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ESPN, TNT Prepare For Bidding War Over Wade

“Wade has contributed to ABC’s NBA Finals coverage in the past, but hasn’t given any indication as to what he plans to do professionally next year.”

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Now that Dwyane Wade’s playing days are over he will need a new job. Both ESPN and TNT are hoping to become his next employer according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

Marchand reports that Wade has never explicitly stated that he is interested in going into the broadcast industry, but that is not stopping both of the NBA’s major television partners from readying pitches for his services, and each one is looking at Wade as the start of something new.

ESPN is reportedly considering using Wade as part of a major overhaul to its NBA studio coverage. Marchand notes that despite her big contract, Michelle Beadle may have lost some fans at ESPN and Maria Taylor and Rachel Nichols could be in line for the studio host role should the network make a change.

Jalen Rose could also be moved off the show as his morning workload grows. Chauncy Billups has received rave reviews for his game analyst work during the playoffs. Even if he doesn’t remain in that role ESPN could still lose him to a front office role with the Timberwolves.

ESPN reportedly sees Dwyane Wade as a potential new face for their pregame show. As for who he could work with, Marchand notes that teaming him with Paul Pierce could be interesting given all Pierce has had to say about how the two’s careers compare. Wade’s former coach Stan Van Gundy could be an option as well.

As for TNT, Marchand reports its pitch to Wade could be a little more flexible. Charles Barkley claims he will retire from Inside the NBA at age 60. He is currently 56-years-old. The network could use Wade in a role that lets him come and go as he pleases until it’s time for him to take over Barkley’s chair full time.

There is no timetable on when the pitches will take place or when a decision will be made. Dwyane Wade has contributed to ABC’s NBA Finals coverage in the past, but hasn’t given any indication as to what he plans to do professionally next year.

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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.”

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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