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Peter King Leaving Sports Illustrated for NBC Sports

Jason Barrett

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After 29 years, Peter King is moving on from Sports Illustrated. The senior writer, founder of the popular NFL website The MMQB, and one of the most respected voices in football has accepted an opportunity with NBC Sports, bringing his nearly three decade run with SI to an end.

“When Sports Illustrated was good enough to allow me to start The MMQB five years ago, I wanted to introduce a group of promising young journalists to the SI audience and give them a chance to develop into prominent voices on the pro football scene,” said King. “We’re fortunate now that Jenny Vrentas, Robert Klemko, Andy Benoit, Albert Breer, Conor Orr, Jonathan Jones, Tim Rohan, Jacob Feldman and Kalyn Kahler—average age: 30—have grown into an excellent team, with a group of superb editors. It’s time for them to have the opportunities I’ve had over the years, and to do some of the stories and projects I’ve done that they’re more than ready to do.”

King will begin his new venture with NBC this July. As part of his new opportunity he’ll write a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; appear regularly on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continue contributing to Football Night in America. He’ll also resume his popular NFL training camp tour, filing his column from the road and offering occasional video or written reports from team to team throughout the preseason.

“I’m thrilled to be joining NBC Sports full-time after working with the football crew there since 2006. I’ve loved my time there, both in the studio and doing longer features for Football Night in America, and the chance to bring my column there felt like a perfect match to me,” King added. “I loved my time at Sports Illustrated. Quite frankly, it was very tough for me to leave. But the only place that felt like a great fit after my years at SI was NBC, which has always made me feel like a member of the family.”

“Peter has been one of the most prolific and respected NFL writers for decades, and we’re thrilled to host his work exclusively on NBC Sports Digital platforms,” said Rick Cordella, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “With the addition of Peter and his Monday morning column, we now have the most complete NFL digital portfolio in sports as we stream primetime television’s number one show, Sunday Night Football; provide continuous football news and analysis on Mike Florio’s Pro Football Talk; and produce unparalleled fantasy football information on Rotoworld.com.”

Similar to what ESPN has done with Adam Schefter, NBC will also provide King with an opportunity to expand his horizons. The network says King will be included on the network’s coverage of its most high-profile events, including the Stanley Cup Final, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and more.

“As one of the best NFL reporters in history, Peter’s information, storytelling, and analysis make us better across the board,” added Sam Flood, Executive Producer and President, Production, NBC Sports & NBCSN. “With Peter expanding his NBC Sports presence from Football Night to PFT Live and digital, football fans are the big winners.”

“Peter, in my opinion, is one of the five most important figures in SI history,” says SI editor-in-chief, Chris Stone, “one, for the following he’s built covering North America’s most popular sport, and two for his willingness to embrace new approaches to journalism and storytelling, most notably with the creation of The MMQB, first as a conversation-setting column in 1997, then as a conversation-setting website in 2013.”

King has flirted with the possibility of leaving SI before, but when push came to shove, chose to stick it out with his longtime employer. However, the Meredith Corporation, which owns SI, has chosen to sell the popular sports brand, leaving the future unclear. Couple that uncertainty with layoffs and a number of high profile defections, and King decided that it was time to roll the dice on a new adventure.

“I just felt it was time to move on from the 24/7-ness of football coverage and try something a little bit different. My 29 years at Sports Illustrated have been, collectively, a dream come true. I’ll always be grateful to Mark Mulvoy for hiring a green 31-year-old kid in 1989, just as I’m grateful to my current boss, Chris Stone, for the opportunities and support he’s given me in recent years. For three decades, I’ve had the job of a lifetime in the sports media business, and I will be forever grateful to SI. I leave at the end of May with immense gratitude to my editors over the years and to my staff at The MMQB since 2013. Thanks, from the bottom of my heart.”

Sports TV News

FOX Doubles Ad Price For Premiere US World Cup Matches

FOX has capitalized by charging $600,000 per 30-second commercial during its coverage of USA/England.

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The 2022 World Cup is underway and the opener received a gigantic ratings increase for FOX Sports. Now, according to a report from Front Office Sports, the network has doubled its ad price for the USA match versus England.

USA/England will air in a lucrative window, at 2:00 PM ET on Black Friday, and FOX has capitalized by charging $600,000 per 30-second commercial during its coverage of the match. That price, according to Front Office Sports reporters Michael McCarthy and Doug Greenberg, is double what the network had asked for from advertisers for other matches.

