1. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman leaving Fox to join ESPN might end up as the second-most shocking broadcaster move of 2022.
Dan Patrick reported on his Tuesday radio show that if Charles Barkley joins the LIV Tour, he will likely leave TNT and Inside the NBA, where he has been a fixture since 2000.
“He’s the most valuable voice in sports media,” said Patrick. “You throw in all the commercials, because he may lose those endorsements, a lot of these players who joined the LIV tour lost endorsements. Charles knows that he may lose those. So if you’re gonna go after Charles Barkley, you don’t have a TV deal and you have David Feherty, what are you gonna give Charles Barkley? And Charles says he’s going to listen to them, I believe tomorrow night and decide what he’s going to do, and he might have to leave TNT. That’s why this is a huge deal. And Charles knows that he may have to leave TNT to do this.”
Patrick’s producer Paul Pabst then chimed in to ask why Barkley couldn’t stay at TNT and cover golf on the side.
“I’m just putting it out there what I was told this morning,” responded Patrick. “Charles knows he may have to leave TNT. That would be bad for everybody.”
I asked a couple of industry sources what they are hearing about Barkley to LIV and they all said the same thing: There is big, big money at play here.
This is not a shock in any way, shape or form because everybody knows about the money LIV has thrown at golfers. You can be sure LIV’s offer to Barkley is going to be beyond monstrous.
LIV does not have a television deal. Their tournaments currently air on YouTube and Facebook. Bringing in Barkley could maybe make people tune in to hear his commentary as well as help LIV possibly land a TV contract. LIV will throw stupid money at Barkley because it needs Barkley.
Meanwhile, Barkley has made no secret that he will do anything for money, telling Pat McAfee a few weeks ago, “I don’t judge other people. If someone gave me $200 million, I’d kill a relative.”
Sports fans—and some media members—like to say that nobody watches a sporting event for the announcers. That theory would certainly be put to the test if Barkley joined LIV. The curiosity factor of a nongolf broadcaster who is a loose cannon on the mike for a rogue organization could very well make some people tune in.
However, the real story here isn’t about LIV. It’s about Inside the NBA. Losing Barkley would be a catastrophe. A show with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal would be great, but it wouldn’t be nearly as great without Barkley. He’s the one who moves the needle. He’s the personality that players react to. He’s the one fans want to hear from the most.
To use one of Barkley’s favorite analogies, he’s the one who drives the Inside the NBA bus.
2. This is why Pat McAfee is unlike any radio host today. McAfee had a field day Monday while interviewing the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport shortly after Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins went after Rapoport on Twitter.
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3. By far, the best thing about Monday’s Home Run Derby was this photo.
4. Matthew Berry, who announced last week that he was leaving ESPN, says he doesn’t have a full update yet on his future.
However, one of Berry’s new gigs has been revealed.
5. Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time, but those bad video game rankings are still in his head.
6. My guest on this week’s SI Media Podcast is author, reporter and podcast host James Andrew Miller. Topics covered during our conversation include The Washington Post’s recent feature article on Adam Schefter, Matthew Berry’s leaving ESPN, where the Big Ten football media rights deals stand, LIV golf and much more.
Following Miller, Sal Licata joins me for the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week, we discuss my review of the upcoming Derek Jeter docuseries on ESPN, the Zach Wilson “scandal” and the recent passing of Tony Sirico from The Sopranos. I also read recent Apple reviews to close out the show.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I finally binged Succession over the past several days and finished it Monday night. It was nice to watch a show that lived up to the hype. This was one of my favorite scenes from Season 3.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
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