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Ryan Clark Joined ESPN Because Trey Wingo Sent Him A Twitter DM

“When Clark got to New Orleans, he knew that if Wingo was willing to put in a good word for him, then he needed to give his best effort.”

Ricky Keeler

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In life, we never know where our next opportunity might come about if we are looking for employment. That was the case for current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark. While he was in the final years of his playing career, Clark put out a tweet asking if anybody was looking for an intern. 

It turned out Clark received a direct message on Twitter from Trey Wingo, who was then at ESPN. Wingo and Clark re-lived that memory on Wingo’s podcast, Half-Forgotten HistoryWhile Wingo did not want to take a lot of credit for starting Clark’s media career, he did think it was cool that an NFL player was willing to work as an intern somewhere. 

“I don’t like to take a lot of credit, but I do like to take a lot of credit for this because when you were playing, I was following you on Twitter… I just thought that was the coolest thing in the world that a guy who has a lot of success in the NFL was willing to be an intern somewhere.” 

When the Super Bowl was in New Orleans in 2013, Clark got introduced to Seth Markman, who is the vice president of product for ESPN. When Clark got to New Orleans, he knew that if Wingo was willing to put in a good word for him, then he needed to give his best effort.

“I just thought that was cool because in a world where people don’t keep their word, you did that for me and that’s why I took it seriously. F that, this guy put his name on the line for me. If Trey does not DM me, I never go to  work for that week.” 

Clark was in the news recently as he signed a new contract extension at ESPN and according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, he was close to leaving ESPN for FOX.  Still, the bond Wingo and Clark have formed might have helped Clark stay at ESPN even though Wingo is no longer with the network. 

On this episode, Clark goes into his playing career, his battle with the sickle-cell trait, and remembering one of his teammates in Washington, Sean Taylor: 

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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