Mike Francesa

Over at Sports Illustrated, Richard Deitsch has posted a lengthy Q&A with Mike Francesa about his upcoming reunion with Chris Russo, his TV simulcast, Twitter, media coverage, and plenty more. It’s really worth a full read.

At the end of the Q&A, Deitsch and Francesa touch on the upcoming Mike and the Mad Dog 30 for 30, and something that seems to be a strange contrast to that – ESPN’s ban of their talent appearing on Francesa’s show.

According to Francesa, filming for the 30 for 30 will begin in the spring and air in January of 2017 (which, at the very least, should indicate that ESPN isn’t ending their investment in creating new 30 for 30 films any time soon).

They are going to start shooting in the spring. I know ESPN is going through budgetary stuff now but my understanding is that has been approved and it’s scheduled to air next January [2017]. It will begin shooting next spring.

As a follow-up, Deitsch asks Francesa about ESPN personalities being allowed to appear on his show, and Francesa’s response seems a bit odd considering the network is working on a documentary centered around him and his former partner.

There are no ESPN guests. ESPN guests are not allowed on our show. That was really directed a long time ago at me. I don’t know if they are as adamant about it with other shows as they are with mine. But as far as I am concerned and my show, it is not allowed. I have not had an ESPN guest in I would say 10 years. A couple of those guys are close friends of mine and they have been warned—they have been threatened—if they were going to come on the show. It is something ESPN takes very seriously but you would too if you were a competitor. I understand it but it has hurt their television in some regards with promoting their TV events. But they are competitors, they do have a radio presence in the city, and if they were getting beat up by me as long as I have been beating them up, I would probably be the same way.

The ban is understandable considering that Francesa’s biggest radio rival is Michael Kay, who hosts a show on ESPN’s New York affiliate. But if ESPN is so anti-Francesa…why will they be promoting him with a 30 for 30 in a year?

I think more than anything, this situation with Francesa shows just how vast ESPN’s empire is. Kay won’t be hurt all that much by a Francesa documentary airing next January, but if Francesa is getting high-profile ESPN guests like Adam Schefter or Kirk Herbstreit on his show at the expense of Kay’s? Yeah, that could be a problem.

[Sports Illustrated]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.

Comments are closed.