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ESPN Tried, But Skip Bayless Chooses To Stay At FS1

“Marchand reports The Worldwide Leader made Bayless a contract offer worth up to $31 million, eyeing to pair him with Stephen A. Smith again.”

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After prying Skip Bayless away from ESPN with a four-year, $24 million deal in 2016, FOX Sports was apparently very happy with the return, giving the Undisputed co-host a raise on his second contract.

According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, Bayless’ second contract is a four-year, $32 million deal, a 33% increase. As part of the new deal with FOX, Bayless will continue his daily morning show alongside Shannon Sharpe on FS1, with plans to potentially launch a new solo project in afternoons for the network. But FOX Sports wasn’t the lone bidder for his services, as ESPN was pushing for a reunion with Bayless as recently as late last year. 

Marchand reports The Worldwide Leader made Bayless a contract offer worth up to $31 million, eyeing to pair him with Stephen A. Smith again. The reunion would not have been on First Take, instead creating a new venture to help bolster their subscription platform ESPN+. 

ESPN even considered a deal that would split Bayless with FS1, allowing him to continue his role on Undisputed and work an afternoon show with Smith. Although rare, the networks similarly share Alex Rodriguez who works in the booth for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseballand as an MLB studio analyst for FOX. But Bayless’ new deal with FOX will keep him there exclusively for now. 

Since Bayless left First Take and ESPN in 2016, he’s remained close with Smith. In a recent interview with USA Today, Smith acknowledged, “the hope is that one day we’ll reunite in some capacity.” Skip’s new contract with FS1 will take him to age 73, but he’s said he doesn’t want this to be the final deal of his sportscasting career, meaning there’s still time for a future reunion with Smith. 

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Maria Taylor Elevated To Host of Football Night In America

“Taylor joined NBC just before the 2021 NFL season.”

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Maria Taylor will be the new face of Football Night in America on NBC. She will be the show’s new host. Last year, she shared co-hosting duties with Mike Tirico, who is moving into the play-by-play booth on Sunday Night Football.

“Maria is the perfect choice to carry the legacy forward of anchoring the most-watched studio show in sports,” NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood said in a press release.

Taylor joined NBC just before the 2021 NFL season. She left ESPN after that year’s NBA Finals.

In addition to her work on Football Night in America, NBC has also used Maria Taylor in coverage of the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo and Beijing. She is also currently serving as the executive producer of an eight-part documentary about black quarterbacks, which is set to debut on Peacock.

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Ros Gold-Onwude Lands Contract Extension From ESPN

“Her next assignment will be in the studio for ESPN Radio during Game 6 of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.”

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ESPN is hanging onto Ros Gold-Onwude. The network has agreed to a multi-year extension with its NBA reporter and analyst.

Gold-Onwude has been all over the place for ESPN’s NBA coverage. She has served as a sideline reporter on television for both that league and the WNBA. She has also been on the radio, serving as the studio co-host for the NBA Finals.

On Twitter, she expressed her gratitude and excitement.

Previous stops for Ros Gold-Onwude include TNT and NBC Sports Bay Area. Her next assignment will be in the studio for ESPN Radio during Game 6 of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.

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NFL Putting All 14 Playoff Teams On Thursday Night Football

“The entire 2022 schedule will be released on Thursday night with primetime specials on both ESPN2 and NFL Network.”

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The NFL wants Thursday Night Football on Amazon to be a success. The league will do all it can to help. That is why the streaming giant’s first full season of Thursday games may be the best midweek schedule the league has ever put together.

The entire 2022 schedule will be released on Thursday night with primetime specials on both ESPN2 and NFL Network. According to Mike Florio, when it is, fans will see that all 14 playoff teams from 2021 will have at least one appearance on Amazon this season.

During the NFL Draft, Roger Goodell announced that the Chargers and the Chiefs will meet in Week 2, the first game on Amazon’s schedule. That is a pretty good start to the company’s 11-year deal with the NFL that reportedly pays the league $1 billion per year.

The commissioner is excited about what is possible with the deal. “Amazon’s platform is going to allow us to do things that we’ve only dreamed about to date,” he said last week at an Amazon conference according to Front Office Sports.

He did not elaborate on what some of those things may be. Certainly technology for covering a game will be in play, but the reality is that the things Goodell has “only dreamed about to date” may have more to do with advertising and revenue generation. Amazon is one of the world’s top retail sellers after all.

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