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TNT’s Eddie Olczyk: Fans Appreciate People Making Fun of Themselves

“All we have to do is turn on the evening news and realize what we are doing is entertainment and not take it too seriously.”

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For 15 years, Eddie Olczyk was in the lead booth for the NHL on NBC with Doc Emrick. While Emrick is now retired and Olczyk is the lead analyst on TNT, that does not mean the lessons Olczyk learned from Emrick don’t still stick with him.

On the latest episode of The Block Party with Seth Kushner podcast, Olczyk mentioned one piece of advice Emrick gave him, saying it is OK to make fun of yourself when a mistake happens.

“Doc Emrick said to me a couple of times. Once you say it, it’s off to Mars, so you are never really getting it back,” Olczyk recalled. “If you make a mistake, it’s okay to own up to it. I think people appreciate humility, they appreciate honesty, and they appreciate people making fun of themselves. If I call a wrong penalty or a wrong goal, you own up to it. That’s kind of the mindset I always have.

“I miss him [Emrick] everyday. Hockey misses him for sure. He is at peace. He’s happy that baseball is back… I think that relationship with Doc, even more so out of the booth, is what I miss the most. He was great for me, for my family, and for my career.”

Whenever any aspiring broadcasters ask Olczyk for advice, he mentions something every good broadcaster should have.

“Humility is a great quality to have,” Olczyk said. “If you make a mistake on live TV or live radio, it’s okay to make fun of yourself and bring light to it. There’s no sense of hiding or running away from it.”

Since joining TNT, Olczyk hasn’t felt that big of a difference compared to NBC. Once he enters the arena, his main focus is to have fun, entertain the viewing audience, and help take their mind off what’s going on in the real world:

“When we are in the building, it’s just like anyone else that does their job,” said Olczyk. “You just get in the zone and you do your thing. However it is coming across on whatever network you are on, you are going to try to do the best you can and try to be the best analyst in hockey every night. Most importantly, have fun and entertain.”

“We all know what’s going on in the real world. All we have to do is turn on the evening news and realize what we are doing is entertainment and not take it too seriously,” he continued. “We want to be the best at what we do, but in the big picture, it is a very small part of the big world… We want to help people get away from the real world for a little while.

“My focus is to entertain, tell them something that they maybe didn’t realize, and when they turned off the game, hopefully they were entertained for a couple of hours.”

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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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