One person that has become an emerging star in the sports media landscape over the last year or so is ESPN NFL analyst and writer for The Undefeated, Domonique Foxworth. Foxworth has taken his experience playing in the NFL and working as the president of the NFLPA and COO of the NBAPA and brought it to the media.
As Foxworth told Sarah Spain on the That’s What She Said podcast, he was one of those athletes that had said he was never going to be in the media after his playing career was over. However, he did love writing when he was in college at Maryland, and an opportunity at The Undefeated opened up and happened to be based near his home.
“It was coincidental that The Undefeated was also being created and it was launching out of D.C. It gave me this opportunity that felt different. I don’t want to talk about people playing football, but this was like you can talk about football and bigger things. Then, I end up on GET UP, First Take, Around The Horn, Highly Questionable.”
Foxworth told Spain that he felt like one of the few that was comfortable talking about heavy subjects last summer.
“This past summer, I was a superstar because there are so many people who feel comfortable going into those spaces. This summer when the pandemic hit and the George Floyd stuff happened, all of our shows became something different. When I do those things, I really enjoy the job at a different level. It feels artistic and it feels meaningful.”
Domonique Foxworth also understands the power of his words and told Spain that he gets this may be entertainment to some. Inside the sports world though, opinions of anyone on ESPN have power. He explained using former Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien.
“I remember being very critical of Bill O’Brien when he was with the Texans and then he got fired. I remember thinking I didn’t take responsibility for it, but I do know part of the reason he had to go was because he had become a laughingstock and we had some hand in that. We are here to entertain, but our entertainment impacts how careers can go.”
Foxworth was right in terms of it is not his fault that O’Brien was fired. However, he does acknowledge that there is a responsibility on-air even when people think they are just giving “hot takes.” He wants to hear all perspectives when looking at a situation and that’s what has helped him become a star in the industry.
Former Hulu Exec Michael Schneider Hired To Run Bally Sports+
“Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.”
Schneider will oversee the direct-to-consumer platform that will also be the hub for Bally Sports live programming.
Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.
“Throughout his career, Michael has successfully launched and developed DTC streaming and service platforms and created immersive engagement experiences,” said Sinclair COO and president of broadcast Rob Weisbord. “He is a terrific addition to the team as we build out the Bally Sports+ offering, its exclusive content and passionate fan community.”
Even before Hulu, Schneider had a hand in streaming. He was a founding member of the PlayStation Vue launch team.
Marquee Sports Network Weighs Streaming Options Outside of Bally Sports+
“Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.”
As Sinclair Broadcast Group prepares to launch Bally Sports+, its direct-to-consumer platform that will be home to Bally Sports live events, the Chicago Cubs are weighing their options for Marquee Sports Network, which the team co-owns with Sinclair.
Despite being under the Sinclair umbrella, Marquee is its own free-standing RSN from the rest of the Bally Sports networks across the country.
Marquee is readily available on a number of cable providers, but the only thing that’s really missing is its own standalone streaming platform for games. Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.
“We’re always interested in being on the cutting edge with the ultimate deliverable to our consumer,” McCarthy said. “But there isn’t any contractual clock ticking to make us feel that way. It’s how we’ve approached things from the beginning. Between our two ownership groups, there’s a lot of aggression to get it right. And I think you’ll see something along those lines shortly.”
The TV ratings will always be of top interest for MLB, especially regional ratings. But as the league has worked to embrace more streaming options for games, striking deals with Apple and Peacock for rights this season, it’s all about providing what the fans and viewers want.
“We now have the ability to do so much more, to properly tell the story of a 162-game season,” said Crane Kenney, Chicago Cubs president of business operations. Kenney was instrumental in the launch of Marquee. “We love baseball, we love the game, and we love the opportunity we have to share it with our fans in really deep ways.”
Laura Rutledge Celebrates Chemistry Of NFL Live
“It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”
Laura Rutledge is very happy with where NFL Live is as the current lineup gets set to enter its third season together. She told The Big Lead that there is genuine chemistry between herself, Marcus Spears, Mina Kimes, and Dan Orlovsky and that is why she doesn’t feel the need to emulate any of sports television’s many debate shows.
“You don’t want to see people yelling at each other all the time and I’m really proud of the chemistry that we have struck and just letting that breathe on air and having so much fun. It is truly the absolute joy of my life to get their opinions and to sit with them every single day and hear what they have to say.”
The 2022 NFL season will have a very different feel for ESPN. The addition of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for Monday Night Football adds new expectations to the network.
Rutledge said that the attention on the network means that she and her colleagues have to raise their respective games, but that shouldn’t be hard. There is always material to work with in this league.
“We’ve seen this offseason, we saw the previous offseason, how the NFL news cycle never stops. It’s funny because the news cycle becomes such a big piece of the story, but we’re like, we can’t wait for the games,” she said.