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Woody Paige Says He Stole Mike Wilbon’s Car

“Now, Wilbon has not commented on social media or on Pardon The Interruption about what happened.”

Ricky Keeler

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When you watch Around The Horn on ESPN, you will find a debate show where the points matter and there is always competitive banter. However, sometimes, what you will find before the show starts are some interesting stories told by the people on the panel. 

Before Thursday’s show, Woody Paige mentioned before one of the Super Bowl that took place in Arizona (2008 or 2014) that he once took a fellow colleague’s car during the week of the big game off the ESPN compound in Scottsdale.

“When the Super Bowl was here and ESPN had a compound in Scottsdale, we did all of our shows there. I got through with my show. I’m out in the parking lot, trying to figure out where I parked my rental car. Wilbon comes into the compound area, pulls up there. He rolls down the window and says you got my car? I got the car, drove it down the compound down the street. When I came back, he was talking to the security guard about how someone came and took his car. I pulled up and said, you want to park my car, Michael?”

Now, Wilbon has not commented on social media or on Pardon The Interruption about what happened. However, if this is a true story, Paige’s prank does show some of the hijinks that can go on behind-the-scenes at ESPN. Plus, you never know what you are going to get during these segments that get posted on social media from the panelists. 

For example, before Tuesday’s show, Atlanta native Elle Duncan went on a rant about people that think Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan has a case to get into the Hall of Fame.

“I knew everything I needed to know about Matt Ryan when he didn’t look on that damn sideline during that Super Bowl debacle and go we’re going to f*** run the ball. I don’t care what you are calling Kyle Shanahan, I’m the league MVP, we are running the ball.” 

As far as Paige and Wilbon are concerned, we await to see if Wilbon comments on Paige’s story. Nevertheless, the viewer did get an inside look as to what potentially happens on the ESPN set during Super Bowl week.

The story also serves as proof that watching Before The Horn is just as important as the television show that comes after it. You never know what kind of story or rant or entertainment you are going to get. 

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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