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Hall-of-Fame Quarterback Plays Defense

Brandon Contes

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ESPN continues to star hunt, searching for Jon Gruden’s replacement in their Monday Night Football booth. After being declined by Peyton Manning, ESPN turned to another Hall-of-Fame quarterback and gave Brett Favre a tryout. However, according to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, Favre’s audition was less than impressive.

Marchand learned through sources, Favre was told he is no longer under consideration for the MNF analyst role following his tryout. As reports circled the media regarding Favre’s “failed” audition, the Hall-of-Fame quarterback took to Twitter, offering his perspective.

“Wanted to clear something up from today’s press on me and ESPN. Truth is I had a good meeting about possibly joining the MNF crew. I was intrigued when they called yet not sure I want to pursue a broadcasting career right now. I wish them the best of luck and a great season.”

Favre’s name is certainly big enough to garner networks’ attention and he has Hall-of-Fame credentials, which as Mike Mayock recently noted, without the heralded gold jacket, it’s tough to land a top gig. Still, he would have been a surprise choice to land in the MNF booth.

Unlike Peyton Manning, Favre hasn’t spent a lot of time on camera. Favre was known for having a fun personality in the locker room, but when on camera he hasn’t shown the delivery, energy and voice variation needed to be a top analyst.

It should also be noted, the sports media industry was hit hard by the #MeToo movement, requiring many networks to conduct house cleaning. Following Favre’s tenure with the New York Jets, the quarterback was accused of sexual harassment by Jenn Sterger and two massage therapists. If Favre filled one of the most high-profile hires since the #MeToo movement started, the employing network would open themselves up for a lot of interesting questions.

In addition to Favre’s questionable behavior toward women, Sterger accused ESPN themselves of sexual harassment and having a frat-house like atmosphere when she interviewed with the company in 2006. ESPN has been rumored to have interest in a variety of candidates for the MNF analyst job. In terms of their interest in Brett Favre, it’s probably best for both the network and the retired quarterback, that their relationship goes no further than his audition.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Sports TV News

Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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