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Troy Aikman on Leaving Fox: ‘I Thought There Would’ve Been a Conversation’

“I just asked for an explanation on some things that I didn’t quite understand, and he opted not to do that as well. I guess that’s where it’s left and that’s how I’ll leave Fox.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Troy Aikman and Joe Buck have jumped ship from Fox to become the new broadcast team for Monday Night Football on ESPN. Aikman and Buck are just two of several NFL broadcasters who were on the move following this past season.

Even though Aikman is happy he will get to continue calling games alongside one of his best friends, he told Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated that he remains confused and disappointed in how Fox handled the situation.

Earlier this month, BSM covered Aikman explaining he became a free agent after hearing just one contract offer from Fox. He said his bosses basically sat back while the Hall of Fame quarterback had contract discussions with both Amazon to join its Thursday Night Football booth and ESPN.

Aikman told Traina that after Fox agreed to let him opt out of the remainder of his contract after six months, he never heard from his boss until he called to congratulate him on the ESPN deal.

“I guess it’s disappointing. I would’ve thought there would’ve been a conversation at least,” he said. “And then when I did talk with him, I just asked for an explanation on some things that I didn’t quite understand, and he opted not to do that as well. I guess that’s where it’s left and that’s how I’ll leave Fox and that’s fine. I’m excited about ESPN and thrilled to continue to work with Joe.”

It was clear Aikman was going to be offered a lot more money in his next contract than he previously made. He said his job performance had nothing to do with his Fox departure.

“There was no reason for me to believe Fox was unhappy with anything I had done, my work,” he told Traina. “I think they were happy with Joe and I. Again, I’m merely speculating because I was never told, but I’m guessing it was an opportunity for Fox to hit the reset button on the economics of the No. 1 booth.”

Aikman also mentioned how no one at Fox kept Joe in the loop about what Aikman was doing, and that the network probably hated to lose Buck because of the value he brings to the table away from the microphone.

“He has been a valued asset, but he’s probably as confused as I am in the sense that, you know, the talks that I was having with Amazon were going on for quite some time and yet there were no conversations going on with Joe and how that might impact him,” Aikman said.

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ESPN Reportedly To Lose Big Ten Media Rights For the First Time in 40 Years

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Jordan Bondurant

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BIG TEN, CBS, NBC, FOX SPORTS

After several months, it appears the Big Ten is nearing the finish line on a new media rights deal. And despite still reportedly being in negotiations with the conference, ESPN is looking set to lose out on media rights.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC are the frontrunners to join with FOX.

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Ourand reported his sources told him ESPN’s deal to keep the Big Ten was not as strong as the one offered by the other two networks.

It would mark the first time in four decades that ESPN didn’t have some involvement in Big Ten sports. But Ourand indicates the worldwide leader could pivot into bundling Big 12 and Pac-12 rights as an alternative. Additionally the network would then pursue keeping its deals with NCAA for championship coverage as well as being the home for the College Football Playoff.

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Pat McAfee: Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because The Show Comes First

“Energy, time, anything away from this show… we got a lot going on. This is my number one focus and it should remain as such…”

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Last week, it was announced that Pat McAfee would be hosting his own version of the popular Manning Cast only for college football games.

McAfee, co-host AJ Hawk, and the rest of his cast and crew from The Pat McAfee Show will host an alternate feed for six college football games this season.

McAfee was rumored to be in talks with Amazon about potentially hosting an alternate broadcast for its Thursday NFL games, and the former Colts punter had also reportedly talking with ESPN about potentially being featured on College GameDay.

McAfee said to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that ultimately the Amazon and GameDay deals didn’t come to fruition because it just didn’t make sense.

“I’ve had great conversations with both companies, we just weren’t able to get to a point where ‘the ask’ and ‘the business’ were where it needed to be to get a deal done on both fronts,” McAfee said.

McAfee on his show on Monday elaborated a bit further, trying to put to bed that he was being courted for Thursday Night Football.

“I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we were talking about, by the way,” he said. “I was never really approached for anything for Thursday Night Football. That was never really anything.”

Pat read from the full response to Marchand’s questions, posted under the Post story which appeared on the paper’s site Monday. He reiterated that his daily show and the small business he built around his show, take precedent over anything else.

“Energy, time, anything away from this show, this operation, this crew; we got families being built, we got houses being bought, we got 12 employees, we got a lot going on,” he said. “So this is my number one focus and it should remain as such because I have a brain, and also I care a lot about this operation. I love it, actually.”

Still, McAfee made it clear that just because no deal was signed with ESPN and Amazon for 2022 means the ship has sailed permanently. He’s keeping his doors open.

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Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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