Pam Oliver never saw it coming.
“I was shocked, floored, a monumental surprise,” says Oliver. “The call came out of the blue.”
The call was from Fox Sports president Eric Shanks and executive vice president John Entz, and it came the second week of January prior to the NFL divisional playoffs. And the call came with a question.
Would Oliver consider coming back to do NFL sideline reporting for Fox in 2015?
“I think I was silent for a good 10 seconds and then screamed out, What?” Oliver recalled on Monday afternoon. “I thought: ‘This makes no sense. What are they talking about?'”
On the surface, what were they talking about? Last year Fox announced that Oliver would be replaced by Erin Andrews on Fox’s top NFL team. Furthermore, management initially planned to remove her from the NFL sidelines entirely. As she recounted to this column last July, “To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking. I said I wanted to do a 20th year [on the sidelines]. I expressed to them that I was not done and had something to offer.”
The backstory did not make Fox Sports management look good. In April 2014 executives traveled to Atlanta, where Oliver is based, to tell her in person that she would no longer hold the job that has been her professional life for two decades. They initially informed her that not only was she being removed from Fox’s No. 1 NFL team, but also that she was being taken off the NFL sidelines completely in 2014.
“The emphasis at the meeting was always placed on how they saw what was next for me versus what I saw would be next for me,” Oliver said. “I felt I was not done. I still felt I had more to offer with sideline reporting. I think that took them by surprise a little bit.”
After meeting with her bosses, Oliver spoke with her agent, Rick Ramage. They held meetings with other outlets—for sports and news roles—before she ultimately worked things out with Fox and got one final year on the sidelines as part of a new multi-year contract including longform pieces, specials, major interviews and some producing as well.
Oliver spent last year on a farewell tour of sorts, working with a new broadcast team (announcers Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch) and production crew (led by producer Pete Macheska and director Artie Kempner). It took her a long time to mentally accept that this was her final NFL go-around, but she entered last season in a healthy place and had a strong year. Her bosses noticed. Shanks and Entz told her they really liked the chemistry of the No. 2 team, they thought she had a good year, and they wanted her back.
“The call was so completely out of the blue,” Oliver says. “I also felt it was one of those things like, ‘Why would we go back to this possibility?’ I felt we had all come through a pretty big ruckus and that door had been closed, dead-bolted, chained up. I had fully weaned myself from that role so to have that door open again, and I had difficulty wrapping my brain around it. So I put the decision on the shelf.”
Oliver took a couple of weeks to think about the decision. She solicited opinions of family, her mentors, her agent and some friends. Finally, she decided that she wanted to continue and told her bosses on Feb. 3 that she would come back to the sidelines. Here’s the kicker: The new assignment isn’t just for 2015. She will be part of the No. 2 team of Burkhardt and Lynch for the 2015 and 2016 NFL seasons, which is the duration of her contract with Fox Sports.
“I wasn’t that interested in just one year,” Oliver says. “So this is great. I know that for the next two years we are a true team and I am not some guest. I think we will really take it to another level next season.”
To read the rest of the story visit Richard Deitsch on SI where it was originally published
David Feherty Launches Weekly SiriusXM Show
“David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind.”
SiriusXM announced today that David Feherty, who has been entertaining golf audiences with his witty perspective on the game for more than two decades, is joining SiriusXM to launch a new weekly show.
Feherty will team up with fellow former pro and SiriusXM host John Maginnes for Feherty and Maginnes. The show will be on Monday evenings on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel.
They will preview the new show this Wednesday at 5pm. The show officially starts in its new time slot on January 3rd, as the PGA TOUR season picks up steam with the Hawaii tournaments.
“I can’t wait to work with John Maginnes,” said Feherty. “He is one of my favorite people and SiriusXM will be a really fun platform for us. The over/under on both of us getting canceled is about six weeks!”
The format will include long form interviews with personalities from the world of golf with storytelling to the listeners coming from the golf expertise of Feherty and Maginnes, who both had playing careers on the PGA Tour.
“David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer. “SiriusXM is the perfect platform for his many great stories and the insightful and revealing conversations he’ll have with his guests. We are thrilled to pair him up with John and bring together two terrific personalities who will deliver an entertaining, must-listen show for our listeners.”
Feherty spent time following his playing career at CBS and NBC as well as his own show on the Golf Channel.
Industry Analyst Predicts Crypto Will Surpass Gambling In Sports World
Industry sources believe that crypto could grow into a $100 million dollar industry for sports television within the next year.
Industry insiders have believed for quite a while that sports betting was the future for sponsorship and advertisement revenue, but it appears that there is a new venture on the rise that is quickly surpassing it.
Crypto.com made a huge statement in purchasing the Staples Center in what will be known as Crypto.com Arena come Christmas Day.
SponsorUnited Founder and President Bob Lynch believes that there is no doubt that Crypto and Blockchain will far exceed sports betting as the premiere revenue money maker for the sports industry over the next decade.
“They’re essentially buying equity,” which would be particularly valuable in an industry that is still widely doubted, Lynch said on Crypto.com’s purchase of the arena. “The Lakers and Clippers have global exposure, media value and mentions that give instant brand legitimacy with top-of-mind awareness through national/global TV exposure,”
Crypto has already started to push its way into major advertisements for key events in the world of sports. Cryptocurrency exchange FTX purchased an ad in this upcoming Super Bowl, and already has the backing of the biggest star in professional football. Tom Brady has an equity stake in the company.
Industry sources believe that crypto could grow into a $100 million dollar industry for sports television within the next year. It seems that the possibilities are endless for crypto within the sports landscape. While sports gambling certainly isn’t going away from the public eye, it could be overtaken by crypto in terms of ad spending and sponsorship visibility very soon.
Colin Cowherd: Lincoln Riley At USC Is Good For Networks
“Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches.”
Colin Cowherd is a self-professed college football fan. When the sport is interesting, he talks about it. The sport may never be more interesting than when the coaching carousel is spinning.
On Mondy’s edition of The Herd on FS1 and FOX Sports Radio, Cowherd dove in on USC’s hire of Lincoln Riley. He says that it is good for college football that Riley left Oklahoma for Los Angeles.
“My phone blew up yesterday, not only because people know I’m kind of a USC honk, but network people,” Cowherd said. “They’re like ‘do you understand how big this is for networks?’”.
Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches. He noted that when USC lost to Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl, ABC scored a 22.5 rating in the city.
“The networks want USC to be good. You know why? Because New York, DC, and Boston have never watched college football. Chicago does and LA does. So the Big Ten being good is good for college football TV ratings. But LA doesn’t watch college football anymore. They will now.”
As for the hard times USC has fallen on and been stuck in mostly since Pete Carroll bolted for the NFL, Cowherd is not particularly worried. He pointed out that Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame were all down before they hired the right coach. Programs at the blue blood level in the sport have a way of bouncing back quickly.
Network executives are hoping Cowherd’s assessment is correct. USC is the only brand on the West Coast capable of resonating on a national level.
The Los Angeles sports landscape has changed though. When USC was a celebrity program under Pete Carroll, the city did not have an NFL team. Now it has two. The Dodgers were not annual contenders in Major League Baseball. The Lakers had stars, but the Clippers didn’t. Now both do.
Does LA love college football enough for the Trojans to turn some heads in the city with the most stars in the sports world?
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