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Greg Olsen: Being In Production Meetings This Season Made Me Better Broadcaster

“This was the first time now calling NFL games that I could be in the production meetings and talk to Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers and pick the brains of Sean McVay.”

Ricky Keeler

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Greg Olsen

Even though former NFL tight end Greg Olsen had broadcasted some games for FOX in 2017 and 2019, this past season was a unique experience for Olsen as he was able to participate in more prep work that he could not do while he was an active player.

On the most recent episode of The Colin Cowherd Podcast on The Volume, Olsen talked about being a part of the production meetings this year and getting to speak with players and coaches and just talk football.

“When I called the games as a player, I was never allowed in the production meetings,” said Olsen. “I was not allowed at the facilities, I was not allowed on the calls with the head coach, the offensive coordinator, the players… That was a FOX rule, that was a my rule. I didn’t feel comfortable being a part of that.

“This was the first time now calling NFL games that I could be in the production meetings and talk to Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers and pick the brains of Sean McVay. We had a 45-minute conversation with Bill Belichick and I don’t even know if we talked about the upcoming game with Indianapolis. We talked about coaching philosophy and how he views the players and how he views relationships and storytelling… We just had a really cool conversation.”

Olsen said taking part in the production meetings allowed the broadcasts that he did with Kevin Burkhardt to be as strong as they were.

Those are the things I couldn’t really prepare for because I had never done it before,” Olsen said. “That was probably the highlight of the week and made the game with Burkhardt on Sunday so fun and organic and we can tell stories and share perspectives. I always knew that part I was going to enjoy. The week of work and staying connected with the players and the schemes and trying to stay close to the game, I really enjoyed that part of it.”

With the NFL broadcast free agent frenzy still in full swing, it is unclear what team Olsen will be on yet for the 2022-23 NFL season. However, he knows he can be in the booth for a long time and that he has had a lot of fun broadcasting: 

“I would say it’s as fun, if not more than I anticipated. I always knew that I would like it,” said Olsen.  

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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