Keith Olbermann: New studio host for post-season MLB games

Domer

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You're understating the value of the NFL to ESPN. Disney pays over $100 million per game to televise Monday Night Football. Compare that to budget of a summer blockbuster then multiply it by 16, and you can get a good idea of how big the stakes are with the NFL relationship.
 

deanx0

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See I think the commentary angle is a ruse. With the recent reports that ESPN is a profit anchor to Disney, I think they will start to cut talent like Simmons and Olbermann as they try to get costs down.
 

Average Reds

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Domer said:
You're understating the value of the NFL to ESPN. Disney pays over $100 million per game to televise Monday Night Football. Compare that to budget of a summer blockbuster then multiply it by 16, and you can get a good idea of how big the stakes are with the NFL relationship.
 
The implied dynamic here is preposterous.  There is exactly zero chance that the NFL would take any actions that would risk breaching a contract that pays them $100 million per game.
 
ESPN got rid of Simmons and now Olbermann because they want their personalities to be seen as subordinate to the network.  The NFL angle is just a dodge to relieve them of responsibility.
 

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Fuck that. Olbermann came back, seems to have basically kept his nose clean and played nice with others at the network, and is getting turfed off because the NFL can't deal with any rightsholder that doesn't warp reality in its favor. I hate that league. 
 

Domer

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Average Reds said:
 
The implied dynamic here is preposterous.  There is exactly zero chance that the NFL would take any actions that would risk breaching a contract that pays them $100 million per game.
 
ESPN got rid of Simmons and now Olbermann because they want their personalities to be seen as subordinate to the network.  The NFL angle is just a dodge to relieve them of responsibility.
No one is suggesting the NFL has threatened to breach their contract. ESPN is, however, concerned about the next deal or any other NFL properties that become available. How else do you explain the network backing out on Playmakers and Frontline? There were no personalities involved in those controversies.
 

Average Reds

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Domer said:
No one is suggesting the NFL has threatened to breach their contract. ESPN is, however, concerned about the next deal or any other NFL properties that become available. How else do you explain the network backing out on Playmakers and Frontline? There were no personalities involved in those controversies.
 
Actually, that's exactly what has been suggested in this thread.
 
Several posters have provided links suggesting that the NFL is punishing ESPN by scheduling shit games for Monday Night as retaliation for ESPN allowing Simmons and Olbermann to be big meanies towards the NFL.  And that's a crock of shit being pushed by ESPN to provide cover for ditching employees that they can't control.
 
If ESPN actually believed that the NFL was manipulating their scheduled to put their least compelling matchups on Monday Night, that would be a breach.  (I suspect it would be one that would be rather easy to "prove" through discovery.)   And ESPN has $1.9 billion reasons (per year) to pursue that breach.  Which is why we know the entire things is a charade.
 

Dehere

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Thursday Night Football is up for open bidding after this season. The league has a strong incentive to shine up the package as they prepare to bring it to market, thus the TNF schedule is stronger than it was last year.
 
Monday Night Football is locked up for the next eight seasons. A lot of the solid, intradivisonal games that have been traditionally the backbone of the MNF schedule are on TNF this year instead.
 
It's really as simple as that.
 
I think the deal with Olbermann is just that Skipper is under pressure to control costs and he's looking for reasons to unload needlessly big talent deals. The Olbermann deal was a defensive move against Fox that has proved to be unnecessary. I think they're just bringing conditions into the negotiation that they know KO will never agree to so they can be rid of him and if somebody wants to spin it as the NFL being the bogeyman, well, let them. In many ways it's better for ESPN to be seen as being in the league's pocket than to be seen as needing to cut costs.
 

bankshot1

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Average Reds said:
 
Actually, that's exactly what has been suggested in this thread.
 
Several posters have provided links suggesting that the NFL is punishing ESPN by scheduling shit games for Monday Night as retaliation for ESPN allowing Simmons and Olbermann to be big meanies towards the NFL.  And that's a crock of shit being pushed by ESPN to provide cover for ditching employees that they can't control.
 
