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Feherty Wanted Bigger Money/Role

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The apparent departure of David Feherty after 19 years walking the fairways for CBS and filling the airways with clever comments has created yet another fight in a seemingly endless battle for content and talent among networks vying for the most valuable property in entertainment — live sports.

Even as word spread that talks between CBS and Andrew Elkin, Feherty’s agent for Creative Artists Agency (CAA), had broken down, CBS supplied only a polite “no comment” when asked about the matter by GolfDigest.com.

NBC/Golf Channel, owned by Comcast, and Fox Sports, considered to be the main suitors for Feherty’s talents, also responded with a “no comment.” Contacted through NBC/Golf Channel, Feherty also chose not to respond.

But industry insiders with knowledge of the situation said the fight for Feherty would intensify the already bitter battle between Fox Sports and NBC/GC, which is still licking its wounds after losing the USGA contract to Fox, a network that this year became a newcomer to golf.

Multiple sources say the CBS situation was soured by the two factors: Feherty wanted a booth job rather than roaming the fairways, but Nick Faldo already shares that duty with Jim Nantz; and CAA was demanding a salary figure CBS was unwilling to meet.

Feherty would be a huge boost for Fox, whose debut at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay was roundly panned. It would also appear to be a good fit since Fox has an appetite for the kind of outspoken comments to which Feherty is prone.

But the drawback there is that Fox has only the USGA tournaments on its golf schedule. Would Feherty be happy doing only the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and the U.S. Amateur?

NBC has the British Open, starting in 2017, the Ryder Cup, the Players Championship and numerous other PGA Tour events. And it has Golf Channel, where Feherty’s interview show already has a life. NBC/GC would also be extremely unlikely to share Feherty with Fox as it did with CBS. It will be an all-or-nothing choice for him.

The lead analyst for NBC is Johnny Miller, who is hugely popular and hugely disliked simultaneously, the true indication of a great commentator. Miller, 68, may be wanting to cut down on his schedule and NBC may be able to offer Feherty that job down the road.

But sources familiar with the thinking within NBC/GC say the peacock network is cultivating David Duval for Miller’s job and wants Feherty, 57, as boots on the ground, the job he seems tired of at CBS.

And that brings Fox Sports back into the picture.

Yes, Fox has Greg Norman as its lead analyst, backing up Joe Buck in the booth. But Norman is the most successful businessman in golf this side of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player and doesn’t really need the gig. Mostly, he’s doing friends there a favor — he and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch are Australian, and Murdoch backed Norman’s ill-fated plan to create a world tour in 1994.

Clearly, Feherty has more interest in being out there more often than Norman. Feherty has a lucrative cottage industry as a public speaker enhanced by his TV appearances at tournaments, a plus for NBC/GC. But just as clearly, Fox has more money to throw at Feherty than Comcast.

In any case, this will be yet another battle in the content wars for live sports that will be interesting to follow.

Credit to Golf Digest who originally published this article

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Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC

“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”

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ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.

This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.

Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.

“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”

ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.

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