Any analyst in the sports industry can sometimes get a text or a call from a player or coach to talk out why they disagreed with something said on air. For ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, that was the case for him back in February when he criticized Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim for comments made about Jalen Johnson leaving Duke during the season to get ready for the NBA Draft.
“That guy was hurting them so they actually are much better now without him,” Boeheim said at the time on his local radio show. “He was just doing some things and keeping other people from playing that are good.”
Bilas was all over ESPN to voice his disagreement and displeasure with the comments.
This week, on the Sports? With Katie Nolan podcast, Bilas talked about how he deals with criticism of his comments when it comes from other coaches, including Boeheim (who recruited him back in high school). He said that he learned a great trick from CBS’s Bill Raftery.
“I always use a line that Bill Raftery used years ago when someone would complain, he would say ‘I must have missed all your thank you notes for the good stuff’ and he would just diffuse everything.”
For Bilas, he is never worried about getting criticism. He told Nolan that he accepts that if he will listen to compliments, he has to do the same when someone has something less than flattering to say about his opinion. He says the key is knowing that not every critique is right and you don’t always have to think your critic is right.
“What I try to do is the first question I ask myself was the criticism right and was it reasonable? If it is right, I need to act on it. If it is reasonable, I need to consider it. If it is unreasonable and wrong, I dismiss it and I don’t worry about it,” Bilas said.
Nolan complimented Bilas, saying that she appreciates that he doesn’t rely on hot takes to create content. Bilas explained that his goal is to be fair and honest. Relying on bluster to create content is not something he ever wants to feel like he has to do.
“I don’t need to rave about something because I am going to have the opportunity to talk about something similar tomorrow or the next day. We get a lot of reps at our job.”
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.”
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.
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?”
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.
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.”
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.