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#pounditSaturday, June 25, 2022

Media

Tom Brady’s FOX contract even more massive than initially believed

Tom Brady fired up during a game

Dec 5, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts on the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady is going to become the highest-paid sports broadcaster in history when he begins working as an analyst for FOX, and his salary will likely place him in a tier by himself for years to come.

FOX announced on Tuesday that Brady will become the network’s lead NFL analyst when he retires from playing. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reported that the seven-time Super Bowl champion will earn somewhere in the range of $20-25 million per year and $200 million overall. According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, that figure is not even close to high enough.

Marchand was told by sources that Brady has agreed to a 10-year, $375 million deal with FOX. If true, that means Brady will earn more than double the $18 million annually that Tony Romo gets from CBS. Troy Aikman will also be paid $18 million per year with his new deal at ESPN.

Wow.

In announcing the big news on Tuesday, FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch said Brady will be an “ambassador” for the company in addition to a game analyst.

It is unclear what other responsibilities Brady will have aside from calling games. Either way, his reported salary is eye-popping.

To give you some perspective, Brady has earned just over $300 million on the field during his legendary career. He has obviously made far more when you include endorsements, but his career as an NFL analyst will be even more lucrative than his playing career. Brady has made around $25 million per year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

There were reports earlier this offseason that Brady had plans to become a part-owner and player for a different NFL franchise. Even if he was not eyeing a career in broadcasting at the time, FOX may have given him nearly 400 million reasons to consider it.

Report reveals how much Tom Brady will make at FOX

Tom Brady after a game

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: A new report says Brady will earn much, much more.

Tom Brady and FOX announced on Tuesday that the seven-time Super Bowl champion will join the network as its lead NFL analyst when he retires from playing. Not surprisingly, Brady is going to make quite a bit of money in the role.

Brady is expected to become the highest-paid sports broadcaster in history, according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports. His contract with FOX will be worth between $20-25 million per year. In total, the deal could pay Brady as much as $200 million.

That means Brady is going to make more at FOX than Tony Romo makes at CBS. Romo’s current contract with CBS is worth $180 million over 10 years. Troy Aikman left FOX this offseason and signed a five-year, $90 million deal with ESPN, so he and Romo have the same annual salary. Brady will top both.

It is unclear if Brady plans to play beyond next season. He is committed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 2022, but a recent change he made to his contract will still allow him to play elsewhere after that if chooses.

FOX looked like the big loser of the offseason in the media world after both Aikman and Joe Buck left for ESPN. Even Aikman seemed surprised by how things went down, but the Brady news was the final piece of the puzzle.

Tom Brady announces huge news about his plans after football

Tom Brady throws a pass

Dec 26, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms up before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady has committed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for at least one more season. It is unclear if he will continue with his playing career after that, but he will still be a huge part of NFL games regardless.

Brady and FOX Sports announced on Tuesday that Brady will join the network as its lead NFL analyst immediately after he retires from playing. Brady tweeted that he is excited for that chapter of his life but said he has “a lot of unfinished business” with the Bucs.

Brady will call FOX’s top games alongside lead play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt, who has replaced Joe Buck. The seven-time Super Bowl champion will essentially fill the same role for FOX that Tony Romo has excelled in with CBS.

It now makes a lot more sense why FOX let Buck and Troy Aikman leave for ESPN. Even Aikman said he was confused that FOX never really tried to top ESPN’s offer. That is likely because FOX had something in the works with Brady.

Brady could very well decide to play in 2023, but he is worth waiting for. No player in NFL history has ever prepared harder than him, and he will likely treat his job with FOX the same. FOX was viewed as the big losers of the NFL TV offseason when they lost Buck and Aikman, but their Brady announcement has changed that.

Katie Nolan explains why she went silent during first Apple TV broadcast

Katie Nolan on a sideline

Feb 16, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; ESPN television host Katie Nolan coaches during the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Katie Nolan spoke recently about why her broadcasting debut for Apple TV went so poorly.

Nolan was a guest on the May 5 episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast. She talked with Jimmy Traina about her new job as a commentator for Apple TV’s MLB broadcasts. Apple TV+ is broadcasting 24 “Friday Night Baseball” games this season. They have been doing two games each Friday night since April 8, and the schedule runs through June 24.

Nolan teams with Stephen Nelson (play-by-play) and Hunter Pence for the West Coast game. Melanie Newman (play-by-play), Chris Young and Hannah Keyser are the team for the East Coast game.

