Could ESPN Steal Andy Gray From Sky Sports?
Modern day football coverage is such that the commentators don’t even need to be in the stadiums anymore. ESPN’s Euro 2008 commentators are all huddled in Bristol, Connecticut. Most TWI commentators, meanwhile, broadcast Premier League games out of their studios in west London.
With the world being a much smaller place today plus with the global popularity of the Premier League, this opens up opportunities for football commentators who are interested in working overseas. Gone is the need for commentators to work from the actual stadiums.
What this does is open up mouthwatering possibilities. Imagine if ESPN was to capture the rights to Premier League coverage when it next comes up for bid in the United States.
It’s entirely possible that the American broadcaster would attempt to sign Andy Gray as their lead co-commentator and pundit. When it comes down to it, most people have a price tag and ESPN could be willing to sign Gray to a long-term contract in the future if it makes business sense.
At the same time, if ESPN offered most of the top football commentators in England a chance to live and work in the United States and make more money, many of them would jump at the chance. All it would take is someone like Andy Gray to lead the way and many top broadcast professionals would follow.
Don’t believe it? The last time I spoke with a Premier League commentator at TWI, he expressed his interest in working in the United States and asked that I keep an eye out for any opportunities.
For the exodus to happen, though, ESPN’s TV ratings for football will need to grow and advertisers would need to express an interest in sponsoring the Premier League. ESPN used to have the TV rights to the Premier League in the States, but a lot has changed since this happened. Could the timing be right for ESPN to get behind the EPL?
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