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WWE Wants To Follow Marvel Model

WWE is leaning more and more into an entertainment business model.

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Courtesy: WWE

Marvel laid the groundwork, and WWE is following the blueprint. Sources have told Front Office Sports that the wrestling giant sees a similar growth plan between the two companies.

“At first glance, WWE’s a wrestling company. But it’s really a media/content company with a treasure trove of IP that appeals to young demos,” the source told FOS.

Marvel wasn’t always the titan it has grown into today; the company only recently capitalized off of wildly popular comic book IP. 2008 is a fork in the road for the company when it released “Iron Man” in theaters. The film kicked off their decade-plus run of entertainment dominance. Now sources around the sports industry believe WWE is trying to capitalize on its content in the same way.

2020 was a record year for WWE, even with the pandemic. The company’s programming now reaches 900 million homes worldwide, and the company posted record revenue of $974.2 million last year. A big marker in its growth has been the new deal with NBC Universal’s Peacock. The streaming service unveiled the new partnership around Wrestlemania 37 and sparked the night into its most-watched live event ever. The five-year, $1 billion deal with Peacock helped bolster the streaming service’s subscriber numbers.

The relationship with Peacock includes the WWE Network in the streaming service’s library. Fans even got a discount on pay-per-view matches with the inclusion. Customers buy pay-per-view fights for $4.99, compared to the WWE Network’s $9.99 price point.

WWE has also added voices from outside the wrestling world to help lead the company. Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini became the third woman to currently hold a board position at the media and entertainment company last October. 

Yesterday the company announced the hiring of Jamie Horowitz as WWE’s new executive vice president of development and digital Tuesday. Horowitz previously worked as the executive vice president of global content with DAZN streaming service since 2018. Step by step, WWE is leaning into their identity as an entertainment brand above all.

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Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”

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TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”

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Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’

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First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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