foresee because of differences in media rights contracts and expirations thereof, he is holding out hope that everything will ultimately be bundled together – similar to a cable subscription – in the future.

“You pay $200 a month; you get every game that’s out there on one app,” Fescoe proposed. “Just let’s streamline this thing and make it easy because that’s what I’m essentially paying for cable right now; I’m paying that price when you factor everything in. Give me one app – call it the ‘Sports App’ – and I’ll pay $200 a month for it.”

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Dan Patrick: ESPN Was an ‘Echo Chamber’

“When I was at ESPN, you’re told what you’re supposed to talk about, you’re told you have to have ESPN analysts on.”

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Screengrab from OutLick.com's Don't @ Me with Dan Dakich and guest Dan Patrick
Screengrab: Don't @ Me/OutKick.com

Dan Patrick was a guest of Dan Dakich on his OutKick.com show Don’t @ Me and the two talked about several topics including Patrick’s plan to retire at the end of 2027. Patrick shared a story with Dakich about the day he first realized he didn’t want to continue at ESPN.

“There was one day when I was doing the 6 o’clock SportsCenter and I remember I threw it out to Sal Paolantonio with the Eagles. He’s doing his report and I’m not listening to anything he is saying because in my mind I am thinking, ‘I am going through the motions here, I am not getting any better.’ I remember coming home that night and I said to my wife, ‘ I don’t think I want to stay at ESPN…I don’t know, I think I might want to leave after this contract’s up, because I wasn’t getting any better.

“And that’s why I went on my own, because I needed to get my ass kicked. And we did the show for three years in my attic at my house, it wasn’t anything glamorous that I was leaving for, but I needed to jump start that again. And I accomplished it. I’m the first person to get out of Alcatraz and swim safely to the shore and live to tell about it and I’m good. I’ve accomplished what I wanted to accomplish and it’s time for somebody else to come in and do this, somebody younger.”

Dakich replied, “You’re great man, you’re not good, you’re great. And what you did was be a trailblazer…People don’t leave ESPN unless they ask you to leave. You know why I left? Other than the fact that I maybe was too controversial. I got bored. I get bored easy, and I got tired of ‘Don’t do this’ and ‘Don’t do that’ …so I go to OutKick where they let me say whatever the hell I want, and I don’t get in trouble.”

Patrick agreed with Dakich about the way ESPN dictates most of the topics and decides who can or cannot come on for analysis. “When I was at ESPN, you’re told what you’re supposed to talk about, you’re told you have to have ESPN analysts on,” he said. “It’s an echo chamber. And I just kept thinking that we needed to have people from outside instead of just our analysts on and that was not met well. It just felt like when Disney took over, the walls kind of got tighter, things shrunk, it wasn’t as much fun there…I felt like I didn’t graduate, I didn’t progress, I didn’t get any better.

“Berman left, Bob Ley left, Olbermann left, Kilborn left, Tirico left, Chris Myers left, Rich Eisen left. They all left, and I was just there going, ‘ Oh my god, I don’t want to be laughed at, I want to be laughed with. I gotta get out.’

Patrick said he turned down a five-year contract extension and that his boss “couldn’t believe it.”

Patrick said he believed he had been selfish long enough and that it was time to be able to spend more time with his family.

“You have to be selfish to be good at just about anything it feels like, and I thought I had been selfish to get to this point and I didn’t want to continue to be selfish to my family,” he said.

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Merrill Reese, Voice of the Eagles Since 1977, to Receive 2024 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award

“For nearly a half century, fans tuning into Eagles games, including opposing fans, have had the privilege of hearing Merrill’s legendary voice.”

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Logo for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a photo of Merrill Reese
Photo Courtesy: Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced that longtime Philadelphia Eagles radio play-by-play voice Merrill Reese has been chosen to receive the 2024 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. Reese is currently the longest-serving play-by-play announcer in the league, having called Eagles games since 1977.

