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Katie Nolan: Apple Didn’t Hire Me To Know Stats

“The point is for me to be here and try to be like if you like sports, you can like baseball.”

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Apple TV+ has brought a different type of baseball broadcast to fans on Fridays. Friday Night Baseball has received mixed reviews. One of the booths during the two games includes Katie Nolan, who most remember from her days at FS1 and ESPN. She is part of the West Coast booth with Stephen Nelson and former MLB outfielder Hunter Pence. 

Nolan was recently on the Gojo podcast with Mike Golic Jr and Brandon Newman. She said being in the booth was something she never thought she would do.

“I’m physically at the game in a capacity that requires me to have a pass. I’m meeting managers before games. I’m official and I don’t think anybody saw that coming, which is probably why I am terrified about it, but also excited about it because what the hell, I’m in the booth!” 

Nolan told Golic Jr. and Brandon Newman that she wishes she could have gotten to know Nelson and Pence more before the first game. However, it made her think of something Dan Le Batard told her.

“You learn as you go. Dan Le Batard once described it to me when he left. It was like building a plane while already in the air. You know what, no better way to make you have to get better than doing it.”

When Nolan reads criticism of how she is doing, it has reminded her of criticisms she received that she thought she wouldn’t hear again. Plus, she wants people to know Apple didn’t hire her to remember stats.

“If what I am bringing to the table is knowing someone’s ERA, why am I there? I would be useless. What I bring to the table is ‘hey, ump’s pants are really big. Are we ever going to talk about why they don’t know how to hem their pants properly?’…I’ve been thinking it, so I’m going to say it. The point is for me to be here and try to be like if you like sports, you can like baseball.”

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Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC

“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”

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ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.

This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.

Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.

“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”

ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.

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