Is Troy Aikman on the move? Last month, Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports wrote that Amazon was interested in bringing the former Dallas Cowboys QB in and partnering him with Al Michaels on Thursday Night Football next season. Last week, Aikman confirmed that his representatives have had conversations with Amazon.
“There’s been conversations, like, I’ve not had conversations myself with anyone, with Amazon or with Fox about this,” he told Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina. “There has been conversation that if Amazon had an interest in me maybe I would continue with the same schedule that I’ve been doing and that is Thursday nights with Amazon and then doing the late game and the playoffs with Fox.”
It doesn’t sound like that is a schedule Troy Aikman is particularly keen on though.
“I’ve been doing it for four years now. I really thought I’d do it for one year, and the first year was a lot of fun doing Thursday nights, a prime-time game, something I had never done before. And now here I am in my fourth year, and it’s a lot. I don’t want to say it takes the enjoyment out of it because I really love what I do. What it takes away is the time spent with the crew and really being able to get to know and enjoy the people on your crew. There are people who have been on our Fox crew for two or three years who I really don’t know because I haven’t been around them.”
Aikman said that for now, he is focused on FOX. If that focus were to change though, it would certainly create a busy offseason.
Would FOX simply elevate one of its rising stars into the analyst role alongside Joe Buck on its America’s Game of the Week broadcast? Greg Olsen seems like the most likely candidate as the analyst in FOX’s #2 booth. Aqib Talib has turned a lot of heads in the limited work he has done for the network. Maybe he is in line for a promotion.
Perhaps the network could follow the Tony Romo model and pick an active or recently retired player to fill the role. Phillip Rivers has been the source of speculation since he retired. Larry Fitzgerald hasn’t officially retired but has heard his name brought up often for media jobs.
This speculation could be all for nothing. Right now, Troy Aikman says he personally is not involved in any conversations.
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.”
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.
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?”
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.
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.”
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.