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30 For 30 Returning This Fall

Jason Barrett

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Six years after the launch of 30 for 30, ESPN Films’ Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series will return in October with 30 for 30 Volume III. The first five documentaries in the 30-film flight will premiere this fall, every Tuesday in prime time on ESPN, for five straight weeks beginning October 13.

Film topics include the rise and fall of USC football under head coach Pete Carroll, a city and its mayor fighting against the odds to keep the Kings in Sacramento, the ultimately tragic story of the turbulent relationship between Olympic wrestling stars Mark and Dave Schultz and multimillionaire John du Pont, an exploration of Bill McCartney and his controversial approach running the University of Colorado football program on the way to a national championship, and Evander Holyfield’s years of waiting to fight the famed Mike Tyson and make history. The30 for 30 fall slate film trailer, released today, can be watched here: http://bit.ly/30for30Vol3.

“Through six years and two volumes, 30 for 30 has become a leading brand for storytelling,” says ESPN Films Vice President and Executive Producer John Dahl.  “And we’ve got more compelling stories that we’re lining up for Volume III. The run this fall includes four first-time directors for the series and films that will continue to capture the essence of what 30 for 30 is all about – transcending sports and engaging audiences everywhere.”

30 for 30 films will debut on ESPN as follows (all times ET):

Tuesday, Oct. 13, 9 p.m. – “Trojan War”

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 9 p.m. – “Down in the Valley”

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 9 p.m. – “The Prince of Pennsylvania”

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 9 p.m.  – “The Gospel According to Mac”

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 8 p.m. — “Chasing Tyson”

*Advance press screeners for all films available upon request*

And, with the anniversary of 9/11 approaching, the next installment in ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts series will look at President George W. Bush’s ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium to kick off Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, just seven weeks after the September 11 attacks. The 23-minute film, directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Angus Wall and executive produced by Jim Gray, relives that anxious October night and the days leading up to it with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews from President Bush, Derek Jeter, Condoleezza Rice, Joe Torre, Rudy Giuliani, Billy Crystal, George Tenet, Bush family members, Cabinet officers and Secret Service agents. “First Pitch” will premiere on Friday, Sept. 11, on SportsCenterimmediately after the national moment of silence, as well as on Grantland.com and ESPN.com. It will also air that evening at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

Additional information including film clips and director statements and bios will be available on the 30 for 30 website espn.com/30for30; Follow 30 for 30 on Facebook (facebook.com/espn30for30) and Twitter (@30for30).

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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