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Matthew Berry: ESPN Thought Fantasy Was ‘Small Corner of The Internet’ When I Got There

“That was a long struggle and there were people internally at ESPN that were fantasy friendly and people who weren’t open to it initially.”

Ricky Keeler

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Matthew Berry

For NBC Sports fantasy expert Matthew Berry, giving his business, Fantasy Life, going was very important to him when he was deciding where to continue giving his fantasy advice. Once Berry decided to leave ESPN, NBC was very accommodating to him with that vision.

Berry was a guest on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz last week and he not only talked about the weirdest place he’s ever given fantasy advice, but he said that NBC brought up the example of their talent having side business and why they could be able to help Berry with keeping that entrepreneurial spirit going.

“I thought I have this entrepreneurial spirit as well. I have this company Fantasy Life that I started that’s basically in the veins of all of those companies (Pat McAfee Show, Omaha Productions) in terms of its a media and content producer in a variety of mediums. I would like to try that entrepreneurial spirit.

“Cris Collinsworth owns Pro Football Focus, Jim Cramer owns his own investment club, Mike Florio owns Pro Football Talk. We are comfortable with our talent having a business that’s on the side. We will not only support it, but if there’s a way NBC could participate that makes sense for NBC Universal, we will not only let you do it, but we will support it and promote it the way we have all those other properties. We are having those conversations now and figuring out what that looks like. When I heard that, I was like where do I sign?”

Berry mentioned that when he arrived at ESPN in 2007, he made it a point to talk to anyone he could at the company to try to see how his visions for fantasy football coverage could help any part of the network instead of just being only in a niche corner.

“When I got there in 2007 at ESPN, a lot of people felt like fantasy deserved to only be in a small corner of the internet. I spent my first 2 years at ESPN trying to meet with every TV producer I could, every radio producer, every marketing/advertising/PR executive there, every magazine editor, the people that ran our mobile division saying what are you trying to accomplish with your department/show/program. Here’s what I am trying to accomplish with fantasy and here’s why I think fantasy could help you achieve your goals and here’s how I think it might be able to work on TV, or radio, or in the magazine, or for your advertisers or as part of marketing. 

“That was a long struggle and there were people internally at ESPN that were fantasy friendly and people who weren’t open to it initially. Just trying to navigate that was challenging but exciting. I am really proud of everything we built at ESPN.” 

Sports Online

SiriusXM Inks Extension For ‘Let’s Go!’ With Tom Brady

“I know we just went through an hour of telling everybody you’re not coming back, but we’re gonna be right here on Let’s Go! for the next two years on SiriusXM.”

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While Tom Brady won’t be sitting in the top FOX Sports analyst’s chair until 2024, he’ll continue his Let’s Go! show for SiriusXM.

Nearing the conclusion of his appearance on the latest episode, host Jim Gray revealed the show and SiriusXM have agreed to an extension to keep the seven-time Super Bowl winner with the platform.

“Hey Tommy, we have one last announcement as we wrap up the program,” said Gray. “You’re coming back. I know we just went through an hour of telling everybody you’re not coming back, but we’re gonna be right here on Let’s Go! for the next two years on SiriusXM. We look forward to convening and our co-host Larry Fitzgerald will stay with us as well.”

Brady, in conjunction with Gray and Fitzgerald, launched Let’s Go! in August of 2021.

“Thank you guys, we appreciate the support,” Brady said of SiriusXM President Scott Greenstein and Senior Vice President of Sports Programming Steve Cohen. “We appreciate our fans, and look forward to many more fun years ahead.”

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Mike Francesa: 2 Week Break Before Super Bowl Leads to Media Interviewing Each Other

“It’s one game and you’re spending two weeks analyzing one game, and it’s just too much.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Mike Francesa

Many in the sports media and general media world have converged in Phoenix this week for the Super Bowl, but Mike Francesa isn’t the biggest fan of the build-up to the game.

The Phoenix Convention Center is playing host to this year’s radio row, where many of the storylines leading into the big game are dissected six times over the course of a day.

On his BetRivers podcast, Francesa said he’s never been the biggest fan of Super Bowl week and even taking two weeks between the conference title games.

“I’ve never liked these two weeks up to the Super Bowl,” Francesa said on The Mike Francesa Podcast. “I’ve never liked this week with all the hype and nonsense.”

Francesa added that at this point, all the storylines for both teams competing have been played out.

“People don’t know what to say anymore. It’s like they’re interviewing each other,” he said. “Nobody has anything to say or knows what to say.”

Still, Francesa finished his point by saying there’s an overflow of coverage leading up to the Super Bowl.

“It’s one game and you’re spending two weeks analyzing one game, and it’s just too much,” he said. “But there’s no way around it. That’s the way it works.”

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Sports Online

More Media Credentials Issued For Super Bowl LVII Than Ever Before

More than 6,000 media members from over 24 countries have received credentials to cover Super Bowl LVII on Sunday.

Jordan Bondurant

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Almost three years removed from the COVID-19 pandemic completely shutting down the world, the Super Bowl host city is now bustling with media once again covering the NFL’s championship game.

According to Front Office Sports, more than 6,000 media members from over 24 countries have received credentials to cover Super Bowl LVII on Sunday. That figure is up 13% from last year. In 2021, during the peak of the pandemic, only 2,400 media members were allowed to cover the game in Tampa.

A number at or above 6,000 would mean a return of the number of media members covering the game back to pre-pandemic levels.

This year’s Super Bowl is airing on FOX.

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