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Mannings Reveal Charles Barkley, Russell Wilson As MNF Guests

“Omaha Productions unveiled the week one and week four personalities joining the Manning’s.”

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Courtesy: ESPN

Peyton and Eli Manning are the headliners on ESPN2’s alternate Monday Night Football broadcast, although their guest list might just steal the show.

Omaha Productions unveiled two of the four personalities joining the Mannings on the first Monday night of action. Turner Sports analyst Charles Barkley and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson are both on the docket for Monday’s matchup between the Ravens and Raiders.

The Barkley news comes a no surprise to the sports media world. Peyton and Eli made the interview rounds over the past couple of weeks, and the elder Manning used Barkley as an example of a guest they’ll talk to across different interviews.

Manning gave essentially the same prepared answer when Colin Cowherd and Bill Simmons asked about what the brothers will do during downtimes in the game.

“During that time, we are going to be telling a war story,” Manning described on The Bill Simmons Podcast. “We are going to have Charles Barkley on to tell us why he didn’t play college football. You know entertaining stuff, but when the quarterback is talking to that coach on the sideline, Eli and I are going to probably role play. I’m going to tell you what the coach is saying to him and Eli is going to tell me what the quarterback is saying back.”

Omaha Productions is working with ESPN on the brand new “Manning-cast” format. They have prior experience working with The Worldwide Leader on expanding the Peyton’s Places franchise. A media universe that now includes David Ortiz, Abby Wambach, Vince Carter, Ronda Rousey, Eli, and Peyton.

The two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks aren’t getting a TV quarterback to guide them. They are hosting the “gamecast” by themselves. Although, don’t expect this to be their first rodeo. The brothers rehearsed throughout the preseason. Clips below give fans a small taste of what they can expect on Monday nights this fall.

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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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