Connect with us

Sports TV News

NFL TV Partners Unsure How To Handle Player Protests

“Michael McCarthy raises the possibility that the NFL may try to ban its TV partners from showing the protests or from showing individual players wearing particular messages calling out the NFL.”

Published

on

Kap Kneeling

Executives at NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, and ESPN are all debating how their networks will handle player protests in the NFL. According to a report from Front Office Sports’s Michael McCarthy, says that all of the NFL’s TV partners are torn on what the right approach is.

Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the National Anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality against minorities. During that season, all networks showed the pregame playing of the anthem as a news event.

Since the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, many NFL players have pointed to Kaepernick’s protest and the reaction of the League and team owners to say that the NFL’s goal was always to ignore and discredit the issue by focusing on the action instead of the message. In a powerful video, some of the NFL’s biggest stars demanded commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledge the league was wrong. He did and also said that he would not have a problem with players kneeling in 2020.

On a recent episode of her podcast Jemele Hill is Unbothered, Hill said that protesting racial injustice and kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games have become so linked that for it to happen again would be “too big to ignore.”

“They have to make the connection between the unrest and the protesting – and the fact that racism has become the No. 1 emphasis in America right now,” she said. “There is a heavy interest in seeing how athletes respond at this moment. George Floyd does not have had to have died a week before to make it newsworthy.”

An anonymous network executive told McCarthy that he expects networks will cover any protests as news events.

“I would say with Roger Goodell and the NFL itself saying they were wrong to stand in the way of silent protest, I believe that gives the networks the freedom to show kneeling if that takes place – and possibly interview the player later in the locker room,” the source said.

Michael McCarthy raises the possibility that the NFL may try to ban its TV partners from showing the protests or from showing individual players wearing particular messages calling out the NFL. Multiple PR/marketing executives told McCarthy that would be a mistake. Such action would likely create more stories that make the NFL look bad.

One PR executive pointed out that ratings for the three largest cable news networks in the United States were up across the board in May. That means there is interest in the protest. Allowing TV partners to show players kneeling could actually result in higher ratings.

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.