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Robert Griffin III Details What Happens In Broadcast Audition

“Griffin had tryouts with both ESPN and FOX but ultimately went with the worldwide leader.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: ESPN

Robert Griffin III is used to bursting onto the scene in a big way, and he’s doing that again in sports media. The Baylor star captured his school’s first and only Heisman Trophy in 2011, then made a statement by winning the NFL Rookie of the Year Award the next season.

A decade later, RGIII didn’t quite live up to the hype he built during that stretch, and he chatted with The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch all about his journey into broadcasting last week.

“This offseason, I didn’t want to take that same approach,” Griffin said about only focusing on returning to the NFL. “So I continued to train every day but I started knocking on some other doors. It all started with an audition with Fox. I never thought that broadcasting (games) would be the avenue for me. I thought it would be more studio. But I called a game (as part of an audition process) for Fox and ESPN found out about it. Then I called a (practice) game for ESPN. The rest is history. I’m now on this wild ride and it’s been a lot of fun.”

Griffin had tryouts with both ESPN and FOX but ultimately went with the worldwide leader. Deitsch picked his brain on what exactly happens in high-scale broadcast auditions.

“They give you a recipe of how many different teams it could be and you just have to study all those different teams,” Griffin told Deitsch. “They don’t give you the exact game because they don’t want you trying to predict what’s going to happen because you’ve already seen said game. We called a full game and then I did some studio work with Kevin [Burkhardt]. You just have to rely on your experience and the things that you see and how you see the game. That’s what they are most focused on.

Deitsch confirmed that the two competitors both made offers to RGIII. Griffin weighed plenty of different factors before making his decision.

“Yeah, they both made offers. It was a lot of back and forth. It was a tough discussion. Because it was not only just which network to go to and what was the best opportunity right now, but it was also making sure you go about it the right way and don’t burn any of those bridges and keep that communication open because you never know what could happen in the future. 

“On top of that, I’m still 31. It was a little bit of concern that I would go back and play. But for me right now, we’re over halfway through the season and I have a job. My job is to be the best broadcaster I can possibly be for ESPN.”

Check out the full conversation between Deitsch and Griffin here.

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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