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Analysts Skeptical Of Apple’s Interest In NFL Sunday Ticket

The package is controlled by DirecTV until 2022.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Apple

A report from The Information last week zoomed in on early talks between Apple and the NFL over Sunday Ticket rights but analysts are skeptical. Sportico discussed the report with two industry insiders who aren’t convinced Apple is a serious player for the rights.

Publisher of TVAnswerMan.com Phillip Swann and LightShed Partners media and technology analyst Rich Greenfield are having a hard time picturing the NFL as Apple’s first foray into streaming sports.

“Apple has shown no indication to date, outside of a [single] hire (Jim DeLorenzo), that they have serious sports ambitions,” Swann said. “They also have not shown any real indication they want to be a super major player in streaming.”

Greenfield recognized how relationships with the two biggest tech giants on the planet would be major since Amazon has already secured exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football.

“To the extent Apple is serious, it [would be] a huge development for the NFL,” Greenfield said. “Having both Amazon and Apple [competing for Sunday Ticket rights], given what is happening to the traditional legacy media companies, [would be] a really big deal for the future of sports rights and the future of NFL rights.”

Yet, a deal like this would be unprecedented in the streaming arena. Swann noted that Peacock and ESPN+ bolstered their early offerings with lower-tier leagues as a foundation.

“It begs credulity to think the first step [Apple] would take in licensing sports would be Sunday Ticket,” Swann said. “It is kind of like saying [a player] that just came up to the majors from class-A [minor league ball] is going to hit a grand slam in his first at-bat.”

Swann pointed to one established streaming service that could be ready to make a big splash. 

“Peacock is the sleeping giant in this. They have the money. They have the motivation to build something, and they are constantly adding live sports. That is not a coincidence,” he said. “They are building a live sports powerhouse over there, and [the addition of] Sunday Ticket would be a game-changer.”

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Tim Brando: Fox Has Been ‘So Good To Me’

“FOX actually asked me ‘Hey Tim, is there anybody you’d like to have with you’. I said yes, Spencer’s contract is up over at CBS and they went out and hired him.”

Ricky Keeler

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Legendary play-by-play broadcaster Tim Brando has had one of the rare distinctions of working at ESPN, CBS, and FOX. He also has had the chance to work with the same partner at two different networks, which is not something that is very common.

Brando was a guest on the Straight Fire with Jason McIntyre podcast on Wednesday. During the segment, Brando talked about how when Joel Klatt moved up to the lead broadcast booth on FOX’s college football coverage in 2015, the network asked Brando who he wanted with him in the booth. His answer was to go bring in someone else he was very familiar with at CBS before FOX hired him in 2014, Spencer Tillman.

“When Joel moved up to work with Gus, FOX actually asked me ‘Hey Tim, is there anybody you’d like to have with you’. I said yes, Spencer’s contract is up over at CBS and they went out and hired him.”

Brando worked with Tillman calling college football games on CBS and in studio shows as well. This year, the two of them will begin their 24th year working together in some capacity over the last 25 years, which is quite the accomplishment.

When FOX called Brando to join their team in 2014 after CBS let him go, he was excited for another opportunity and he saw the vision and the growing college football coverage that the network was planning.

“In so many ways, FOX has been so good for me. When I left CBS abruptly back in 2014, I think a lot of people including me thought Oh gosh, I think I’ve earned enough checkmarks that I should land with a good parachute at a good place.

“I was a free agent for about 8-9 months. When FOX called, I was so excited. Their portfolio was growing, but it wasn’t nearly what it is today. They were visionary. I think they were thinking we are going to grow our college football portfolio. We need more people. We need to add some greater depth. Maybe some people that have a little more understanding of the history of the game. It’s not always popular for a young television executive to hire a 58-year-old guy that has worked at 3 different networks, but FOX did and I really owe them a lot.”

Brando definitely brings that to any college football game that he calls and he will begin his 9th season at FOX this year in addition to the college basketball game he broadcasts as well. 

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Julian Edelman Launches ‘Games With Names’ Podcast

The podcast, which will debut August 23rd, will relive the most iconic games in sports history, hence the Games with Names moniker.

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Former NFL wide receiver and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman has teamed up with comedian Sam Morril to launch the Games with Names podcast.

The podcast, which will debut August 23rd, will relive the most iconic games in sports history, hence the Games with Names moniker.

“Everyone’s always talking about who the GOAT is, but Sam and I are looking for the GOAG: The Greatest of all Games,” Edelman said.

Edelman, who retired from the NFL in 2020, has already worked elsewhere in sports media. He joined the cast of Inside the NFL on Paramount+ last season.

Meanwhile, Morril was excited to get the opportunity to work with Edelman.

“Julian Edelman is a three-time Super Bowl Champion and I just got 10,000 airline miles complaining that my in flight TV didn’t work,” said Morril. “We both know how to get things done, and it was only a matter of time before we joined forces.”

The podcast will be presented by WynnBET.

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Colin Cowherd Adds Madden Streamer Brady Mays to The Volume

Cowherd added that Mays, 25, brings a different level of content to the table.

Jordan Bondurant

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Colin Cowherd once had very strong feelings about video games and esports, but apparently his mindset has changed. It’s changed so much so that Cowherd has brought on a popular Madden NFL streamer to his digital company The Volume.

Brady “Mayz” Mays has made a name for himself on YouTube streaming himself playing the popular video game. According to Yahoo, Mays channel amassed upwards of 100,000 subscribers.

“I’ve had a total change of heart,” Cowherd said in an email to Sportico. “That business is so lucrative that parents these days might be telling their kids to STOP playing outside and go inside and play some video games.”

Cowherd added that Mays, 25, brings a different level of content to the table, and that was what drew their interest in the streamer.

“At The Volume, we comb the internet for people who cut through within a specific genre,” Cowherd said. “We wanted to find a unique talent in esports, starting with Madden, and at every turn, someone on the internet was pointing to Mayz.”

“I’m excited to bring a new, innovative style of content to the table,” Mays added. “Partnering with Colin and The Volume is a testament to the growth and legitimacy of the gaming industry today.”

Mays will be the first person hired by The Volume to stream on Twitch. The newest edition of the EA Sports Madden NFL franchise drops later this week.

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