Nolan had never done analysis/commentary in a live broadcast prior to being hired by Apple, so this was a big change. During her first broadcast, a game between the Astros and Angels, Nolan went silent for the second half of the game. She admitted during her interview with Traina that the reason she went silent is because she checked what users on Twitter were saying about her and she got rattled.

Nolan’s admission came after Traina asked whether she checked Twitter during games.

“I’m going to be honest with you. Week 1 I did [check Twitter], because my goal is … listen, listen, listen, listen! What I’m there for, I can be the voice of the fan. So if something is happening that we didn’t notice, and because you know me, I’m digging through notes like crazy, if I missed something that actually would have been funny and someone’s like, hey, this is interesting–I thought that’s what I was gonna get my first week. I checked it in like the fourth or fifth inning, and then you can tell from the fifth inning on I’m silent. Because I just was in my head, I was freaked out, I was worried I was going to get fired after one shift of this gig. And since then I’ve stopped,” Nolan said.

The Apple TV MLB broadcasts have been poorly received by fans. The biggest reason is because of the lack of experience for the announcers on both broadcast teams. Nelson doesn’t have a huge play-by-play background, especially compared to many other announcers with years and hundreds of games of experience. Nolan, Pence, Young and Keyser are new in these roles.

Keyser has no experience and is equally poorly suited for the role as Nolan.

Nolan even talked with Traina about her lack of experience.

“I’m basically learning how to be in a booth while being in a booth,” Nolan said.

Nolan is hoping she will be given enough time for her style to grow on people.

“Is one season going to be enough for people to realize I’m funny and that’s kind of why I’m here?”

Nolan acknowledged that Apple has a slate of half a season of games, so she doesn’t know if that will be long enough for her to grow on fans.

The way these broadcasts were set up shows exactly how little Apple understood about MLB broadcasts and what fans want.

The people watching these games are hardcore fans of their specific teams, not general fans tuning in each week to listen to the announcers. These fans are used to watching games on their local regional TV channel, with their local announcers. It’s already a huge hassle to be forced to find the game on Apple rather than the channel they’re used to. It’s annoying to have to listen to new announcers.

So you’re already starting with fans who are annoyed just because you’ve made them jump through hoops to get to the game, and you’re not giving them the announcers they want to hear. Now you’re trying to shove new inexperienced announcers down their throat as part of an experiment? That’s the last thing these fans want.

If Apple wants better reception for their broadcasts, they should stick to just a traditional, experienced play-by-play and commentator who just call the game and don’t try to do too much. Apple is doing the exact opposite, doing too much, and using inexperienced broadcasters like Nolan and Keyser, who have never broadcast games before. It’s a recipe for disaster and just a poorly conceived and constructed idea. They really did themselves and their announcers no favors by sticking them in roles for which they were poorly suited. In Nolan’s case, she’s always been a very strong broadcaster when it comes to scripted material. Unscripted formats, like calling a live game, are totally different, and have even resulted in Nolan shutting down like she did in her first game.

H/T Awful Announcing

Report: Richard Sherman ‘deep in talks’ for big broadcasting role

Richard Sherman on the practice field

Aug 17, 2020; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) looks on during training camp at SAP Performance Facility. Mandatory Credit: San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network

Amazon is still filling out its broadcasting team for its inaugural season as the exclusive provider of “Thursday Night Football,” and a former All-Pro player may be close to signing with the streaming giant.

Richard Sherman is “deep in talks” with Amazon about having a role in their programming for the 2022 NFL season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Sherman is still interested in playing in the NFL, but it sounds like he is set to begin his career in media.

The news of Amazon’s interest in Sherman was first reported by Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

Sherman signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season but immediately had injury trouble. There has not been much interest in the 34-year-old this offseason. It makes sense that he is exploring other options.

Amazon has already made some huge hires in advance of its big NFL slate. Sherman would be another nice addition, though he has had some legal trouble recently.

Joe Buck to make unique debut with ESPN

Joe Buck smiles

Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; FOX analyst Joe Buck before the NFC Divisional Playoff football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Buck was at the center of a major shakeup in the NFL broadcast world recently when he left FOX for ESPN. Logically, it would make sense that Buck’s big ESPN debut would come on an NFL telecast, but that will not be the case.

Buck will make his first ESPN appearance on the network’s coverage of the PGA Championship, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. Buck will host “Manningcast”-style coverage of the event starting May 19, joined by co-host Michael Collins, known as the “ESPN Caddie.”

ESPN will put a big focus on Buck, making his telecast a key focus of coverage with A-list guests. Buck’s telecast will air for all four days of the event.

