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Religion of Sports, Skydance Sports Announce Production Agreement, First Project

The first project is a scripted sports drama entitled The Owl, centered on an American-born boxer who becomes an orphan before crossing into Mexico to find his family.

Jordan Bondurant

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Here’s some more non-football-related news that has a connection to quarterback Tom Brady. Religion of Sports, a media company co-founded by Brady, Hall of Famer Michael Strahan and filmmaker Gotham Chopra, has partnered with Skydance Sports to develop and produce scripted TV, documentary, and audio content across multiple platforms.

Brady co-founded Religion of Sports in 2017 with the goal being to create content that “is defined by thoughtful, elevated stories that explore a range of themes and uncover why sports matter.”

The first project in the works under this new partnership is a scripted sports drama entitled The Owl. It will be centered on an American-born boxer who becomes an orphan before crossing into Mexico to find his family. From there, he is thrust into the world of boxing.

The series is being created and executive produced by Michael Perri and directed by Aurora Guerrero.

“Our mission at Religion of Sports is to tell stories about why sports matter, and to make believers out of everyone who sees our content,” Chopra said in an official release. “Collaborating with Michael Perri and Aurora Guerrero on The Owl puts us all on our way to achieving those goals.”

The announcement of the partnership was made on Wednesday by Chopra and Jesse Sisgold, Skydance Media President and COO, who oversees Skydance Sports. The partnership also allows for the pursuit of sports-themed intellectual property that can be exploited in a wide range of formats, from live events to video games.

“This cross-media partnership with my friend Gotham and his Religion of Sports team allows us to perfectly match these sports stories to how they should best be told,” Sisgold said.

Brady announced last month he would be working on an upcoming movie called 80 for Brady, which is set to star Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, and Sally Field. So to see another entertainment deal announced that links back to the legendary QB is not surprising.

Sports TV News

Candace Parker, Draymond Green Joining NBA All-Star Game Broadcast

The 36-year-old Parker will make history as the first woman to work as an analyst for the event.

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WNBA superstar Candace Parker and Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green will join the NBA All-Star Game broadcast crew later this month.

Parker will team with play-by-play man Brian Anderson and Reggie Miller for the broadcast on TNT. Dennis Scott will work as the sideline reporter for the broadcast.

The 36-year-old Parker will make history as the first woman to work as an analyst for the event. Parker currently serves as a game and studio analyst for the NBA on TNT but will be announcing her first NBA All-Star Game.

The event is also the first for Anderson, who joins an illustrious group of play-by-players like Bob Costas, Marv Albert, and Kevin Harlan as voices of the NBA All-Star Game.

Green will be joined by the Inside the NBA studio crew — Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, and Charles Barkley — for the alternate broadcast on TBS.

A four-time All-Star in his own right, Green is a contributor to TNT throughout the NBA season.

The 2023 NBA All-Star Game takes place on Sunday, February 19th in Salt Lake City.

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Sports TV News

Kevin Harvick Only Spoke to FOX About Broadcasting Opportunities

“They’re very similar to the things I like to do — being a little bit edgy and doing things their own way.”

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NASCAR legend Kevin Harvick is joining the NASCAR on FOX booth for the 2024 season. The former series champion said the network was the only one he discussed broadcasting opportunities with.

Harvick told Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern that FOX was the only outlet he would have considered joining, claiming “they’re very similar to the things I like to do — being a little bit edgy and doing things their own way.”

The 60-race winner will join longtime play-by-play announcer Mike Joy and former teammate Clint Bowyer in the NASCAR on FOX booth after completing his final season of competition in 2023.

Harvick added he is looking forward to getting to know more people behind the scenes at the network.

“One of the most intriguing things to me is being more involved in the whole process and getting to know the production people and producers.”

FOX had been seeking a replacement for another NASCAR legend — Jeff Gordon — after he departed the booth to join Hendrick Motorsports as its Vice Chairman after the 2021 season. Meanwhile, the NASCAR on NBC analysts roles are currently held by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton, both somewhat recently retired drivers in their own right.

The addition of Harvick to its broadcast team could be considered a signal that FOX Sports is serious about continuing a relationship with NASCAR. The motorsports entity is reportedly planning to take its television rights to the open market as its contracts with FOX Sports and NBC Sports end after the 2024 season.

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Sports TV News

Chris Berman Says NBC Offered To Triple His Salary In 1989 to Leave ESPN

“(NBC) put an offer out there that was times three or four, which — ok — that took a while to get resolved.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Chris Berman has always felt like ESPN was home for him.

There have been a couple of instances throughout his more than four-decade career at The Worldwide Leader where Berman was entertaining offers to leave. But Berman told Jimmy Traina on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast he always knew ESPN was where he needed to be.

One instance came in 1989 when ESPN was still somewhat a single fledgling sports channel. Berman at the time was weighing leaving Bristol for NBC.

“ESPN was a different place,” Berman said. “We were only one channel then, remember.”

“(NBC) put an offer out there that was times three or four,” he added. “Which — ok — that took a while to get resolved.”

Berman said in terms of his career, deciding to remain at ESPN turned out to be the right choice.

“My God it’s the greatest move I never made,” he said. “At the time I was gonna be the number two guy behind Bob Costas doing football.

“Just job-wise, forget money and this – I’m not in it for that anyway,” Berman added. “I started at 16 thousand bucks.”

Chris talked about the coverage the potential move received. He said the decision was about something bigger than money. He loved getting to cover sports every day.

“That was not the point,” he said. “I wasn’t leveraging anything, and again thank God I’ve been here 43 years.”

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