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Amazon’s piece of next NFL TV deal will be interesting

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While the NFL is closing in on new deals with ABC/ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC, the most interesting aspect of the forthcoming agreement is the continued likelihood that Amazon will have a big stake in the “Thursday Night Football” package.

In December, The Post reported that is where everything was trending on deals that will well surpass $100 billion. On Friday, the Sports Business Journal said the NFL and Disney had a broad agreement that would include the extension of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” as well as Super Bowls on ABC in what will be eight to 10 years. The NFL said the report was incorrect.

Wherever the deal stands, exactly, there very well could be an official announcement as soon as next week, according to officials briefed on the matter. It will be happening soon.

Here are four takeaways about the forthcoming new deals for the most prized programming in television — the NFL.

1. What will be Amazon’s entry fee?

In 1993, Fox paid $400 million per year to swipe the NFC package from CBS. It was somewhat out of nowhere. And, in doing so, it helped Fox join NBC, ABC and CBS as a major network.

The Amazon part of the ensuing deal is the most interesting. The more exclusivity it has, the likelier the NFL will receive more money.

Fox currently owns the Thursday Night package, which was in the hands of CBS and NBC previously. None of them wanted it this time around.

If Amazon receives national exclusivity for Fox’s 11 games, then how high will the current $650 million per year for the Thursday Night package grow?

If the NFL somehow receives $1 billion-plus, then that would be quite a feat considering none of the previous owners wanted it. If the NFL Network still simulcasts the games, then the value for Amazon would go down.

2. Who will receive NFL Sunday Ticket?

Sunday Ticket allows fans to watch any game. For years, it had been on DirecTV, which recently reported it had $2.5 billion in net losses related to Sunday Ticket. ESPN+ and Amazon Prime would figure to be big players, but none of the subscription services can’t be fully ruled out. Customers could pay $300 for the full season. This very well will be a game-changer because previously you had to have DirecTV to access all out-of-market games.

3. ABC back in the Super Bowl shuffle

From what we have heard, ABC’s first Super Bowl could be at the end of the next cycle. NBC has next year’s, followed by Fox, on the current deal.

This is subject to change, but we were hearing that it would go CBS, NBC, Fox and then ABC. That would mean ABC would have the Super Bowl in 2027. If it happens like that, it is not exactly tomorrow.

4. The more things change, the more they stay the same

While we still have to see the completed deals to fully assess, there is a lot of talk about how everything is changing in media.

The extent of Amazon’s potential involvement is a big deal, but, as we reported last year, these deals will run into next decade. That is a long time.

The way you view the games will, for the most part, stay the same. So, in essence, the pause button has been pressed on how we view sports. For the most part, Sundays will be spent on Fox and CBS, while Sunday Nights will be with NBC and Mondays with ESPN and ABC.

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Bulls’ Zach LaVine called cops on ‘obsessed’ fan at his home

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Zach LaVine had an unwanted visitor.

The Chicago Bulls star had to call the police after an “allegedly obsessed” woman showed up to his Chicago home and refused to leave on Thursday night, according to TMZ. 

The woman reportedly traveled from out of state, demanding to speak with the first-time All-Star, who was home at the time.

Police took her a local hospital for mental evaluation, and she has not been formally arrested or charged with a crime.

LaVine, 25, wrapped up first-half action with the Bulls on Wednesday and was drafted to Kevin Durant’s All-Star side for Sunday’s festivities in Atlanta.

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Blake Griffin a free agent after Pistons buyout

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Blake Griffin will be free to sign with the Nets or another interested NBA team after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.

The six-time All-Star forward “has interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders and is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams,” ESPN reported.

The Nets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors and Clippers – his former team — are among those that have expressed interest, according to the New York Times. ESPN.com added that the Blazers are interested

The 31-year-old Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12 while the Pistons attempted to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but they found no takers due to the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season and the $39 million he’s owed for 2021-22.

Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
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Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season. He was dealt by the Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.



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Broncos send a pretty strong warning to Drew Lock

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Drew Lock is no lock to remain the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2021.

General manager George Paton and coach Vic Fangio both said Thursday that the team expects to bring in competition for Lock, possibly with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft.

“Obviously we’re always looking to bring in players at all positions that can raise the level of competition, and the quarterback is no different in that regard,” Fangio said, according to the team’s website.

“Until we get or until Drew proves to be the next great quarterback, like the ones that the Denver franchise has been used to in years past or certain teams around the league … are used to, we’re going to always try and bring in competition. But I have confidence that Drew can continue to improve.”

Lock made 13 starts in 2020 and tied with Carson Wentz for the league lead with 15 interceptions. He finished 32nd in the league among qualifying quarterbacks with a 75.4 passer rating, ahead of only Dwayne Haskins, Wentz and Sam Darnold.

Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
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“Very talented, was inconsistent at times, has a lot to work on,” Paton said Thursday. “But I’ve spoken with Drew, I see him every day. He’s here early. He’s working. He really wants to be great. And we’re always going to try to bring in competition at every position, and quarterback as well. But I like the track that Drew’s on.”

Lock, the Broncos’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Missouri, had started five games as a rookie, winning four of them. Denver went 4-9 with him as the starter last season.

“I’m confident that Drew’s going to continue to improve,” Fangio said. “Drew’s had a great offseason up to this point. There’s not a lot you can do, but he’s working hard on his own, coming over here and getting workouts, and I know he’s doing a lot at home by himself, watching video by himself. He’s got a good setup over there. And he’s doing anything and everything he can to improve, even in February and now in March.”

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