James Andrew Miller on the history of HBO and HBO Sports, and Bruce Feldman on covering college football in 2021


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Episode 171 of the Sports Media Podcast features a conversation with James Andrew Miller, the best-selling author of books on CAA, ESPN and Saturday Night Live, and his latest, “Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers.” He is followed by Bruce Feldman, a senior writer at The Athletic covering college football and a college football insider for Fox Sports and The Audible podcast.

In this podcast, Miller discusses why HBO was worthy of this exploration; his 757 interviews for the book and how he navigated that terrain; how he approached his chapters on Succession including interviews with Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Adam McKay and Jesse Armstrong; why Dennis Miller did not want to talk for the book; the legacy of HBO Sports; HBO’s Wimbledon legacy; how HBO lost its boxing and documentary monopoly; the future of sports on HBO; ESPN shrinking another 10 percent to end fiscal 2021 at 76 million U.S. households and what that means for the company heading forward and more.

Feldman discusses the reporting of the Lincoln Riley to USC story; who talks in college football between agents, head coaches, assistants, boosters and everyone else; why college football fans have an insatiable appetite for news; whether players have more agency with the media in 2021; whether college football gets more value out of a Cincinnati making the playoffs versus a bigger brand-name team and much more.

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214 episodes