Archive for May, 2007
Interesting choices tonight. Get your TiVO’s ready.
French Open Tonight – The Tennis Channel, 6:30 & 10 p.m.
Pirate Master (Series premiere) – CBS, 8 p.m.
Scripps Howard Spelling Bee – ABC, 8 p.m.
NFL Classics/Houston @ Buffalo, Wild Card Playoff from 1993 – NFL Network, 8 p.m.
The Memorial (1st Round) – The Golf Channel, 8:30 p.m.
Some more good stuff for you today.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner says TNT’s Charles Barkley helps to make a regular telecast interesting.
Darren Rovell of CNBC has a new addition to his sports business blog and he discusses the Mark Cuban foray into a proposed new fall football league. While I made the comparison to the USFL last night, Rovell makes the comparison to the XFL which was a colossal failure. And he also mentions another failed competitor, the World Football League of the 1970′s.
Can you believe ESPN/ABC will show the National Spelling Bee tonight? The hosts will be Mike & Mike of ESPN Radio. I don’t think this should be televised, but Disney spends a lot of money and that helps to fund the competition. Here’s an article on the Spelling Bee which by the way, is written by a Scripps Howard reporter. Scripps Howard sponsors the Bee.
That’s it for now. We’ll have more later.
In the last post, I gave you the SEC TV schedule for this fall as we know it. Here’s the Big Ten schedule on ESPN/ESPN2 and ABC.
2007 BIG TEN FOOTBALL ON ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
Sept. 8 — Notre Dame at PENN STATE, 6 p.m. EDT, ESPN
Sept. 22 — IOWA at WISCONSIN, 8 p.m. EDT, ABC
Sept. 22 — PURDUE at MINNESOTA, 9 p.m. EDT, ESPN2
Sept. 29 — OHIO STATE at MINNESOTA, 8 p.m. EDT, ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Oct. 6 — OHIO STATE at PURDUE, 8 p.m. EDT, ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Oct. 13 — WISCONSIN at PENN STATE, 3:30 p.m. EDT, ABC
Oct. 20 — MICHIGAN STATE at OHIO STATE, 3:30 p.m. EDT, ABC
Oct. 20 — MICHIGAN at ILLINOIS, 8 p.m. EDT, ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Oct. 27 — OHIO STATE at PENN STATE, 8 p.m. EDT, ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Here’s the Big East composite schedule to date:
2007 BIG EAST FOOTBALL ON ESPN/ESPN2 & VERSUS
Thursday, August 30 – Murray State @ Louisville, 7:30 p.m. ESPNU
Friday, August 31 – Washington @ Syracuse, 8 p.m. ESPN
Thursday, September 6 – Middle Tennessee State @ Louisville, 7 p.m. ESPN2
Thursday, September 6 – Oregon State @ Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Friday, September 7 – Navy @ Rutgers, 7 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, September 8 – USF at Auburn, TBA, ESPN/ESPN2
Thursday, September 13 – West Virginia @ Maryland, 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Friday, September 28 – West Virginia @ USF, 8 p.m. ESPN2
Saturday, September 29 – Cincinnati vs. San Diego State, 10 p.m. Versus
Friday, October 5 – Utah @ Louisville, 8 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, October 13 – Navy @ Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. ESPN
Thursday, October 18 – USF @ Rutgers, 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Friday, October 19 – Louisville @ Connecticut, 8 p.m. ESPN
Thursday, November 8 – Louisville @ West Virginia, 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Friday, November 9 – Rutgers @ Army, 8 p.m. ESPN2
Thursday, November 29 – Rutgers @ Louisville, 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, December 1 – Pittsburgh @ West Virginia, TBA ESPN/ESPN2
We’ll give you more college football schedules as they come in.
Back today as we look at the world of Sports Media and anything else in between.
The Stanley Cup Finals may not be burning up the TV ratings (thank you, Versus and Gary Bettman), but there is some buzz. We mentioned last night that Don Cherry would be coming over to the US on Monday night. Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says the former Boston Bruins coach will appear during the second intermission on NBC, Monday night.
Today is Day Two of A-Rod coverage in the New York Post. Yesterday’s cover had a blaring headline, “STRAY-ROD”. Now, there’s a story in today’s edition saying that the Yankees 3rd Baseman has been spotted with the blond woman, not his wife, Cynthia in five cities. And I feel bad for Cynthia as paparazzi followed her as she was getting into her car in New York yesterday. You can Google the pictures of her if you wish. And the Post continues to bash A-Rod with a column showing that fans are angry at him.
Newsday’s Neil Best gives his two cents on the A-Rod story in his blog.
The SEC has announced its TV football schedule to date:
SEC TV GAMES
Thursday, Aug. 30: LSU at Mississippi State, 7 p.m., ESPN.
Saturday, Sept. 1: Oklahoma State at Georgia, 5:45 p.m., ESPN2; Kansas State at Auburn, 6:45 p.m., ESPN.
Saturday, Sept. 8: Alabama at Vanderbilt, 11:30 a.m., Lincoln Financial Sports (LFS); South Carolina at Georgia, 4:45 p.m., ESPN2; South Florida at Auburn, 8 p.m., ESPN2; Virginia Tech at LSU, 8:15 p.m., ESPN.
Saturday, Sept. 15: Mississippi State at Auburn, 11:30 a.m., LFS; Tennessee at Florida, 2:30 p.m., CBS; Arkansas at Alabama, 5:45 p.m., ESPN.
Thursday, Oct. 4: Kentucky at South Carolina, 6:30 p.m., ESPN.
