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Troy Aikman on Leaving Fox: ‘I Thought There Would’ve Been a Conversation’

“I just asked for an explanation on some things that I didn’t quite understand, and he opted not to do that as well. I guess that’s where it’s left and that’s how I’ll leave Fox.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Troy Aikman and Joe Buck have jumped ship from Fox to become the new broadcast team for Monday Night Football on ESPN. Aikman and Buck are just two of several NFL broadcasters who were on the move following this past season.

Even though Aikman is happy he will get to continue calling games alongside one of his best friends, he told Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated that he remains confused and disappointed in how Fox handled the situation.

Earlier this month, BSM covered Aikman explaining he became a free agent after hearing just one contract offer from Fox. He said his bosses basically sat back while the Hall of Fame quarterback had contract discussions with both Amazon to join its Thursday Night Football booth and ESPN.

Aikman told Traina that after Fox agreed to let him opt out of the remainder of his contract after six months, he never heard from his boss until he called to congratulate him on the ESPN deal.

“I guess it’s disappointing. I would’ve thought there would’ve been a conversation at least,” he said. “And then when I did talk with him, I just asked for an explanation on some things that I didn’t quite understand, and he opted not to do that as well. I guess that’s where it’s left and that’s how I’ll leave Fox and that’s fine. I’m excited about ESPN and thrilled to continue to work with Joe.”

It was clear Aikman was going to be offered a lot more money in his next contract than he previously made. He said his job performance had nothing to do with his Fox departure.

“There was no reason for me to believe Fox was unhappy with anything I had done, my work,” he told Traina. “I think they were happy with Joe and I. Again, I’m merely speculating because I was never told, but I’m guessing it was an opportunity for Fox to hit the reset button on the economics of the No. 1 booth.”

Aikman also mentioned how no one at Fox kept Joe in the loop about what Aikman was doing, and that the network probably hated to lose Buck because of the value he brings to the table away from the microphone.

“He has been a valued asset, but he’s probably as confused as I am in the sense that, you know, the talks that I was having with Amazon were going on for quite some time and yet there were no conversations going on with Joe and how that might impact him,” Aikman said.

Sports TV News

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.”

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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.”

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Sports TV News

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.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“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.

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Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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