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Pierre McGuire Gives Up Broadcasting For Gig With Senators

The hockey analyst was a bastion of NBC’s NHL coverage.

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Courtesy: Getty Images

Pierre McGuire’s run as a hockey analyst appears to be over, for now at least. The longtime NBC Sports voice is trading the stick microphone for a whistle as he joins the Ottawa Senators as their vice president of player development. 

The team made the announcement today as the broadcaster pauses a television career that began in 1997.

“On behalf of the entire Senators organization, I would like to welcome Pierre McGuire back to Ottawa,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said in the announcement. “We are excited to add Pierre to our hockey management group. His experience will be instrumental as we continue to build an elite team. Pierre’s knowledge of the game and its players is highly regarded, and I am confident that he will positively assist our team as it progresses to the next level.”

The 59-year-old McGuire has a long, impressive resume in hockey. He started his coaching career at his alma mater, Hobart College, in Geneva, N.Y., in 1984. Then he moved on to the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins as a scout and eventually became a Penguins’ assistant coach, helping them hoist a Stanley Cup in 1992. 

McGuire then shifted to the Hartford Whalers as an assistant coach before eventually holding their head coach and general manager duties. He got his start in media as a color commentator on Montreal Canadiens’ radio broadcasts in 1997.

“To bring someone of his experience and his knowledge into our management group was what we thought would be a great addition,” Senators GM Pierre Dorion said about the hire.

McGuire told AP hockey writer Stephen Whymo that now felt like the perfect time to step away from the booth and back into the sport. His employer, NBC, lost the rights to Turner and ESPN. Also, his son Ryan moved on to college, so a perfect storm created another chance for McGuire in the sport he loves.

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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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