Joe Buck joined Jimmy Traina on this week’s Sports Illustrated Media Podcast and discussed his thoughts on the possibility of Troy Aikman leaving Fox for Amazon. Buck and Aikman have worked in the booth together for 20 years calling NFL games.
Buck claims that he is trying not to think about it but says he respects Aikman’s decision, no matter what.
“I try not to because it’s been 20 years and I can honestly say, the same hand to the same god, he and I have never had one moment where we have felt like… at least I haven’t, and we talk about it all the time, we’re lucky that we’re good friends,” said Buck.
“And in this business, with as much as there is on the line, at least in our own minds every time you go on, and this business can be kind of backstabby, everybody’s climbing over one another to make something happen for themselves, he and I just have never played that game. He’s legitimately one of my best friends and I think he would say the same about me.
“So I try not to think about it. And we talk about it, we talk about what’s out there. We talk about what he’s deciding between and everything else, but I only ask questions and talk about it to a point. Because that’s his life, that’s his career. He knows how I feel. I don’t want him going anywhere. And that’s understood. But at the end of the day, he’s gonna do what he wants to do.”
If you’re wondering who might replace Aikman alongside Buck, Buck is too.
“It’s funny. I haven’t said one word to Fox about all that,” said Buck. “And they have not talked to me about all that. Not at any point.”
“I think I would be in the conversation but I think they certainly are in no way, shape, or form obligated to listen to anything I have to say. They’re the boss, I’m the guy who sits in the booth.
“I’ve worked with multiple people in baseball, I’ve worked with multiple people in football. I started with Tim Green and I’ve been with Bill Maas and Brian Baldinger and different people along the way. I just… it’s been 20 years, and when you do these games, that are as intense as they are, I know where he’s going and he knows where I’m going, and I know what he wants to talk about and he knows when and what I want to talk about. That’s really hard to replicate.”
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.