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Charles Barkley: I Was Offered Monday Night Football Gig

“We have no idea when Barkley was offered a Monday Night Football opportunity, or how serious the idea was.”

Brandon Contes

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Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tony Romo, these are names we’ve heard as potential analysts for Monday Night Football in recent years. And they make sense, because they played in the NFL, they’re experts in the sport. Charles Barkley on Monday Night Football? That doesn’t make sense.

Barkley is synonymous with the NBA. He was a hall-of-fame player and now he’s a hall-of-fame analyst. His analysis is a stretch for the NCAA Tournament, but at least it’s basketball, a sport he knows. 

Joining Hank Azaria’s The Jim Brockmire Podcast as part of Meadowlark Media, Barkley casually mentioned he was once offered the Monday Night Football gig. It came up during an attempt to disparage people’s incessant need to use Twitter as a way of commenting on everything. Recognizing his lane, the hall-of-fame power forward said he knew he wasn’t a fit for the job and didn’t want to pretend to be an expert the way people on Twitter do. 

“These guys…they feel the need to comment on everything that’s happening in the world,” Barkley said of the Twittersphere. “I only comment on basketball. Like, they offered me Monday Night Football, I said, I like football, but I ain’t going to be one of these jackasses to get on TV and act like he knows about football.” 

We have no idea when Barkley was offered a Monday Night Football opportunity, or how serious the idea was. But if the offer was indeed made, it likely came before Monday Night Football’s failed experiment with an analyst who was put on TV to act like he knows about football in Dennis Miller. Miller was hired for Monday Night Football in June 2000, around the same time Barkley joined TNT. 

Are we sure the basketball analyst didn’t just overhear someone from ESPN say they’re looking for football’s version of Charles Barkley?  Magnetizing, brash, polarizing, funny, Barkley has plenty of characteristics ESPN would look for in an NFL analyst, except for his lack of football expertise. But it’s fair to assume ESPN could have been in search of the football version of Charles Barkley.

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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