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Bill Cowher ‘Felt An Obligation’ To Speak Out On Jeff Saturday Situation

“I felt an obligation to speak on behalf of the coaching profession.”

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Many in the sports media landscape spent portions of last week discussing ESPN NFL analyst Jeff Saturday being hired as the interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. The NFL Today analyst Bill Cowher joined that group Sunday with an impassioned speech denouncing the move.

“I’m speaking on behalf of the coaching profession,” Cowher said. “I know for a fact Jeff Saturday was offered a position as an assistant coach with the Indianapolis Colts multiple times in the last four years. He declined, citing he had a TV job and wanted to spend more time with his family. I get it. Coaching is about commitment and it’s about sacrifice. It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle.”

The former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach continued by calling the situation “a disgrace” and “a travesty”.

“Jeff Saturday talked about how — in his press conference — he’s going to use this second half as an opportunity to build his resume and see whether or not he can coach in the future,” Cowher continued. “I say to that: what about the assistants on the staff right now? The guys that were there in training camp. The guys that were there early in the morning and late at night, the guys that have gone through the first six weeks in that building. Guys like Gus Bradley, Scottie Montgomery, John Fox. Don’t they deserve the opportunity?

“For an owner to hire a coach who has never been an assistant at the college level or the pro level, and overseeing — very much — a lot of candidates that are qualified for that job — as we see in Steve Wilks — an opportunity to build a resume, it’s a disgrace to the coaching profession. And regardless of this thing plays out, what happened in Indianapolis is a travesty.”

“It’s something that hits close to home, and I felt an obligation to speak on behalf of the coaching profession,” Cowher told The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch. “I felt I needed to make a statement.”

“The bottom line is, I’m the one coach that’s up here. I spent five years as a player, seven years as an assistant coach, and 15 years as a head coach. I have great respect for the coaching profession and understand all the things that go on when people lose their jobs. It’s never easy, but it’s part of a profession we get into. But there’s certain ways of doing certain things and commitments that people make that when things are not done properly, it needs to be pointed out.”

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Sports TV News

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.”

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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”.

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Sports TV News

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.”

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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.

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Sports TV News

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.’”

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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.

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