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FOX NFL Sunday Celebrates Michael Strahan’s Trip To Space

“Strahan was back on terra firma and in the studio Sunday for FOX.”

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Associated Press

It’s not often that one network celebrates a programming event staged by another. Then again, there aren’t many talents on TV like Michael Strahan, who has prominent roles at both ABC and FOX. AND it isn’t often that a prominent talent like that is sent to outer space!

On Saturday, Michael Strahan was among the passengers of the Blue Origin ship that blasted off for a trip to the edge of space. The flight lasted ten minutes and allowed Strahan and others to experience weightlessness while reaching an altitude of 66 miles above the Earth.

Strahan was back on terra firma and in the studio Sunday for FOX. Curt Menefee joked that he had the longest work commute ever recorded.

“Thank you. Thank you. I don’t feel like an earthling anymore,” Strahan joked.

A video documenting the experience was shown. It showed blastoff, the crew experiencing weightlessness, and the capsul’s return to Earth. Strahan’s crewmates noted that the Hall of Famer never seemed nervous until the countdown started.

The video was followed immediately by questions from his FOX NFL Sunday colleagues.

Terry Bradshaw said weightlessness and space travel was “something I’m never gonna do, because I won’t even do a Ferris wheel.” He noted just how many things could go wrong and asked Michael Strahan if there was ever a moment where he questioned his decision.

Strahan responded that being with Blue Origin all week helped ease any fears. It allowed him to see just how many people are working on these flights and how much time and expertise each individual job takes. He said that even when he looked at the other passengers on the flight, he realized none of them were as nervous as anyone watching the liftoff at home.

“I am more comfortable with Blue Origin than I am getting on a plane and flying from New York to Los Angeles every week,” he said.

Howie Long came with the toughest question. He noted that Michael Strahan was part of the biggest Super Bowl upset ever. He is in the Hall of Fame. He just had his jersey retired by the New York Giants. So where does going into space rank amongst his professional thrills?

“It was out of this world,” Strahan said laughing. “Pun intended.”

He described the feeling of weightlessness as just the beginning of the experience. He said that in addition to floating, he was overwhelmed by the reality of the vastness and darkness of space and the fragility of life from up above the atmosphere. He also noted that he celebrated a safe return to Earth with his mother and kids.

The trip to space for Michael Strahan was a major event for Good Morning America. He serves as a host for ABC’s weekday morning show. Maybe in the past, it is the kind of thing FOX would avoid talking about on its airwaves, but kudos to that network. Bosses at FOX clearly realize that in the age of mass information, you are a fool not to acknowledge major news your audience is already aware of.

Sports TV News

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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Sports TV News

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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Sports TV News

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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