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Charles Barkley ‘Was Pissed’ At Kenny Smith For Walking Off Inside the NBA Set

“Being fair to Smith here, it is possible that he didn’t know what he was going to do until it was too late to give his team an off-camera heads up.”

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The NBA Playoffs and much of the sports world came to a screeching halt on August 26. The Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the floor for a first round game against the Orlando Magic in protest of the Kenosha, Wisconsin police shooting Jacob Blake in the back.

While the rest of the NBA slate followed suit, pausing play for two days, many fans also remember the moment a television personality joined in. Kenny Smith walked off the set of TNT’s Inside the NBA that night, saying that he was emotional and tired and didn’t know how to do the show.

His friend and Inside the NBA co-host Charles Barkley talked about that moment this week and said he didn’t like it in the moment.

Barkley was a guest on The Ringer’s podcast Winging It with Vince Carter. Co-host Annie Finberg asked Barkley what his thoughts were that night. He said that he thought Smith owed him, Shaq, and Ernie a heads up of what he was thinking and what was about to happen.

“He should’ve told us in advance. Because I had just said that it was bogus what the Milwaukee Bucks just did to the Orlando Magic. They didn’t tell them. And then like 30 seconds later, he did the exact same thing,” Barkley said. “I had no problem with him walking off. He should’ve told us so we could’ve prepared. The show was like, ‘Uh-oh.'”

Being fair to Smith here, it is possible that he didn’t know what he was going to do until it was too late to give his team an off-camera heads up. Awful Announcing’s Ian Casselberry writes that the surprise of that that moment is what made it so memorable.

“Smith walking off the set was also a more powerful moment because of its apparent spontaneity. Had it been more organized, the moment likely wouldn’t have been as notable. Ultimately, the show didn’t have to suffer because Smith left in protest.”

Barkley is under some fire from social media for saying that he wouldn’t put the killing of Breonna Taylor in the same category as the murders of Ahmaud Arbrey or George Floyd. While he did note during the podcast that he thought the Bucks put the rest of the NBA in a position where they all had to refuse to play, his beef with Kenny clearly isn’t about Kenny’s position on the police shooting a man in the back. It seems that this is one co-worker telling another that his actions left the team in an awkward situation.

Charles Barkley did not say if he and Kenny Smith ever addressed the situation. He only said “I got nothing but love and respect for Kenny.”

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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Sports TV News

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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