Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports Radio News

Fred Toucher: NHL Was ‘Desperate to Get on ESPN’

“Disney owns ESPN, ABC, Hulu – all that stuff – and they were so desperate to get on ESPN that they agreed to do this crap.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Fred Toucher
Courtesy: 98.5 The Sports Hub

This week, ESPN presented two exclusive NHL games, the latter of which was broadcast on its streaming service, ESPN+, and Hulu. 98.5 The Sports Hub hosts Rich Shertenlieb and Fred Toucher believe the network have some work to do when it comes to its presentation of the NHL.

While fans in the Boston marketplace and beyond are excited regarding the success of their team after a record-setting regular season last year, some had trouble finding the game. On Friday morning’s edition of Toucher & Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub, co-host Rich Shertenlieb expressed how the Original Six matchup was not prominently displayed on the front screen of the Hulu app, contrasting from how other streaming services market sports properties.

“It’s the opposite of what you do when you’re watching Thursday Night Football,” Shertenlieb said. “Amazon is like, ‘We spent money on this product. Damnit, you’re going to watch it.’ I don’t even think you need to press play when you turn on Amazon. It’s right there.”

In order to find the game on Hulu, Shertenlieb had to type ‘Bruins’ into the search bar, something that Toucher feels is taking away from the growth of the sport. While there is a large slate of programming on Hulu across various genres, prominently featuring the NHL on nights with exclusive games could prompt people to click on it just to see what is going on, and then perhaps become interested in the game later on.

“I didn’t see it on the [Hulu] front page, so I went to ESPN and it was the first thing for me on ESPN,” Toucher said. “I have the ESPN app, but if you are going to have something on Hulu, I understand, and I now think anybody they want watching the games probably has streaming service. They’re not overly interested in you – I apologize if you’re this age – but if you’re in your 60s or 70s or 80s, they’re not overly interested in you; they’re just not.”

In his remarks, Toucher likened the lack of promotion surrounding the property to a “J.V. operation,” claiming that the NHL is missing an opportunity for fans outside of markets with an emphasis on hockey. There have been times when he has become interested in recommended shows because of the algorithm within the streaming service, and pushing the NHL and other live sports in a similar regard could help grow the audience and elicit a greater return on investment.

“At any given point, how many live sporting events are running on Hulu at night? It’s not many, right?,” Shertenlieb presumed. “Let’s say there’s three – wouldn’t you think that [if] you were somebody who ran Hulu, you would have, on the front screen, a portion of it that said, ‘Live sports right now,’ that you could click on?”

Toucher assumed that Hulu does not value the NHL and does not care to advertise it or put significant marketing spend. He also opined that the league should insist on having a banner advertisement and that if no one clicks on it, it will still be good for purposes of exposure.

“They were desperate to get on ESPN is what happened, and they got on ESPN,” Toucher said. “….Disney owns ESPN, ABC, Hulu – all that stuff – and they were so desperate to get on ESPN that they agreed to do this crap. By the way, of all the games, that’s a national showcase game.”

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 Radio News

Boomer Esiason: People Watch Stephen A. Smith ‘Because of Him and What He’s Going to Say’

“What other alternative or where else can he go?”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Graphic for the Boomer & Gio Show and a photo of Stephen A. Smith

With reports coming out that ESPN had made an initial contract offer of 5 years and $90 million dollars to Stephen A. Smith, various sports show hosts have weighed in and given their opinions. Such was the case during Boomer & Gio this morning on WFAN with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti.

“Have you seen any of this Stephen A. Smith contract stuff that’s going on?” Giannotti asked.

“I have seen it, yes,” Esiason said. “Listen, the guy works his ass off, he is definitely a firestarter for that network and quite frankly he has built himself into a one man show.”

Giannotti replied, “He’s had success. He’s one of the bigger voices in sports if not the biggest voice in sports.”

Esiason added, “What’s different about him compared to Troy [Aikman] or Tony [Romo] or somebody else – people are going to tune in to watch the football game no matter who is doing it. People are watching him because of him and what he’s going to say.”

Giannotti reviewed the report of how much was offered and mentioned the other reports that say Smtih is looking for closer to $25 million per year. He also mentioned Dan Le Batard saying he thought ESPN had lowballed Smith with the offer.

