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Greg Olsen: Being In Production Meetings This Season Made Me Better Broadcaster

“This was the first time now calling NFL games that I could be in the production meetings and talk to Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers and pick the brains of Sean McVay.”

Ricky Keeler

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Greg Olsen

Even though former NFL tight end Greg Olsen had broadcasted some games for FOX in 2017 and 2019, this past season was a unique experience for Olsen as he was able to participate in more prep work that he could not do while he was an active player.

On the most recent episode of The Colin Cowherd Podcast on The Volume, Olsen talked about being a part of the production meetings this year and getting to speak with players and coaches and just talk football.

“When I called the games as a player, I was never allowed in the production meetings,” said Olsen. “I was not allowed at the facilities, I was not allowed on the calls with the head coach, the offensive coordinator, the players… That was a FOX rule, that was a my rule. I didn’t feel comfortable being a part of that.

“This was the first time now calling NFL games that I could be in the production meetings and talk to Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers and pick the brains of Sean McVay. We had a 45-minute conversation with Bill Belichick and I don’t even know if we talked about the upcoming game with Indianapolis. We talked about coaching philosophy and how he views the players and how he views relationships and storytelling… We just had a really cool conversation.”

Olsen said taking part in the production meetings allowed the broadcasts that he did with Kevin Burkhardt to be as strong as they were.

Those are the things I couldn’t really prepare for because I had never done it before,” Olsen said. “That was probably the highlight of the week and made the game with Burkhardt on Sunday so fun and organic and we can tell stories and share perspectives. I always knew that part I was going to enjoy. The week of work and staying connected with the players and the schemes and trying to stay close to the game, I really enjoyed that part of it.”

With the NFL broadcast free agent frenzy still in full swing, it is unclear what team Olsen will be on yet for the 2022-23 NFL season. However, he knows he can be in the booth for a long time and that he has had a lot of fun broadcasting: 

“I would say it’s as fun, if not more than I anticipated. I always knew that I would like it,” said Olsen.  

Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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NFL Studio

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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Sports TV News

ESPN Assigns Broadcast Teams for MLB Wild Card Round

In preparation for the postseason, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

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Wild Card
David Berding/Getty Images

There are just a few games left in the MLB season and the postseason begins this weekend with the Wild Card round. In preparation, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

Andrew Marchand reports that the team assigned to the presumptive New York Mets Wild Card series will be Karl Ravech, David Cone and Eduardo Perez. The Mets still mathematically can win the NL East but they trail the Braves by two games with three to play.

He also reports that the St. Louis Wild Card series will be called by Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. The Cleveland series will be broadcast by Boog Sciambi and Doug Glanville while the Toronto series will be called by Dave Flemming, Jessica Mendoza and Tim Kurkjian.

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Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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