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Analysts Skeptical Of Apple’s Interest In NFL Sunday Ticket

The package is controlled by DirecTV until 2022.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Apple

A report from The Information last week zoomed in on early talks between Apple and the NFL over Sunday Ticket rights but analysts are skeptical. Sportico discussed the report with two industry insiders who aren’t convinced Apple is a serious player for the rights.

Publisher of TVAnswerMan.com Phillip Swann and LightShed Partners media and technology analyst Rich Greenfield are having a hard time picturing the NFL as Apple’s first foray into streaming sports.

“Apple has shown no indication to date, outside of a [single] hire (Jim DeLorenzo), that they have serious sports ambitions,” Swann said. “They also have not shown any real indication they want to be a super major player in streaming.”

Greenfield recognized how relationships with the two biggest tech giants on the planet would be major since Amazon has already secured exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football.

“To the extent Apple is serious, it [would be] a huge development for the NFL,” Greenfield said. “Having both Amazon and Apple [competing for Sunday Ticket rights], given what is happening to the traditional legacy media companies, [would be] a really big deal for the future of sports rights and the future of NFL rights.”

Yet, a deal like this would be unprecedented in the streaming arena. Swann noted that Peacock and ESPN+ bolstered their early offerings with lower-tier leagues as a foundation.

“It begs credulity to think the first step [Apple] would take in licensing sports would be Sunday Ticket,” Swann said. “It is kind of like saying [a player] that just came up to the majors from class-A [minor league ball] is going to hit a grand slam in his first at-bat.”

Swann pointed to one established streaming service that could be ready to make a big splash. 

“Peacock is the sleeping giant in this. They have the money. They have the motivation to build something, and they are constantly adding live sports. That is not a coincidence,” he said. “They are building a live sports powerhouse over there, and [the addition of] Sunday Ticket would be a game-changer.”

Sports Online

Chris Long Didn’t Like the Attention That Came With TV Analyst Work

“If I’m like ‘Damn I got to take a flight up there every week, I got to get suits’, then I don’t really want to do that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Former NFL defensive end Chris Long has found his niche in the media space as the host of The Green Light Podcast and it is an outlet that he has been very comfortable with in terms of expressing his opinions.

Long was a guest on The Season with Peter Schrager podcast and he told Schrager that on the occasions when he has been an analyst on television, the attention he got was not something he was completely comfortable with.

“Sure, I maybe could work towards having one of those good jobs, but I also understand there’s a big process with that.

“I’ve been at a crossroads at times as a media guy where I’m like ‘Should I just do that?’ If I got to ask myself, then I don’t really want it. If I’m like ‘Damn I got to take a flight up there every week, I got to get suits’, then I don’t really want to do that and honestly, the couple of times I’ve been on TV, I don’t like the attention.”

One of the reasons Long mentioned why he isn’t comfortable being on TV is he doesn’t want to feel like he has to perform and on his podcast, he can be himself.

“Being on TV, I get really uncomfortable performing. I don’t like performing and I don’t like being told what to say. Here, that never happens. For the most part, I think finding your groove in this side of things is just having conversations…It’s just a nice change of pace.”

Long also feels that in this day and age of social media, it’s a constant argument about any NFL point that is being made and that is not something he wants to deal with.

“The world of podcasting has gotten better where the money is very good. Maybe I’d be making a little less money starting out doing studio stuff. For me, I do not like — whether it’s Twitter or whether it’s a guy on the street — I’m over arguing with people.”

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Sports Online

NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Launching Podcast with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Dirty Mo Media

“New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media has announced a podcast deal with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin will host Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin on a weekly basis during the NASCAR season. The Actions Detrimental branding is verbiage used by NASCAR for fines assessed to drivers for their disparaging comments about the sport. Known as one of NASCAR’s more outspoken drivers, Hamlin has been fined several times under the “actions detrimental to stock car racing” statutes.

New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.

Denny Hamlin jokingly thanked Dirty Mo Media for the “opportunity and the fat check” the company wrote for him to host the podcast in a Twitter announcement.

The 42-year-old Hamlin has won 48 races during his 18-year NASCAR Cup Series career. In addition to serving as a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, he co-owns 23XI Racing with basketball legend Michael Jordan.

The podcast is the latest in an expansion of content produced by the Mooresville, North Carolina-based digital outlet. After beginning with The Dale Jr. Download, the company has grown to include other podcasts like Door, Bumper, Clear, and Speed Street, as well as video projects like The Next Level.

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Sports Online

Barstool Sports CEO: Golf Likely Next Step For Company’s Live Broadcasts

“I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love.”

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Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini recently did a wide-ranging interview with AdAge.com about the future of the digital sports outlet’s television aspirations, and she said sports they’re familiar with will take priority.

“”We want sports that appeal to a broad audience. We’re kind of tickled to be able to broadcast things in the first place. So I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love, whether it’s basketball and football,” Nardini said. “You could definitely see that extended to golf, that would probably be the next place that we’ll play.”

The questions about Barstool’s future aspirations come after the company’s successful first broadcast of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. Barstool says the broadcast received nearly 1 million views, peaking at 130,000 concurrent viewers. The outlet also broadcasted the Barstool Sports Invitational that featured Akron, Mississippi State, Toledo, and UAB in November.

Nardini added that the company is interested live televised sports for a few reasons.

“We’re owned by a sports betting company and the more we think about building our sports platform, there’s obviously a huge opportunity for us to convey a whole bunch of offerings to our audience, but certainly betting will be one of them…I think that live sports on television is the last man standing where it’s all anyone tunes in for.”

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