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Chris Vosters Named New TV Voice Of Chicago Blackhawks

“Vosters will turn 31 next month. He has been alive for less time than Foley has been calling Blackhawks games.

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Pat Foley announced before the start of the NHL season that this would be his last as the television voice of the Chicago Blackhawks. Throughout the year, he would take games off so that the team could audition broadcasters to replace him. On Sunday, the team announced that honor would go to Chris Vosters.

Vosters will turn 31 next month. He has been alive for less time than Foley has been calling Blackhawks games.

He told Scott Powers of The Athletic that as soon as the audition process began, Foley reached out. The veteran showed his support and encouraged Chris Vosters to be himself and own the broadcast.

“Pat said, ‘When I’m doing the game, I’m absolutely in no way part of the broadcast,’” Vosters said. “So, you know, he’s telling me, ‘Just don’t think about me or don’t think about this as my job or my chair or anything like that, just be yourself and call the game the way that you feel fit.’ And that really meant a lot to me.”

The Chicago Blackhawks’ search prioritized candidates with national TV experience. Chris Vosters has called college sports, events at the Olympics, and minor league baseball in his career. He has worked for NBC Sports, FOX Sports, Big Ten Network and ESPN.

Fans were not shy about expressing their opinions this season as new voices would step in for Foley. Eddie Olczyk, who will continue to serve as the color analyst on the NBC Sports Chicago broadcast, says he expects his new partner to win over Blackhawks fans quickly.

“He’s got a great personality. He’s very outgoing. I think he’s got a quick mind, a quick wit that will go over very well moving forward,” Olczyk said. “His call, to me, just was very comfortable, and it was easy to work with him. And that’s no disrespect to anybody else that sat in the chair. I think I got along, I felt comfortable with everybody, but just kind of felt with Chris, he has some air under him and he’s got some experience. I think fans will appreciate his cadence and (I’m) looking forward to being able to build a following and build that camaraderie and that trust with a fan base, because, as we’ve always said, we’re pretty much the voice for the franchise when we’re on television, so that’s a very important seat, and just enjoy getting to know Chris and work with him.”

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The NFL Still Considering Multiple Offers For Sunday Ticket

The NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has not bid for the package but has stated it is willing to partner with the new rightsholder for a potential deal.

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Sunday Ticket Negotiations

DirecTV currently has the rights to Sunday Ticket. That deal expires at the end of this upcoming football season. The NFL is expected to make a boatload of cash when they decide which media organization gets the next rights to the package. The only question is… who will that be?

Alex Sherman of CNBC reports that the NFL has had the respective bids of Disney, Apple and Amazon for weeks now. DirecTV has decided not bid for the package. However, they are interested in partnering with the new rightsholder for a potential deal. DirecTV knows that Sunday Ticket is a staple in bars and restaurants and is interested in maintaining those relationships.

Outside of the bar/restaurant industry, success has been limited for the satellite provider with the football package. Fewer than two million subscribers signed up for Sunday Ticket each year which made the package a money-loser for the satellite TV provider.

According to the report, the NFL wants more than $2 billion for the rights and a stake in NFL Media, which is being packaged with Sunday Ticket. Also on the table is the NFL’s mobile rights. The league’s previous mobile agreement with Verizon has ended.

An interesting piece of the negotiations is Sunday Ticket price. According to the report, a buyer would have limited flexibility on pricing. The NFL signed contracts with CBS and Fox and within the framework of those deals, language mandates Sunday Ticket have a premium price. That’s to prevent loss of viewers from the networks that feature local market Sunday afternoon games. So essentially, the price is the price for the consumer.

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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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