Saturday, Oct. 6: Doubleheader, 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., CBS, possibly Georgia at Tennessee and Florida at LSU.
Friday, Nov. 23: Ole Miss at Mississippi State, 11:30 a.m., LFS; Arkansas at LSU, 1:30 p.m., CBS.
Saturday, Nov. 24: Doubleheader, 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., CBS, possibly Alabama at Auburn and Florida State at Florida.
Saturday, Dec. 1: SEC Championship Game, 3 p.m., CBS.
I’m sure we’ll find the other conference schedules as we go along.
NBC Sports will allow fans to have an interactive experience during the Stanley Cup Finals. This might be an experiment for NFL games later this year.
Not the best of links for today, but Friday, we’ll have a lot of stories. But of course, we’ll have more links later as they warrant.
A couple of more things since I last updated here.
First, I finally heard Alicia Silverstone today! Remember I was asking if you remembered Alicia? She was on Sirius Satellite Radio talking with Alexis Stewart (yes, Martha’s daughter) and Jennifer Hutt on Whatever, a show that’s on the Martha Stewart channel. Before you go killing me listening to Martha Stewart Living Radio, Alexis and Jennifer talk about a lot of things, like Jennifer schtupping her boyfriend, Guy; and Jennifer thinking about schtupping her husband for their 10th Anniversary. So it’s not about cooking, sewing, lifestyles and the like. If you have Sirius, Alexis and Jennifer are on Sirius channel 112 from 5 – 7 p.m. Eastern Time. It’s quite the show and I’ve called in a few times although not in the last six months. Very funny show.
This story came in late this afternoon, but Mark Cuban wants to be part of a new league that will rival the NFL. Just like the USFL before it in the 1980′s, the objective is to bid for the lower round talent, but I’m sure just like the USFL before it in the 1980′s, the owners of this new league will want to make a splash and will enter into a bidding war for higher priced talent. This was tried with the USFL and when Donald Trump became owner of the New Jersey Generals, he thought it would be a good idea to try to sue the NFL to force a merger. Didn’t happen and it was one of the bigger losses Trump suffered in his career. The fact that this league will try to compete in the fall with the NFL is one red flag I see right off the bat. Sports fans are so ingrained with the NFL, this will not work. Yes, the AFL became an alternative to the NFL in the 1960′s, but they were in cities the NFL had not touched (Boston, KC, San Diego, Buffalo, Miami). Cuban comments about what will be called the UFL in his blog.
Defending BCS Champ Florida will have its annual faceoff against Tennessee on CBS Sports on September 15. CBS Sports has not announced its full slate of SEC games as of yet, but has announced its windows this season.
CBC’s Don Cherry will finally make his debut on NBC’s Stanley Cup Final coverage this Monday.
May was a bad month for the cable channels including TNT and ESPN. Ratings for the NBA hurt both channels and don’t forget, that all of the over-the-air networks were also running their season ending finales.
That should be it for tonight.
French Open Tonight – The Tennis Channel, 6:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Cleveland at Red Sox – NESN/ESPN2, 7 p.m.
Florida at Cubs – WGN, 8 p.m.
Ottawa at Anaheim, Game 2, Stanley Cup Finals – Versus/CBC, 8 p.m.
Cathouse, Season 2 – HBO, 11 p.m.
Some more stuff for you on this Wednesday. The end of the day can’t come fast enough for me.
Dan Snyder (yes, the Redskins owner) owns three radio stations to carry his team’s football games. Known as Triple X-ESPN Radio in the DC area, it has had to pick up some other inventory to fill time and today, Synder’s Red Zebra Broadcasting has signed with Virginia Tech to pick up its football and basketball games. In addition, Triple X will carry the ACC basketball tournament.
I admit I’m not into motorsports, but every once in a while, if there’s nothing on, I’ll take a gander at NASCAR. It’s not exciting to me, but I don’t begrudge anyone who’s a fan. Believe it or not, the New York Times has a blog devoted to automotive and it’s done by Jerry Garrett. He critiques the commentary on the races done this past weekend by NBC, Fox and ABC.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is not enamored with NBA Commissioner David Stern and he correctly takes the Commish to task for stretching out the playoffs for two full months. There was once a time when the NBA Finals actually finished in May. Not anymore.
Also in the Post, a story on Yankee 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez being seen with a woman in Toronto, while his wife, Cynthia was back in New York with their kids. Now what this means, I’m not certain, but I know the Post is trying to insinuate something is going on between the two. I’m not judging this. Yet. Apparently, A-Rod was with this woman and two other men heading to a Toronto strip club. Decide for yourself if there’s something going on. Here’s the story.
Finally, the bashing of Red Sox “announcer” and I now put that in quotes, Glenn Geffner continues. He continues to mumble his way through Red Sox games. Fans are up in arms and continue to write about his awful calls. Over at 38 Cliches, there are two links, one to a blog that cannot stand Goofner and another which inexplicably likes him. But it’s good to show an opposing view every once in a while. I’m really hoping 2008 will be Geffner-free. Maybe during Presidential campaign season, we ask candidates in both parties to promise to outlaw Geffner from any more Red Sox broadcasts. The first one to guarantee Geffner’s ouster will be promised the entire New England region as a block of votes. Yes, I’m being silly, but I’m operating on just a few hours of sleep.
We’ll be back later with primetime viewing choices. It’ll be tough tonight as it’s mostly repeats on the networks and the cable channels are gearing up for their premieres in June.
Today, it definitely feels like a Wednesday. Middle of the week and I’m ready for the weekend. Here are some links for you.