If ESPN actually believed that the NFL was manipulating their scheduled to put their least compelling matchups on Monday Night, that would be a breach.  (I suspect it would be one that would be rather easy to "prove" through discovery.)   And ESPN has $1.9 billion reasons (per year) to pursue that breach.  Which is why we know the entire things is a charade.
IMO the determination of whether a slate of games was attractive or not would not be easy to prove, nor would it be easy to come up with damages. ESPN does not want to sue a partner over shitty games.They want to make money and get a good a slate as possible.
 
IF ESPN thinks (or not) it may be victim to a thin-skinned NFL, an easier solution to assuage the NFL is to tamp down criticism of the NFL by censoring the rogue voices that may irritate. IMO the message (Simmons and KO fired) it sends to other on-air talent about independence is also worrisome.
 

Average Reds

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bankshot1 said:
IMO the determination of whether a slate of games was attractive or not would not be easy to prove, nor would it be easy to come up with damages. ESPN does not want to sue a partner over shitty games.They want to make money and get a good a slate as possible.
 
IF ESPN thinks (or not) it may be victim to a thin-skinned NFL, an easier solution to assuage the NFL is to tamp down criticism of the NFL by censoring the rogue voices that may irritate. IMO the message (Simmons and KO fired) it sends to other on-air talent about independence is also worrisome.
 
In the absence of internal communications that would indicate intent, it would be just about impossible to prove that the NFL manipulated the slate of games to "punish" ESPN.  However, I'm betting that if it came to litigation (and if the NFL actually did manipulate teh schedule) it wouldn't be too hard to find a trail of electronic communications that would be very helpful.
 
But putting that aside, you are right to state that ESPN really doesn't want to sue the NFL even if they believed that schedule manipulation was happening. Of course, the NFL has even less motivation to get into litigation about whether they are manipulating the schedule of games, since it places their immense media revenue stream at risk.  
 
These factors are the key reason I believe that the leaked story is utter, complete nonsense and that the decisions to part ways with Simmons and (apparently) Olbermann have nothing to do with the NFL.
 

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Well, plus suing the NFL and saying that all the games it'll be airing this season are crappy isn't a good marketing strategy for a network still hoping to get people to tune into those games.
 

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If the "crappy" games get low ratings, doesn't that hurt the NFL the next time TV contracts are up for negotiation?
Not that I'm putting it past their current leadership to cut off their Olbermann to spite their network.
 

riboflav

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Why should it take one month though? What about Greg Hardy?
 
 
Well, first, I don't know if it'll take a month. And, if it does, maybe there's a reason (this should not be read as an endorsement of how Goodell has handled the Brady case).
 
Second, I don't know what Greg Hardy has to do with Tom Brady.
 

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Domer said:
You're understating the value of the NFL to ESPN. Disney pays over $100 million per game to televise Monday Night Football. Compare that to budget of a summer blockbuster then multiply it by 16, and you can get a good idea of how big the stakes are with the NFL relationship.
The line was crossed decades ago.   The second that ESPN didn't just show highlights or broadcast games and became journalists and commentators; they put themselves in a no win situation.
 
Think of it this way.    If ABC News function was to cover and comment on it's programming lineup, would there be any possibility of them being objective?    
 
Same thing with NESN.   One only expects them to be objective up to a point. 
 

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The schedule was agreed to by TB. I believe the post hearing briefs were due just yesterday. The process is in many respects a sham but not because of the schedule. But don't allow facts to get in the way of a good tirade.
 

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With billions of dollars at stake, I would imagine that somewhere in the MNF contract it specifies in some kind of quantifiable way a minimum acceptable level of average quality of the slate of games. ESPN couldn't possibly be paying that much money without an assurance that they won't be getting 17 Jaguars-Raiders games.
 

soxhop411

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“@JimMiller: The second @KeithOlbermann era at @espn has come to a close. There will be no new contract. Current deal which was two years ends 7/31.”
 

