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Lane Kiffin To Michael Wilbon: Life Is Too Short To Be So Angry

“Kiffin is known to interact with his fans and detractors on Twitter, so when one of his followers sent Wilbon’ criticisms his way, the Ole Miss coach responded.”

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ESPN’s celebration of PTI’s 20th anniversary began on Tuesday. While the network was busy celebrating the show’s success, the show was busy carrying on business as usual. That means Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon were commenting on the biggest names and stories in sports. With Alabama set to welcome Ole Miss to Tuscaloosa for a top 15 match up this week, that is where the duo’s college football focus rested.

Wilbon didn’t just say that he expected Alabama to win the game. He unleashed a brutal rant on Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin. He called Kiffin “a clown,” said he “has been an embarrassment everywhere he goes,” and characterized him as nothing more than “a cute little story for guys like us who have to talk about sports every day”.

If this were 2013, it would be hard to argue with Michael Wilbon. That was the year USC athletic director pulled Lane Kiffin off the team bus, fired him and left him on the tarmac after giving up 62 points in a loss to Arizona State. Remember, that came after Al Davis claimed Kiffin “conned” him and fired Kiffin as Raiders head coach for cause. After that, Kiffin bolted Tennessee after one season to take the USC job.

Plenty has changed in the last eight years though. Lane Kiffin may still not behave like a traditional football coach, but he rehabilitated his image and won a national championship as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator and put together a resume at Florida Atlantic good enough to get him back to the SEC.

Kiffin is known to interact with his fans and detractors on Twitter, so when one of his followers sent Wilbon’ criticisms his way, the Ole Miss coach responded.

No response yet from Michael Wilbon, but this doesn’t seem to be a shots fired situation. It will be interesting to see if he bites back at Kiffin at all on Wednesday’s edition of Pardon The Interruption.

Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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Sports TV News

Return of Bob Iger Puts Pac-12 ‘Not Exactly In A Great Place’

“I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12.”

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The Pac-12 is currently in a media rights negotiation with partners for its next TV deal after the departure of USC and UCLA. The conference has remained committed to the stance that it feels it can match the dollar amount given to the Big 12 from FOX and ESPN. However, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post isn’t so confident.

During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Marchand said the recent return of Bob Iger as Disney CEO, coupled with recent layoffs from Amazon, could spell bad news for the PAC 12’s quest to match what the Big 12 received.

“Do I still think they can get the same number as the Big 12? I do, but you start thinking about where this is going and that’s not exactly a great place to be if you’re the Pac-12. They might get the number, but the idea that they’ll get a lot more than the Big 12 — which I’ve already said is not gonna happen — I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12…I think there’s some rough waters out in the Pacific.”

Marchand said if the University of California Board of Regents won’t allow UCLA to join the Big Ten as expected, the conference would then set its sights on Washington and Oregon, which would continue to decimate the Pac-12.

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