Michael McCarthy of USA Today says NBA TV announcers would like to have the arenas tone down the Fire-and-Brimstone act. I do agree. It seems every time a basket is scored, music is blaring. What’s wrong with allowing the game to be entertainment instead of having to have acts in the middle of timeouts. Called me old fashioned, but it’s not necessary to keep the music going all of the time. Let the people breathe.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times wonders if Yankees owner George Steinbrenner still has the guts to fire General Manager Brian Cashman or Manager Joe Torre when it comes down to the nitty-gritty. Sandomir says the longer the Yankees fall, the lower the ratings will be on the YES Network.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Hall of Fame Astros announcer Milo Hamilton is frustrated with the team’s slow start this season just as fans are. Barron also talks about the top billing sports radio stations in the country which to no one’s surprise it’s WFAN in New York at #1, WEEI in Boston at #2.
In his Watchdog blog, Newsday’s Neil Best has news that former Chicago White Sox, Yankee and Met Robin Ventura has gotten some work as ESPN as an analyst for college baseball. He also has some harsh words for Barry Bonds for making him look bad.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune reviews Mike North’s first day on WFAN, filling in for Imus.
CBS Sports has signed a deal to air the World Series of Video Games. I kid you not. This is a big deal for this to get on a regular network.
CBC Sports in Canada has announced it’s brought the Toronto Blue Jays back into its fold for this summer and next. Eight games this summer and 30 next year. Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says this deal might be a precursor for the World Series to return to free TV in Canada.
Continuing with news from up north, William Houston reports that the ratings for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on CBC were down compared to last year.
More links later.
#1 – Making the Squad – NFL Films’ look into women who try to make an NFL Cheerleading team. Really. If you don’t have the NFL Network, demand it now. So far, there have been three versions, one each for Miami, San Diego and Tampa Bay. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders series on CMT doesn’t even come close to these three. Can’t argue about the quality of Making the Squad.
#2 – NFL Cheerleader Playoffs – I remember in the late 1970′s, CBS did “Battle of the NFL Cheerleaders”. While this version isn’t as cheesy as the 1970′s, it’s still a worthwhile look. The girls have to compete in dance competitions, some physical tasks and answer questions about the NFL. Is it high quality? No, but it’s nice to watch when you want to empty your mind.
#3 – America’s Game – This is the best sports documentary series ever. An hour spent on each different Super Bowl winning team. You get tidbits from players that you had never heard. And the narration is excellent. At first, NFL Network counted from the #20 to the number one Super Bowl team of all time (the 1972 Miami Dolphins that went 17-0-0). Now, it’s recounting the rest of the teams. My favorite tidbit came from the 1971 Baltimore Colts. Guys who won that game over the Dallas Cowboys, Bill Curry and Bubba Smith said it never made up for the loss of Super Bowl III to the New York Jets. Curry says he doesn’t even wear his ring. Can you believe that?
#4 – NFL Europe Games – It’s not NFL quality, but it does give you a bit of a football fix in the spring.
#5 – NFL Replay – Four games from the 2006 season played in 90 minute condensed versions.
If you don’t care about the last three, just get the NFL Network for the top 2, ok? Capeesh?
Thanks to Deadspin for pointing this out. At Hollywood Park the other day, there was a bikini race. Not horses in bikinis, mind you, but women in bikinis. Names of the women were strange, but why depict women as racing animals (credit Deadspin for that line)? I’m all for seeing women in bikinis (beach volleyball comes to mind), but is this right? Talk to me. Leave me your comments. Inquiring minds want to know.
EDITED TO ADD – I guess this is not a one-time event. I see that the “Bikini Beach Mile” was run last year, also at Hollywood Park.
Back after a long holiday weekend, I already gave you my review of the Tennis Channel’s first days televising the French Open. I will say that I do like the idea of having the matches online as well as I can see them at work, but there’s a strict cutoff time of noon ET thanks to the Tennis Channel’s agreement with ESPN. Even if the matches are ongoing, they’re to be offline when the Alleged Worldwide Leader signs on and that is a disservice to tennis fans across the US.
I did see part of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Final on Memorial Day. Good touches by ESPN to cover all the bases on Duke University in the wake of the scandal that caused the school’s administration to cancel the entire season last year. And also, the interview of former coach Mike Pressler shown at halftime, breaking his silence on the case that forced him to resign. Pressler, by the way, has found a new job in my native Rhode Island at Bryant University where he’s doing quite well. Announcers Dave Ryan and Quint Kessenich did a very good job in handling the Duke story and also the Blue Devils comeback in the second half which fell short as John Hopkins won its 9th title. I’m sure when the ratings come out, the Lacrosse final will probably do better than Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals on Versus.
Speaking of which, Versus did an admirable job in airing Game 1 last night. However, with a minimal audience in Southern California, I’m not sure even sports bars were carrying the Anaheim Ducks comeback to win 3-2 over the Ottawa Senators. How long can NHL Commish Gary Bettman live with this?
To the links, Neil Best of Newsday has some news & notes including the demand (not) to cover Barry Bonds and his quest to break Hank Aaron’s home run record. In addition, Best says WFAN and CBS Radio still don’t have an idea on whom to replace Don Imus. Best writes that Boomer Esiason is a leading candidate, but so far, it’s anyone’s guess as who will fill that spot. I say get Imus’ wife, Deidre.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has a good enterprise story on how the MLB Network came to fruition thanks to some creative negotiating by MLB.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail reports on a sticky situation between the Ottawa Senators and a Toronto radio station.
