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Keyshawn Johnson: TV Money Motivates Aaron Rodgers To Be More Likable

“Aaron Rodgers wants to be in television. He ponied up and tried to get the Jeopardy job. Now, all of a sudden, he is in a position where he can be likeable and people will start to look at him differently.”

Ricky Keeler

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Aaron Rodgers
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Another offseason continues for the Green Bay Packers and the Aaron Rodgers will he/wont storyline is also ongoing. This time it is about whether this will be his last year playing in the league. It’s a storyline that NFL fans will watch all year. Keyshawn Johnson thinks it isn’t the only story to watch with Rodgers.

On Tuesday, Rodgers did not say whether or not this will be his last season, but he did say he wants his career to end in Green Bay.

Over the last year, Rodgers has become one of the more polarizing athletes in the NFL. Could that change this year even if he is often in the headlines? 

On Wednesday, Johnson said on Keyshawn, J-Will, and Max that Rodgers could look at the recent contract Tom Brady signed to join FOX after his playing career as what can happen if he becomes more likable:

“When you look at Aaron Rodgers right now, I like Aaron Rodgers. Six months ago, he annoyed the hell out of me. Right now, I like him. Six months from now, other people are going to like him. Six months after that, some more people are going to like him because Aaron Rodgers sees the benefits down the line of becoming a likable guy.”

“You know how many people disliked Tom Brady several years ago. People like Tom Brady now. Tom Brady just got $375 million on a 10-year deal from a television network. Aaron Rodgers wants to be in television. He ponied up and tried to get the Jeopardy job. Now, all of a sudden, he is in a position where he can be likeable and people will start to look at him differently. He knows that.”

Johnson used Brady as an example because while Brady was playing for the Patriots, he wasn’t liked by many. Now that he is in Tampa Bay, people view him a little differently.

“Star athletes that have reputations in the beginning to the middle of their careers change those reputations toward the end because they see some things, a light at the end of the tunnel, an opportunity. Tom Brady was a villain in New England. Tom Brady is no longer a villain. He changed his whole perception in about a two-year period of time to where people are like we can deal with this dude. I think Aaron Rodgers will get there in the next twelve months.”

Time will tell if Johnson is right with his prediction, but it’s safe to say Rodgers will be in the news plenty during the upcoming NFL season. 

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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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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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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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