Jim Miller shares his take on the wild NFL broadcast carousel. With Troy Aikman expected to land at ESPN and Monday night soccer, Miller talks about ESPN and Fox negotiating a deal for Joe Buck. Who will take over Fox’s premier NFL team when Buck joins Aikman at ESPN? Where will Al Michaels end up? Is Kirk Herbstreit in the game to become Amazon? Thursday night soccer Analyst? How do Tony Romo and Peyton Manning fit into all of this?
Later in the show, Andrew Perloff from the Maggie and Perloff Show joins Jimmy to discuss Aaron Rodgers, the MLB lockout, the alleged WrestleMania match between Vince McMahon and Pat McAfee and more.
The following transcript is an excerpt from The SI Media Podcast. Listen to the whole episode Podcast Players Anywhere or on SI.com.
Train: So you told me you weren’t surprised when Andrew Marchand broke this story on ESPN who was after Joe Buck. Did you expect it?
Miller: Yeah, the whole point, over a month ago, was that ESPN wants Troy and Joe on the booth. Just because Troy’s contract has expired and they can get closer to Troy doesn’t mean Joe wasn’t part of the mix and wasn’t part of the conversation.
The really coolest thing is that it’s like a chess game. Because of course it starts with Al on NBC and there’s a lot of dominoes. But let’s just take Troy and Joe for a second. So your deals will not be synced. And so if you’re ESPN and Jimmy Pitaro, you want both guys in the booth so you can get closer to Troy and get a sense that Troy might come over. And what happens then? Well, if you’re Eric Shanks, you can sit there and say, “OK, yeah, so you want her?”
But now I think what’s going on behind the scenes, and I’ve heard this from various people, is that there’s real horse trading going on. Will Fox keep Joe if Joe becomes unhappy? No, but do they want to be able to monetize this in countless ways to really get some meat out of ESPN? Absolutely. And what could that mean? When I’m Fox, I ask for two or three Big 10 games. You can be as rude and greedy and bold in this situation as you can…
Look, Joe’s doing a great job and it’s like, ‘We don’t have to get rid of him. If you both guys want to get together, then you have to pay for it.” And it’s about serious money, or it’s about things like, “Could you give us some games?” And then there’s the question, if you’re Jimmy Piaro on ESPN are how wild are you getting? Because you’re spending money on Troy Aikman and you have to spend money on Joe next year. But to make everything a big debut for the pair this year, you’ll have to pay even more. And there may come a point where Jimmy Pitaro says, guess what, no more. This is getting too crazy, we’ll wait for the year.
Train: We’re recording this Wednesday afternoon, March 2nd, early afternoon. So would you say where things are now is that ESPN is negotiating with Fox to make a deal to bring Joe Buck out of the last year of his contract?
Miller: I believe that is the case.
Train: And do you think they will make a deal?
Miller: Well, that’s what I just said, that means if I’m Fox you can feel pretty comfortable if you’re very aggressive giving up a year of that prize talent.
Listen to the SI Media Podcast