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Ryan Callahan on ESPN Move: ‘I Hear the NHL Entry Music, It Gives Me Goosebumps’

“Obviously when ESPN called, it’s the Worldwide Leader In Sports, it doesn’t get any better than that. Even when I’m on-air and I hear the NHL entry music, it gives me goosebumps a little bit.”

Ricky Keeler

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This year, former NHL veteran Ryan Callahan joined ESPN in its return to hockey coverage after being an analyst for NHL Network and NBC Sports for the last couple of years and he is enjoying every second of it.

Callahan was a guest on The Block Party with Seth Kushner podcast and discussed his time at ESPN so far. While he feels he still has some things to improve on as an analyst, it hasn’t taken away from the experience so far.

“I’m enjoying it… Getting into TV, I didn’t know what to expect, right?” Callahan said. “I loved doing it. I liked it. Then, obviously when ESPN called, it’s the Worldwide Leader In Sports, it doesn’t get any better than that. Even when I’m on-air and I hear the NHL entry music, it gives me goosebumps a little bit. It’s a great network. I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. I’ve had the chance to do some in-games this year, which has been a lot of fun.

“I’m learning as I go. There’s things I obviously can improve on, but I like talking hockey. I feel like I know the game and no better way to do that than at ESPN.”

At ESPN, there is one thing Callahan has heard from people at the network that they want him to do. However, at the same time, they want him to stick to being himself.

“Kind of go do your own thing. Obviously, they’ll throw you suggestions here and there of things on how to present it better, how to get your point across a little bit better,” said Callahan. “For the most part, they let you go out there and run. The biggest thing is state your opinion. People are tuning in to hear what you have to say, not what they want to hear or somebody else’s opinion. I just go out there and call it how I see it really and I’ve enjoyed doing it.”

While Callahan knows there will be times on-air that he will mess up, he is not shy being in front of a camera from his days as a captain and assistant captain in the NHL and it allows him to not put too much pressure on himself.

“I think the biggest thing is I don’t put too much pressure on it. There’s going to be times where I mess things up, there’s going to be times where I say things I maybe shouldn’t have said or whatever,” Callahan said.

“I just don’t put pressure on it. I go out there and enjoy myself. Obviously, playing all the years I played and being in front of the camera, being captain of the Rangers, assistant captain of the Lightning, I wasn’t shy to interviews or cameras. That part of it didn’t bother me at all.” 

Sports TV News

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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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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FOX Sports VP: ‘USFL Proves Spring Football As Valuable As Rising Properties’

“We want to show we belong in that category, and I think that happened.”

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Michael Mulvihill says the USFL accomplished exactly what FOX needed it to. It proved there is a large enough audience for spring football that it has a value on par with some of the hottest properties in sports media right now.

 “All we wanted to do is demonstrate that spring football can do viewership at the levels of Premier League, NHL regular season, Formula One or MLS,” the FOX Sports Executive VP said according to Sports Business Journal. “We want to show we belong in that category, and I think that happened.”

While none of those properties are pulling in the kind of media rights money the NFL or major college football is, Mulvihill pointed out that all of them have been in the news for the right reasons.

“You’re talking about properties that have all recently negotiated deals at substantial increases, or with F1, people know it’s about to.”

The USFL had a solid broadcasting footprint with games airing on FOX, NBC, FS1 and USA. Regular season games for the first year of the revived league averaged just under 700,000 viewers.

Mulvihill said fans behaved exactly how he expected them to in the first season of the USFL. Without any team loyalties, he isn’t surprised that people watched less of an average USFL game than they did the NFL or college football.

The USFL Playoffs begin this weekend. Canton, OH will host the league’s first championship game on July 3.

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