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Andres Cantor Used NHL to Warm Up for World Cup

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This week’s “Media Circus” column over at The Athletic features Richard Deitsch’s chat with one of the best known Spanish language broadcasters around. Andrés Cantor talks about being back on TV for Telemundo during the World Cup for the first time since 1998, how broadcasters have been treated in Russia, and how he lost 55 pounds.

The real attention grabber of the piece though comes when Deitsch asks Cantor about the goal Columbia scored against England in the round of 16.

Deitsch said he felt the call was on another level even for Cantor, who is known for his extravagant and drawn out goal calls.

You did. You heard it and sensed it correctly. As I am speaking to you, there had been 25 goals in the World Cup scored from the 85th minute on. If you looked at the clock, there had been five minutes added on and the corner kick (from Colombia) came off at I believe 93:20. So the way it was scored, the drama behind the elimination of Colombia which would have been a minute away and that it was against England, who had been one of the best teams defending against aerial play, it was just incredible. I let it all out because of the importance. I always say the goal call is punctuated and dictated by the importance of the goal. The sixth goal of a 5-0 match is a regular goal call, but a goal of the importance of the Colombia or the Argentina goal against Nigeria three minutes to the end I gave it all out. I called it with passion, with fervor, and all I had left in the tank. Then I thought: Now we go into overtime.

The two also talked about Cantor’s love of the NBA and how NBC/Universal used the NHL to get the Argentine some warmup reps before he was sent to Russia.

Deitsch: How much interest do you have in calling another sport?

Cantor: Telemundo had the NBA Spanish rights and I like the NBA very much. I was involved as the host of the broadcast. That was as close as I got to doing something with the NBA. I’m not sure it would translate. I am a soccer broadcaster. I would like to think I have the flexibility to do other sports, and I have called boxing and tennis for Univision back in the day. I can certainly do them, but soccer is my thing. As much as I would love to be around the NBA, tennis or boxing, I think there would be another role for me like host and leave the play-by-play to specialized talent.

Deitsch: I’d love to hear you call a game-winning basket by LeBron James to win the NBA Finals.

Cantor: Well in the prep to the World Cup, because we are owned by Comcast/NBC, I was invited to do the booth during an NHL game and I called a hockey goal the way I call a soccer goal. That got some attention.

The full interview is terrific and you can read it 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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