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Jeremy Schaap: ‘It Would Have Been Strange To Host The Sports Reporters’

“John Saunders was a great choice. He did a tremendous job until his very unfortunate and premature death in 2016 after having done the show for 15 years.”

Ricky Keeler

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From 1988-2001, Dick Schaap hosted The Sports Reporters on ESPN and it became a weekly staple for those looking for debate on the biggest sports topics of the week. After Dick Schaap passed away in 2001, the network chose John Saunders. He held the job for 15 years until he suddenly passed away in 2016. 

Some always wondered if Dick’s son, Jeremy, would become the permanent host of The Sports Reporters. Jeremy did fill in as a host occassionally and he was a panelist a good portion of the time. However, he told Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The Ariel Helwani Show that it would have been strange for him to take the spot of his dad.

 

“When my father died in 2001, I had just turned 32. I had only been on-air at ESPN for 5 years and I think it would have been strange. First of all, John Saunders was a great choice. He did a tremendous job until his very unfortunate and premature death in 2016 after having done the show for 15 years. John did it and it was his job.”

Once The Sports Reporters went off-the-air, the younger Schaap did take over the time slot. A weekly edition of E:60 that Jeremy Schaap did with Bob Ley debuted in the Sunday morning slot in 2016.

Schaap has been at ESPN for almost 30 years and he has never thought about going to another network because of all the things he has been able to do at the WorldWide Leader. 

“If I could have picked one place in the world with hindsight in 1993, this is where you are going to work for 30 years and hopefully beyond, knowing everything now and ESPN’s stature, I would have picked ESPN. I’m just very lucky they haven’t gotten around to figuring out that they are done with me. It’s been great.”

Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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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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