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Brian Flores on HBO’s ‘Real Sports’: I Turned Down NDA From Dolphins

“If it was about the money, he would have signed it. What he did instead was he filed this lawsuit so that he could help other coaches, now and in the future.”

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HBO Sports

A new episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel premieres Tuesday night (Feb. 22) at 10 p.m. ET. What will likely attract headlines is Gumbel’s interview with former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores and his lawyers, weeks after he filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL alleging racial discrimination in hiring head coaches.

In an excerpt released by HBO, Flores reveals that he declined to sign a non-disparagement agreement with the Dolphins upon his dismissal. And in doing so, the coach cost himself millions of dollars. But being able to speak out against the wrongs he and fellow Black coaches have experienced was worth it to him.

“It was two years, it was a contract, and he — you know, to Coach Flores’ credit — he wasn’t gonna sign that, because it wasn’t about the money,” said Flores’s lawyer Doug Wigdor. “If it was about the money, he would have signed it. What he did instead was he filed this lawsuit so that he could help other coaches, now and in the future.”

Check out the clip from HBO:

Flores was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers last week as a senior defensive assistant. But Gumbel asked if there was ever consideration to returning to the New England Patriots, where he was an assistant before becoming the Dolphins’ head coach.

But in his lawsuit, Flores highlighted a text message exchange with Bill Belichick in which the famed coach mistook Flores for another of his former assistants, Brian Daboll, and congratulated him on being hired for the New York Giants’ head-coaching position. Flores was scheduled to interview for that job days later.

Flores said that he hasn’t talked to Belichick since the lawsuit was filed and those text messages were revealed. In previous interviews, Flores said he included the messages without consulting Belichick. Gumbel then asked if he expected to speak with the Patriots coach.

“I mean, there’s potential that we could run into each other,” said Flores. “I mean, I’d be open to a conversation. But, no, if that… we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Gumbel’s full interview with Flores also discusses being hired by Mike Tomlin, the NFL’s only Black coach before Lovie Smith was hired by the Texans and the Dolphins replaced Flores with Mike McDaniel. Flores and his lawyers are also asked about the NFL recently hiring former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to defend the league against the discrimination lawsuit.

The latest episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel premieres Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO. The show is also available on-demand and HBO Max, in addition to repeat airings on HBO networks.

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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Sports TV News

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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Sports TV News

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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