There has been a lot of talk about what happens to Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese next season as ESPN begins assembling a new broadcast team for Monday Night Football. We got the answer on one of the three on Friday. Brian Griese isn’t just leaving Bristol. He is leaving broadcasting entirely.
Griese will still be involved in NFL football next season, but he is trading the booth for the sideline. He is set to join Kyle Shanahan’s staff in San Francisco as the 49ers’ new quarterbacks coach.
His soon-to-be former ESPN colleague Adam Schefter broke the news on Twitter, noting that the two have a relationship going back to Griese’s playing time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brian Griese has never been a coach before. He retired from the NFL after the 2008 season and followed his dad, Bob Griese, into the broadcast booth. He worked college football games for ESPN and ABC from 2009 until 2020. That is when he made the move to Monday Night Football.
Now, Griese walks into San Francisco in an offseason that will almost certainly lead to change. The 49ers drafted Trey Lance out of North Dakota State with the third overall pick last year. Whether the team declares that 2022 will be the year he assumes the starter’s role or they make him battle it out with Jimmy Garoppolo or another veteran, Brian Griese is going to have his work cut out for him.
The broadcasting industry will have to wait to see what is next for Riddick and Levy. ESPN is expected to make its hire of Troy Aikman official very soon. It is also believed that the network is heavily pursuing Joe Buck to pair with his FOX partner on Monday nights.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
“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.