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Joe Buck Believes FOX ‘Kind of Wanted’ Him and Troy Aikman to Depart

I think it’s human nature to want to put your fingerprints and mold the broadcast — as the boss — the way you want to mold it.”

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Joe Buck

During an appearance on the SI Media Podcast, Monday Night Football broadcaster Joe Buck said he believes FOX wasn’t heartbroken to hear he and Troy Aikman were looking elsewhere.

While discussing the move, host Jimmy Traina said FOX was “dumb enough” to let Buck and Aikman leave, which Buck then said it seemed as if that was almost what the network wanted.

“You said Fox was ‘dumb enough’ earlier to let Troy and me leave,” Buck said. “I just think on some level, this is kind of what they wanted. I think when there was a crack in this relationship.”

“I think you’ve got new people in charge there, relatively. And I think it’s human nature to want to put your fingerprints and mold the broadcast — as the boss — the way you want to mold it. I was hired by David Hill and Ed Goren, and I go back to 1994 and Troy — people talk about how long I was there — Troy was at Fox for 21 years, and we both date back to a different regime.

“And so Eric Shanks has been the conduit from those days to now. But other people are in charge there as well, and they wanted a refresh. And they wanted a broadcast that reflected them a little bit and a fresh start.”

When asked if that sentiment was hurtful, Buck said he got what they were trying to do.

“I understand it. I think that’s human nature. It was kind of like, ‘You wanna go? Go’. We’ll live. We’ll do this the way we want to do it now. You’re the Hill/Goren guys’. And so I’m where I should be and I think ESPN was excited to bring those 20 years to their booth. And I think Fox was excited to start over and mold something different that didn’t involve me, and I’m good with that.”

Buck was also asked if ESPN ever discusses how they feel about the arrangement in its first year, and he shared that from ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro on down “the feedback has been just awesome, so you feel appreciated”.

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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Sports TV News

Return of Bob Iger Puts Pac-12 ‘Not Exactly In A Great Place’

“I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12.”

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Pac 12

The Pac-12 is currently in a media rights negotiation with partners for its next TV deal after the departure of USC and UCLA. The conference has remained committed to the stance that it feels it can match the dollar amount given to the Big 12 from FOX and ESPN. However, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post isn’t so confident.

During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Marchand said the recent return of Bob Iger as Disney CEO, coupled with recent layoffs from Amazon, could spell bad news for the PAC 12’s quest to match what the Big 12 received.

“Do I still think they can get the same number as the Big 12? I do, but you start thinking about where this is going and that’s not exactly a great place to be if you’re the Pac-12. They might get the number, but the idea that they’ll get a lot more than the Big 12 — which I’ve already said is not gonna happen — I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12…I think there’s some rough waters out in the Pacific.”

Marchand said if the University of California Board of Regents won’t allow UCLA to join the Big Ten as expected, the conference would then set its sights on Washington and Oregon, which would continue to decimate the Pac-12.

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