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Ian Eagle, Charles Davis Met Once Before Calling Games Together

“We had Cleveland-Baltimore; we took one walk together in Baltimore on the Saturday before the game. The next time together was in the booth.”

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This past season, a new broadcasting duos that premiered in the NFL was Ian Eagle and Charles Davis as the second team for the NFL On CBS. Eagle has been on CBS since 1998, but Davis was in his first season calling games for the network after being at FOX as an analyst since 2017. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not easy for the new pair to establish chemistry, but they found a way to make it work. 

On the latest episode of the New York, New York with John Jastremski podcast, Eagle talked about forming chemistry with Davis during a pandemic. The two never had one in-person meeting during the year, but they decided to have a ZOOM call every week for five straight months. In fact, the trio of Eagle, Davis, and sideline reporter Evan Washburn only saw each other once in-person before their first game of the season together.

“I went into Week 1 thinking that it was going to work,” Eagle said. “We had Cleveland-Baltimore; we took one walk together in Baltimore on the Saturday before the game. The next time together was in the booth. It felt like we had been doing games for 10 years. It was easy. He’s a great teammate. It doesn’t always work that way. It really depends on the individual.” 

Ian Eagle mentioned that although his role in the booth is very different from Davis’s, the duo have a similar idea of what a TV broadcast should sound like.

“I don’t want to ask him 12 questions on the air, I want to have a conversation. I know there are some out there that are like it’s your job to set him up. It’s your job to set him up but set him up in a way where you are conversing, not where it is pointed question, pointed question. That’s not a give-and-take, that’s not a partnership. You want it to feel like a couple of people that are at lunch or dinner and you are part of the conversation. That’s really important to me that it is both us and there is back and forth and Charles is a believer in that too. 

In the early days of his career, Eagle knew the importance of good teamwork when he worked as the associate producer for Mike & The Mad Dog in 1992. Eagle said the duo were best friends at that time. He wanted to bring the energy he saw then to whatever he would do next.

“If you want to be excellent at this job, you better make the person next to you feel comfortable so they can do their best work. I’ve taken a lot of pride in that part of it, the dynamic between play-by-play and analyst. That was from the seeds of WFAN, seeing in the newsroom and watching it translate on the air.”

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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.”

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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