Former NFL player and current FOX Sports color commentator Greg Olsen sat down for an interview with The Big Lead on Thursday. He discussed a number of topics including how his first year in the booth went and why he decided to go into broadcasting after his playing days were over.
The All-Pro tight end mentioned his partner Kevin Burkhardt, saying the veteran broadcaster helped him out a lot during his rookie season as a broadcaster and how pumped he was when he heard the news that Burkhardt would be replacing Joe Buck as Fox’s number 1 play-by-play guy for their marquee NFL games.
“I called him and said, ‘Man, I’m so pumped for you,'” Olsen told The Big Lead. “He’s worked his whole adult life, scratched and clawed his way up. When I first met him he was calling high school football games for an AM radio station in North Jersey, fresh out of college. That’s when I first met him in the early 2000’s and now he’s calling a Super Bowl this year.”
Olsen continued, saying his former partner is more than deserving of the opportunity.
“It’s just something I can’t even process right now, but everybody that knows him couldn’t be happier for him and couldn’t think he’s more well-deserving.”
While FOX found its replacement for Buck, who was with Fox for over 20 years, the network still has yet to announce Burkhardt’s partner. Some of the names that have been tossed around include Michael Strahan, Sean Payton and Drew Brees. Richard Deitsch believes Greg Olsen is the lead candidate for the job.
“As one well-connected Fox Sports staffer told me this week, top management looked at their NFL analyst roster last year as Aikman and Olsen in the top tier, and then others in tiers below. But that’s not a guarantee Olsen gets moved up,” Deitsch wrote last month for The Athletic.
Jasper Jones writes sports media news stories for BSM. He is also a sports content producer for Audacy’s sports team. You can find him on Twitter @JonesJ2342 or email him at Jasper.Jones@Audacy.com.
David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”
David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”
Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.
“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”
December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.
NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”
The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.
Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.
NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”
In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.
As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.
NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’
“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.
“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.
The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.