Once the 2022 Major League Baseball season actually begins, there will be a new addition to the YES Network booth. Cameron Maybin will be one of the new in-game analysts calling New York Yankees games this season (joining Carlos Beltran).
His broadcasting agent, Mark Lepselter, told BSM that Cameron Maybin is scheduled to be the analyst on 40 games this season working alongside Michael Kay, who auditioned him.
Maybin had a 15-year MLB career, which included one season with the Yankees in 2019 (batting .285 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 82 games) where he became a fan favorite.
Maybin was the fill-in host for CC Sabathia this week on The Ringer’s R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco, who could be the play-by-play announcer on some of the games Maybin broadcasts this season. Ruocco said he knew that Maybin was going to be a star in this industry:
“I know the kind of career you are about to have in this business. For me to just be a part of the spark, I take great pride in that,” said Ruocco.
“When you came in and did your audition for YES, as soon as you were done, I had Troy Benjamin [lead producer for Yankees]… When you were a Yankee, I told him, dude, we should be tracking Cam when he’s done, he’s going to be a great analyst. He texted me the second you were done and he was just like, ‘Cam was incredible. He crushed his audition.’”
Michael Kay also talked about Maybin’s audition on The Michael Kay Show on Thursday. Kay and Maybin did three innings of a Yankees-Mets game from last year as part of Maybin’s audition and Kay enjoyed every second of it.
“We sat in a studio in Stamford and we did the first three innings of a Yankees-Mets game from last year,” Kay explained. “After three innings, that’s all they wanted us to do, I put down the headset, Peter [Rosenberg] and I turned to Cameron and said ‘You are going to be a huge star.’ People are going to be shocked at how good this guy is. The first time he ever put on a headset, totally natural, funny, engaging, handsome, current, young. He’s going to be a star.”
“It’s a tremendous opportunity working with John Filippelli [President of Production and Programming] over at YES,” Lepselter said. “I know Cameron was very appreciative of Michael Kay’s guidance in the audition process.”
Maybin mentioned that he loves listening to baseball games and he wants to bring something different to the games in the booth this season because of the experience he had playing the game:
“I love listening to the game. I really enjoy listening to Michael Kay, David Cone, Nate Burleson. Even the guys who don’t do the broadcast,” said Maybin.
“I’m a people person. I love everyone. I thought what an opportunity to give people a different perspective, different voice, different flavor. 15 years of experience, I’ve been in three different decades of baseball… The opportunity that I had, the experience I was able to have, I want to share that with people. I enjoy sharing moments so why not share those moments with the fans.
“I fell in love with New York playing for the Yankees. So to have the opportunity to cover the Yankees, I think one of the more historic franchises in sports history… The opportunity to come to the YES Network, continue to feel like I am still somewhat a part of the Yankees family. The opportunity couldn’t work out better for me. I couldn’t turn it down. I am excited about the journey and doing it at the highest level.”
Even though baseball has been a game focused on analytics in recent years, Maybin wants to bring to the viewer what he is seeing as a former player:
“I’m by no means the smartest guy in the room,” he said. “I want to be able to connect with those fans that don’t know all the numbers. Tell me what’s going on, tell me what’s happening, why it’s happening. A lot of fans, they just want you to tell them what’s going on in the game. I want to bring that organic aspect.”
This is just the first major deal for Maybin. Lepselter says his client will have two more announcements in the near future.
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.