Rick Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News catches up with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman who tries to spin the low TV ratings for his sport. Keep trying, Gary. The public is not stupid.
Stephanie Myles of the Montreal Gazette wishes that she could have access to the Tennis Channel’s coverage of the French Open. Canada’s outlet for the event is TSN which is using an Australian feed of the Open.
More links as they’re warranted.
Heavy hitters Ted Robinson and John McEnroe called the Roger Federer/Michael Russell match until the rains came. They have worked events for USA Network and NBC Sports so they have a previous rapport which works well.
Seeing different channels for the outside courts while the Federer match was on worked well and Bill Macatee is a very capable host. However, tennis fans who don’t have the Tennis Channel were short served as ESPN2 decided to go with its regular daytime schedule, rather than interrupt it for the French Open. This is going to be tough going for tennis fans who complained ESPN2 gave the Australian Open short shrift so I’m sure tennis bloggers are going to be angry over the coverage just two days into this major.
Over to the Stanley Cup, there’s no juice for this event. It’s not because of the matchup, Ottawa and Anaheim, although that’s partly the reason. Had ESPN or TNT had this event, you can rest assured their PR machines would be ramped up. Instead, the lowly Versus has the first two games and Comcast has virtually no experience in pumping up what should be one of the major events on the sports calendar. NBC isn’t really ramping up for this either from what I can see. If I’m Gary Bettman, I do all I can to rip up the current contracts with the two American network partners and practically beg ESPN to carry my league. But since Gary Bettman is incompetent and has no idea how to promote his sport, the NHL will remain buried behind the UFC, the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest, the World Series of Poker and anything else ESPN has aired in its place since saying goodbye to the sport.
More stuff on Tuesday as we all get back to work in the States.
Today was the day The Tennis Channel had been looking for since last year. It was the day when it would finally televise its first major, the French Open, live back to the United States. After months of planning and hiring some of the best on-air tennis talent, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Bill Macatee and Ian Eagle. When the Tennis Channel signed on at 5 a.m. Eastern Time, it was ready to show off and it actually got to show some matches. However, four hours into coverage, rains started and wouldn’t stop. Instead of showing matches, The Tennis Channel had to resort to showing last year’s French Open Mens’ Final. It was just the thing that The Tennis Channel was hoping wouldn’t happen. In addition, the five channels that were to show matches on outside courts were just showing abandoned courts with the words, “Play Suspended” on the screen. And Ian Eagle just kept describing play from last year’s final. But as the Tennis Channel signed off, I noticed that the rains had stopped and it appeared that play was about to resume. In fact, Eagle said live play would resume on ESPN2.
I go over to ESPN2 at noon, in hopes of seeing some live tennis, but instead, ESPN2 decided to show the first set of Serena Williams’ first round match which had taken place earlier in the morning! As I went to the French Open’s website, the match was well into the second set. ESPN2 was resorting to NBC’s old trick by tape delaying matches. And just like The Tennis Channel before it, ESPN2 re-aired last year’s French Open Mens’ Final. I don’t know if this was policy by both channels, but it was rather annoying to see both channels airing this to fill time.
The Tennis Channel and ESPN2 are partners for The French Open, but if we’re going to see delayed matches on ESPN2 instead of live action, this is going to be bad for viewers. Then again, not everyone has the Tennis Channel, so if ESPN2 can bring more viewers to the party, then more power to the Alleged Worldwide Leader. However, this partnership may not be totally beneficial to viewers. We’ll keep an eye on it.
Here’s one who is not in Sports Broadcasting right now, Thea Andews who was on ESPN2′s Cold Pizza and ESPN Hollywood. She’s currently free-lancing for Entertainment Tonight. She did some work at the Triple Crown last year. Would like to see her there again.
One who’s in Sports Broadcasting, Stacey Dales who is mostly seen during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on ESPN, but she’s done other work for the network as well.
Both were nominated by others. Will certainly take your suggestions throughout the weekend.
Edited at 5:16 p.m., 5/26/07
Saturday, May 26
PGA Golf – Crown Plaza Invitational, 3rd Round – CBS, 3 p.m.
Cleveland at Detroit, Cubs at Dodgers or Phillies at Braves – Fox, 3:55 p.m.
Red Sox at Texas – NESN, 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 27
The French Open – The Tennis Channel at 5 a.m./ESPN at noon
Indianapolis 500 – ABC, 1 p.m.
Red Sox at Texas – NESN, 3 p.m.
PGA Golf – Crown Plaza Invitational, 4th Round – CBS, 3 p.m.
Coca-Cola 600 – Fox, 5 p.m.
Cleveland at Detroit – ESPN, 8 p.m.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – HBO, 9 p.m.
Memorial Day, May 28
The French Open – The Tennis Channel at 5 a.m./ESPN at noon
Atlanta at Milwaukee – TBS, 2 p.m.
Cleveland at Red Sox – NESN, 7 p.m.
Ottawa at Anaheim, Game 1, Stanley Cup Finals – Versus/CBC, 8 p.m.
Star Wars Movies all day and night on Cinemax
Red Sox at Texas – NESN, 8 p.m.
I’ll have weekend viewing choices later.
I have too much free time today. Here’s a post for you, some hot chicks who have been on either on the sidelines or involved in sports TV. They aren’t now, but they should be.
Jilllian Barberie-Reynolds (she’s also pregnant-Grrrr!), Fox NFL Sunday Weather woman, she was only on for three weeks last season when the pre-game show went back to LA for just a brief period. With the show heading back to the studio this coming season, let’s hope Jillian will be back.
