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Brian Boucher Prefers Being Inside The Glass

“I’m a team player. If ESPN wants me in studio, I’ll do studio. If they want me at the game, I’ll do the game.”

Ricky Keeler

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Former NHL goalie Brian Boucher has been either calling games or in the studio as an analyst since 2013 with either NBC Sports Philadelphia, NHL Network, NBC Sports, and currently at ESPN. While Boucher is comfortable doing any role for ESPN, there is one place he prefers to be.

Boucher was a guest on the You Know I’m Right podcast with Nick Durst and Joe Calabrese and he said while he would never say no when ESPN asks him to work in the studio, he prefers to be at the game as an analyst because he could interact with players and former teammates who might now be coaches.

“I like doing the games, but I’m not going to say no to doing studio work either. I’m a team player. If ESPN wants me in studio, I’ll do studio. If they want me at the game, I’ll do the game.”

The key for Boucher when he is in the studio is he wants to still listen to the broadcast because it allows him to get the right tone of the game as if he were actually at the arena:

“In the studio, you have to really pay attention. I like to listen to the broadcast personally because what they are saying is important. You want to play off what the play-by-play and color guy is saying. If there’s a narrative they are saying or there is a tone to the game, you want to make sure you have it. You can’t be distracted. Imagine you are at the game.”

Last year, Boucher wasn’t inside the glass on games for ESPN as much as he was for NBC Sports. When he was on the ice, he told the guy it was tougher to see the play develop because of what is going on as he tries to analyze everything.

“Last year, I didn’t do a lot of Inside the Glass for ESPN. I was upstairs. The difference between those two things is on the ice, you miss some stuff. There’s stuff off to the side, the benches are in the way, it’s fast down there. You need another set of eyes upstairs that can help you out. Upstairs, you see the play develop a lot easier from a bird’s eye view. I think it is easy to analyze from up there.”

While in this era of social media allows fans to think broadcasters have a bias against their team, Boucher doesn’t care what people say about the broadcast or who wins the game.

“When you are analyzing the game, it’s all encompassing, it’s both teams. There is no bias. I know fans get mad on Twitter and say you are cheering for one team. I don’t care who wins, I really don’t. Sometimes, I don’t even remember who won the game a day or two later. All I care about is we do as good a job as we can in the production, our replays are on point, we are factual, and we document the game as it should be documented.”

Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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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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