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XFL Wants To Use TV Deals In Potential Sale

“If the league is sold, ESPN doesn’t see much reason for continuing the relationship.”

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The XFL shutdown along with the rest of the sports world in March. By April, the league virtually signaled that it was out of business, firing most of its staff. Right now though, the XFL is going through the process of bankruptcy and wants to keep its TV deals in place in order to convince a potential buyer that the league may live to play another day.

Before a single game even kicked off, the XFL had TV deals in place with both FOX and ESPN. Partnerships with two of the biggest names in sports broadcasting would certainly be enticing to any buyer. The problem though, according to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, is that FOX wants to change its deal with the XFL, while ESPN just wants out.

ESPN’s position is that it entered into a broadcast agreement with the XFL “based on the specific character and quality of certain professionals involved in creating and organizing the new XFL league, and promoting and producing XFL events.” The gist seems to be that ESPN wasn’t interested in a fledgling spring football league. It was interested in working with Vince McMahon. If the league is sold, ESPN doesn’t see much reason for continuing the relationship.

Joe Lucia makes an interesting point about the TV deals that McMahon secured before the XFL’s relaunch that would seem to indicate that ESPN has a valid argument.

“It could be argued that the commitment to high quality telecasts from ESPN and Fox helped the XFL succeed more in 2020 than the league would have if its games were on different networks that committed fewer resources and attention to the product,” he writes for Awful Announcing. And really, if the XFL’s assets are sold to an entity with far less experience in the media world than McMahon, is it really worth it for ESPN and Fox to put as much work into the XFL as they did this spring?”

FOX claims that Alpha Entertainment, the parent company of the XFL, agreed to renegotiate their agreement in the event the league was to be sold. In court papers, FOX wrote that the two sides “are in cooperative discussions” now.

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Legendary NFL QB and Broadcaster Len Dawson Enters Hospice Care

Len’s wife Linda has asked for privacy during this difficult time, as well as prayers for Len and the family.

Jordan Bondurant

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Len Dawson

Hall of Fame quarterback and Kansas City Chiefs legend Len Dawson has taken a turn health wise and is being put into hospice care, according to reports.

Dawson played 19 seasons in the NFL, spending the majority of his career with the Chiefs. He still holds team records for career pass yards, touchdowns and victories.

Dawson also spent the latter part of five decades in the broadcast business, working at KMBC in the 1960s while still playing for the Chiefs.

Len’s wife Linda has asked for privacy during this difficult time, as well as prayers for Len and the family.

Dawson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. He helped lead the Chiefs to a victory in Super Bowl IV in 1969.

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Jason Garrett and Jac Collinsworth to Call Notre Dame Games for NBC in 2022

NBC has tapped Jac Collinsworth and former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett to call Fighting Irish games.

Jordan Bondurant

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Jac Collinsworth, Jason Garrett

With Mike Tirico finally graduating up to take the lead play-by-play spot for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the network has named its new broadcast team for coverage of Notre Dame football.

According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, NBC has tapped Jac Collinsworth and former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett to call Fighting Irish games.

Collinsworth and Garrett will add to their plates with this new opportunity. They are also studio analysts on Football Night in America.

NBC teamed Garrett and Collinsworth up this spring and summer, working together to call USFL games for NBC/Peacock.

Notre Dame’s 2022 season begins September 10.

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Matthew Berry: ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit’ Led to ESPN Exit

“I have an entrepreneurial spirit…I wanted to continue my Fantasy Life stuff. I wanted to be able to keep doing that and building those businesses,” said Berry.

Ricky Keeler

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Matthew Berry

It’s been over a week since renowned fantasy football expert Matthew Berry joined NBC Sports after announcing his intention to leave ESPN after 15 years. It made many to wonder why Berry would switch networks.

Berry was on the Brother from Another show with Michael Smith this week. Smith and Berry will do two fantasy shows in the upcoming weeks. On Wednesday, August 17 at 8 PM ET on Peacock, they will host the RotoWorld Draft Guide Show. During the football season, the duo will host the Fantasy Football Tailgate show from 11 AM-1 PM on Peacock before the day’s NFL action begins.

Before the two of them broke down fantasy football, Berry told Smith that he wasn’t necessarily looking to leave the Worldwide Leader and the money wasn’t exactly that much different.

“I wasn’t looking to leave ESPN. I have nothing bad to say about the place. The reason anyone gives a blank about me is because of those four letters and I’m proud of everything we accomplished there.”

“What I would tell you is that there were two things that were super important to me. Obviously, you want to be paid as much as you can get. We all want to make as much money as possible. It was very comparable in terms of what ESPN offered me to stay. ESPN offered me a 3-year extension, very nice raise. NBC also made a very generous offer, so the money was basically equal.”

With money not being the sole reason for the switch, Berry wanted to keep the Fantasy Life app and FantasyLife.com going, which was something he would not be able to do if he was still at ESPN.

“I have an entrepreneurial spirit…I wanted to continue my Fantasy Life stuff. I wanted to be able to keep doing that and building those businesses,” said Berry.

The other main reason for Berry going to NBC is that he wanted to be a part of the NFL coverage, an opportunity he was told he would have by being on Football Night in America Sunday nights during the season.

“I wanted to be a part of NFL coverage. I’ve always tried to push the ball forward in terms of fantasy analysis. I believe that when you are talking fantasy, you are talking NFL. All it is is you are just talking ball…At ESPN because ESPN is owned by Disney, the entrepreneurial stuff wasn’t going to be allowed and I just wasn’t going to be a part of NFL coverage there. That’s how they’ve set their company up and let’s be clear, they have done really, really well over the years. It’s important for me to be a part of NFL coverage to have fantasy truly be aligned.” 

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