During an appearance on The Michael Kay Show Monday, ESPN Monday Night Football announcer Joe Buck admitted his first assignment in his new role was a relief.
Asked whether a new role at this stage in his career had energized him or if it was a similar role with a new company, Buck was honest that it was a move that reignited a spark.
“It did,” Buck said. “I think it’s probably a good question for my therapist why it did. I think it was the music, I think it was the theme song, and trying to start something again and almost feeling like I had to prove something to myself again. I was thinking of my dad. My dad was around and alive when he I was hired at FOX and he was there when I finished my first World Series in the Bronx. That’s who I called when my first huge assignment was over. And now it was something new.
“I was emotional after that game and I didn’t know I would be,” he continued. “My wife does pregame on Monday Night Football, does the interviews on Monday Night Countdown. We went to dinner in Seattle after that game and I was an emotional wreck. I think I had put so much pressure on myself that once the game was over — and I could finally exhale — it felt like it was normal.
“The reaction was good. I felt like I could tell — there are very few wins in broadcasting — but that night felt like a win. And I’m smart enough to know it had nothing to do with me but as far as my career and my own mind, it was a really big relief in my world.”
Buck, who has previously said he felt the same pressure of taking on Monday Night Football that he did when he replaced Pat Summerall, was also asked when being a football announcer surpassed the prestige of being a baseball announcer. He couldn’t put a hard date on it, but was in agreement that the pendulum had definitely swung in the NFL’s favor.
“Whether you’re in St. Louis, or Pittsburgh, or Houston if they’re not in it — if your team’s not in it, I don’t know if you’re living and dying with the World Series like we all did when we were growing up. When did that happen? I don’t know. When you combine that with what goes on with fantasy football, I just think it’s a balance that went heavily in favor of the NFL and I think a lot of it has to do with TV and fantasy sports.”
David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”
David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”
Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.
“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”
December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.
NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”
The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.
Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.
NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”
In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.
As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.
NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’
“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.
“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.
The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.