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Cameron Maybin Excited to Join YES Network: ‘I Couldn’t Turn It Down’

“After three innings, that’s all they wanted us to do, I put down the headset, Peter [Rosenberg] and I turned to Cameron and said ‘You are going to be a huge star.'”

Ricky Keeler

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Once the 2022 Major League Baseball season actually begins, there will be a new addition to the YES Network booth. Cameron Maybin will be one of the new in-game analysts calling New York Yankees games this season (joining Carlos Beltran)

His broadcasting agent, Mark Lepselter, told BSM that Cameron Maybin is scheduled to be the analyst on 40 games this season working alongside Michael Kay, who auditioned him.

Maybin had a 15-year MLB career, which included one season with the Yankees in 2019 (batting .285 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 82 games) where he became a fan favorite.

Maybin was the fill-in host for CC Sabathia this week on The Ringer’s R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco, who could be the play-by-play announcer on some of the games Maybin broadcasts this season. Ruocco said he knew that Maybin was going to be a star in this industry:

“I know the kind of career you are about to have in this business. For me to just be a part of the spark, I take great pride in that,” said Ruocco.

“When you came in and did your audition for YES, as soon as you were done, I had Troy Benjamin [lead producer for Yankees]… When you were a Yankee, I told him, dude, we should be tracking Cam when he’s done, he’s going to be a great analyst. He texted me the second you were done and he was just like, ‘Cam was incredible. He crushed his audition.’”

Michael Kay also talked about Maybin’s audition on The Michael Kay Show on Thursday. Kay and Maybin did three innings of a Yankees-Mets game from last year as part of Maybin’s audition and Kay enjoyed every second of it.

We sat in a studio in Stamford and we did the first three innings of a Yankees-Mets game from last year,” Kay explained. “After three innings, that’s all they wanted us to do, I put down the headset, Peter [Rosenberg] and I turned to Cameron and said ‘You are going to be a huge star.’ People are going to be shocked at how good this guy is. The first time he ever put on a headset, totally natural, funny, engaging, handsome, current, young. He’s going to be a star.”

“It’s a tremendous opportunity working with John Filippelli [President of Production and Programming] over at YES,” Lepselter said. “I know Cameron was very appreciative of Michael Kay’s guidance in the audition process.”

Maybin mentioned that he loves listening to baseball games and he wants to bring something different to the games in the booth this season because of the experience he had playing the game:

“I love listening to the game. I really enjoy listening to Michael Kay, David Cone, Nate Burleson. Even the guys who don’t do the broadcast,” said Maybin.

“I’m a people person. I love everyone. I thought what an opportunity to give people a different perspective, different voice, different flavor. 15 years of experience, I’ve been in three different decades of baseball… The opportunity that I had, the experience I was able to have, I want to share that with people. I enjoy sharing moments so why not share those moments with the fans.

“I fell in love with New York playing for the Yankees. So to have the opportunity to cover the Yankees, I think one of the more historic franchises in sports history… The opportunity to come to the YES Network, continue to feel like I am still somewhat a part of the Yankees family. The opportunity couldn’t work out better for me. I couldn’t turn it down. I am excited about the journey and doing it at the highest level.”

Even though baseball has been a game focused on analytics in recent years, Maybin wants to bring to the viewer what he is seeing as a former player:

“I’m by no means the smartest guy in the room,” he said. “I want to be able to connect with those fans that don’t know all the numbers. Tell me what’s going on, tell me what’s happening, why it’s happening. A lot of fans, they just want you to tell them what’s going on in the game. I want to bring that organic aspect.” 

This is just the first major deal for Maybin. Lepselter says his client will have two more announcements in the near future.

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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