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Kenny Mayne: ‘I Didn’t Prepare Aaron Rodgers for F You Moment’

“I knew that it would be a funny way to end it, but I didn’t write it down and I almost forgot to do it.”

Ricky Keeler

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In what was not a shock to anyone, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not at mandatory minicamp on Tuesday as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday. It has been a while since anyone has heard from Rodgers, but the last one who did was former ESPN personality Kenny Mayne. 

Rodgers, who is a good friend of Mayne’s, appeared on the ESPN legend’s last SportsCenter a couple weeks back. On this week’s episode of The Adam Schefter PodcastMayne talked about the now famous interview. 

“It was a weird position to be in and then you add in the weight of the ESPN bosses, ‘hey we know it is your last day, but can you get some f**n Aaron Rodgers questions for us to run them on SportsCenter?'” Mayne joked. “I sent him a note. I said we are not planning anything, just be prepared for everything. I’m not going to screw him over when he’s doing me a nicety of that’s a pretty big name to get on your final show. Aaron didn’t complain afterwards. He wrote something funny. He wasn’t offended and I think he wants to answer some things seriously. We kind of did it all in my opinion. I did what I wanted to do. It was my last show. He said what he said. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I have no idea.”

During the conversation with Schefter, Mayne said that he has no idea what’s really going on with Rodgers and has never asked him about it privately nor did he know anything other than rumors when the news Rodgers reportedly wanted out was reported the night of the NFL Draft. He knew that regardless of what he asked, he wouldn’t get Rodgers to tell him everything.

“I told people before and after I can be as straight as can be, I can be as silly as can be, somewhere in between, which I probably was. He’s going to answer how he wants to answer. No one can beat the information out of anyone. I can’t make Aaron tell me precisely what he’s thinking and what he’s exactly going to do and how he thinks it is going to turn out. He was kind of just doing the long, philosophical answer of people vs. institutions and I tend to agree with his point.”

Of course, what might be more famous than Rodgers’ thoughts on his current situation in that interview was the final question Mayne asked where he joked about getting into cryptocurrency. Schefter said it might have been “the single-greatest last question that I’ve heard asked of anybody ever.”

Mayne did not prepare the quarterback for the joke either and mentioned how he was doing it more to help him than for the actual show itself: 

“I daydreamed about that a day or two before,” Mayne said. “I knew that it would be a funny way to end it, but I didn’t write it down and I almost forgot to do it. All of those interviews, there were no scripts or prompters. I knew ahead of time ‘hey I want to hit these four things and you see where the interview goes. At the very end, it hit me to do that thing. As he is wrapping up, I pretend like we’re done. I referenced the last time I interviewed him and did the big joke at the end. He didn’t know it was coming for sure. That was a genuine reaction. I was doing it more for him than the room. I didn’t think they would run it out. They were like we had to run this.”

While Mayne said some people can criticize him for not addressing the trade request enough, he did the interview the way he wanted to do it and for someone’s final show in a great career, that’s all a person could ask for.  

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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