When it comes to broadcasting roles, many networks look first two quarterbacks when trying to find their next superstar analysts. FOX turned Troy Aikman, a three-time Super Bowl champ, into the face of America’s Game of the Week. CBS found instant success with Tony Romo. So who is the most likely to follow in those footsteps?
The Big Lead ranked all 32 NFL starting QBs based on potential broadcasting success. Not surprisingly, Drew Brees tops the list. The New Orleans Saints signal caller already has a deal in place to join NBC when his playing days are over. Phillip Rivers, now of the Indianapolis Colts, sits at number 2, although he seems to prefer a future on the sidelines, having already inked a deal with St. Michael’s Catholic High School in Baldwin County, Alabama to become the Cardinals’ coach when his playing days are over.
The rest of the top five is rounded out by Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Dolphins, Gardner Minshew of the Jaguars, and Russell Wilson of the Seahawks. Minshew, and especially Wilson, would almost certainly be home run hires. Both are likely planning to have a lot of years left in the league before they have to make that decision though.
Scrolling through the list, it becomes apparent how few big personalities serve as NFL quarterbacks. Reigning Super Bowl champ Patrick Mahomes is at number 9. The Browns’ Baker Mayfield is at number 13. Reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson is at number 17. After that, I don’t know if I could tell you who on this list would be good and who wouldn’t.
One thing that really sticks out is that one of the biggest personalities to ever play in this league isn’t just no longer a starting QB. He is unemployed! It’s hard not to think Cam Newton lands in the top 5 if he were eligible.
We will learn sooner rather than later just how much networks value some of the names near the top of the list. Tom Brady (#6), Aaron Rodgers (#8), Matt Ryan (#12), Ben Roethlisberger (#14), and Matthew Stafford (#15) are all near the end of their respective playing careers and could soon be weighing their options for their next career.
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.”
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.
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?”
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.
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.”
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.