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Simmons Regrets Not Editing Out Goodell Comments

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For the first time since Grantland was shuttered last Friday, the site’s founder and former editor-in-chief, Bill Simmons, talked extensively about its folding in an episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast posted Wednesday night.

Notably, Simmons admitted that he regrets not cutting inflammatory comments about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell from an episode of his “B.S. Report” podcast last September. The decision to call Goodell “a liar” during that podcast led ESPN to suspend Simmons for three weeks and caused a well-documented fallout between him and the company.

While mourning the passing of his sports and pop culture website, Simmons stated that he himself wasn’t entirely “blameless” in the matter, either. Specifically, he said that he should have thought more carefully about how his Goodell comments would negatively impact the 50 or so people working under him.

“The mistake I made, and the thing I feel really badly about is that I had all these people counting on me,” Simmons said. “If I’m going to push the envelope like I did [with those comments] … you gotta know where the line is, because the last thing I want to do is put all of those people in a bad spot … We should’ve [asked ourselves], ‘Hey, is [publishing these comments] worth it?’

Simmons went on to say that he didn’t play back that interview before it went live, as he was off taping another segment, and told his editors to just “go with it.” But, in hindsight, if he had listened to it, “I would’ve said, ‘You know what, I don’t think that’s worth it.’ I would have taken it out.”

Needless to say, he still stands by what he said about Goodell. He just regrets expressing it in such a public forum.

“I thought he was lying; I was borne out correct, the guy did lie,” he added. “[But] that really set the tone for a really bad next eight months.”

Later in Wednesday’s podcast, Simmons went on to condemn ESPN for the virtual radio silence Grantland’s staff received from its mother company about the site’s future after Simmons was kicked out last May — a silence that left the Grantland team always worried, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“The staff was really scared for the future of the site. They were scared for where it was going; they didn’t know who the leader was in place of me,” Simmons said.

And that shoe did drop just last Friday. In ESPN’s short statement on Grantland’s closure, it explained that the company sought to “direct [its] time and energy going forward to projects [it] believe[s] will have a broader and more significant impact” — a phrasing that led many to assume that Grantland’s reportedly less-than-absurd profits were a central reason for its suspension.

To read the rest of the article visit the Huffington Post where it was originally published

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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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