Giannotti said, “This is one of those things that is just hard to calculate. I don’t know how much money they would lose if he wasn’t there. This is something I’d love to know…how many advertising dollars, how many things that they sell because he is there equates to a loss if he leaves?”

Esiason then said, “Here’s what I would ask. What other alternative or where else can he go?” He then later added, “In our medium on a national basis…both he and Pat McAfee have brought eyeballs or attention to ESPN for different reasons, and I think that if they can extract that kind of money out of those companies, good for them. I have no problem with any of it.”

Giannotti continued to ask about the ad dollars, but Esiason explained there were a lot of other factors that come into play.

“I don’t know about the advertising,” he said. “I think it’s more about the subscription services. I think it’s more about the fact that they use him in every single aspect they possibly can…He’s on that morning show…but then he’s all over the NBA playoffs, he’s all over the NFL playoffs. He’s all over everything. I couldn’t even imagine. I know what it was like for me when I was doing NFL Today, Monday Night Football and this radio program. It was exhausting…I know that he has complained about how much he is asked to do over there.”

All of this led to a discussion about a weekly Smith guest on First Take, Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo. “I tell you what, when he is on there, I find him to be extremely entertaining,” Esiason said. “The interaction between the two of them is about as entertaining as it can get on television…If I was ‘Dog’ I would quit [SiriusXM] cuz nobody hears you and go over [to ESPN] and take a full-time spot over there and get paid.”

“I don’t know if they’re offering a full-time spot for him over there, he’s like a novelty,” Giannotti replied.

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 Radio News

ESPN Chicago Announces 2024 Football Fest with Adam Schefter and Field Yates

“Football Fest is the unofficial kickoff of the NFL season, and I am excited about this year’s fest, from the stars we’ll have in the room to the show we have planned.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Graphic for ESPN Chicago's Football Fan Fest
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN Chicago on Facebook

ESPN Chicago announced the return of Football Fest, an event they started in 2022. The 2024 edition will take place at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana on Sunday, August 25. ESPN NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Field Yates are back as guests and will share insights and engage with fans throughout the event.

“Football Fest is the unofficial kickoff of the NFL season, and I am excited about this year’s fest, from the stars we’ll have in the room to the show we have planned,” said Danny Zederman, director of content for ESPN Chicago in a release. “We listened to fan feedback, and we’ve added new ways for fans to interact with their favorite ESPN Chicago and Bears Radio Network personalities, as well as a live onstage version of our fan-favorite, unfiltered podcast Crosstalk Unhinged with Carm, Jurko, Waddle, and Silvy.”

ESPN Chicago and Bears Radio Network personalities will be available for meet & greets with fans taking photos and signing autographs. The Good Karma Brands owned station says the event “will consist of live programming from local and national experts on the upcoming football season, fantasy football, as well as games, vendors, and more.”

$10 tickets for the event are on sale through Ticketmaster.com.

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 Radio News

ESPN 103.7/104.1 Unveils New Lineup; Dawson Eiserloh Gets Solo Midday Show

“Can’t wait for this new challenge that’ll begin live from SEC Media Days next month.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Logo for ESPN SWLA and a photo of Dawson Eiserloh
Photo Courtesy: Dawson Eiserloh X Account

ESPN 103.7 in Lafayette, Louisiana and 104.1 in Lake Charles have announced a new, all live and local weekday lineup. Local programming will now be heard from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Starting on Monday, July 15 former LSU basketball player Jordy Hultberg will move The Jordy Hultberg Show to morning drive and go from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. He will be followed by Footenotes with Kevin Foote from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The lunchtime show will still feature RP3 and Meche, hosted by Raymond Partsch III and James Meche and it will air from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. That show had also previously featured Dawson Eiserloh, however, he will now move to the 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. slot to host his own show which will be called The Lohdown with D-Loh.

Eiserloh posted on his X account, “Really excited to announce I’ll be getting a solo show weekdays from 1-3 pm on ESPN Southwest Louisiana. Can’t wait for this new challenge that’ll begin live from SEC Media Days next month.”

After Further Review with Matt Moscona will follow in afternoon drive and airs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The station also carries play-by-play for LSU athletics and the Houston Astros.

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.