I can bring you more stuff because it’s fun to do.
The Biz of Baseball website says the MLB Network will have the biggest cable/satellite launch ever, reaching some 47 million homes when it turns the switch on next year. That’s bigger than MSNBC when it launched in 1996. Of course, the cable universe was smaller back then. Here’s a list of operators which will and will not carry the network at launch. When you have heavy hitters Bright House, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV and Time Warner on board, that’s a lot of customers who’ll be able to see the channel. Among those not carrying are Dish Network and Mediacom. The numbers of those not carrying will likely shrink before launch.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has some good stuff today. He says the ratings for the NBA Finals, projected to be San Antonio-Detroit has low numbers written all over it and he cites evidence that the Spurs are not a national draw. And Rovell links to this article from Bob Keisser from the Long Beach Press-Telegram saying the NHL’s ratings are lower than among other telecasts, the WNBA and Arena Football.
Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee says Comcast is going to be a major player in the Bay Area now having purchased Fox Sports Net Bay Area. FSNBA has the rights to the Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, Golden State Warriors and San Jose Sharks. Comcast’s own channel in the area has just the Sacramento Kings so when these two channels are merged, it’ll be a powerful Regional Sports Network.
Over to Milwaukee and the Journal-Sentinel’s Bob Wolfey, who says that the NBA is not on the national radar right now.
The Boulder Daily Camera (strange name for a newspaper, but maybe it’s me) has a story on the Big 12 Conference naming Dallas as host for its football title game in 2009 and 2010. In addition, the conference has decided to move its basketball conference tournament final to a Saturday night. It’s currently on Sunday afternoon.
John Maffei of the North County Times says it may be playoff season in the NBA and NHL, but he says finding the games and the times can be difficult.
Tom Hoffarth of the LA Daily News has his news & notes column which includes his take on the hiring of Keyshawn Johnson by ESPN.
Judd Zulgad from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has news that Fox Sports Net North has signed the Minnesota Timberwolves to a new contract which means the RSN has all four major teams in the Twin Cities under its umbrella.
Doug Nye in the State (SC) says even though the University of South Carolina left the ACC for the SEC, TV execs still consider Columbia as an ACC market. Nye says this sometimes causes problems.
Thanks to the 38 Cliches blog, we have another anti-Glenn Geffner article, this one from Barstool Sports, a Boston free magazine. From its Random Thoughts for yesterday, the writer has some pretty harsh words for Goofie. If you want to scroll from that post, you can check out some pretty nice pics of Lindsey Lohan, another Fang’s Bites fav.
That’s it for the time being. I’ll be back with primetime viewing choices and maybe some more goodies later. Long weekend so have fun.
Hello. Memorial Day Weekend here in the US and it means that warm weather is finally coming. Here in New England, 90 degree temps are expected and it nice to see. Also, it means summer movies and we’ll keep an eye on them here in the blog. But, we’ll always keep an eye on what the sports media is doing.
One other thing, I hope Shandi Finnessey will be on Quiznation this weekend on GSN. I have to admit after seeing her for the first time while flipping channels, I’m a bit smitten. Hey, she’s in Los Angeles, I’m in RI. Stranger things have happened, but I know the reality. We’ll continue our efforts to make her and Shana Hiatt the Next Big Star.
Ok, enough silliness, on to the links.
USA Today’s Michael McCarthy is a bit late to the party, but he has praise for ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber. This blog was all over it from her first column, but better late than never. McCarthy also has some notes on Jose Canseco pitching a reality show and the emergence of Mixed Martial Arts into the mainstream sports media. Again, McCarthy is a bit late to the party on MMA, but with UFC on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, there’s an increased focus on the sport.
Dave Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch says the Boston Globe is running a double standard criticizing Boston talk station, WRKO for trying to bring in embattled Don Imus producer Bernard McGuirk to audition (WRKO eventually backed down and scrapped the audition before it started), but keeping silent on the Ron Borges affair. Scott also has praise for Globe columnist Bob Ryan who has started a blog. To be honest, for Ryan who’s one of the best writers in the country, I say welcome to the blogosphere, Bob. Nice to have you join us.
Susan Bickelhaupt of the Globe has another story about NBC cutting off last week’s Ottawa-Buffalo game, but she defends the Peacock. She says it’s a matter of ratings and the numbers do show that the pre-race show got more viewers than the game, but it’s the principle. If it were an NFL or Notre Dame college football game, you had better believe there would be no cutting away.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times also writes about MMA’s growing popularity.
New York Post curmudgeon Phil Mushnick has some criticisms for ESPN’s Joe Morgan. I have to say I agree with them. Morgan is not a very good analyst and his constant harping on how the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds were the best team of all time grates on me. Then again, Morgan must feel he knows everything because his manager Sparky Anderson knew everything. Now I totally respect Sparky as the man won three championships in two different leagues, but Joe can only go so far. Besides, I have always respected Walpole Joe Morgan, former manager of the Red Sox, much more than ESPN’s Joe Morgan. ESPN’s Joe Morgan is not worthy of any links.
Do you care that the former “Bachelor” Jesse Palmer has retired from the CFL for a television career? Me neither.
Bob Raissman says the YES Network was unsurprisingly quiet on the Jason Giambi affair and also criticizes Peter Gammons for questioning the validity of the New York Daily News report that the “Geeambeeno” (as John Sterling calls him) failed a drug test.
