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Bomani Jones Laments Focus On Kirk Herbstreit Instead Of Message

“He emphasized that the focus should have been on the content of the show, including Lee Corso saying that he would vote not to play in the fall if he were a coach.”

Ricky Keeler

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Over the weekend, college football was back in action with a handful of games, which meant it was time for the season preview episode of College Gameday. The segment that took centerstage was the players-only conversation where Maria Taylor talked to a group of six players about social injustice in America and what they and their teams have done to respond to the deaths of a number of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of police officers. 

After that segment played, the panel gave their thoughts on what has gone on in this country and it was Kirk Herbstreit’s thoughts that received the most attention with the emotion he showed on camera.

While Herbstreit’s comments have received praise from many on social media from people at ESPN, one person was not exactly thrilled with the coverage of that segment. Bomani Jones shared his thoughts on Twitter in response to a post done by Awful Announcing.

Jones noted that Herbstreit seemed sincere in his reaction to the stories he had heard, but did note that not a lot of attention was brought to the other perspectives on the panel. He was struck in particular by what Desmond Howard had to say.

Howard said he was happy that the players have a voice and that they understand that they have power. He even brought up an example of when he was at Michigan and the former Heisman Trophy winner thought about staging a boycott of his own.

“As a young man at Michigan, I was I guess what these young men would call woke. I was strongly against social injustices,” Howard said. “I remember one time where I wanted to lead a boycott myself and I spoke to a couple of players. It wasn’t that they weren’t on board, but some of them went back and told the coaches and then the coaches contacted my dad. At that point, I knew that they weren’t where I was mentally, but I understood that social injustices was something that greatly affected my people, my community, our society.” 

David Pollack followed Howard and brought up the viewpoint that people shouldn’t nitpick every word that the players say as they try to find their voice to speak about the issues that affect them.

“There’s no right and wrong with racism. Racism is wrong. You can’t put that in any other box… The fact that those guys can stand up there and share what they are feeling. Don’t nitpick what people are saying. It’s hard to express your feelings. It gets easier as you get older and you get more mature. I could have never done it in a million years the way they were going to do that… It’s not their job to fix things. It’s our job to love everyone. It’s not their job to show us the way.” 

As Bomani Jones mentioned, Herbstreit emotional reaction was a standout moment. At the same time, he emphasized that the focus should have been on the content of the show, including Lee Corso saying that he would vote not to play in the fall if he were a coach. Jones called it an example of people doing the “same stuff that they said they weren’t going to do anymore.”

Herbstreit’s comments were eye-opening to say the least, but it should not take away from everyone else’s thoughts on the issue of social injustice. And it really shouldn’t have over shadowed Maria Taylor’s work in what was a strong segment as part of College Gameday’s return to television in this “new normal.” 

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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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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