NFL’s Broadcasting Booth Musical Chairs
NFL’s Broadcasting Booth Musical Chairs
Troy Aikman announcing his move from Fox Sports’ America’s Game Of The Week to ESPN’s Monday Night Football has unleashed a cascade of musical chairs amongst sporting networks as they fight for NFL play-by-play callers and in-game analysts in scenes eerily similar to the type of action of seen during the first few days of NFL free agency.
It seems Aikman’s exodus would see his longtime booth partner, Joe Buck, calling games with a new in-game analyst on Fox Sports. But, that doesn’t seem to be the case as it looks like Buck is following his buddy to the worldwide leader in sports in a stunning move that leaves Fox Sports with massive holes to fill for its NFL and MLB coverage.
Buck has been with Fox Sports for 28 years and has been the main play-by-play caller for its NFL games since 2002, and he and Aikman have called games together since 2005.
He is expected to sign a five-year deal worth $60-$75 million with the move. He had one final year remaining with his Fox Sports contract, and the network offered him $12 million to stay.
With the void at Fox Sports, Kevin Burkhardt looks like the favorite to fill the play-calling role for NFL games, and on the MLB side, Joe Davis is expected to take the coveted seat.
Who will join Burkhardt in the booth? Initial reports have picked former NFL player Greg Olsen, who is currently on Fox Sports’ number 2 team alongside Burkhardt, as the lead in-game analyst. But, according to Jason Whitlock, ABC News’ Good Morning America co-anchor and Fox Sports’ Michael Strahan is also being considered for the role.
With Buck and Aikman going to ESPN, its current trio of Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick are out after two years of calling games.
The ripple effects of these moves are also being felt at NBC Sports and Amazon’s Prime Video. Al Michaels, who possibly called his last game for NBC Sports with this year’s Super Bowl, and is being replaced by Mike Tirico, was seen as a likely contender for the lead role at Monday Night Football.
With that gone, it’s likely possible he could be headed over to Amazon’s Prime Video, which will begin broadcasting Thursday Night Football this fall unless Fox Sports makes a play for him.
Joining Michaels at Amazon will be ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit as the in-game analyst. He will continue with his roles at ESPN, where he is part of College GameDay and is the network’s main in-game analyst for college football.
With NFL free agency set to begin this week, it will be interesting to see if it gets as interesting as what we have seen happen with the sporting networks.
(New York Post, Fox Sports Press Pass, Front Office Sports, Andrew Marchand/Twitter, Bryan Fischer/Twitter)
Peacock and AppleTV Plus get MLB games
Baseball is back! After an extended offseason season due to the MLB lockout, the sounds of swinging bats will be heard all across baseball stadiums and TVs across the country. Those sounds will also be heard on Apple TV Plus and Peacock as those streaming services secured rights to air baseball games as they look to expand their content offerings. Apple TV Plus will air two games on Friday nights and have a live show featuring highlights and look-ins airing every weeknight during the regular season. Peacock will be airing games on Sunday mornings at the unusual time of 11:30 am ET and others beginning at around noon, limiting conflict with other baseball TV windows. (Apple Newsroom, Wall Street Journal)
Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek Flips on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill
For weeks, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek has tried to distance his company from the growing political storm surrounding Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The chief executive, who oversees ESPN, ABC News, Hulu, and Disney Plus, says he has wanted to position the house of Mickey as being apolitical and at the same time show it is an establishment that supports LGBTQ issues through its staff and the content it produces. That wasn’t enough, and the heat eventually became too hot for him to handle, and he pulled a 180, saying that he was sorry for not being a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights. As a result of his about-turn, Chapek says Disney will pause political contributions and will increase support for advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states. (Deadline and Axios)
Symone Sanders MSNBC show to debut May 7