Neil Best of New York Newsday looks at former New York Giant Phillipi Sparks whose daughter, Jordin won American Idol this week.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune looks at a new documentary on minor leaguers trying to make it to the Show and the Big Ten Network making ESPN’s Dave Revsine or “The Rever” it’s first on-camera hire.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle talks to former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy about widening the court in the NBA. I’m sure team owners would just love to lose those courtside seats in which they overcharge fans by the thousands of dollars.
Continuing to talk NBA here, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the ratings for the early games of the NBA Conference Finals have not caught fire nor will they.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel writes about the Stanley Cup Finals getting top notch coverage from both Versus and NBC. Now if NBC would find a way not to shuttle overtime games to Versus.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune has his take on the NBC switch from the hockey game to the Preakness.
Do you notice how much this move by NBC has given the NHL some actual juice going into Monday’s Game 1? I do hope the NHL can capture this momentum, but knowing Commissioner Gary Bettman, he’ll probably lock out the players and delay the start of the season. He’s such an incompetent.
Greg Johnson of the LA Times talks about how hockey is struggling to find an audience in US.
Also from the Times, Larry Stewart says Versus has a negative connotation among hockey fans. And in his notebook column, Stewart says ESPN and the Tennis Channel will have plenty of coverage from the French Open which begins Sunday. He also mentions Ninja Warrior on G4!!!
Some more links for you this afternoon.
It’s been five days since NBC’s fateful decision to dump the thrilling Ottawa-Buffalo game going into overtime to Versus which hardly anyone gets in favor of the Preakness Stakes. Newspaper writers and bloggers have all attacked both NBC and the NHL for allowing this to happen. Al Strachan who has made appearances on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada has written a column on Fox Sports.com and he takes NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to task for ruining the league going back to 1994. I have to agree. While the NBA has fallen to new TV rating lows, the NHL has sunken even further. Strachan says the league had quite a bit of momentum after the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994, but it’s now struggling to get viewers.
Maybe this is a bit of justice, but the final ratings for the Preakness Stakes were down 9% from last year.
Jim Williams of the Baltimore/DC Examiner writes about IRL’s Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca Cola 600, both of which are run this Sunday.
Our friend, LC in the 38 Cliches blog says Red Sox radio announcer Glenn Geffner may not do 100 games as he was quoted before the season. I certainly hope so. In fact, I hope the Red Sox brass take Geffner off the radio for the rest of 2007.
Canadians will be watching the French Open on TSN for the next four years.
That’s it for now.
Still buzzing over the Lost finale from last night. And checking the blogs, there’s a lot of positive feedback, but let’s go to the main focus of this site.
Yesterday it broke that NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson retired and signed with ESPN to become a studio analyst. Let’s check the fallout. The New York Post’s Pat Reichart has some quotes from Key stating that he’ll do more than just the NFL. Neil Best from Newsday has an article on Keyshawn as well. New York Daily News Jets beat reporter Rich Cimini has a story on Key.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News has some harsh words for Mike & the Mad Dog of WFAN for saying the report of Yankee Jason Giambi testing positive for amphetamines is no big deal. Are Francesca and Russo high?
As far as the Stanley Cup Finals are concerned, the matchup between Ottawa and Anaheim is not attractive for networks on either side of the US-Canada border. Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says the CBC is facing low ratings. William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail reports that CBC is putting analyst Greg Millen into the booth with Hockey Night in Canada’s A-team, Bob Cole and Harry Neale. In the same story, Houston says there will be two Saturday night games which benefits the CBC.
Fox Sports has signed a multi-year deal with XM Satellite Radio to carry the Bowl Championship Series starting in January.
Do you care that FSN has signed a deal to carry the Triathlon World Cup? Me neither.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram-Gazette writes about ESPN analysts giving the Celtics a lot of grief.
Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the worst thing for the NHL was to dump ESPN for Versus. I gotta agree. The NHL has not been served well. And Smizik gives an update on the Mike Lange situation. Apparently he’s talking about staying on with the Penguins.
Are you a tennis fan? Maybe not, but I enjoy watching it. This blog has the schedule for the Tennis Channel’s coverage of the French Open which starts this Sunday.
If you live in the Maryland area or have MASN on your sports tier on DirecTV or the Dish Network, you may have seen Amber Theoharis. She works Orioles telecasts as a sideline reporter. She does a very good job and is a rising star. Here’s a profile of the Maryland native.
Speaking of DirecTV, several Regional Sports Networks will be part of its 100 HDTV channel lineup which launches this year.
More links later as they warrant.
For no good reason other than because I can, I give you two Aerosmith videos starring the lovely Alicia Silversone. This was when she became a household name, thanks to airplay on MTV.
First, Alicia with Liv Tyler in Crazy. This is the Director’s Cut. Like we need a Director’s Cut to be reminded how hot she truly was. Liv prancing on stage like her dad, Steven and Alicia just sitting there soaking it in. Man.
And there’s Cryin’ which started it all. Great video.
That’s it for now. Back in the am.
Wow. What can I say? After being down on this series for a year and a half, I must say I’m totally back in Lost’s camp. This two hour finale was tremendous.
Not only is the entire series thrown for a loop, but you have Jack in a downward spiral. You’ve got Ben dead. Mr. Friendly, dead. Naomi is not who she said she was (gotta listen to Ben!). And Ben himself is dead.
Let’s review. You have where we left off last week. Charlie’s in the Looking Glass. The castaways are getting ready for their counterattack on The Others.
Sayid, Bernard and Jin will wait as three of The Others come to the beach at night as the castaways were tipped off in the last episode. But Bernard, Jin and Sayid are ready. Dynamite has been set up in the tents. The three wait in the woods and as The Others including Mr. Friendly/Tom check, two shots are fired and the TNT goes off. But Jin fails to hit the dynamite. He does kill one Other, but can’t hit the TNT, and all three are captured.
