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Sean Payton On TV: ‘I Think I’d Be Pretty Good At It’

“I don’t know what’s next. And look, I haven’t spoken to anyone from a media outlet relative to doing television or radio.”

Will Dundon

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Before Sean Payton had even made his decision to leave the New Orleans Saints, his name was floating around to be one of the next big names in the booth.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler stated he believed Payton would be up for TV roles. According to Michael McCarthy at Front Office Sports, Payton would be “at the top” of the list to replace Troy Aikman in the booth for Fox assuming Aikman left for Amazon.

Since Payton made the choice to leave coaching, the rumors have ramped up. On Tuesday, he discussed the possibility of going to TV and said he’d be interested. But no one has reached out to him about it yet.

“I don’t know what’s next. And look, I haven’t spoken to anyone from a media outlet relative to doing television or radio. Maybe that opportunity arises,” Payton said during a press conference. “But every time I read something that’s like ‘He’s in line for this job,’ I call my agent Don [Yee] and say ‘Don, have you heard something, cause I have not heard anything?’ And that’s okay. I think I’d like to do that, I think I’d be pretty good at it.”

If Payton really wants a job on television, there will most likely be an opportunity for him.  Multiple personalities are considering moves, including Troy Aikman on Fox and Brian Griese and Louis Riddick on ESPN.   

Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported on multiple possibilities from ESPN for Payton. Apparently, the network is “contemplating a pursuit” of Al Michaels and could see him alongside someone like Payton.

ESPN will have more games next year as well under the NFL’s new TV deals, so it might benefit them to build a second NFL booth instead of bringing in the college team of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, and that could make it possible for them to both bring back Griese and add Payton.  It should also be noted with ESPN that there’s the opportunity to be an analyst in the studio.

”As for Payton, Fox could have interest in him, but its initial thought is more likely as a studio analyst than on top games, according to sources,” Marchand reports.

The major challenge with any of these networks hiring Payton is that he might not be done coaching. There have been talks that he may want to coach another team. (Mike Francesa wants the New York Giants to pursue him.) Payton is only 58, so the rumors of him retiring for a year or two then taking on a new job such as the Cowboys, if it were to pop up, are valid.

That’s not to say Payton still won’t get the opportunity. We’ve seen networks hire coaches in between coaching jobs such as Urban Meyer at Fox and Mack Brown on ESPN.

If Payton wants to be on TV talking football, expect to see him in the studio or in the booth very soon.

Sports TV News

ESPN’s NFL Programming Sees Big September Growth

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

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NFL Studio

For ESPN, September has been a really strong month with their NFL programming.

Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show thus far in 2022. That up 15% from 2021’s first three shows of the NFL season. The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, tying the network’s best Week 1 audience for the show since 2016 and is up 35% year-over-year.

NFL Live experienced large growth too. The episode airing after the first NFL Sunday, on Monday September 12, averaged 664,000 viewers which beat every NFL Live episode last season, including the most-watched episode on 2021 (December 17) which grabbed 635,000 viewers.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two, non-staggered September episodes, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 pm).

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Sports TV News

ESPN Assigns Broadcast Teams for MLB Wild Card Round

In preparation for the postseason, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

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Wild Card
David Berding/Getty Images

There are just a few games left in the MLB season and the postseason begins this weekend with the Wild Card round. In preparation, ESPN has assigned the broadcast teams for the series forthcoming.

Andrew Marchand reports that the team assigned to the presumptive New York Mets Wild Card series will be Karl Ravech, David Cone and Eduardo Perez. The Mets still mathematically can win the NL East but they trail the Braves by two games with three to play.

He also reports that the St. Louis Wild Card series will be called by Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. The Cleveland series will be broadcast by Boog Sciambi and Doug Glanville while the Toronto series will be called by Dave Flemming, Jessica Mendoza and Tim Kurkjian.

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Sports TV News

Stugotz: ‘Sean McDonough Hates The Aaron Judge Cut-Ins’

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

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College football fans are not being shy with how they feel about Aaron Judge. Whether it is private conversations or social media posts, people are making their disdain for the cut-ins to college football games on ESPN networks when the Yankee slugger comes to bat known. On Monday morning, Stugotz added that it isn’t just fans that are unhappy.

The Dan Le Batard Show discussed the second straight week of cut-ins on Monday morning. Stugotz pointed out that one of ESPN’s primary college football voices sounds just as annoyed as fans are.

“Sean McDonough hates the toss to Aaron Judge,” he said. Hates it!”

Last week, ESPN and ABC cut into games when Judge was sitting on 60 home runs. This week, he was sitting on 61. A 62nd home run would be the most in American League history.

Stugotz added that has to be part of McDonough’s frustration.

“In his defense, what are we cutting in for? I have no idea if [Aaron Judge] is breaking a record, what record he’s breaking, if he’s clean. I have no idea!”

Producer Mike Ryan Ruiz said the fact that Judge is yet to deliver is making the cut-ins more frustrating for fans.

“I think what hurts the whole thing is that Aaron Judge has been terrible during these cut-ins,” Ruiz said. “He’s been God awful during these cut-ins. I haven’t seen a single home runs during one of these cut-ins. There was genuine fury at a watch party I was at. Fury! At Aaron Judge.”

A popular criticism of ESPN has been that this kind of attention would not be paid to Aaron Judge if he was chasing a mark that wasn’t the home run record if he played anywhere other than New York. According to Ryan, the mistake is bigger than that. Why would regular season baseball ever interrupt college football?

“If you look at the numbers, if you look at the interest, if you look at the revenue that it generates for the networks, it makes more sense to have an Aaron Judge at-bat interrupted by an Iowa State field goal attempt than it does the other way around.”

There are four games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. You can bet college football fans will make plenty of signs for College GameDay if Judge cannot hit number 62 before the playoffs start.

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