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Flying high: CBS' Ian Eagle earning praise for work in NFL booth

CBS' Ian Eagle is drawing some praise following his call of Sunday's Steelers-Ravens regular-season finale, with SI.com's Jimmy Traina writing that he is "as good as any of the lead play-by-play callers" -- Al Michaels, Joe Buck, Jim Nantz -- "in the NFL." But what is "even more impressive" after listening to him call Sunday’s Steelers-Ravens game is that Eagle is "somehow getting better at his craft." It will be "fascinating to see how long CBS can keep Eagle as a 'No. 2' guy" (SI.com, 1/10). In N.Y., Andrew Marchand wrote Eagle "probably has as much control of a game as any play-by-player." In the first quarter of Steelers-Ravens, Steelers LB T.J. Watt had a "disputed almost-sack that looked as if it might have tied Michael Strahan’s all-time single-season record." It was ruled a tackle, not a sack. In the second quarter, when Watt had an "undisputed sack, Eagle just said, 'NFL history!' then paused." Marchand: "Presumably, he did this in case the early disputed sack was made official, which would allow the 'NFL history!' call to hold up if Watt tied or broke Strahan’s record" (N.Y. POST, 1/10).

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SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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