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Scully’s Final Year Unlikely To Include Dodgers TV Broadcasts

Jason Barrett

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Just wishing and hoping…that won’t get Vin Scully back in your TV set.

It’s still out there: the unofficial blackout. The dispute between one ginormous, obscenely rich media company and other gargantuan, opulent media companies.

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Do the Dodgers think that, at this point, fans really care? The vast majority of the Los Angeles region still don’t get the Dodgers on television. It’s remarkable, really.

That Scully could possibly broadcast a 67th consecutive and final season and most fans wouldn’t get to appreciate his last bits of professional brilliance is criminal. Is there anyone breathing in Los Angeles unaware of this?

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said at the general managers meetings in Florida on Tuesday that he was keenly aware.

“My concern could not be higher,” Manfred said. “I think that the Dodgers and the Los Angeles market are crucial to Major League Baseball and its reach. This has gone on a long time.”

Isn’t that swell? Manfred is concerned. Thanks for the input. That should shake up those stalled negotiations between Time Warner Cable and all the rest of the satellite and cable operators.

“I’m hopeful that there are dynamics in play beyond baseball, in terms of corporate activity, that may create some flexibility and, hopefully, we will get a resolution in time for the 2016 season,” he said.

Right, never heard that one before. Every year this proposed merger or that corporate union was just going to change everything. Only DirecTV and AT&T merged — and nothing. Charter and Time Warner announced they were hooking up like a couple of supervillains back in May, and still no agreement. And when has reducing competition ever proved beneficial to consumers?

The Dodgers signed their sweetheart, $8.35-billion deal with Time Warner and then washed their hands of the entire thing. It’s not our fault! If you write about this fiasco and don’t paint DirecTV as the heavy, team President Stan Kasten stops talking to you. There go all my one-on-ones.

Read more of this article at the Los Angeles Times which is where it was originally published

Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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