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Nick Khan Expects 150% Price Increase For Next WWE TV Deal

“The WWE’s media rights deals with Comcast and FOX are set to expire. Right now, both companies are in an exclusive negotiating window to renew their deals.”

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Everything seems to be on the table when it comes to the television future of the WWE. Nick Khan spoke at the MoffettNathanson Technology Media and Telecom Conference on Thursday and mentioned that the company is willing to make some changes to accommodate a new television deal, should Smackdown leave FOX.

When WWE Smackdown launched in 1999, it aired on Thursday nights. The show moved to Fridays in 2005. It became part of FOX’s lineup in 2019 and immediately saw its ratings increase.

The WWE’s media rights deals with Comcast and FOX are set to expire. Right now, both companies are in an exclusive negotiating window to renew their deals.

FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch said that as of March, the network had not begun negotiations to retain Smackdown. The program was not mentioned at FOX’s upfront presentation earlier this week.

Khan, WWE’s CEO, spoke glowingly of two companies at the MoffettNathanson conference on Thursday. He praised Amazon’s work with the NFL. He also made the case that given what Netflix has said that entering the live sports business would be tough since it cannot control or know the outcomes ahead of time, WWE could be an ideal fit for that company.

Price may not be the only thing that drives the decision when it comes to the next WWE television contracts, but it will be a factor. Khan has a number in mind too. He said that he is expecting a 150% increase over the current deals. Tony Maglio of IndieWire points out that means Khan wants at least $1.5 billion for the WWE’s next deals.

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Devin McCourty Joining Football Night in America on NBC

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity from NBC Sports to learn from great individuals, chase new goals and provide viewers with my thoughts on the biggest games every week.”

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NBC Sports has enhanced its roster of football analysts with the signing of Devin McCourty. He will join the cast of Football Night in America leading up to each week’s broadcast of Sunday Night Football.

McCourty is a three-time Super Bowl champion and played his entire 13-year career as a defensive back with the New England Patriots, and has the record for most career playoff games started by a defensive player.

“It’s rare when you have the opportunity to add a three-time Super Bowl-winner to your team, and we’re excited to welcome Devin McCourty to Football Night following an incredible NFL career,” said Sam Flood, executive producer and president of production at NBC Sports. “Devin is a leader in every sense of the word, both on and off the field, and his dynamic personality and passion for the game will be a great addition to the show.”

McCourty’s twin brother, Jason, currently works on the cast of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, and the two co-hosted a podcast together while playing called Double Coverage. Devin was a guest host on Good Morning Football earlier in the season and also contributed to pregame coverage on The NFL Today and NFL Draft content for CBS Sports.

“I’m excited to be a rookie on the best team in America again,” McCourty said in a statement. “I’m very grateful for this opportunity from NBC Sports to learn from great individuals, chase new goals and provide viewers with my thoughts on the biggest games every week.”

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Glen Kuiper: ‘Traits Like Integrity and Character are No Longer Considered’

“I love the game of baseball and I love being a broadcaster, and I love the Bay Area community. I hope I will be remembered for that.”

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Glen Kuiper is out as the television voice of the Oakland A’s. The team and NBC Sports California made the announcement yesterday following an internal review of an incident on air earlier this month in which the broadcaster appeared the say the n-word on accident.

“Following an internal review, the decision has been made for NBC Sports California to end its relationship with Glen Kuiper, effective immediately,” a spokesperson from the regional sports network said in a statement. “We thank Glen for his dedication to Bay Area baseball over the years.”

Kuiper issued a statement of his own, affirming that what people are calling a racial slur was actually “a very unfortunate mispronunciation.” He said that he was talking to fast in describing a day at the Negro League Museum in Kansas City.

“Please know that racism is in no way a part of me; it never has been and it never will be,” he wrote in a statement shared with reporters. “I appreciate the Negro League Museum president Bob Kendrick and Oakland A’s great Dave Stewart’s public support of me in light of this. I am an honest, caring, kind, honorable, respectful husband and father who would never utter a disparaging word about anybody. Those who know me best know this about me.”

He has been the A’s primary play-by-play voice since 2006. He added that he is astonished NBC did nto consider that before making their final decision.

“I wish that the Oakland A’s and NBC Sports would have taken into consideration my 20-year career, my solid reputation, integrity and character, but in this current environment, traits like integrity and character are no longer considered. I will always have trouble understanding how one mistake in a 20-year broadcasting career is cause for termination, but I know something better is in my future.”

Glen Kuiper closed his remarks by thanking fans and his supporters.

“I love the game of baseball and I love being a broadcaster, and I love the Bay Area community. I hope I will be remembered for that.”

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Sports Emmys Honor ESPN, FOX, World Cup and Olympics

“ESPN led the way amongst the networks, taking home thirteen trophies.”

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The sports media was celebrated Monday night in New York City. The 44th annual Sports Emmys ceremony took place at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

NATAS President and CEO Adam Sharp acknowledged that the ceremony looked a little different. Out of respect for the WGA and their writers’ strike, many of the show’s scripted elements had been eliminated.

“The business challenges of the changing media landscape are like none we’ve seen before,” he told those in attendance. “And yet, the individual economics of making a career in our industry — starting out in our industry — can be impossible to square. Between these two realities, the generation coming up needs our industry to sow a field of common ground, not scorched earth.”

Awards were handed out in 47 categories. Among them was a lifetime achievement award, which was accepted by HBO’s Bryant Gumbel

ESPN led the way amongst the networks, taking home thirteen trophies. Some of its biggest wins included Best Live Sports Series for Monday Night Football, Best Studio Analyst for Ryan Clark, Best Sports Event Analyst for Peyton Manning and Best Play-by-Play for Mike Breen.

FOX came in second amongst the networks with nine Sports Emmys. FOX NFL Sunday won Best Weekly Studio Show, but most of the network’s big wins were connected to coverage of the FIFA World Cup last fall.

The World Cup and the 2022 Winter Olympics were the big event winners. Coverage of the events netted three awards for FOX and NBC respectively. 

A full list of winners can be seen here.

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