“Each year, the Hall of Fame recognizes an individual who has dedicated their career to improving radio and television in professional football, and this year’s recipient, Merrill Reese, represents exactly what we look for when we talk about who’s made a big impact in broadcasting,” said Jim Porter, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “For nearly a half century, fans tuning into Eagles games, including opposing fans, have had the privilege of hearing Merrill’s legendary voice.”

In a release announcing the award, the Hall of Fame said when they called Reese to tell him the news his response was, “Oh, my god. Thank you so much. I can’t tell you what this means to me.”

This year will be Reese’s 48th consecutive season as a team announcer. His first year he served as the color analyst before team play-by-play announcer Charlie Swift passed away and Reese moved over to call the action.

Reese has won numerous awards including Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year and the Lindsey Nelson Award for Excellence in Sportscasting. He has also been inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Temple University Communications Hall of Fame and the Overbrook High School Hall of Fame.

Reese will be honored during the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton, Ohio coming up in early August.

Past Winners of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award:

2023 – Fred Gaudelli 
2022 – Howard Katz 
2021 – John Facenda
2020 – Joe Buck 
2019 – Dick Ebersol 
2018 – Andrea Kremer
2017 – David Hill 
2016 – James Brown
2015 – Tom Jackson
2014 – Bob Trumpy 
2013 – Al Michaels
2012 – Len Dawson 
2011 – Jim Nantz 
2010 – Chris Berman 
2009 – Irv Cross 
2008 – Dan Dierdorf 
2007 – Don Meredith 
2006 – Lesley Visser
2005 – Myron Cope 
2004 – Van Miller 
2003 – Don Criqui 
2002 – John Madden
2001 – Roone Arledge 
2000 – Ray Scott
1999 – Dick Enberg
1998 – Val Pinchbeck
1997 – Charlie Jones
1996 – Jack Buck
1995 – Frank Gifford
1994 – Pat Summerall
1993 – Curt Gowdy
1992 – Chris Schenkel
1991 – Ed Sabol
1990 – Lindsey Nelson
1989 – Bill McPhail

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Matt Chazanow Named Radio Play-by-Play Voice of NC State Wolfpack

“The passion and power of the Pack is renowned in college athletics and to be entrusted to take the baton from Gary Hahn and tell the stories of NC State is truly humbling.

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Graphic announcing Matt Chazanow as the new voice of the NC State Wolfpack
Graphic Courtesy: NC State Athletics

NC State and Learfield’s Wolfpack Sports Properties have announced Matt Chazanow as the new Director of Broadcasting and play-by-play announcer for football and men’s basketball. According to a release from the school, Chazanow was one of more than 150 applicants for the position.

Chazanow, who had been in a similar role at Washington State since 2015, will take over for Gary Hahn who called Wolfpack games for 34 years. Chazanow is from New Jersey but worked in Winston-Salem, NC and his wife is a North Carolina native.

“I’m so excited to welcome Matt Chazanow as our new ‘Voice of the Wolfpack,'” said NC State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan in a release. “Chaz understands that this role isn’t only about calling games, but about bringing special moments and memories to Wolfpack fans of all ages. While he is a very talented radio announcer, he will also be a great representative of our university, our brand, and our culture.

“I also want to thank Gary Hahn for his period of service to NC State. There are generations of NC State fans that have memories of Gary calling their favorite Wolfpack plays, and he will always be a part of Wolfpack Nation.”

“I am so thrilled for this incredible opportunity,” said Chazanow.  “The passion and power of the Pack is renowned in college athletics and to be entrusted to take the baton from Gary Hahn and tell the stories of NC State is truly humbling. I can’t wait to get started.”

“An established voice in the broadcasting world, Chaz will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Wolfpack Sports Network,” said Kyle Winchester, General Manager of Wolfpack Sports Properties. “We’re delighted for him to join our world-class team and lead our coverage of the Wolfpack starting this season.”

A graduate of Syracuse, Chazanow has been with Learfield since 2008 and has also done national play-by-play for Westwood One.

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