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5 Black Sportscasters Discuss Legacy Of Stuart Scott

“Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic spoke to Dave Sims, Mike Hill, Cindy Brunson, Everett Fitzhugh and Kayla Grey for a story that came out Thursday.”

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It’s been seven years since the death of Stuart Scott, but even to this day, the impact the former SportsCenter anchor had on the sports media, particularly on Black journalists, lasts.

Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic spoke to Dave Sims, Mike Hill, Cindy Brunson, Everett Fitzhugh and Kayla Grey for a story that came out Thursday. Each one spoke about how Scott directly influenced their careers and lives.

“He allowed me and other people to be who they are,” Hill, who is with FOX Sports, said. “He allowed us to smile and have fun. He brought hip-hop culture into sportscasting. He allowed us to feel like we have a place.”

“He made sports cool and for non-Black folks watching that broadcast, watching SportsCenter was another way of Black culture being cool,” said Fitzhugh, the radio voice of the Seattle Kraken. “He incorporated so much of Black culture within the way he did things. I go back to him being such a cultural phenomenon and an icon. He helped shape the culture. That was a large part of it.”

Grey, an Ontario native working for TSN in Canada, told Clark that at a time when there still wasn’t much representation in the sports media space, seeing Scott on her screen struck a nerve.

“The young Black girl in me felt he was so authentic with how he showed up and how he presented. It felt at home,” she said. “We are used to it now but at that time, sports broadcasting was rigid and here was a brother who brought this level of warmth.”

Brunson shared a personal story about how Scott lifted her spirits up following a mistake she made hosting SportsCenter. She said it inspires her to do good for others in the industry who look up to her.

“I look at it like I am driving down the highway in the front seat,” she said. “In the back seat are a bunch of Black and brown faces. Is my job going to be something that helps them see what is possible or will it be a negative? That all started with Stuart.”

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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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