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ESPN Adds NFL Reporters

Jason Barrett

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Josina Anderson, one of the industry’s top reporters, has been named “National NFL Insider” – the first female to occupy this prestigious role for ESPN. Anderson joins a roster of experts that includes Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, John Clayton, Ed Werder, Adam Caplan and Field Yates.

As an NFL Insider, Anderson will make regular in-studio appearances as a panelist on ESPN’s weekday NFL Insiders (2:30-3:30 p.m. ET) in addition to NFL Live, SportsCenter and other programs.

Anderson, who joined the company as a Chicago-based bureau reporter in 2011, will continue her enterprise feature reporting and serve as a game-day reporter for Sunday NFL Countdown.

“Josina excels at breaking NFL news and offering insight on why decisions are made around the league, so this move to National NFL Insider is a natural fit for her,” said Seth Markman, ESPN senior coordinating producer, NFL studio shows.

Former Eagles, Browns Exec Joe Banner to Debut Sept. 3

Longtime NFL team executive Joe Banner has joined ESPN as a Front Office Insider. He will appear primarily on weekday editions of NFL Insiders beginning Thursday, Sept. 3. He will also contribute to SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and other platforms.

Banner has spent more than two decades as an NFL front office executive, most notably with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1994-2012. Under his leadership as team president (2001-12), the Eagles captured four straight NFC East titles (2001-04), made the playoffs 12 times, and appeared in five NFC Championship games and Super Bowl XXXIX. Banner served as chief executive officer of the Cleveland Browns (2012-14) and had most recently worked with the Atlanta Falcons.

“Joe brings another smart, experienced front office voice to the NFL Insiders that will help educate our viewers on the inner workings of the league,” said Markman. “He is also unafraid to share his opinions on personnel decisions, a tremendous asset to NFL Insiders andSportsCenter’s coverage.”

Banner is the newest addition to ESPN’s daily NFL news and information program featuring veteran journalists and front office experts including former NFL team executives like Hall of Famer Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Mark Dominik and Phil Savage.

Sheil Kapadia Named ESPN NFL Nation’s Seattle Seahawks reporter

NFL writer Sheil Kapadia has officially joined ESPN as the Seattle Seahawks reporter for ESPN.com’s NFL Nation. Kapadia previously covered the Philadelphia Eagles for Philadelphia Magazine’s Birds 24/7 website (2012-15). He also served as a writer/editor at Philly.com, the website for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, and he was a sports producer/writer at BaltimoreSun.com from 2006-08.

“Sheil is a dream come true for passionate fans, taking readers and viewers beyond the usual quotes and highlights, and into the playbook, the numbers, the strategy – often through the players themselves,” said Mary Byrne, ESPN Digital and Print senior deputy editor.

Kapadia has written for Sports On Earth and served as a correspondent for Fox Sports 1. He has relocated to the Seattle area and will begin coverage of the two-time NFC champion Seahawks this week, appearing on ESPN Radio, television and other platforms.

Sports TV News

The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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Sports TV News

F1 Renews With ESPN For U.S. Media Rights

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

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F1 ESPN

The racing series F1 has decided to stick with ESPN through 2025.

ESPN was reportedly in a three-way bidding battle with Amazon and Comcast. According to the report, F1 told both Amazon and Comcast on Friday that they had decline to accept either one’s offer.

The reported value of the three-year contract is set to pay F1 $75-90M per year for the U.S. media rights. Amazon had offered to pay roughly $100M per year, with the right to sublicense to a linear broadcast network. Comcast’s offer was similar to ESPN’s in terms of value and the structure. They also wanted to put select races on it’s streaming service, Peacock.

Netflix was in on the negotiations, as well. The makers of Drive to Survive, the streaming series that many credit with the sport’s explosion in popularity in recent years, wasn’t close on on their financial offer. Also, it seems F1 executives were not ready to put all of its races on a streaming service just yet.

Currently, F1 receives $5M per year for ESPN to broadcast it’s races. ESPN has grabbed about 1.0 million viewers per race. That makes F1 a more than viable option for the network to invest into again. ESPN will be able to put a small number of races on its ESPN+ streaming service exclusively. The vast majority being on ABC or ESPN.

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Sports TV News

Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

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Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.

Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.

“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”

Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.

“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”

Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.

“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”

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