Archive for June, 2007
Thanks to After Ellen for posting this on its website, here’s one of the funniest Saturday Night Live sketches. Lucy Lawless as Stevie Nicks doing Stevie Nicks’ Fajita Roundup.
And here’s the real Stevie doing two of her best songs, Stand Back and Landslide on Ellen Degeneres’ show.
And here she is doing Landslide with former Fleetwood Mac bandmate (and ex-boyfriend) Lindsey Buckingham.
I think every weekend, I’ll post various video clips here. Enjoy
Saturday, June 30
Wimbledon – ESPN2, 8 a.m./NBC, 12 p.m.
U.S. Women’s Open, 3rd Round – NBC, 3 p.m.
Buick Open, 3rd Round – CBS, 3 p.m.
Mets @ Phillies or Twins at Tigers or Brewers @ Cubs – Fox, 3:55 p.m.
Texas @ Red Sox – NESN, 7 p.m.
Hex – BBC America, 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 1 (lots of choices here)
Concert for Diana (live) – VH1/VH1 Classic, 11 a.m.
Wimbledon – NBC, 12 p.m.
Atlanta at Florida – TBS, 1 p.m.
NCAA Spring Highlights Show – CBS, 1:30 p.m.
Brewers at Cubs – WGN, 2 p.m.
Rangers at Red Sox – NESN, 2 p.m.
NASCAR/Lenox Industrial Tools 300 (I hate these names) from Loudon, NH – TNT, 2:30 p.m.
U.S. Women’s Open, 4th Round – NBC, 3 p.m.
Buick Open, 4th Round – CBS, 3 p.m.
MLB All-Star Selection Show – TBS, 4 p.m. or immediately following Braves baseball
Concert for Diana (highlights) – NBC, 8 p.m.
Entourage – HBO, 10 p.m.
Meadowlands – Showtime, 11 p.m.
Texas at Red Sox – NESN, 7 p.m.
Ninja Warrior – G4, 10:30 p.m.
Sin City Diaries 05 – Cinemax, midnight
Here’s some more links for you on this getaway Friday. Some of you have vacation next week as it’ll be the 4th of July. Best wishes to those who are off.
Ok, let’s check out news about the Big Ten Network which is going on the offensive as we’re about two months from college football season. Yesterday, Big Ten Commish Jim Delany went to Pennsylvania to meet with the state legislature and the media to make the pitch for carriage on cable. Watching from Utah, Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret News says if Delany had taken a look at what has been going on with the Mountain West Conference and its problems with the mtn. channel, he would know that Comcast would fight carrying the Big Ten Network.
ESPN has announced that former Miami Hurricane coach Larry Coker will join the network to call college football games.
Rocky Mountain News columnist Dave Krieger trashes the new NBA TV deal saying TV is just a small part of it.
Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News says ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Draft was slow and boring.
Fox Owned and Operated affiliates will air a special pre-game show at 7:30 p.m. ET before the Fox Network’s All Star Game pre-game show at 8 p.m.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin writes about Minnesota Wild TV analyst Mike Greenlay happy to call the Land of 10,000 Lakes home.
Steven Borelli of USA Today has a story on the late Yankees announcer Mel Allen doing “This Week in Baseball” for Major League Baseball and restoring his reputation.
The CBC begins broadcasting the FIFA Under-20 Soccer World Cup this weekend, but William Houston wonders if Canadians will care.
That’s it for today. I’ll have primetime and weekend viewing choices later.
As unveiled on Mike and the Mad Dog show Thursday, here are WFAN’s Top 20 Sports Moments from the last 20 years.
1. The New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1994 for the first time since 1940.
2. Scott Norwood misses a FG to lose Super Bowl XXV.
3. Yankees win the 1996 World Series.
4. HA! The Red Sox beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS and go on to win the 2004 World Series.
5. Mike Piazza hits the GW home run in the first game back from 9/11.
6. MATTEAU! MATTEAU! MATTEAU! Stephane Matteau’s OT goal in 1994 to bring the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals, beating the New Jersey Devils.
