There are going to be lots of stories about Tom Brady’s future plans over the next few months, and those stories will have both sports and media dimensions. On the sports front, plenty of destinations have been floated for Brady to continue playing if he chooses to; he’ll be 46 in August, but has said he’s not even currently contemplating retirement (although that may change in the offseason). On the media front, if Brady does retire as a player, the next big question is if he’ll actually fulfill the 10-year, $375-million deal he signed with Fox.
On one hand, it would seem like a high probability that someone would actually fulfill a broadcasting contract that rich. But on the other, many have been raising doubts on if Brady actually wants to do this, and actually wants the week-to-week travel and preparation it involves. Those skeptics include Rich Eisen and Joe Buck. And, on The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, this week, John Ourand of Sports Business Journal and Andrew Marchand of The New York Post discussed this:
1:18 Does Tom Brady Join Fox Sports?
15:23 The biggest Sports Media Deal of 2023.
29:48 A sport that will move networks
36:42 ESPN & gambling
38:19 LIV Golf
39:23 Warner Bros Discovery Sports
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) December 28, 2022
There, Marchand says “I don’t think he comes out” (this year). And he then goes on to say there are some doubts if Brady will ever come out for this particular job:
“I will say, there’s a lot of people in the business, very smart people, very in-the-know people, who kind of have their doubts that Brady ever does it. You look at it, he signed that contract, it can’t be a hedge, but if he tells Fox ‘I don’t want to do it,’ what are they going to say?”
Ourand adds that there are maybe some further challenges now that Greg Olsen is doing well in Fox’s No. 1 booth with Kevin Burkhardt.
Ourand: “I always thought he was going to come out and waltz into the booth. Because that’s a lot of money. And if he can turn his back on that, god love him. But I think this season, Greg Olsen, who has been sort of an interim person, has been excellent as an analyst. And the camaraderie between him and Kevin Burkhardt, they’ve known each other since Olsen was in high school in New Jersey, and that’s evident when you listen to the games. I don’t have knowledge of this, but I talked to several people, like you. And if I’m Brad Zager or Eric Shanks over at Fox, I’m looking at this booth, and there’s some magic there. There really is, they’re really good. So would Brady come in and replace Olsen? Or would he be a sometimes-third person?”
Marchand squelches that, and discussion of a possible studio role for Brady, saying “For what they’re paying him, they’re paying for the games. …The bottom line is, he’s a superstar. And he’s going to be in the booth if he does it. Would he do it this year? It would be amazing if he does.”
As noted above, there are still $375 million reasons for Brady to actually take this job when he does retire, whether that’s this offseason or later. But it’s fascinating to hear continued doubts on if he will, especially from connected industry people.