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Religion of Sports, Skydance Sports Announce Production Agreement, First Project

The first project is a scripted sports drama entitled The Owl, centered on an American-born boxer who becomes an orphan before crossing into Mexico to find his family.

Jordan Bondurant

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Here’s some more non-football-related news that has a connection to quarterback Tom Brady. Religion of Sports, a media company co-founded by Brady, Hall of Famer Michael Strahan and filmmaker Gotham Chopra, has partnered with Skydance Sports to develop and produce scripted TV, documentary, and audio content across multiple platforms.

Brady co-founded Religion of Sports in 2017 with the goal being to create content that “is defined by thoughtful, elevated stories that explore a range of themes and uncover why sports matter.”

The first project in the works under this new partnership is a scripted sports drama entitled The Owl. It will be centered on an American-born boxer who becomes an orphan before crossing into Mexico to find his family. From there, he is thrust into the world of boxing.

The series is being created and executive produced by Michael Perri and directed by Aurora Guerrero.

“Our mission at Religion of Sports is to tell stories about why sports matter, and to make believers out of everyone who sees our content,” Chopra said in an official release. “Collaborating with Michael Perri and Aurora Guerrero on The Owl puts us all on our way to achieving those goals.”

The announcement of the partnership was made on Wednesday by Chopra and Jesse Sisgold, Skydance Media President and COO, who oversees Skydance Sports. The partnership also allows for the pursuit of sports-themed intellectual property that can be exploited in a wide range of formats, from live events to video games.

“This cross-media partnership with my friend Gotham and his Religion of Sports team allows us to perfectly match these sports stories to how they should best be told,” Sisgold said.

Brady announced last month he would be working on an upcoming movie called 80 for Brady, which is set to star Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, and Sally Field. So to see another entertainment deal announced that links back to the legendary QB is not surprising.

Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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