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Fox Pushing Daniel Cormier for WWE Smackdown Role

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Fox will become the new home of WWE Smackdown in 2019 and they would reportedly like to see some changes made to the broadcast once it is on the network. Fox has already announced it will move Smackdown to Fridays, but they would also like to see each week’s show presented more like a traditional, competitive sport than sports entertainment.

That may be why Fox is pushing the WWE to give UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champ Daniel Cormier a shot in the broadcast booth. He revealed that he has an audition during a round of interviews last week to promote his fight at UFC 230.


Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio says the audition is the result of Fox’s lobbying.

The Cormier thing is, Fox wants Cormier. That’s the deal. That’s where that (news) comes from. Vince isn’t yelling as much at the guys on Smackdown every week, because Vince doesn’t go to Smackdown that much anymore. And they want him (Cormier) for Smackdown. Although when Smackdown’s on Fox on Friday, that may all change. He (Vince) may be at every Smackdown again. But Fox wants Cormier, that’s the deal with Cormier. Because number one, they want more of a sports presentation, and number two, they love Cormier from the UFC, and they don’t want to lose him. So that’s what that is about.

It could make sense for everyone involved. It would give the 40-year-old Cormier work after his MMA career is over, and it gives Fox the ability to hang onto one of the MMA world’s biggest stars even after the UFC moves to ESPN.

Assuming Vince McMahon and WWE executives don’t push back on a directive from their new broadcast partner, it is the WWE that could get the most out of this move. First, Cormier isn’t shy about letting people know that he is a lifelong WWE fan. That will be a new element in the broadcast booth. Next, Cormier knows how to sell a fight. If he or the company wanted to see Cormier move into the ring, he has the skills necessary to be successful. He also has a history with fellow WWE/UFC hybrid Brock Lesnar to create a new rivalry if both men want to be a part of the company’s headline battles in the future.

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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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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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FOX Sports VP: ‘USFL Proves Spring Football As Valuable As Rising Properties’

“We want to show we belong in that category, and I think that happened.”

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Michael Mulvihill says the USFL accomplished exactly what FOX needed it to. It proved there is a large enough audience for spring football that it has a value on par with some of the hottest properties in sports media right now.

 “All we wanted to do is demonstrate that spring football can do viewership at the levels of Premier League, NHL regular season, Formula One or MLS,” the FOX Sports Executive VP said according to Sports Business Journal. “We want to show we belong in that category, and I think that happened.”

While none of those properties are pulling in the kind of media rights money the NFL or major college football is, Mulvihill pointed out that all of them have been in the news for the right reasons.

“You’re talking about properties that have all recently negotiated deals at substantial increases, or with F1, people know it’s about to.”

The USFL had a solid broadcasting footprint with games airing on FOX, NBC, FS1 and USA. Regular season games for the first year of the revived league averaged just under 700,000 viewers.

Mulvihill said fans behaved exactly how he expected them to in the first season of the USFL. Without any team loyalties, he isn’t surprised that people watched less of an average USFL game than they did the NFL or college football.

The USFL Playoffs begin this weekend. Canton, OH will host the league’s first championship game on July 3.

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