After going to Washington, DC for a rally to support Taiwan’s democracy and running into a boatload of work, I finally get back to the blog. My apologies. I hope it won’t get too hairy again so I can keep the blog updated more consistently. So let’s get to some breaking news.
The Baltimore Orioles finally came to an agreement with Major League Baseball over the territorial rights with the Washington Nationals. Up until this week, the Nationals did not have an over the air TV deal. It signed a deal just this week to broadcast 76 games with two stations owned by Fox, WTTG and WDCA. Now, Orioles owner Peter Angelos finally signed a deal with MLB that would bring the cable and satellite rights into a channel that will be owned by the O’s. Why this had to take this long delaying the Nationals airing on TV is beyond me. This could have been settled earlier, but this is a case of money and ego on the part of Angelos. The Washington Post’s Thomas Heath has the story and you’ll either have to register to read it or go to bugmenot.com.
Out of Boston, John Molori has some good news/bad news for certain media entities in and around the Chowd City.
Michael Hiestand who will most likely take over the USA Today media column full time when Rudy Martzke retires April 15, has his weekly Sports Business column today. Hiestand writes about MLB’s attempts to use new media including cell phones to air their games.
With the NCAA Men’s Final Four taking place this weekend, CBS has been in the midst of a renaissance of college basketball. The ratings through the Elite Eight have been nothing short of a record and the Eye Network has been running all the way to the bank. Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has the story.
From St. Louis, the site of this year’s Final Four, Dan Caesar of the Post-Dispatch writes about CBS’ ratings bonanza, plus about two broadcasters who will be involved in the international feed and Westwood One’s radio call who have St. Louis ties.
Caesar has another story, this one focuses on Jim Nantz who will call the Final Four on CBS.
Jerry Lindquist of the Richmond Times-Dispatch (why is Dispatch in the names of so many newspapers?) also writes about the NCAA Tournament, but his tone is more whiny than Caesar’s.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bob Smizik also has his take on CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Tournament and he has some praise for Dick Enberg, Gus Johnson and the ESPN analysts who were “loaned” to CBS. However, he doesn’t like Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery. That’s ok, try not to look at Smizik’s picture without retching.
This week, NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol returned to work, four months after the tragic plane accident that claimed the life of his son, Teddy.
ESPN/ABC Sports Emperor George Bodenheimer spoke at the University of Pennsylvannia yesterday as part of a Wharton Sports Business Initiative and an Entertainment and Sports Marketing class. The speech was covered by the Daily Pennsylvannian, the student newspaper of UPenn.
From north of the border, the Canadian Media Guild has decided to look into the unceremonious firing of CBC play-by-play announcer Chris Cuthbert. There is talk about Cuthbert suing the CBC. William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail has the story.
And the piling on CBC continues. Bill Lankhof of the Toronto Sun writes that the luster is off the CBC Sports Department. The CBC lost the bid to broadcast the 2010 Olympics which will be in Vancouver. There is the Cuthbert story still hanging over the CBC and there’s even talk that the venerable “Hockey Night in Canada” which has been a CBC staple since the 1950′s when it was on radio could be going to another network when the network’s contract with the NHL expires in 2007. This is a good article and this is similar to what happened to CBS in the early 1990′s when it lost the NBA, the NFL and barely kept the NCAA Tournament, treading water until it got the NFL back in 1998.
From the world TV news, Nightline anchor Ted Koppel has announced he’s leaving ABC. Koppell has been with ABC since 1963. He’s covered the Vietnam War, the State Department, several political conventions and for the last 25 years, the anchor of one of the best news programs on TV. Over the past few years, the beancounters of Disney/ABC have been talking about scrapping Nightline. It would be a horrible mistake to do so, but Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney has never been a fan of the program.
This has nothing to do with Sports Media, but actually something to do with Sports Business. Here’s a story about Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard trying to expand her horizons and business enterprises. This is nothing but a cheap way for me to get another hot chick into the links. And yes, here’s the link to her own website. Enjoy, boys.
I think I’ve overcompensated for being away from the site for a week. I’ll be back tomorrow the regular Friday media columns.