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Apple Releases ‘They Call Me Magic’ Trailer, 4-Part Doc Debuts April 22

Among those seen in the trailer are Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, and Michael Wilbon.

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Apple TV+ has released a trailer for its upcoming docuseries on Earvin “Magic” Johnson, titled They Call Me Magic. The multi-part documentary will debut on Apple’s streaming service Friday, April 22.

As the trailer demonstrates, the docuseries uses archival footage to chronicle Johnson’s life and career from his prep days (including the story of how he got his nickname, which was also mentioned in the second episode of HBO’s Winning Time) to Michigan State, which springboarded him to a Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Johnson won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, three Most Valuable Player awards, 12 All-Star appearances, and a college basketball national title.

Give the trailer a look below:

The story of Magic Johnson also can’t be told without including him contracting HIV, which forced him to retire from the NBA in 1991 (though he made a brief comeback in 1996). Additionally, he’s made a significant impact as a businessman, particularly with opening movie theaters and Starbucks cafes in underserved inner-city communities, which led to him becoming a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In addition to Johnson recounting the events of his own life, interviews for the documentary include many figures from his basketball career, the coaches, players, executives, and reporters who were a part of or documented one of the greatest careers in NBA history. Among those seen in the trailer are Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, and Michael Wilbon. Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, and Barack Obama also contribute to the film.

Directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope, The Mandalorian), the four-part documentary was edited by Dirk Westervelt (Ford v Ferrari), with cinematography by Academy Award nominee Rachel Morrison (Mudbound). Apple won the bidding for the docuseries over Peacock for a reported price of $25 million.

They Call Me Magic premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday, April 22.

Sports TV News

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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