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ESPN Spends All Monday Ripping John Harbaugh

“It was the second time this season the Ravens went for a 2-pointer with the game on the line and came up short.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The Baltimore Ravens nearly pulled off one of the NFL’s biggest upsets of the week on Sunday evening, coming back from down 14 points to the Green Bay Packers and scoring a touchdown on a short Tyler Huntley run late in regulation to make it a one-point game.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh decided not to play for overtime by kicking the tying PAT, and instead listened to his players who wanted to attempt a 2-point conversion that would’ve won the game for Baltimore.

The 2-point attempt failed, and the Packers ended up winning the game. It was the second time this season the Ravens went for a 2-pointer with the game on the line and came up short.

Over on ESPN on Monday, there were plenty of hosts that questioned that decision.

Former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said of the play, “I hated the play.” He added, “The play was God awful.”

Ryan Clark chimed in agreeing with Ryan.

“This was a team that had no chance of winning this game at the beginning,” Clark said. “It was the wrong decision to go for two, and it was also the wrong play call.”

Meanwhile Dan Orlovsky flipped the script and said he was a fan of the decision to go for the victory.

“It is 100 percent the right decision to try and go win that football game,” Orlovsky said. “Because you had no business of winning that football game.”

The Keyshawn, JWill and Max fill-in crew also debated the merits of playing for overtime, with the discussion focusing on the potential that if the game goes into OT, there’s no way to know for sure whether the Ravens would’ve even gotten the ball back.

But ultimately, the crew did make it seem like going for the win was the call to make.

Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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