“The deals are not synced up. If you’re ESPN and you’re Jimmy Pitaro, you want both of those guys in the booth,” Miller said, via Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing. “So you get closer to Troy and get a sense that Troy may come over. And then what happens? Well, if you’re (FOX Sports CEO) Eric Shanks, you get to sit there and go ‘Okay, yeah, so you won him. Now, let’s start figuring it out.’ In the ESPN book, I wrote about Al Michaels, and there was a Disney character of course, famous Oswald, that was part of the deal to let Al out early. But now, I think what’s been going on behind the scenes, and I’ve heard this from various people, is that there’s some real horse trading.
“I mean, look, does Fox want to keep Joe if Joe’s going to be unhappy? No. But do they want to be able to monetize this in myriad ways in order to really get some flesh out of ESPN? Absolutely. And what might that mean? You know, if I’m Fox, I might ask for two or three Big Ten games.”
Photo: 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
Troy Aikman has been calling NFL games for FOX for over two decades, but even he admits that chapter could be coming to an end this weekend.
Aikman and regular partner Joe Buck will call Sunday’s NFC Championship for FOX, but his contract expires after that. That factor has sparked widespread speculation that Aikman could move to Amazon as part of their coverage of “Thursday Night Football.” There is enough uncertainty that Aikman admitted Sunday could be the last game he calls for FOX.
Aikman said he is already having discussions with FOX about his future, which could involve remaining with the network, moving to Thursday nights, or even doing both.
“Those conversations are happening now,” Aikman said. “And I’m really being as honest as I can be about it. I really don’t know what it’s gonna look like when it’s all said and done and it does get settled. As to whether I’ll be working for Fox and Amazon, whether I’ll just be working for Fox or whether I’ll just be working for Amazon. I really don’t know what might happen.”
Aikman is one of the more recognizable voices in the sport after 20 years on FOX’s lead broadcast crew. With Tony Romo resetting the market for analyst salaries, Aikman can ask for a lot of money from any potential suitor. That is likely the biggest factor contributing to uncertainty over his future.
Photo: Nov 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys former quarterback Troy Aikman attends the NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
A series of bad decisions led to a pretty significant error on the FOX Sports 1 television broadcast of Saturday’s Illinois-Iowa game.
The network did not send a broadcast crew to Kinnick Stadium for the game. Instead, they opted to keep their crew in-studio to broadcast the game off a monitor. The decision cost the network during the fourth quarter, when the broadcast missed a significant moment in the game.
Iowa got the ball back early in the fourth quarter up 20-16 after an Illinois punt. The TV broadcast went to commercial after the punt, as is customary. However, in the aftermath of the play, a skirmish broke out between the two teams. The incident led to Illinois getting two personal fouls for a combined 30 yards, moving the ball from the Illinois 47 to the Illinois 17.
That’s a potentially game-changing series of events.
The problem was that the commentators didn’t see the skirmish because it occurred while the game was at commercial break. When the game returned from commercials, the in-studio announcers, who weren’t in the stadium to see what had happened, were confused and had no idea why Iowa was starting at the Illini 17.
Exactly. FS1 chose not to send announcers to Kinnick this week. All the craziness took place during a commercial break. https://t.co/sxCAv2cHQy
Iowa ended up getting a field goal out of the drive and went on to win 33-23.
It became more common for networks to keep broadcasters in studios during the pandemic, both for safety reasons and because it saves on traveling costs. However, this sort of cost-cutting move inevitably leads to some preventable mistakes. Had the FS1 crew been on the scene, they would have observed the scuffle and explained what happened even if they didn’t come back from commercial quickly enough to show it live.
Twitter had a field day after a FOX Sports graphical error went viral during Game 2 of the ALDS on Friday.
Like most baseball broadcasts these days, FOX displays the projected distance and exit velocity when a player rounds the bases after hitting a home run. It was no different when Boston’s Kiké Hernandez hit a game-tying shot in the top of the fifth.
There was just one problem: instead of filling in Hernandez’s name, FOX accidentally popped the numbers up with some placeholder text.