The choice to start Buck on golf is surprising for a few reasons. First, ESPN brought him in to cover the NFL. Plus, Buck’s history calling golf is not exactly perfect. The network clearly wants to illustrate that Buck can contribute across multiple sports, and is eager to embrace that.

Michelle Beadle calls out LeBron James

Michelle Beadle on ESPN

Michelle Beadle has spoken openly in the past about the tension between her and LeBron James, and apparently there was a time when the Los Angeles Lakers star tried to address it privately.

During a recent appearance on “The Sessions” podcast with Renee Paquette, Beadle was asked about the status of her relationship with LeBron James. She reiterated that LeBron doesn’t like her and said she thinks it may have to do with her criticizing “The Decision” like so many others. Beadle also revealed that James once sent her a direct message asking why she has been critical of him.

“I made fun of ‘The Decision,’ and I was one of about a bazillion people that did. … It was hilarious,” Beadle said, via Jonathan Sherman of Lakers Daily. “And I remember I got a — this was a long time ago. I guess when I followed him, and I got a DM that was like, ‘Why are you so mean to me on television?’ And I just sort of laughed it off. I didn’t even think about it.”

Aside from her mocking “The Decision,” Beadle said the only thing she can think of is that LeBron and others had parties at the London Olympics and she never attended. Perhaps that bothered James. She has also bashed him on TV numerous times, though she says that was just part of her job.

If you remember, Beadle said last year that LeBron tried to get ESPN to fire her. She joked that she was “honored” to know she is on the mind of one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Beadle later said that James and his longtime business partner hold a grudge against her for reasons unknown.

LeBron would probably say “who?” if he were asked about Beadle, but she seems pretty adamant that he has a major issue with her.

Stephon Marbury has warning for Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A Smith reports from the sideline

Dec 18, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith broadcasts before a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Stephon Marbury is going after Stephen A. Smith again, this time with a bit more ominous comments.

The retired former NBA All-Star Marbury targeted the ESPN personality Smith in a tweet on Wednesday. Marbury responded to a fan’s suggestion that Smith might soon be in for the Will Smith-Chris Rock treatment and wrote, “It’s coming.”

The beef between Marbury and Smith heated up this week when the former took exception to critical comments made by the latter about Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving. As part of a fiery response, Marbury called out Smith for being “loud and obnoxious.”

On one hand, Smith has been playing his pot-stirring, caps-lock character on TV for many years now. But Marbury seems to be echoing the popular sentiment that the Will Smith-Chris Rock incident at this year’s Oscars has emboldened people to confront celebrities. In just the last month alone, we have seen several notable altercations involving prominent names like Dave Chappelle and also Mike Tyson (video here).

Smith is one of ESPN’s highest-paid, highest-exposure personalities, so he will not be changing his shtick any time soon. But Marbury is suggesting here that Smith runs the risk of eventually getting Fresh Prince’d.

Report: Urban Meyer in talks for return to broadcasting

Urban Meyer in a jacket

Joseph Maiorana-USA Today Sports

Urban Meyer appears to be on his way back to broadcasting after his disastrous tenure as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach.

Meyer is in negotiations to return to FOX as part of their college football coverage, according to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic. While no deal has been finalized, there appears to be an expectation that it will get done.

FOX has not been put off by Meyer’s Jacksonville tenure, and they do not view it as an issue in bringing back the former Ohio State coach. According to Deitsch, the network is aware of the social media criticism that will come their way for the hire, but is not concerned about it.

This does not come as a huge surprise. Meyer had even hinted about this in a recent interview. His previous work on FOX’s “Big Noon Kickoff” show was widely praised, and a return makes total sense with the show having a vacant seat following Bob Stoops’ return to coaching in the XFL. Some will not be able to get over his Jaguars tenure, but that is a risk FOX is clearly willing to take.

Reason for Adam Schefter’s NFL Draft absence revealed

Adam Schefter on the field

Feb 6, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; ESPN personality Adam Schefter talks during a segment before the Pro Bowl football game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Those watching the NFL Draft on ESPN Thursday may have noticed the conspicuous absence of top reporter Adam Schefter.

Schefter is typically a staple of the network’s draft coverage, often breaking in to report on trades and other speculation. That was not the case on Thursday, as Schefter had some family matters to tend to. His stepson was graduating from college, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, and Schefter was in attendance for that instead of the draft.

Schefter has been the subject of controversy recently, but that has nothing to do with his absence Thursday. He has been on ESPN regularly since then, and the network would not do that only to sideline him for such a big night.

Schefter was not the only notable ESPN personality missing from Thursday’s coverage. Another familiar figure was not on-site, too.