Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

Sports TV News

Will FOX’s WWE Deal Affect UFC Partnership?

Brandon Contes

Published

on

As 21st Century Fox works to sell off a large percentage of its empire to Disney in a $52.4 billion deal, although a $60 billion offer looms from Comcast, the expectation is for Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch to further invest in live content with a focus on sports. That plan came to fruition on Monday as Fox nears an agreement with WWE to air SmackDown Live beginning in October 2019.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new deal is expected to be a five-year agreement totaling over $1 billion, almost three-times the amount NBCUniversal previously paid for the package. As the WWE agreement is being finalized, Fox’s UFC television package is set to expire at the end of this calendar year. The current contract had Fox paying the UFC $115 million annually.

The Endeavor owned MMA league was reportedly hoping for a new media rights deal in the realm of $400 million per year and they’re close to halfway there after inking $150 million annually from ESPN+. Late last year ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported Fox offered $200 million for a UFC television package, whether or not that included a digital agreement similar to what ESPN+ just received is unknown.

With Fox spending over $200 million a year on SmackDown almost immediately after ESPN+ agreed to a digital deal with the UFC, some view it as Fox replacing their previous UFC television package with WWE coverage. However, last month it was reported ESPN and Fox worked together to enter a joint bid for the UFC rights TV deal and ESPN+ acquiring a digital package could be viewed as part of a larger plan.

The WWE agreement also comes on the heels of Fox’s $3 billion deal for the rights to Thursday Night Football. With Fox clearly putting a premium on live content and sports broadcast deals, there remains a strong possibility the $1 billion spent to acquire WWE’s SmackDown will not deter them from negotiating a new deal with the UFC.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

Rece Davis Believes Final Regular Season College GameDay Show Typically Most Hectic Due to Coaching Changes

“There were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime.”

Jordan Bondurant

Published

on

Rece Davis

College GameDay was in Columbus this past weekend ahead of Ohio State’s annual rivalry game against Michigan, and host Rece Davis said a number of head coaching announcements throughout the show made for some pretty chaotic moments.

Luke Fickell being named the new head coach at Wisconsin and former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule being hired at Nebraska were among the marquee hirings announced over the weekend.

On the College GameDay Podcast, Davis said trying to get information confirmed and incorporated into the show in real time was exhilarating.

“It was a bizarre, fun show that we’ve had over the years when we’ve gone to Ohio State/Michigan,” he said. “I remember the ’16 year that we extended the show to five hours. It was really fun, and then a really great game followed it. And there were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime. But there were a lot of bizarre things going on.”

Podcast co-host and senior college football reporter Pete Thamel echoed Davis’ sentiments, saying he would do a hit on the show, then take out his earpiece and immediately get back on the phone to work on getting the most up to date information.

“It was whoa,” he said. “We did the first segment…and normally I would’ve stayed and watched to see what the guys had to say, but I just walked off the stage and went back and started making calls.”

In addition to the Wisconsin and Nebraska hirings, Thamel was also working on trying to figure out the situation at Auburn. He helped get Rhule on the show as well, and he said it was cool the show’s team was able to book guests so quickly from different locations in the country.

“We literally went coast to coast on GameDay with good interviews on Saturday,” he said.

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Disney CEO Bob Iger: Company Will Chase Profitability Over Growing Subscriber Base

“We have to start chasing profitability. It will be demanded of us.”

Jordan Bondurant

Published

on

blank

Change is abound at Disney, but it’s welcomed change. CEO Bob Iger, who was announced as the replacement for Bob Chapek last week, said his goal is to help get the company’s financial ship righted.

“We have to start chasing profitability,” Iger told employees and executives at a town hall. “It will be demanded of us.”

Iger announced one of his first moves in returning to the CEO role was to shake up its digital media and entertainment distribution division. That branch of the company oversees its streaming services like Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. Disney+ boasts tens of millions of subscribers, and Chapek focused heavily on reaching as many people as possible.

But Disney stock price has shrunk sharply over the course of the last year, and there have been other areas of the company in which there has been discourse. There was some belief that Disney could be up for sale.

Iger hopes things at the company can be turned around in due course, but he made one thing for certain: Disney and its properties are not for sale.

“Nothing is forever, but I’m very comfortable with the set of assets that we have,” he said. “I think they can serve our company, don’t expect any headlines soon about deals.”

Continue Reading

Sports TV News

YES Network Considering Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly for Analyst Roles

“I have something else burning fairly hot right now,” Mattingly said. “Depends how that goes.”

Jordan Bondurant

Published

on

blank

Could Yankees fans see and hear from two of the franchise’s most beloved former players on TV next season? It’s not out of the realm of possibility. The New York Post reported Monday the team’s YES Network appeared to have an interest in bringing in Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly.

But according to the network’s president of programming and production John Filippelli, it’s all speculative at this point.

“We haven’t had any in-depth discussion with either,” he told Andrew Marchand. “If they are A) available and B) interested, you probably at least have to have a conversation.”

Marchand reached out to Mattingly, who finished his run as manager of the Miami Marlins at the end of the 2022 season, and the former Dodgers manager seemed to indicate that there is another potential opportunity in the works.

“I have something else burning fairly hot right now,” Mattingly said. “Depends how that goes.”

Jeter will likely be a hard sell on getting into the booth. The understanding is the legendary former shortstop doesn’t have a big interest in getting into broadcasting like his former teammate Alex Rodriguez.

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2022 Barrett Media.