7. Aaron Boone’s home run to win the 2003 ALCS over the Red Sox.
8. Yankees win the 2000 World Series.
9. Derek Jeter’s backhand flip to Jorge Posada to get Jeremy Giambi in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS
10. Mets trade for Mike Piazza, May 22, 1998
11. Mets sign Pedro Martinez
12. Mets win the 2000 NLCS
13. Robin Ventura’s Grand Slam single in the 1999 NLCS
14, Roger Clemens throws the bat at Mike Piazza, 2000 World Series
15. Cal Ripken, Jr. breaks Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played, September 6, 1995
16. Endy Chavez robs Scott Rolen of a home run, 2006 NLCS
17. Mark Messier traded to the New York Rangers, October 4, 1991
18. Buster Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson, February 11, 1990
19. David Cone’s perfect game for the New York Yankees, July 18, 1999
20. The very first sign on, July 20, 1987, with Suzyn Waldman.
Nice to have Friday come along. Long week for me, hope it was a good week for you. Plenty of stuff to link to today. Let’s get to it.
First, the Boston Globe’s Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at the new NBA TV deal, but she also has a blurb on a sexual harassment suit filed by a make-up artist. The suit alleges that Jay Crawford and Woody Paige made lewd comments and made unwanted advances to her when she worked for the ESPN2 show, Cold Pizza. The show has since become First Take. This could become a major story. But if Harold Reynolds was fired for sexual harassment without any recourse, why haven’t Crawford and Paige? I wonder.
USA Today has more on that story. In the nation’s newspaper, Michael Hiestand has a sarcastic look at the future of the NBA on TV. He also has a story on the college football announcing teams for ESPN.
In this morning’s New York Daily News, Bob Raissman wonders as the New York Yankees go down in flames, will the ratings for YES follow suit? And if they do, what will YES do?
Richard Sandomir in the New York Times was in the audience for a screening of the upcoming HBO documentary on the Brooklyn Dodgers and its departure from the New York borough for Los Angeles.
As I’ve said in the past, Phil Mushnick of the New York Post has made me laugh for some of his off-the-wall opinions. But lately, I’ve been agreeing with him. I know that he can now sleep at night knowing that I agree with him, but I find this week’s column on the media finally waking up on the WWE right on.
Laura Nachman from the Bucks County Courier Times has her weekly Sports TV column and she talks about Jimmy Kimmel hosting the ESPY Awards.
In the Miami Herald, Barry Jackson talks about changes coming to sports radio in that market.
Bob Wolfey of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says ESPN was all over the Bucks picking Chinese Yi Jian-lian in last night’s NBA Draft.
This had been rumored for a while, the NFL has decided to fold NFL Europa.
Judd Zulgad in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune says the media got it wrong when trying to gauge Kevin Garnett trade rumors.
Over to the Houston Chronicle, David Barron says former Rocket Calvin Murphy returns to the area airwaves.
John Maffei of the North County times says the San Diego college sports radio announcing picture is finally coming into focus as we approach football season.
In the LA Daily News, Tom Hoffarth also marks the 20th anniversary of WFAN in New York by talking to former KNBC-TV anchor and current nighttime host, Steve Somers.
Some late news from Neil Best in his Newsday blog (he’s writing while on vacation!), all roads are pointing to a possible Don Imus return to CBS Radio and WFAN. He’s definitely coming back for the 20th reunion to be held this weekend.
That’s it for now. I’ve got the Top 20 Moments on WFAN in the next entry.
Let’s give you a few more links before bowing out for the day.
Earlier this week, I had a link to a very good article by Thomas Hauser on the fractured relationship between HBO and Larry Merchant. Now we have a second article on HBO Boxing, this time by Michael Swann for the site, 15Rounds.com. Swann says HBO Boxing is in a downturn and he squarely puts the blame on HBO Sports President Ross Greenberg. It’s been said last year was a down year for boxing on the pay channel and even Larry Merchant himself said during a couple of fights that the matchups on HBO were less than stellar. The Golden Age of HBO Boxing was led by Seth Abraham, but he’s been gone from HBO since 2000. Swann says Greenberg has paid more attention to sports documentaries at the expense of boxing. Good read.
Over to Newsday and Neil Best’s Watchdog Blog. He has two good entries today. One on XM Satellite Radio about to become the exclusive home of the NHL as of this Sunday. And the other on SNY’s production on Mets games. Neil says his back is hurting. Feel better, Neil.
Tom King of the Nashua (NH) Telegraph has a story on a local pitcher who portrayed Jim “Catfish” Hunter in the ESPN mini-series, “The Bronx is Burning.”
William Houston in the Toronto Globe and Mail has a story on this being the last season for the CFL on CBC.
