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GMFB’s Peter Schrager Gives His Insight Into Sean McVay Dilemma

“I don’t think he would ditch Stafford unless they had a really long conversation about that… It’s not about leverage and money.”

Ricky Keeler

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NFL Network

If there’s one person in the sports media world that might have the most knowledge about Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and his future plans, it would be FOX NFL analyst and one of the hosts of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, Peter Schrager.

Last summer, Schrager hosted a podcast with McVay called The Flying Coach, part of The Ringer network, in which the two of them talked to different coaches around the league for the bulk of those episodes.

On Wednesday’s GMFB, Schrager was asked to give his take on the rumors that McVay could leave coaching to join the broadcast booth in the future:

“We did a podcast this summer that was 10 episodes of us interviewing other head coaches,” Schrager said. “Sean loved it. He had a bite at the apple at doing this and just talking and hosting. The TV stuff is very real. There is a place for him on TV in the future.”

“A lot of these networks are in a transitional phase. Al [Michaels] might have called his last game for NBC Sunday Night… Troy [Aikman], his contract with FOX is up in the air right now… Sean Payton is now in the pool, whether it be a studio show or whether it be in the booth. Amazon might have plans to, ‘here’s what our studio show will look like, here’s what our booth will look like.’ If Sean McVay enters the fray, you can tear it all down and start all over because I think McVay is the number one hire for all of these networks.”

Schrager acknowledged that the idea of doing TV in the future is appealing to McVay. However, in terms of maybe leaving the Rams in the immediate future, the current quarterback may be the one player that keeps the Super Bowl winning coach on the sideline for now.

“He’s fresh, he’s 36, he wants to do this thing and he’s coming off of a Super Bowl championship,” said Schrager. “So, there is this TV allure and there is this great pull to him where there are offers going to be made. He can make more money on TV than he is making right now coaching the Rams and it is a far easier job… It’s very appealing and I don’t think the door is shut on any of that stuff.”

“I will also say this, he helped lure Matthew Stafford there. He wanted Stafford. I don’t think he would ditch Stafford unless they had a really long conversation about that. The rest of the team, the organization, that’s whatever. It’s not about leverage and money. I think Stafford is the key piece. I don’t see him leaving until him and Stafford have a long talk… It won’t be decided this week or the next couple of weeks, but I think Stafford is the key point.” 

If I could recommend one listen for a podcast, it would be to check out the two-part episode that McVay and Schrager did with Troy Aikman as they dove into some broadcasting topics in addition to talking about the game. On Part one, McVay said it was easy to talk football in the production meeting with Aikman because he asks the right questions: 

“To Troy’s credit, there comes a level of respect when you can tell whether you are a coach or a player, the good ones, they’re all working at it. The production meetings are always the easiest to me when you are working with the guys that you can tell they are putting the work in and are asking the right type of questions. The week in preparation, there is a level of trust that exists, but there’s also a level of respect. I’m a fan of football and say how unique an opportunity it is to talk ball with Troy Aikman and Jimmie Johnson.” 

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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