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Michael Strahan: FOX Is ‘More Fun’ For Talking Football

“I just wanted to feel like I’m somewhere where I can actually talk sports and have personality doing it.”

Ricky Keeler

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With all the jobs Michael Strahan has, you can turn on the TV and usually see his face pop up on the screen just about any time of day, whether it is on FOX NFL Sunday breaking down the day’s action, hosting the game show $100,000 Pyramid or giving you the morning’s news every weekday on Good Morning America. However, the Hall-of-Famer didn’t always know he wanted to pursue a post-football career in media.

On the latest episode of Just Getting Started With Rich Eisen, Michael Strahan talked about his journey in the media. The former defensive lineman said that not only did he never seriously consider a career in media until his playing days were nearing an end, he didn’t really seek out a lot of relationships with reporters and hosts.

“I would restrict my media access when I was a player to be honest with you. I would just talk twice a week. That way I knew whenever I did say something, you were going to use it. It was important. I also knew by being in New York, I went on Best Damn Sports Show Period, I did a Super Bowl for ABC. I wasn’t really getting paid for these things, but it was fun.”

Strahan is aware that if he didn’t play his entire career with the New York Giants, he wouldn’t be as fortunate to have the opportunities he has such as LIVE! With Kelly and Michael back in 2012. It isn’t something he is apologizing for.

“As I played and I kept doing more of it, I started to understand more about the media. I understood more how it worked. As much as the media uses you after a game or during the week to get quotes, use your power to better yourself with them.” 

Michael Strahan explained why he made the decision to go to FOX after his playing career was over. He was not without options.  

“I worked for every network as a player, so I decided I wanted to go to FOX because FOX was probably the loosest. It was more fun and in a lot of ways, less football, more entertainment. That was important to me. I just wanted to feel like I’m somewhere where I can actually talk sports and have personality doing it.” 

These days, Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan are co-workers at Good Morning America. It didn’t take working together though for Roberts to influence Strahan’s career. He told Rich Eisen that when he was still working for Live! With Kelly & Michael, it was a meeting on the red carpet with Roberts that made Strahan feel more at ease in his new role.

“At the Oscars, on the Red Carpet…I’m scared to death, Rich. This is Hollywood. These are big stars. I’m not supposed to be on that red carpet. I see Robin across the way, and I wave and I go over to see her. She looks at me and says how are you feeling, and I go Robin, I am scared. She goes hey, you got this, don’t worry, I came from sports too. You belong here. Completely changed my life with that one little thing. I saw Robin Roberts knowing she came where I came from and for her to say you belong here meant the world to me.” 

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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Sports TV News

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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Sports TV News

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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