Teddy Greenstein in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune writes about Tony Roberts, the former Voice of Notre Dame football on Westwood One, hoping a change of radio rights holders will bring him back to the job he loves the most. Don Criqui did the games on WWOne last year. It appears that Notre Dame has decided on a new radio partner. The contract with Westwood One expires after this season. ESPN Radio and ISP are both vying for the rights.
Mike Tankersley writes for the Montgomery (AL) Advertiser and he has a story on ESPN College Gameday going to Blacksburg for its season premiere. I already gave a link to another site this morning.
That’s it for now. I’ll give you primetime viewing choices later.
Let’s go over a few things today. For a Thursday, there are a lot of links. Let’s head over to the new NBA TV deal first.
In an NBA notes report, Michael Hiestand in USA Today reports that the NBA TV deal with Disney/TNT is about a 20% increase from the current deal which expires after the 2007-08 season. Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says the focus of the deal is the digital rights for both ESPN and TNT. Greg Johnson of the LA Times says sports leagues are very protective of their digital rights and goes through the other leagues’ new media rights. Johnson and Dawn C. Chmielewski talk about the new digital age for the NBA. Alan Hahn of Newsday with help of the AP report writes about the deal. While some are enthusiastic about this new deal, Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says the new deal is hardly consumer-friendly. In the Houston Chronicle, David Barron writes about the technology that is part of this new contract.
Over to the Detroit News, Joanne C. Gerstner writes that Michigan and Michigan State fans are worried that they won’t be able to see their respective schools on the Big Ten Network this fall. In the crosstown Detroit Free Press, columnist Drew Sharp takes Comcast’s side in the dispute over BTN carriage. And Mike Carmin of the Lafayette (IN) Journal & Courier says watching the Big Ten Network will be costly for fans.
Time Warner Cable and MASN are still fighting over carriage for the regional sports network in North Carolina. The two sides have agreed to go to arbitration. And MASN has launched a website asking for support for their side. And the Baltimore Business Journal says MASN is really pressing to get carriage.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette (that’s the name of the paper, folks) has a feature on the lovely Jayme Parker of NESN and WEEI. She’s had a following for doing SportsDesk on NESN, but since Hazel Mae came in, Jayme is no longer anchoring the program. So she’s been doing sports updates on WEEI and ending them with the signature close, “I’m Jayme Parker and consider yourself flashed.”
Danielle Sessa of the Bloomberg News Service says Carl Edwards’ car will be splashed with the Red Sox logo during this Sunday’s NASCAR race in Loudon, NH this weekend. His car is owned by the Roush-Fenway Racing team, partly owned by the Red Sox.
One of the good things ESPN has announced this week is the season premiere of College Gameday which will be on site at Virginia Tech on September 1. Following the pre-game which in my opinion is the best in the business, even better than the NFL pre-game shows, East Carolina at Virginia Tech which will be called by Mike Tirico, Bill Curry and Todd Blackledge. This will be the first football game at Virginia Tech since the tragic shootings on the Blacksburg, VA campus on April 16. And here’s the announcement from Hokie Sports.com.
The US Women’s Open takes place this weekend at the Pine Needles golf course in Fayetteville, North Carolina. NBC will have coverage and one person who’s been getting notice for her on-course reporting is former LPGA great Dottie Pepper. Michael Futch of the Fayetteville Observer has a story on Dottie and NBC’s coverage for the weekend.
Good news-bad news for Naples, Florida residents. They now have access to the NFL Network, but it’s on the dreaded Comcast digital sports tier so they’ll have to pay to get it.
The CBC begins airing the FIFA Under-20 World Cup starting this weekend and it’s the first FIFA event the network will carry under a new four year contract.
The Houston Press has a feature on the four sports radio stations in the city fighting for listeners.
Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says a planned walkout by fans in the third inning of Saturday’s game between the Pirates and the Washington Nationals will not be carried by neither FSN Pittsburgh or MASN.
That’s it for now.
St. Louis at Mets – ESPN, 7 p.m.
Paul Simon: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song – PBS, 9 p.m.
Larry King Live with Paris Hilton – CNN, 9 p.m. and midnight
Dateline NBC – NBC, 10 p.m.
Rescue Me – FX, 10 p.m.
A few links for you late Wednesday afternoon.