Jack is leading his group to the radio tower hoping that Charlie has managed to stop Ben’s jamming of the signal at the Looking Glass, however, Charlie is a bit indisposed having been captured by two women who have been manning their posts.
In the meantime, we see cracks in The Others’ camp. They’re wondering about Ben’s leadership and questioning his motives. Mikhail isn’t happy, but he goes to the Looking Glass after Ben pleads with him to go. In fact, Ben has told The Others that the Looking Glass had been flooded. Not the case.
At the beginning of the episode, we see Jack about to commit suicide. He’s on a bridge, ready to jump when a car accident occurs. He stops his plans for now and goes to help. He helps a woman, brings to the hospital. Jack inadvertently becomes a hero. However, we know that Jack is not right. He has a beard. He seems to wandering aimlessly. He’s checking the woman’s chart and wants to perform surgery on her, but he’s not allowed to. Jack sees his ex-wife, pregnant with another man’s child. All this is pressing on him.
Back to the island, Ben decides to go to meet Jack alone. Alex asks to tag along and to her surprise, Ben says yes.
Ben finally meets up with Jack. Jack says he’s going to get his people off the island. Ben says that’s not a good idea.
At the Looking Glass, Mikhail has made it down surprising the two women. In addition, Desmond who was unconscious has made it down after Mikhail shot at him from the beach. Desmond’s hiding. Mikhail asks Ben what to do. Ben orders Mikhail to kill Charlie and the two women.
Ben radios his men at the beach. Tells them that if they don’t hear from him in one minute, to shoot Sayid, Jin and Bernard.
Also, Sawyer and Juliet have gone to the beach to see what they can do. Juliet says there’s a cache of weapons, but to Sawyer’s surprise, finds out there is no cache. Hurley wants to join them, but he’s rejected. Remember, he was rejected by Charlie to go to the Looking Glass last week, so Hurley’s getting a complex.
We hear three shots on the radio. Apparently, Jin, Bernard and Sayid are dead. Jack goes ballistic on Ben and beats him up.
Back to the Dharma pit where Locke was shot. He’s injured, but not badly enough to die. He finds a gun and is about to commit suicide when all of a sudden, he sees …. Walt??????? Didn’t he and Michael get off the island???? Walt tells Locke that he has to get up and he has more work to do. That scene fucked me up for 30 seconds.
To Jack’s flashback. He’s now in trouble. He’s taking pills. He’s trying to get someone on the phone. Is it his dad? Is it his ex-wife? Who? He tries to fill a prescription. He can’t. Jack walks off in a huff and is barely surviving.
Back at the Looking Glass, Mikhail shoots the two women. He’s about to shoot Charlie when Desmond comes out of hiding and shoots him with a harpoon. One woman is alive. Desmond is about to kill her when Charlie stops him. He needs her to get signals into the island. Charlie finally gets the code to shut off the jamming. He finds out it’s the notes to Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys. Charlie is going to save everybody. Desmond looks and notices that Mikhail is gone. In the meantime, Charlie has cleared the jamming. There’s an incoming signal. It’s Penny. She’s been looking for Desmond for years. Charlie tells her that Desmond is with him and that Naomi is on the island. Penny says she doesn’t know Naomi. Charlie looks out the window and notices Mikhail! He’s got a grenade!!!! He lets go of the pin. Desmond hears Penny’s voice, but just before he gets to see her, Charlie seals off the room and the explosion goes off flooding it with water. Before he dies, Charlie writes, “NOT PENNY’S BOAT” on his hand and puts it up to the door window so Desmond can see it. Charlie has died heroically, something more than his character deserved, but so be it. He died with honor and exactly how Desmond said he would.
So the Castaways are heading to the radio tower. Rosseau has been reunited with Alex.
To the beach, we find out that Jin, Bernard and Sayid are alive. Mr. Friendly/Tom is also questioning Ben’s leadership. Sawyer and Juliet are wondering how they’re going to fight the three Others without weapons when Hurley drives in with Ben’s father’s van and runs over one of them. Sayid takes out another with his feet by breaking the guy’s neck. Sayid rocks! Sawyer finds a gun of The Other who was run over. Tom decides to surrender, but Sawyer kills him anyway. Sawyer rocks! Hurley rocks! Jin, Sayid and Bernard are all ok.
Back to the hospital, the Chief of Surgery is questioning Jack. Apparently the woman who Jack saved has regained consciousness and told how he got into her predicament. She revealed that she saw a man standing on the edge of the bridge about to jump when her car slammed into Jack’s went into the next lane and was hit from behind by a van. Jack is stunned. He saved a woman, but it was his fault. Jack is drunk and is in a huge downward spiral.
On the island, Jack finds out everyone on the beach is safe. The castaways arrive at the radio tower where Rosseau shuts off her distress call. Naomi is going to make a call on her satellite phone. Ben warns Jack. Rosseau kills Ben. Naomi gets a signal and the phone rings on the other end. All of a sudden, IT’S LOCKE WITH THE KNIFE IN THE GRASSY KNOLL TO KILL NAOMI. Jack’s pissed. Locke’s pissed. Locke warns Jack not to make the call. Jack picks up the phone and calls. He gets someone. It appears everyone will be rescued.
To the flashback. Jack is in his apartment getting drunk. There are maps and atlases everywhere. Jack makes a call. He asks the person on the other line to meet him. This person does.