Robert Griffin III is, for the moment, still trying to catch on in the NFL for the 2021 season. However, it seems he has another career waiting for him whenever he wants it.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, FOX and ESPN are in a bidding war over Griffin in the hopes that he will end his NFL career and become a TV analyst. FOX initially showed heavy interest in Griffin, but ESPN wants him badly enough that it spurred them to increase their offer to him. It’s not clear if Griffin plans to retire in order to take either opportunity, but it’s clear that a TV career awaits him whenever he does decide to step away from the NFL.
The reason for the serious interest is apparently because Griffin’s auditions have been fantastic. Marchand adds that sources from both networks were “blown away” by Griffin, and some of them even said his audition was among the best they had ever seen.
ESPN’s offer to Griffin would involve both studio work and opportunities as a color commentator for college games, as well as the chance to appear on other shows during the week. FOX would likely add Griffin to one of its NFL commentary teams while also putting him on its college football studio shows.
Griffin has voiced interest in serving as a mentor for one specific quarterback in 2021. Ironically, he did so as part of a live broadcast that very much hints at his potential as an analyst. The 31-year-old is still young and solid enough to come in and serve as an NFL backup for someone, but the money and the visibility of a high-profile broadcast career may end up being a better option for him at this point.
The renewal of the Oklahoma-Nebraska football rivalry in 2021 has been surprisingly fraught with off-field tension, and that escalated again on Thursday.
Sooners athletic director Joe Castiglione took aim at FOX for scheduling the game for its “Big Noon Kickoff” telecast on Aug. 28. That means the game will be played at 11 a.m. local time, despite the efforts of Oklahoma to get the game played at a “more traditional time that would honor this game and our fans.”
It’s not exactly common that a school would take on a TV partner publicly over this, but it’s also understandable why FOX would want this game in its typical showcase window. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work as well for Central Time.
The game has been dramatic for a lot of reasons, none related to the rekindling of the long-standing rivalry. One school even confirmed it tried to back out of playing the contest, but ultimately failed to do so. Now that it’s officially on the schedule, there’s a new controversy. Who knows what more might happen in the three months to go before the game is scheduled?
FOX’s TV feed had a glitch on a CeeDee Lamb touchdown run late in the fourth quarter of the Dallas Cowboys’ 37-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Lamb went in for a 19-yard rushing touchdown on a 2nd-and-6 play to put Dallas up 37-17 with just under two minutes left. As Lamb was going towards the end zone, there was a screen glitch on FOX. It looked like some Andy Dalton stats got scrambled all over the screen.
Fans who tune into the “NFL on FOX” pregame shows on Sunday will notice some unfamiliar faces. As you might expect, that is the result of COVID-19 protocols.
FOX Sports issued a statement informing fans that Sunday’s “FOX NFL Kickoff” and “FOX NFL Sunday” shows will not feature the usual cast of Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw and Michael Strahan in studio. Chris Meyers, Charles Woodson and Reggie Bush will fill in “out of an abundance of caution for our team.”
“In accordance with CDC guidance, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health safety guidelines — and out of an abundance of caution for our team — Sunday’s FOX NFL KICKOFF and FOX NFL SUNDAY pregame shows from our Los Angeles studio will not include their regular casts,” the statement read.
While the network did not specify, it’s likely that a member of the usual crew either tested positive for COVID-19 or came in close contact with someone who did.
FOX has long held the Sunday NFC package, and other networks are interested in some of the games it traditionally airs. The network’s current deal runs through the 2022 season, and FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch confirmed that preliminary talks between the league and TV partners have already begun.
It’s further evidence that record sums should be expected in the next round of TV negotiations. There may also be more competition, as networks that don’t currently hold rights may try to get involved going forward.
FOX has held its NFC package since 1994. The network’s success in obtaining NFL TV rights put it on the map and made it a rival to the other major networks, so don’t expect FOX to let those games go without a big fight.
FOX made a big move in the golf world when it signed the rights to televise the US Open and other U.S. Golf Association events beginning in 2015. The contract, which they won in 2013, was for 12 years and $1.2 billion, meaning they were paying $100 million per year. But now FOX is getting out of that deal.