Why Tom Brady’s Fox delay is worth $7 million to Greg Olsen

Greetings, before we get to today’s newsletter, please check out my review of the Super Bowl game broadcast on Fox.

We are calling it the “Brady Bonus.”

Tom Brady’s decision to take a gap year before potentially starting as Fox Sports’ No. 1 game analyst will be worth $7 million for Greg Olsen next season.

If Brady showed up for Fox next fall, Olsen not only would be knocked down to the No. 2 game analyst spot, but his salary would drop from $10 million to $3 million. The $3 million is a livable wage, but the extra $7 million is a significant difference.

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs and Fox Sports broadcaster Greg Olsen speak during pregame warmups prior to the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Arrowhead Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri.
With Tom Brady set to take some time away from football next season, Greg Olsen will remain in Fox’s top NFL broadcast booth.
Getty Images

Last offseason, Olsen signed his contract after Fox announced Brady would join the network. (The Post subsequently reported that Brady would receive $375 million over 10 years.) Olsen’s contract could be worth $50 million over five years if he remains in the No. 1 booth. It would have fallen to five years and $22 million if Brady started this fall. Now, at worst, Olsen will receive at least $29 million over those five years. Olsen also has an opt-out if he is bumped down and an opportunity to be a lead NFL game analyst for another platform arises.

Quick clicks I

Derek Jeter will be an MLB analyst for Fox.
Derek Jeter stopped by the Super Bowl on Sunday to announce he would be joining his former teammate Alex Rodriguez, and former rival David Ortiz, as an MLB analyst for Fox.
Fox Sports

The biggest part of the Fox Sports Super Bowl pregame was the announcement that Derek Jeter would be joining its MLB pregame show. Though it got a little lost because of the enormity of the Super Bowl, it is a big deal. Alex Rodriguez was one of the folks who presented the news, which was funny considering their frenemy history. Jeter has been gravitating toward doing more media and has had talks with YES about doing games. Jeter didn’t say much as a player, but Jeter is expected to only be on during big events, so it won’t be heavy lifting. He will be able to joke with A-Rod and David Ortiz, so while he probably won’t set the world on fire, he should be OK. … Fox Sports insider Sean Payton had a funny, “Everybody wants to cover sports media” report when he revealed that the new Denver Broncos coach and former Fox Sports analyst interviewed current ESPN analyst Rex Ryan for the Broncos’ defensive coordinator position. Payton worked the Super Bowl pregame on Sunday. … ESPN had Oz Pearlman, “Oz The Mentalist” on “Sunday NFL Countdown.” If it wasn’t staged, it was kind of crazy as he predicted things that would seem impossible to get right without a cheat sheet. … Early in its pregame, Fox Sports used actors to portray the undefeated 1972 Dolphins on the 50th anniversary of their Super Bowl win. It could have been cheesy, but with Larry Csonka narrating, it was quite good. … The big question that will be answered in the next few days is if this year’s Super Bowl will be the highest-rated game in history. It would need to reach 115 million viewers to top the 2015 Pats-Panthers game.

Quick Clicks II

Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s chief media and business officer.
Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s chief media and business officer.
YouTube/Sports Business Journal

We had the NFL’s top business official, who is considered the No. 2 executive in the league after Roger Goodell, Brian Rolapp, on “The Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast,” and he talked about Sunday Ticket becoming more “interactive.” He didn’t detail what that would mean, but I kind of wonder if that may eventually involve fantasy sports or betting. To be clear, this is a bit of speculation on my part. I agree with Rolapp that the main viewing experience will not be focused on gambling. (It also won’t be on fantasy, but Rolapp did not address that in the interview.) The mainstream viewer doesn’t want gambling or fantasy to be the focus — and I’m not sure they ever will. Gamblers know what their bets are on games, while fantasy players know which players they are looking out for. With the unlimited channels available on streaming, bettors will be able to seek out an alternative viewing experience that caters to gambling. For fantasy players, and Rolapp is one, could the NFL and YouTube create a way that you could view your players and your opponent’s players in real time? It seems very feasible with the current technology. … Rolapp made it sound like it will use “Monday Night Football” flex scheduling as sparingly as possible. It will begin next season and I’ve heard it could be put in effect six times, however it likely will be used on much fewer occasions. The idea is to not have really bad games later in the season. For MNF, there is a big difference between moving games later in the same day, like the NFL does for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” as compared to switching a matchup to a completely different night. It is also going to put late season trips for fans in flux. If you travel for a 1 p.m. Sunday game and it gets moved to 8:15 p.m. on Monday, that would be two more hotel nights and a change in airfare for fans. …

Thursday Night Football trucks are seen with Amazon Prime signage and the Thursday Night Football schedule prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 22, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell raised the possibility that Amazon could get some flex scheduling for its ‘Thursday Night Football’ schedule, which had its share of unappealing matchups in Year 1.
Diamond Images/Getty Images

During his Super Bowl press conference, NFL commissioner Goodell mentioned the possibility of flexible scheduling for Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday night games. The NFL has a vested interest in making Amazon successful. It had a very good first year, but the NFL wants to see it build. Still, I think they will see how MNF goes before lessening the amount of 20-year-old Mazdas Al Michaels has to sell. … Condolences to the family and friends of longtime ESPN producer, Barry Sacks. Sacks passed away from a heart attack at the age of 63 this weekend. An Ithaca College alum and a huge Giants fan, he had a huge influence over ESPN programming and those on-air. Suzy Kolber mentioned during “Sunday NFL Countdown” that when Chris Berman said his trademark “G-Men,” it was an ode to Sacks’ fanhood. A common tribute from broadcasters was how Sacks always said, if you say, “Wow” when viewing a play, then it belongs in the highlight package.

Super Bowl column

In case you missed it, please take a look at my column reviewing the Super Bowl TV broadcast.

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