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Darren Smith: NFL Won’t Change While Networks Get Millions for Super Bowl Ads

“Yeah, no network is turning down $7 million for a 30-second spot.”

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XTRA 1360

Just over a week away from Super Bowl LVI, NBCUniversal announced that it has sold out its advertising inventory for the “Big Game” across all platforms, with some 30-second spots selling for $7 million each.

NBC’s audience for National Football League games grew over the season, with the most viewership coming from quarterback Tom Brady’s return to New England to face his old team. During the championship round of the playoffs, CBS announced it had an average of 47.9 million viewers tuned in for the AFC Championship game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs, while Fox disclosed its average of 50.2 million viewers for the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams.

Despite Super Bowl viewership dropping to the lowest mark in decades last season (96.4 million viewers) when the game was on CBS, the numbers seem poised to bounce back this year. Combined with its Winter Olympics coverage, NBC is calling next Sunday, Feb. 13 “Super Gold Sunday,” a once-in-a-lifetime day of sports programming from which the network anticipates generating $500 million in revenue.

Outside of the game action, it has been a busy week for the NFL. The league has generated both positive and negative publicity due to the retirement announcement by the aforementioned Brady after an illustrious, 22-year career in professional football, along with the class-action lawsuit filed by Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores against the NFL and three of its teams, and the Pro Bowl set to kick off this Sunday from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

On Thursday afternoon, Darren Smith and Marty on San Diego’s XTRA 1360 spoke about this year’s growth in Super Bowl advertising revenue, and how television networks seem to be unwilling to take a stand against the NFL in order to promote reform.

“Our opinion yesterday about, ‘Hey, if you’re going to inspire real change in the NFL, you got to hit them in the pocketbook; you got to hit them at the bottom line. These television networks [have to] play an active role…’ Yeah, no network is turning down $7 million for a 30-second spot,” said Smith, who has been a host on San Diego sports talk radio since 2004.

“Not NBC, not CBS, not ABC, not Amazon, none of them. I’m not going to wait for the TV networks to take a moral stand on this one.”

According to the afternoon drive program, Super Bowl commercials have been ruined since they began being posted on YouTube days before the “Big Game.” By seeing commercials early, they say, there is less anticipation and excitement surrounding them during the actual game, and one less thing to talk about the next day if the game ends up being a blowout.

“That segment doesn’t exist anymore in sports talk radio,” said Smith. “‘Hey everybody, let’s talk about the big movers for the commercials.’ They’re all up on YouTube.”

“That used to be the 12:30 segment on Monday, especially when you have a blowout in the Super Bowl,” said Marty Caswell, program co-host. “You [could] go ahead, move on from it and talk about the commercials.”

Looking back on some of the commercials from Super Bowl LV, such as Michael B. Jordan for Amazon Alexa, Jason Alexander for Tide, and Shaggy for Cheetos, the radio hosts had trouble remembering them. While most of the commercials for this year’s Super Bowl LVI are yet to be released, Smith is pretty sure he knows where the rise in 30-second spot revenue, up $1.5 million from last year, is coming from.

“We’re right back; we’re getting $7 million per commercial now,” said Smith. “Probably [from] some stupid crypto company.”

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Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football

“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”

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The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. 

With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.

“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit. 

Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about: 

As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.

“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”

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Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan

“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”

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John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.

Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.

“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”

Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.

The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.

“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”

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Gregg Giannotti: ‘Drew Brees Isn’t Used To Not Succeeding’

“He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”

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What does the future hold for Drew Brees? Andrew Marchand reports that he is set to leave NBC. Brees himself says nothing is decided yet.

On Monday morning, Boomer & Gio discussed why the former quarterback is in this position just one year after making his broadcasting debut. Gregg Giannotti noted that if Brees was brought to NBC with the idea that he would eventually be the top game analyst, the criticism he faced last year and the network’s decision to stick with Cris Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth were likely unexpected blows to his ego.

“That’s a tough spot, man, for him,” Gio said. “The guy’s been beloved his whole career. He did go through a little bit of it when people were all over his ass for saying the wrong thing one time, but here he goes. He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”

Boomer Esiason added that the criticism Drew Brees received for his work in the broadcast booth did not apply to his work on Football Night in America or the Sunday Night Football halftime show.

“He was good in the studio,” Boomer Esiason said. “I saw him in the studio and I liked him.”

Brees prefers calling games to work in the studio. According to Marchand’s report, that is what is at the heart of his potential exit from NBC.

The color commentator role may come with more prestige, but it isn’t easy. Esiason has experience with both positions. He calls games on the radio for Westwood One and has been a staple of CBS’s The NFL Today since 2002.

“Some guys are not meant to be game analysts, that’s all.”

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