CBS Sports filled a big void on its golf broadcasting team Wednesday by hiring Dottie Pepper, giving the network that covers the most PGA Tour events its first female voice.
She replaces David Feherty, who left CBS to join NBC Sports.
That doesn’t make her the next Feherty.
”There’s no replacing Feherty,” Pepper said from her home in upstate New York. ”Here’s what I told the guys when I went to CBS to meet with them. I am not funny. But I will work really hard. So there you go.”
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said Pepper was the network’s first choice.
Pepper first received acclaim as the most prominent female golf analyst at NBC Sports from 2004 until 2012, when she stepped away to reduce her travel schedule. Pepper joined the board of directors at the PGA of America. That term expires next month.
She had been working for ESPN, which at the time had opening rounds of the Masters, U.S. Open and all of the British Open. The U.S. Open went to Fox Sports, and the British Open went to NBC. NBC and ESPN announced Monday that deal would start a year earlier than initially planned in 2016.
And that essentially made Pepper available.
”Once it became evident that we weren’t going to do our deal with Feherty, Dottie was the first and only analyst we considered for the job,” McManus said. ”Everyone we asked about Dottie, including the folks at ESPN, just raved about her work ethic.”
Pepper fills another void at CBS, which had been the lone network to not have a female analyst. NBC had Pepper for nearly a decade, and ABC Sports (and ESPN) featured Judy Rankin when it still was involved in PGA Tour coverage.
”We didn’t hire Dottie because she’s a woman,” McManus said. ”We had been considering for a long time adding a woman to our crew, and this turned out to be perfect.”
Pepper will make her debut with CBS for its weekend coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Jan. 30. She knows all the golf courses that CBS covers on the West Coast swing from her days at NBC – Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach held U.S. Opens, and NBC had Riviera during an Olympic year.
Pepper has been at the Masters the last few years with ESPN, and the other major she will work is the PGA Championship.
”A microphone doesn’t know whether you’re male or female,” Pepper said. ”It knows whether you can call a good shot or a bad shot and relay what a player is thinking because you’ve been there. I’ve thrown up on myself and I’ve gotten the job done, so I know what it feels like to be in that position.”
Pepper was a 17-time winner on the LPGA Tour, won two majors and was never more fiery than at the Solheim Cup.
She will remain at ESPN in its limited golf coverage. McManus said Pepper still had time remaining on her ESPN contract, and that John Wildhack (executive vice president of production and programming) and Mike McQuade (vice president of golf production) were ”terrific in letting her sign an agreement with CBS.”
Pepper said she has 35 on-air days with ESPN, which includes work at Augusta National, ”SportsCenter,” the Asia Pacific Amateur and Latin America Amateur. She will be at the Latin America Amateur two weeks before starting with CBS at Torrey Pines.
So much for that reduced travel schedule.
Pepper said she likely would be at 20 tournaments. McManus said her role would be as an on-course reporter with occasional time in the booth.
”When I went to ESPN, I had the perfect workload,” Pepper said. ”But the whole landscape of TV has changed. More than that, after being away from a ton of live golf, I realized the boardroom is not my space. I love to talk about live golf. It’s the coolest thing to get back to that.”
Credit to Fox Sports who originally published this article
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.”
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.
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?”
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.
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.”
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.