Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports TV News

Mark Lazarus: NBC ‘Intrigued’ by the NBA

“It’s a wonderful product in the States and globally.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Mark Lazarus
Courtesy: NBCUniversal, Inc.

The National Basketball Association is on the cusp of starting its 78th season in just over a month, and there are plenty of storylines to follow within the league. Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James suits up for his 21st year; Kevin Durant plays his first full season with the Phoenix Suns; and the Denver Nuggets trying to repeat for an NBA championship represent some of the many talking points that will be proffered on television over the ensuing six months. Combined with the new In-Season Tournament, rules for resting star players and burgeoning international reach, the Association is flourishing ahead of negotiations for a new national television media rights contract.

The current deal the entity and its partners are operating under provides the NBA $2.6 billion annually, a figure that the Association is reportedly looking to double or possibly triple. There are plenty of interested suitors, which are likely to include existing rights holders The Walt Disney Company (ESPN/ESPN+/ABC) and Warner Bros. Discovery (TNT/NBA TV/Max) starting when the exclusive 45-day negotiating window opens on March 9, 2024.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has stated that the media landscape looks considerably different than the last team the league negotiated a deal, which could imply that digital and/or streaming components will be part of the new pact. Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ could serve as future homes of games, similar to what the entities are doing with the National Football League and Major League Baseball, respectively.

NBC Sports lost the rights to the NBA in 2002, but it is reportedly interested in making a run to bring the league back to its platforms. During a recent appearance at the IMG Summit, NBCUniversal Media Group Chairman Mark Lazarus emphasized the nature of the appealing property.

“Both NBC and me personally have long histories with [the] NBA from my Turner years,” Lazarus said. “It’s a wonderful product in the States and globally. It’s a really valuable product [that is] culturally relevant in ways maybe some other sports aren’t, [and] it speaks to multiple generations, so we’re intrigued by that. But we’re not an incumbent, and the process will come and go as it does.”

NBC Sports currently holds media rights for Sunday Night Football, prime time television’s No. 1 program for 12 consecutive years, and pays the NFL a reported $2 billion each year for these rights. The network will also serve as the home of the Super Bowl to decide the champions of the 2025, 2029 and 2033 regular seasons under the new 11-year national media rights deal.

Moreover, the network is in discussions to renew its NASCAR deal and existing partnership with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the latter of which expires next October. WWE officially merged with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is operating as a joint venture under the publicly-traded domain “TKO Group Holdings.” NBC also began carrying Big Ten Conference games, reportedly for $350 million per year, to carry between 14 and 16 football games every season through 2029.

“Our priorities are to do the deals with those we’re incumbents in,” Lazarus articulated. “That said, we have long-term deals with the NFL, Big Ten, the Olympics and the Premier League. We’ve made a lot of investment and will continue to invest in sports.”

Comcast Corporation’s year-to-year (YoY) media revenue increased 0.1% to $6.195 billion as divulged in its latest quarterly earnings report. With the cessation of late night talk shows, sketch comedy and other scripted programming because of strikes in Hollywood, the impact of live sports in the modern media ecosystem is being spotlighted. Lazarus, who oversees various segments of the business outside of solely sports, is focused on aggregate growth across the board.

“Putting Big Ten on every Saturday night in prime time was a way for us to invest differently in content and not as much in necessarily scripted entertaining programming, but live sports and live events,” Lazarus said. “Live continues to be critical, whether it’s sports or entertainment events that are live, and then we are a big news company. So live continues to be valuable, whether it’s through media or in-venue.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sports TV News

Ryan Leaf: Jay Glazer ‘Is a Fraud When it Comes to Anything Mental Health or Wellness Related’

“Phelps is an inspiration but it gives me pause that he muddies his mind with that con man.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Photos of Ryan Leaf and Jay Glazer
Leaf Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle Glazer Photo Courtesy: FOX Sports

Swimmer Michael Phelps was a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press this weekend and as he has done before, he talked candidly about the challenges he has had with his mental health and his bouts with depression. He spoke with Kristen Welker and talked about FOX Sports football insider Jay Glazer being his “mental health buddy.” This brought quite the response from former Chargers quarterback and current football analyst Ryan Leaf.

“Jay Glazer and I, we’re both mental health buddies,” Phelps said. “We both struggle, and when we’re both having our bad days, we go through similar ups and downs. And we do similar things when we’re down, if that makes sense. We both had this conversation the other day because when it happens to me, I reach out to him. When it happens to him, he reaches out to me. I have a couple of friendships like that where we’ve kind of been really able to form a bond.”

In response to a social media post about the interview, Leaf held nothing back as he posted his thoughts about Glazer.

“Glazer is a fraud when it comes to anything mental health or wellness related,” Leaf wrote. “He uses it for his benefit and really isn’t invested in any of it unless it benefits him and his brand. Phelps is an inspiration but it gives me pause that he muddies his mind with that con man.”

Leaf has been vocal as well about his struggles with depression, addiction and a suicide attempt. Leaf also spent 32 months in prison when he violated the terms of his probation by breaking into a home to steal prescription drugs.

Back in 2018, a story from the New York Post talked about Leaf and Glazer working together on Glazer’s ‘Merging Vets and Players’ (MVP) initiative.

Glazer, who was recently married and has been on his honeymoon, posted on his X account in response to Phelps’ interview, “Brother, I am so honored to walk this walk with you!!! We save each other my dude!”

Glazer has not yet commented on the post from Leaf. Should he respond, we will update this story.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports TV News

‘NFL Total Access’ Comes to an End After 21 Years on NFL Network

“Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

NFL Total Access

‘NFL Total Access’ has been a part of the NFL Network since 2003 and today it is set for its final episode. The news of the show coming to an end came down earlier this month. Many of the current show participants took to social media to post their thoughts including hosts Mike Yam and Kimmi Chex along with analyst Chase Daniel.

“Tonight marks the last ever episode of NFL Total Access,” said Chex. “I was 7 years old when this show aired meaning that I spent my life watching. Co-hosting our flagship program this past season has been the honor of my career. I’m not going anywhere but for now, it’s goodbye TA.”

Yam said, “It’s been an absolute thrill hosting NFL Total Access. Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network. “Thank you” isn’t nearly enough to express the gratitude I have for the team. See you at 7est for 1 more run.”

A report from The Athletic said the show would be replaced “at least in the interim” by Insiders with Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports TV News

NBCUniversal Names Olympic Hosts for USA, CNBC and E!; Kathryn Tappen Headlines

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

NBC Olympics Logo and photos of Cara Banks, Laura Britt, Trenni Casey, Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno, and Kathryn Tappen

NBCUniversal announced its hosts for coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on USA Network, CNBC and E! Cara Banks, Laura Britt and Trenni Casey will all be a part of the coverage on CNBC and E! Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno and Kathryn Tappen will all take part in the USA Network coverage.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics is Friday, July 26 on NBC, Peacock, and Telemundo.

Coverage on USA Network, CNBC, and E! is expected to include Team USA men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and volleyball, as well as swimming, gymnastics, and track & field, and more.

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games,” said Rebecca Chatman, Vice President and Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics Production in a release.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.