Symone Sanders left her gig at the White House and jumped into the cable news world to host a weekend show on MSNBC. During this month’s South by Southwest, SXSW, the network announced that Sanders’s new show, Symone on Saturday, will begin airing on May 7 at 4 pm ET. It will air live on Saturday and Sunday on MSNBC and stream Mondays and Tuesdays on MSNBC’s hub on Peacock. Catherine Snyder, the managing editor of WRC-TV, NBC’s Washington D.C. affiliate, will serve as executive producer of Sander’s new show. The show will explore issues at the intersection of politics, culture, and race and feature interviews with top government officials, scholars, and thought leaders. (TVNewser)
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Former ESPN anchor Alan Massengale passes away. (Announcer Schedules/Twitter)
Zoë Richards joins NBC News’ politics team as a breaking news reporter. (Liz Johnstone/Twitter)
NBA and college football commentator Mark Jones re-signs with ESPN. (ESPN Front Row)
Nada Bashir joins CNN as a London-based reporter. (Nada Bashir/Twitter)
ESPN names Danielle Brazil executive director of its Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. (ESPN Press Room)
María Vargas-Pion hired by Telemundo’s hoy Día as a news correspondent. (Media Moves)
Sports anchor Matt Brie re-signs with ESPN. (ESPN Press Room)
Jamie Reysen was named vice president of CBSNews.com. (ViacomCBS Press Express)
Basketball analyst Doris Burke re-signs with ESPN. (ESPN PR/Twitter)
Britni Danielle joins ESPN’s Andscape as senior culture editor. (ESPN Press Room)
Russia Invades Ukraine: CNN’s Nic Robertson leaves Russia. (CNN)
Russia Invades Ukraine: F1 ends its contract with Russia’s Match TV. (Awful Announcing)
Russia Invades Ukraine: Disney pauses all of its business operations in Russia. (Alex Weprin/Twitter)
Russia Invades Ukraine: TV viewership grows by 17%. (MediaPost)
Russia invades Russia: WarnerMedia and Discovery pull out of Russia. (CNN Business)
Russia Invades Ukraine: Evening news dominates in the ratings. (Forbes)
Russia Invades Ukraine: 1 Plus 1 Ukraine’s news channel is now available worldwide. (Oliver Darcy/Twitter)
Russia Invades Ukraine: BBC News resumes reporting in Russia. (Variety)
The future of CNN and its streaming ambitions. (Bloomberg)
New details on the Cuomo/Zucker/Gollust saga. (Rolling Stone)
ESPN moves NCAA women’s basketball national championship to primetime. (Sports Media Watch)
Discovery shareholders approve the WarnerMedia merger. (Axios)
A look at AT&T’s short tenure as WarnerMedia’s parent company. (Variety)
CNN Plus to debut on March 29. (CNN Pressroom)
HBO Max may be looking to add NBA games. (Awful Announcing)
Fox Sports doesn’t have a legit streaming strategy for its live sports. (Awful Announcing)
According to Lachlan Murdoch, Fox News isn’t competing with cable news networks anymore. (Cablefax)
NCAA’s March Madness TV schedule has been released. (Sports Media Watch)
ESPN’s Jeff Passan’s Twitter account was recently hacked. (New York Post)
Former NFL QB Jay Cutler wants back in TV. (Pro Football Talk)
MSNBC to air some of its shows on Peacock. (Wall Street Journal)
Netflix is saying never say never when it comes to having ads. (Cablefax)
Disney Plus partners with Japan’s Nippon TV to add Japanese content to the service. (The Streamable)
Atmosphere streaming is looking to launch a sports channel. (Axios)
AppleTV Plus to host a Lewis Hamilton docuseries. (Front Office Sports/Twitter)
Netflix is hiking prices in UK and Ireland. (Variety)
Former CNN president Jeff Zucker received more than $5 million in his exit agreement. (The Wall Street Journal)
CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin to host and produce a limited original series for NBC News Now. (NBC News PR)
ESPN’s Dick Vitale says his latest test shows he is cancer-free. (Awful Announcing)
Judge rejects Fox News’ motion to dismiss the Smartmatic defamation lawsuit. (Deadline)
Disney to use sports betting to revitalize ESPN. (Financial Times)
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes launches a podcast about the future. (Forbes)
WarnerMedia and Sesame Workshop team up to add kids programming on HBO Max. (The Streamable)
NBC News Now gains distribution in the U.K. (NBC News PR)
CNN seeks to dial down the animosity towards Fox News. (Daily Beast)
Bloomberg launches new TV shows. (TVNewser)
HBO Max launches in 15 European countries. (The Streamable)
Apple TV Plus is now available on Comcast’s entertainment platforms. (Peter Kafka/Twitter)
Peacock is ready to compete with the big boys. (Vulture)
CNN Plus announces new management roles. (TVNewser)
Hulu to stream all non-theatrical releases from 20th Century Studios. (The Streamable)
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A MarkHenry Media LLC publication - Issue #81 - 2022