Someone has to be really fired up in order for Stephen A. Smith to not be able to get a word in during a conversation. “Really fired up” would be an understatement for Molly Qerim on Monday’s edition of First Take.
Smith asked his co-host what she would want to see the NFL do when it comes to DeShaun Watson after a grand jury failed to indict him last week. He described the NFL’s female audience as “profound” and “incredibly potent.” He asked Qerim what that audience wants to see the league do.
“There’s 22 lawsuits, 22 civil suits,” Qerim answered. “I don’t know if he’s won or lost. That’s why I think it’s premature by the Cleveland Browns to give this man the most guaranteed money ever.”
The NFL has a set punishment for incidents of domestic violence. The rule is a player is suspended for six games. Molly Qerim described that as “egregious” and said that players facing those charges should be out for a year minimum.
She went on to say the Browns have made a mockery of any punishment handed down to DeShaun Watson by restructuring his contract. He will get paid just over $1 million in the first year of the deal. That would be the check that sees the effects of a suspension. He would have $229 million more guaranteed to him that the league wouldn’t be able to touch.
“If he’s losing these cases, he should not be playing a full season. Maybe two seasons. That’s why they gave him a million dollars, Stephen A, because they know punishment might come down. A million dollars when you’re about to get $229 million? That’s a slap in the face to all women everywhere!”
The threshold for punishment from the league is lower than being charged with a crime. Adam “Pac Man” Jones often points out that he was never convicted of anything despite having been suspended from the league for an entire season in 2007.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
“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.