Remember how ESPN’s outspoken big-ticket talent Bill Simmons was negotiating his new contract with ESPN and being pretty chatty with the press about it, and then in early May network president John Skipper pulled a fast one and issued a statement saying “I decided today that we are not going to renew Bill Simmons’ contract,” and how they all “wish Bill continued success as he plans his next chapter” and Simmons reportedly found out he was kaput at the network via Twitter?
Well, here it is July 1 and ESPN’s outspoken big-ticket Keith Olbermann is negotiating his new contract with the operation – it’s up early next month – and somehow word gets out ESPN wants to ixnay the commentary on Olbermann’s ESPN2 program, which is like HBO telling John Oliver to knock off his And Now, This segments.
Quicker than you can say “Here we go again,” ESPN tweets sternly, of the THR report:
Now, if you are some media outlets, you interpret that as ESPN denying the report about ESPN trying to cut Olbermann commentary. But, if you are a cynic, like us, you think maybe this verbal jiggery-pokery (thank you, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) reads more like ESPN corporate speak for “commentary has not been part of the talks about his future because there will be no commentary in Olbermann’s future at ESPN.”
Speaking of Olbermann’s future at ESPN, odds are not very good, according to sports bloggers who have been covering this sort of contract talk rannygazoo for some time. They put the certainty of Olbermann’s contract talk deadness at 90% (Thebiglead) to 95% (Deadspin).