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Ray Ferraro Turned Down Olympic Assignment

“I might have thought different if it was in, uh, almost any place else.”

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Hockey fans shouldn’t count on seeing Ray Ferraro on NBC in 2022. He recently told Julie Stewart-Binks that he has turned down the chance to call Olympic hockey in Beijing.

Some analysts expected Olympic fatigue to affect viewership. Ferraro proves it can affect broadcasters too.

“I turned down the Olympics this year,” Ferraro said on an episode of FuboTV’s Drinks with Binks that will air this weekend. “It was hard to do, but I’m not gonna go do it. And I’ll tell you, one hundred percent it’s because of last year. I just did this for three weeks. I can’t do it again.”

Stewart-Binks revealed that she had also turned down an opportunity to go to Beijing to cover the 2022 Winter Olympics, but said the decision for her was easy.

“It’s a lot to put yourself through while you’re trying to do your job. And you’re dealing with a global pandemic that isn’t eradicated yet,” she said.

Ray Ferraro admits that he will be disappointed to miss out on Olympic hockey, particularly if the NHL allows players to go. When Stewart-Binks mentioned that the games being in China helped make her decision, Ferraro concurred.

“Julie, I might have thought different if it was in, uh, almost any place else.”

Certainly, there are political and humanitarian reasons to oppose going to China. Ferraro said that there are other factors at play too. He said that he was thinking of worst-case scenarios that could affect his future and his employment at ESPN.

He joked that he couldn’t imagine his bosses would be happy with the extended time he would be forced to quarantine before returning to the country.

Any Olympics represents a moment in history, both for the sports world and society at large. Ray Ferraro knows that is true. He says he hasn’t lost sleep over the decision to skip the 2022 Games though.

“It’s was hard, but once I let it go, once I said I wasn’t gonna do it, I haven’t really thought about it again. I know I made the right decision for me.”

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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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