Connect with us

Sports TV News

Berman Talks About His Career on SI Media Podcast

Published

on

One of the most legendary names in ESPN history is the subject of Jimmy Traina’s latest SI Media Podcast. He offered insight into his long career, including discussing the way he dealt with criticism he received in the later years of his run on ESPN’s various NFL shows.

I don’t poo-poo it, but as long as any of us do the job to the best of our ability. When a critic — and there weren’t very many — said ‘boy he’s unprepared.’ Whoa, whoa, whoa, woooaahhh, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. ‘I don’t like the nicknames.’ Fine. ‘He’s too loud.’ Fine. ‘He makes it about himself.’ False, but if you want to write that, fine. But you didn’t see me in the ’80s and the ’90s every night to know that I’m at least true to myself. It’s like if you met me on the street, [and] probably on the air, it’d sound like we’ve been for the last 40 minutes. So I’m not smart enough to be an actor. But if everyone says, ‘he’s unprepared, he’s out of touch’ – do you know who I talk to during the week? Don’t be writing that. And there hasn’t been a lot of that. People are smart enough for that.

He also told an amazing story about how George Brett made it possible for Berman to keep incorporating nicknames into his highlight calls. According to Berman, a senior producer at SportsCenter told him to stop at one point in 1985.

I’m not sure why he was guided that way, because the nicknames were kind of, you didn’t really need to have to know the position, or the player, or the team to get them. They were based on life, or rock n’ roll, or food, they were a play on words. When you had Bert “Be Home By Eleven” (Blyleven), someone might be watching the show who’s not a riveted baseball fan, who might not know that Blyleven’s a pitcher, or is with the Pirates, or what have you. But “Be Home By Eleven”.

It was late in the season in ’85 and [he said] ‘No, you can’t do those any more.’ First of all, it’s like September 10, so if you’re smart, you wouldn’t eliminate them until like November, and then no one would notice. And each reason he gave didn’t make sense, but again, I’m just a young kid, I’m only 30. But people loved them, the players loved them. None of them were derogatory, they may not all have been genius, but then again, what is? But ‘You can’t do it,’ and the only thing I said to him was ‘I don’t think you understand what the people feel about this. We are a people-serving business.

Such a move is unimaginable now to all of us that grew up watching Boomer. It was unimaginable then to someone with a little more cache in the sports world.

I remember, I was very good friends with players my age, and one of the biggest fans of the nicknames was George Brett, Hall of Famer, great guy, great player. And they were going to the postseason. And I called him to wish him luck with a week to go or whatever it was, ‘Good luck, I’ll be rooting for you, I don’t know if I’ll get to the World Series or whatever it was, I don’t cover that, oh, by the way, I can’t do the nicknames any more.’ And he exploded over the phone. I said ‘Well, don’t worry about it,’ you know, whatever.

And I was not there at Game 1 (of the American League Championship Series), Kansas City played Toronto, and I guess all the news media gathered around him at the workout the day before, because he’s George Brett, right? And George Grande went up to him, one of the great people in our early anchors, one of our baseball guys, the baseball guy along with Lou Palmer then, and he said ‘George, can I get you?’ And [Brett] said ‘Wait a minute, hold on.’ And he unloads, not at George Grande personally, but ‘What is your management doing?! I’m not going to watch ESPN any more, they’ve told my guy he can’t do nicknames!’

And among those in the circle was [USA Today sports media columnist] Rudy Martzke, who hadn’t been aware because it was not announced, right? Not ‘He’s not doing them anymore,’ because that would be stupid. But that got written up about eight places the next day, and I’m told that, in the 80s now, that the mail that came when people heard about it, was unprecedented at that time. I’m not saying that meant my stuff was great or this, but the people cared that much that they showered ESPN with letters in 1985. And next season, they were back and he [presumably the producer] was gone.

The whole episode is just over an hour and very much worth your time.

Sports TV News

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.”

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

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?”

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

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.”

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.