In a year that has seen plenty of changes among NFL broadcasting crews and networks, one of the more under-the-radar moves was Matthew Berry going from ESPN to NBC.
Berry had been a mainstay for 15 years as ESPN’s fantasy football guru, but wasn’t on the network’s main NFL shows, like ”NFL Countdown” or ”Monday Night Countdown.”
That is not the case at NBC, where he is on ”Football Night in America,” which leads into the Sunday night game. Berry also has a daily show that is streamed, and a two-hour Sunday show on Peacock. The final hour of Sunday’s ”Fantasy Football Pregame” will air on CNBC beginning at 12 p.m. EDT from Buffalo. Berry’s columns also appear on NBC Sports’ websites.
While those who have left ESPN have found a slow transition in building an audience when they move to another network, Berry is encouraged by early streaming numbers and page views.
”What I can tell you is that every single thing NBC promised me during the recruiting process not only has come through, but they’ve over delivered,” Berry said. ”I feel energized and have enjoyed the challenge and opportunity of building something from scratch.”
It has been a reunion of sorts for Berry, who was the fantasy football expert at Rotoworld from 1999-2004. Rotoworld was bought by NBC in 2006 and renamed NBC Sports Edge in 2021 after the site started to include more betting content.
Berry said he was a little nervous leaving ESPN because of the promotion he would receive on the fantasy games and apps.
”I got advice on leaving ESPN from some of my friends … they would tell me, `I haven’t been on ESPN for like three or five years, and I’ll still have people come up to me and say, like, Hey, man, I love you and ESPN.”’ Berry said. ”What’s been amazing is that people are coming up to me and saying congrats on the move. When you’re on multiple times during `Football Night in America,’ it definitely helps.”
Fantasy sports has also evolved due to gambling and more player props being added by sportsbooks. Berry said his content has also changed slightly where it is 70% fantasy and 30% gambling. Berry said the player props are interchangeable between fantasy and gambling.
NBC also has him doing some traveling, like going to Philadelphia two weeks ago for the Cowboys-Eagles game and attending NBC’s Premier League Fanfest.
”It’s not something I ever got to experience at ESPN. I was very much studio-based,” he said. ”Getting out to having having these shows in front of a live audience, an engaged audience of football fans of fantasy players of sports bettors just brings another level of energy to the show.”
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