Earlier today Jason McIntyre at TheBigLead.com reported that ESPN’s Chris Berman “is being heavily pursued by the NFL Network.” McIntyre also noted that Berman’s contract with ESPN expires in three months.
(Protip: might wanna budget an on-call stylist)
Last summer I heard a random rumor floating around that Direct TV was interested in acquiring Berman’s services. Today I confirmed through two independent sources that the satellite television provider is now in full pursuit of the longtime broadcaster.
I was told Monday that Direct TV has approached Berman about a pregame and postgame NFL show that would wrap around its wildly popular NFL Sunday Red Zone programming - which is hosted by rising star Andrew Siciliano.
Additionally, the satellite provider would launch a channel devoted to sports programming that would highlight Berman and Dan Patrick. Patrick, also a former longtime ESPN broadcaster, currently hosts a national morning radio show that is simulcast on Direct TV’s Channel 101. The show airs from a plush, custom-built studio near Patrick’s home in Connecticut.
A similar national radio/TV weekday production for Berman has also been proposed.
Those two shows would be the flagship properties of Direct TV’s weekday sports lineup.
Lastly, Berman has long expressed to friends that he wanted to live in Hawaii full time. Perhaps this could be a prelude to him shuffling off to the islands with a Direct TV studio built expressly for him there. A little far-fetched, but file it away.
In talking to one sports media insider Monday, the consensus is that ESPN will make a “reasonable” attempt to keep Berman in Bristol, but if Direct TV or NFL Network want to invite Berman to board the Free Money Express, ESPN will not break the bank to keep him.
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