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AT&T and CBS Agree to New Deal

“The new agreement was made just hours before opening weekend of the NFL’s preseason.”

Jack Ferris

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Since the evening of July 19, DirecTV and AT&T U-verse subscribers in 17 of the nation’s largest markets have been without CBS programming. The reason, according to a press release from CBS, is because AT&T was not prepared to pay as much as it’s competitors to carry the network.

“CBS has reached timely, fair agreements with hundreds of other cable, satellite, telco and internet providers to carry out our industry-leading, fan-favorite programming. AT&T, however, continues to propose unfair terms well below those agreed to by its competitors and may drop CBS unless we agree to those terms,” exclaimed the network in a mid July press release.

As a result of the negotiating stalemate – New York, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore have been without the CBS family of networks for the last three weeks. In a joint press release Thursday morning, however, the two sides announced they reached an multi-year agreement.

“CBS and AT&T regret any inconvenience to their customers and viewers and thank them for their patience,” the release read.

It’s no coincidence the agreement was made just hours before opening weekend of the NFL’s preseason – with a number of local CBS stations set to air match ups in the 17 blacked out markets. AT&T and CBS may not have seen eye to eye this summer, but both parties were certainly united in their attempt to appease the almighty NFL as we inch closer to Week 1 in September. 

This year, both Roger Goodell and AT&T have hinted at the possibility of DirecTV losing it’s exclusive Sunday Ticket rights as the league flirts with big streaming possibilities in the future. With that storyline in the background, AT&T can hardly afford a game of chicken with one of the NFL’s top partners heading into the season.  

Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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