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Never say never say never say....he's baaaack...well sorta:

Last week Keith does an amazing and hilarious 'feature piece' on the insane rivalry of Duke and NC... the statistical 'tie' is insane. ESPN only had the clip available for a few days...perhaps someone else can find it now.

This morning he's calling in to Golic & Wingo to talk baseball, and he's introduced as 'an ESPN contributor' so like much of American industry, we'll fire you and then bring you back as a part-timer...

Two main takes: When Manfred said in his statement with certainty that offers have been made to some stars that are 'nine figures' he has admitted that the teams have shared with the league office their offers and amounts...which is exactly what they did once before...collusion.

Gossage: he's getting old, if you want to see the greatest profanity laden baseball rant of all time, find the clip from 1982. In fact it only exists as an audio clip and YouTube has deleted his account but you can hear it here:
https://thestacks.deadspin.com/listen-to-the-greatest-yankees-meltdown-ever-captured-o-1166053729
 

jayhoz

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He's an asshole. He's always been an asshole and forever will be an asshole. Crawl under a rock for the rest of your days you loser.



 

dcmissle

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+1.

Yep. First time in the history of network sports programming that someone hit on synergy.

He is a miserable, unhappy old man.
 

Vinho Tinto

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+1.

Yep. First time in the history of network sports programming that someone hit on synergy.

He is a miserable, unhappy old man.
Using his logic, Brad Daugherty being used for ESPN’s NASCAR programming was institutional tone deafness. Clearly, a former basketball player can only have passion and knowledge in his former sport.

Keith sn’t even a former gym class hero. Critique Dale Jr for the work he does, not his resume.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Using his logic, Brad Daugherty being used for ESPN’s NASCAR programming was institutional tone deafness. Clearly, a former basketball player can only have passion and knowledge in his former sport.

Keith sn’t even a former gym class hero. Critique Dale Jr for the work he does, not his resume.
I didn't watch the game so I don't know in what capacity Earnhardt was there. Was he there as a hockey analyst or was he there for "synergy" purposes to cross-promote NBC coverage of NASCAR (or worse IMO, some sort of advertiser/sponsor like Mountain Dew)?

Because if it was for the former, then I agree with the Daugherty analogy and that Olbermann was off in his critique. If it was the latter, I can kind of see Olbermann's point, especially if he was there for the intermission when there's limited time for actual hockey experts to talk about the first period.

Daugherty, while a former basketball player, has been a regular part of ESPN's NASCAR coverage for a while. He's not there in a cross-over promotion capacity, he's there because he knows the game and is genuinely into racing. His covering that is no different than Pat Summerall, a former NFL player, being an announcer for CBS's golf coverage back in the day.
 

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Because if it was for the former, then I agree with the Daugherty analogy and that Olbermann was off in his critique. If it was the latter, I can kind of see Olbermann's point, especially if he was there for the intermission when there's limited time for actual hockey experts to talk about the first period.
I really like Olberman, but this is a dumb critique of his. Cross-promotion, synergy, whatever you want to call it happens all the time especially during games where there is a lot of eyeballs on it.

I remember that during the 2004 World Series, FOX showed the cast of Arrested Development at Fenway. Why? Who knows. Did it have any bearing on the game? Nope. Did it get anyone to watch AD? Obviously not. Was it the perfect marriage of the two things that I loved the most back in 2004? Hell yeah. My point is, these sort of things happen during literally every single game. To get pissed about it, is just weird.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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He was there to promote NASCAR and his own debut as broadcaster.
Fair enough if it's a quick appearance on the pre-game show...pretty standard synergy type stuff. Networks do that all the time. Bringing Earnhardt back for the intermission report seems a tad much though. Intermission is, what, 15 minutes? Half of which is used for commercials. That leaves a limited time during which hockey fans are going to want to see analysis of the first period and what the analysts expect going forward.

Olbermann probably went over the top with this rant, especially talking about the demographics for each sport. The whole idea of synergy is to try to introduce programming/products to new markets. But that doesn't mean he isn't a little bit right that takes something away from the hockey coverage to bludgeon viewers with NASCAR.