Skip Bayless' four-year, $25 million deal with Fox Sports expires in September. This morning Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that DAZN could emerge as a potential bidder for the bold-opinion-haver. It's the latest in a string of stories suggesting that Jamie Horowitz could have interest in getting the old band back together.
DAZN has been spending money as if it is in a Brewster's Millions situation. Bayless is as polarizing a name as it comes and has ascended to the pinnacle of sports television: finding a way to shoehorn a criticism of LeBron James into any topic and enflame public opinion.
But like a brave first responder, I'd like to come flying into this situation and douse everything in sight with cold water. The odds Bayless leaves Fox for DAZN, ESPN, or some mystery outlet are slim to none.
For starters, sources tell McCarthy that Fox wants to retain him. The bigwigs are committed to Undisputed, as evidenced by Shannon Sharpe's recent extension. More importantly, Bayless isn't going to find greener pastures moneywise.
Is DAZN really going to pay around $6 million annually to bring in Bayless? Do they really believe that he's a draw capable of recouping that money in subscription fees?
Where would Bayless even fit in at ESPN? If there's a groundswell building to bring him back into the fold, they must be holding those meetings behind closed doors in soundproof rooms.
It's difficult to understand where Bayless' leverage exists, outside of the message Fox losing him would send to the outside world. But even if that happened, it would open up a ton of cap space to invest in talent on the come-up with more prime years down the road.
Things are always subject to change and even the most diligent sports media writers (the real heroes) don't have full vision on what's going on in all the decision-makers' heads. Still, it feels like an extremely safe bet to say Bayless will stay put this fall.
The current marriage works out quite well for both parties and outside interest is unlikely to surpass that of his current home.