While the event opener saw a sharp increase, the first match featuring the United States saw a decline from previous World Cup openers for the country. 11.71 million watched the match in the US between FOX Sports and Telemundo. In 2014, 11.1 million watched on ESPN and in 2010 13 million watched the first US match on ABC.

Analysists have predicted FOX Sports could garner nearly $125 million in ad revenue for the duration of the tournament.

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Telemundo’s Miguel Gurwitz Announcing World Cup, NFL Thanksgiving Games For 18 Straight Hours Thursday

With the game expected to end at 2:00 AM local time, that means Gurwitz will be announcing games for over 18 hours on Thursday.

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With the World Cup happening at an unprecedented time, there were bound to be scheduling conflicts. The conflicts for Telemundo’s Miguel Gurwitz, however, might be the real unprecedented nature of the event being played in November.

Gurwitz works on Telemundo’s coverage of the World Cup while calling matches as the secondary play-by-play announcer. Beginning at 11:00 AM in Doha, Gurwitz will work the network’s coverage of the event.

But as the soccer day turns to tonight, Gurwitz will call Telemundo’s broadcast of the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings game from Qatar. With the game expected to end at 2:00 AM local time, that means Gurwitz will be announcing games for over 18 hours on Thursday.

He will also do the feat again on Sunday, as he’ll broadcast World Cup matches for the network during the day and then announce the Packers and Eagles game for Sunday Night Football.

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Sports TV News

Kevin Burkhardt: ‘Honor To Be In People’s Homes’ During Thanksgiving Broadcast

“There were a couple on the calendar that I thought that it might hit me and be very, very cool.”

Ricky Keeler

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On Thanksgiving, Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen will call their first Thanksgiving Day game for FOX when the New York Giants take on the Dallas Cowboys (4:30 PM ET). It’s been a memorable year for Burkhardt and Olsen in their first year as the A broadcast team for FOX that will end in the duo calling the Super Bowl in February.

Burkhardt was a guest on The Season with Peter Schrager podcast this week and talked about the honor of getting the chance to be on the call for a Thanksgiving Day game.

“The whole job is big and we are doing big games every week. There were a couple on the calendar that I thought that it might hit me and be very, very cool. One of them was Dallas-Green Bay, which turned out to be epic a couple of weeks ago.

“The playoffs and the Super Bowl will be great, but Thanksgiving Day. Growing up in a football family, it was kind of eating around both games. Catch the early game, halftime, go throw the football in the street, eat the meal between games, then the Cowboys game comes on, you watch that. Maybe halftime you watch or maybe you throw the football again. Watch the rest of the game, you have dessert after the game. That was the day.

“It is an honor because you are in a lot of people’s homes every week. I feel like you really are in people’s homes…. You are kind of like hugging everybody. I think it’s beyond awesome, I really do.”

Burkhardt mentioned to Schrager that he and Olsen knew they had big shoes to fill after taking over for Joe Buck and Troy Aikman (both now at ESPN) and it felt like walking in to a new job, but the A crew at FOX helped them and he liked that he and Olsen got to do it together.

“It’s been awesome. It really has. When you go into a situation like this, Joe and Troy were there for 2 decades, that’s a long time. People have long-standing relationships. Even though I’ve been at FOX for 9 years and Greg was there last year, we are the new guys essentially.

“You walk in, you don’t know how they are going to react to you, what they are going to think of you, if they think you are any good and all that stuff. From Day 1, it was like welcome to the family, we love you. I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s been awesome. It felt like we’ve just fit right in. I think there’s been some cool symmetry, the fact that Greg and I got to do it together because we have such a bond.

“The fact that we got to jump in together I think has kind of been fun and helped us both because he knows me really well and I know him really well. Then, it was just getting everyone else to know us and vice versa.”

The one thing that Burkhardt did have to adjust to was a different style of show and that each production team has different viewpoint and creativity.

“The crew I’ve been on my whole life with Pete Macheska and Artie Kempner, they do a different show than Z (Richie Zyontz) and Russo (Rich Russo) do it. It’s not good, bad, or indifferent. Everyone has different viewpoints and creativity. I think it was just getting used to each other in terms of that, but it’s felt like I’ve worked with them for 25 years. It’s felt seamless. It’s felt fun.”

Even though Burkhardt is now the lead NFL play-by-play voice for FOX, that doesn’t mean he is going to change how he does a game.

“I’m not going to change my style or who I am. I’m not saying I’m not open to critiques and wanting to get better and to get coached. The basis of what I do and how I do it, I’m not going to change that now because I’m on the A crew. They liked me enough to put me here, so I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. Maybe tweaks here and there, but if I radically changed now, I’d be a moron.” 

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