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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.”

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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.  

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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.”

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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