Jack gets to the meeting place. He gets out. The other person gets out. IT’S KATE?????? Yes, this is not a flashback. It’s FLASHFORWARD! Apparently, the castaways have been rescued.
But Jack says he can’t live life like this. He’s been flying every weekend hoping his plane would crash. Kate is silent. Jack mentions that he has to attend a funeral and hands the name of the person to Kate. She asks why would she go? She hands the note back to Jack. Who’s funeral? What the hell?
And then, Jack says “We have to go back to the island. We weren’t supposed to leave!”
Kate gets back to her car and says yes they were. That’s how we end the season.
Man. What an episode. This was an A+++ for me. There are a few questions here like what happens to The Others? Does Desmond get back to Penny? Who’s funeral is it? And who’s Kate with now? And we have to wait until February 2008 for 16 new episodes. I can’t wait.
Red Sox at Yankees – NESN/ESPN, 7 p.m.
Lost – ABC, 9 p.m.
American Idol Results Show – Fox, 9:50 p.m. (don’t watch the entire two hours, just the last ten minutes when Fox announces Jordin as the winner – yes, the results have been predetermined)
With the NBA Draft Lottery over, Boston Celtics fans are wondering what they did to deserve 21 years of bad luck. Twenty one years goes back to the last time the Celtics won an NBA Championship and fans were hoping last night’s lottery would be the beginning of the end of two generations of discontent. Instead, it looks like the discontent will continue as the Celtics which had the second best chance to land the first two picks of the draft instead ended up 5th. Bill Simmons of ESPN.com has a good column describing his pain. I’m not an NBA fan anymore, I stopped watching after the 1998 lockout, but even I felt pain watching the Celtics logo unveiled from the 5th place envelope.
Get ready to see Keyshawn Johnson on ESPN over the next few months. He’s retired from the NFL and has joined the Alleged Worldwide Leader for Sunday and Monday NFL Studio shows. Keyshawn was on ESPN’s draft coverage last month.
ESPNU, the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s college sports channel has been picked up in the Raleigh-Durham (NC) area.
The NBA Conference semi-finals helped the ratings for TNT and ESPN last week.
Christine Daniels of the LA Times starts a new online column today called “Day in LA” and she has stuff about the NBA Draft Lottery and how the Stanley Cup Final of Ottawa-Anaheim is the worst possible scenario for NBC.
By the way, Christine is the former Mike Penner, sportswriter of the LA Times. Yes, she had a sex change operation.
In his blog, Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press gives support for the Big Ten Network.
Neil Best in his Newsday blog says the Golf Channel is off Cablevision’s Sports Tier and will be made available to more viewers on digital basic.
Clay Travis of CBS Sportsline.com says fans should protest NBC’s decision to throw Saturday’s Ottawa-Buffalo game off the network in favor of the Preakness.
And Sporting News NHL beat reporter Kara Yorio calls the NBC move “a shame”.
Finally, this new blog by the NESN TV crew could be quite interesting. It also starts today and it explains the whole thing behind the fall of Jerry Remy during last week’s pregame show.
Primetime viewing choices coming up.
A few things for you on this Wednesday afternoon.
First, someone did an ode to NESN SportsDesk anchor Hazel Mae:
Second, as I try to get Shandi Finnessey to become the Next Big Star, here are two vids from her on Quiznation/Playmania on GSN. Yes, the guys are hitting on her. Wouldn’t you?
And my other Next Big Star, Shana Hiatt of NBC’s Poker After Dark here from her World Poker Tour days.
On this Wednesday, we take a look around the country for news on the sports networks.
USA Today usually has a Wednesday column from Michael Hiestand. He touches on a few subjects including Jeff Van Gundy’s hiring by ESPN and firing by the Houston Rockets in a span of 24 hours. Also, ESPN announced that Van Gundy will work the NBA Finals for ABC. And he had news from an interview incompetent NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman did regarding the shoveling of Buffalo-Ottawa game to Versus from NBC. Tell me that his explanation is just one big line of bullshit.
One thing about professional athletes, they have a different schedule from regular working people so they have a lot of time to watch afternoon soap operas or what the networks like to call, “Daytime Dramas”. Well, four members of the Milwaukee Brewers are going to appear on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless”. Interesting stuff.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has a story on Mike & Mike of ESPN Radio who have been doing their show since 1999. Sandomir says the pair’s ratings have been going up in New York and with instability on on rival all-sports radio station WFAN, could see more success.
Continuing with radio, Chicago all-sports radio WSCR morning host Mike North will be filling in the Imus in the Morning spot next week. You may remember North’s on-air swearing incident last week with White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen.
Canadian network CTV and media giant, Rogers Communications have won the rights to televise NFL games in the Great White North. CTV’s TSN, Canada’s equivalent of ESPN, already airs Monday Night Football. CTV is going to the home of CFL games next season.
Hockey fans in Manitoba province in Canada have a little bit of Hockeygate of their own. Instead of seeing Game 6 of Detroit-Anaheim last night, they got coverage of municipal elections on CBC.
Here’s another story on five Big 12 Conference football games being sublicensed from Fox Sports Net to ESPN. It’s a one year deal.
And on network TV news, Fox and CBS are the winners of the just completed season. Fox won the coveted 18-49 demographic. CBS is second with ABC close behind. CBS won the race for overall total viewers.
More links as they’re warranted.
Red Sox at Yankees – NESN, 7 p.m.
NBA Draft Lottery – ESPN, 8:30 p.m.
Detroit at Anaheim, Game 6, NHL Western Conference Finals – Versus/CBC, 9 p.m.