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NBC: Drew Brees Not Replacing Cris Collinsworth Anytime Soon

“NBC has featured Al Michaels and Collinsworth on Sunday Night Football since 2009.”

Brandon Contes

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Drew Brees’ media career with NBC Sports is officially underway after the former Super Bowl winning quarterback announced his retirement from the NFL last week.

As his tenure with NBC kicks off, Brees is scheduled to work in the studio for Football Night in America and as a game analyst for Notre Dame football, also making network appearances for special events such as the Olympics or Kentucky Derby. 

When the hire was announced, many thought NBC was stashing Brees away for when the network parts with their lead Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth. Some believe Brees could replace Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth as soon as 2022. 

But during a 30-minute news conference on Wednesday, NBC Sports’ executive producer Sam Flood quickly dispelled the notion that Brees was with the network to replace Collinsworth

“Cris remains among the best to have ever done it, and the plan is to have him in that chair for a long time,” Flood said. “So the opportunity down the road is not something we’re looking at right now.”

NBC has featured Al Michaels and Collinsworth on Sunday Night Football since 2009. And with a minimum of one year remaining for the longtime broadcast pairing, Flood’s comments on Collinsworth were somewhat predictable. 

But Michaels’ contract is set to expire in 2022 and play-by-play voice Mike Tirico is expected to step into the Sunday Night Football booth. If this is his last season with NBC, a Super Bowl year would be a great parting gift. Meanwhile Brees will be working alongside Tirico for NBC’s coverage of Notre Dame football, making him a seemingly obvious choice to also be his TV partner for Sunday Night Footballfollowing a season of practice together. 

Brees could take a game or two away from Collinsworth, just as Tirico did last season when he gave Al Michaels the occasional breather. Publicly, NBC Sports’ executive producer stated Collinsworth doesn’t have to worry about losing his job to Brees anytime soon. But it’s hard to imagine a network being able to justify paying an elite play-by-play voice like Tirico and a beloved Hall-of-Fame quarterback in Brees to sit on the bench for long.

Sports TV News

Netflix CEO: ‘We’re Not Anti-Sports, We’re Just Pro-Profit’

“He characterized expensive media rights as a “loss leader” in the streaming world and noted that Netflix doesn’t view sports as a necessity to grow.”

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Netflix will not join Apple and Amazon in the rush to gobble up live sports rights. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos addressed the streaming giant’s disinterest at the UBS Global Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Wednesday.

He characterized expensive media rights as a “loss leader” in the streaming world and noted that Netflix doesn’t view sports as a necessity to grow.

“We’re not anti-sports,” Sarandos said according to Deadline. “We’re just pro-profit. We have yet to figure out how to do it. But I’m very confident we can get twice as big as we are without sports.” 

Questions about the interest the company has in carrying live sports have come up several times in the past. Sarandon made similar comments last year when asked about it.

Reed Hastings, Sarandos’s co-CEO at Netflix, has a slightly different view. In 2021, he indicated that Netflix could be interested in F1 rights someday thanks to the success of its documentary series Drive to Survive, but that would be a special case. Any league interested in doing business with Netflix, he said, would have to allow Netflix to control all of its content.

Ted Sarandos echoed that sentiment in his most recent comments. He said that the company does not see a way to profit by “renting big-league sports.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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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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