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FOX Hosts Blast Colin Kaepernick’s Madden Rating

“Clay Travis was the most outspoken critic of the move, while Marcellus Wiley questioned E.A.’s motives.”

Jacob Conley

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Fox Sports personalities took E.A. Sports and their popular Madden video game franchise to task Wednesday for their inclusion of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and his player rating, on the most recent update to Madden 21.

Clay Travis was the most outspoken critic of the move, while Marcellus Wiley questioned E.A.’s motives. Even Emmanuel Acho, who says he likes Kaepernick, says E.A. went too far in giving him a player rating of 81 out of 100.

“They put him (Kaepernick) in the Madden video game and they rated him better than half of the starters in the NFL,” Travis said on Wednesday’s edition of Outkick the Coverage. “He has a better rating than Cam Newton, Jared Goff, Kyler Murray and Ryan Tannehill. He has the same rating as future Hall-of-Famer Ben Roethlisberger. It’s crazy… Madden ostensibly rates players based on their football abilities. Nothing else matters in the game, and yet they are going to argue that a guy who hasn’t played in four years is better than half the starters in the NFL? It’s lunacy.”

SFY co-host Wiley says that E.A, is simply trying to profit of Kaepernick’s popularity with the African-American community.

“Let’s be real for a minute,” Wiley said. “E.A. is sitting there thinking, let’s do something that we really don’t want to do, but this is the flavor of the month. Let’s take advantage of it. Then they season it up and make it real tasty by throwing a Black Power fist on there (the cover) because they know his followers are going to eat it up. It’s not even really what we want. It’s the extras, the left overs. It reminds me of Soul Food. I was told the origins of Soul Food and how our people (African Americans) would eat it up, even though we all know how it started. As leftovers. It was not what we really wanted. I wish the pandering would stop, but there are too many people supporting it.”

While fellow SFY co-host Acho is not as harsh in his criticism, he does admit E.A. made a mistake in rating Kaepernick so highly and then also questions E.A.’s motives.

“Y’all know in hoops when they miss an  egregious call and back down the court they call something that was non-existent because they have got to make up for it?” Acho asks. “That’s a make-up call. That’s all they are doing. In 2018 E.A Sports left Kaepernick’s name off of the soundtrack. In 2019, he’s still not on the game. So in 2020, what do they say? We’re going to make a make-up call but not only are we going to make a make-up call, we are going to make it so outlandish, that he is rated higher than the reigning rookie of the year, former NFL MVP Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill, who had a historic season last year. I like Kaepernick and you know where I stand on all his stuff, but if you are going to do a make-up call, you have to be a little slicker with it. If Kaepernick was so important, why wasn’t he on the original release back in August? Why wait for the update? Was this done to be seen or was this done because it was the right thing to do?”

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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Sports TV News

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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