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Todd McShay Says He Will Never Steal Mel Kiper Jr’s Job

“Although the debates between the two about draft prospects can get heated on occasion, McShay mentioned how Kiper has been a major support system for him.”

Ricky Keeler

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With the 2020-21 NFL season now in the books, the focus will soon go towards the NFL Draft in April. That means more people will be reading and analyzing mock drafts from Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. over at ESPN. This week, McShay released his second mock draft of 2021. 

Before that was released on Tuesday, McShay joined Marty Smith on the Marty Smith’s America: The Podcast to talk about the Super Bowl as well as the path that got McShay to ESPN. Both Smith and McShay joined ESPN back in 2006. 

Shortly after McShay got to ESPN, he got a call from executives in Bristol asking if he was interested in joining Mel Kiper Jr. on TV to debate the upcoming draft. The thing is, ESPN actually called him before they called Kiper.

Although the debates between the two about draft prospects can get heated on occasion, McShay mentioned how Kiper has been a major support system for him. 

“The thing about Kiper and I, the real story is we get hostile with each other once-in-a-while. But it’s like with your buddy who you are having a legitimate fight with and two seconds later, you are over with. He has been probably the top 2 or 3 people at ESPN in terms of supporting my career throughout and nobody knows that. The bottom line is for as much bickering as we do back-and-forth, he has always had my corner from Day 1. 

“He’s Mel Kiper. He’s the institution. He’s never had to worry about some young punk stealing his job and he’s acted with that confidence the entire time. He has always been in my corner and I will never forget what he’s done for me.” 

McShay’s early claim to fame was when he was helping Sporting News with their draft guide as a part of The War Room. The one thing that put McShay on the map, he revealed, came in the early 2000s. Before the draft that year, he had a higher evaluation than most on a certain seven-time Super Bowl champion.

“I graduated in 1999. I got an internship in ’98 with this guy named Gary Horton (worked for ESPN for a long time). He had started this company called the War Room that turned into Scouts Inc. I was making 12,000 calls my first year coming out of college. For the first 2 years, I studied tape and we wound up doing for Sporting News, a draft guide.

“At the time, I gave him [Tom Brady] a 3rd round grade and said he was the most underrated player coming out of that year’s draft. That got attention and helped my career at that point. I thought he was better than people thought he was, but I still gave him a 3rd Round pick, so I can’t take a lot of credit.”

You can catch McShay on the coverage of Trevor Lawrence’s Pro Day at Clemson on Friday beginning at 10 a.m ET on the ACC Network. 

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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