The New York Times blog called “The Lede” has constructed its own timeline on the murder-suicide of WWE wrestler Chris Benoit. This story becomes more bizarre with each passing day and it now appears the WWE knew details of the murder as its three hour tribute to Benoit was airing on USA Network Monday night. It’s very strange how a tribute to Benoit can be shown, then 24 hours later, his name can be virtually erased from the same organization that claimed to love him. I think it jumped the gun in both cases instead of waiting for the facts to come out.
Some more details of the NBA TV deal. Variety writes that Disney and Time Warner will pay a moderate increase from the current contract. An AP story that we’ll cull from the Houston Chronicle says the focus of the contract is on new media and digital platforms.
Broadcasting & Cable Magazine has a story on Fox Sports and MLB.com joining up to webcast the All Star Game batting practice online. We linked to a USA Today story on it this morning as well.
TBS will have the All Star Game Selection Show this Sunday.
Here’s an AP story on the NFL Broadcasters Boot Camp.
That’s it for now.
This morning, the NBA announced a new 8 year TV deal with its current partners, TNT and ESPN/ABC. Here’s ESPN’s announcement. What had been delaying the official deal was the use of NBA games on digital platforms. ESPN will get to use highlights on its website, plus webcast games on ESPN360. TNT will also be able to stream games in its website.
Overall, ESPN/ESPN2 will show 75 games on Wednesday and Friday nights, TNT will have 52 games exclusively on Thursday and ABC will air just 15 games. NBA TV will air up to 96 games so the league will have games airing nationally six nights a week. ESPN will show more early round playoff games and so will ABC. And the Finals will remain in ABC, all games in primetime. The Sports Media Watch blog has its own take on the situation.
The news of announcement is the increase of digital platforms for the NBA. Overall, the number of games on cable as opposed to over the air remains the same. NBC had aired as many as 35 so if the ratings for the NBA on ABC remain low, they can look at the low number of games on free TV.
Darren Rovell of CNBC.com says one beneficiary of the NBA TV deal is the former owners of the ABA’s Spirits of St. Louis who made a deal with the four owners of the old league that merged into the NBA back in 1976.
In a programming note, we will be running a package all day on CNBC tomorrow on the deal made by the Silna brothers, who as the owners of the Spirits of St. Louis, made a deal to get 1/7th of the television revenue of the Spurs, Nuggets, Nets and Pacers as part of the ABA-NBA merger.
That money has grown from a total of $8 million in the 1980′s to $13 million a year from the current TV contract, as Darren wrote for ESPN.com six years ago. That money will increase with the new pact that takes effect next year. This is a deal that doesn’t end. That’s right, this deal is in perpetuity. Good work if you can get it.
Hello to you all. Sounds like the NBA is going to be announcing an eight year extension of its current agreement with Disney/TNT today. If you click on the link in the last sentence, Neil Best of Newsday says a conference call will be held later today. I’ll try to give a listen to it and perhaps give you highlights of it.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times had the following blurb:
The N.B.A. will conduct a news conference call today to announce the renewal of its media rights deals with ESPN, ABC Sports and Turner Sports. ESPN and Turner are expected to pay modest increases over their current contracts, which have averaged $766.6 million annually since they went into effect in the 2002-3 season and will end after next season. The new deals are for eight years.
The NBA likes to keep the status quo unless a change is absolutely necessary. In the mid 1970′s to the early 1990′s, CBS had the rights, then NBC started to carry the games until 2001 and then the rights reverted to ESPN/ABC.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand reports on batting practice for MLB’s All Star Game will be put online at MLB.com for the first time. He also talks about Kyle Petty’s cursing during the TNT NASCAR telecast.
With the problems surfacing from the Chris Benoit murder-suicide this week, the WWE has been backtracking two days after airing a tribute to him on Raw on USA Network Monday night. Then on ECW the following night on Sci-Fi Network, Vince McMahon basically said there will be no more mention of Benoit. CNBC’s Darren Rovell says this whole thing is becoming a mess and McMahon should have apologized and the faked death storyline of Vince is affecting the company’s stock price. And here’s a statement by the WWE which claims the killings of Benoit’s wife and child were not steroid related. It’s too early to claim that and I don’t know who the WWE is using as an expert, but for them to make that statement is a huge leap of faith.
It now seems like there are Big Ten Network stories every day. Eric Crawford of the Louisville Courier-Journal says this new venture by the Big Ten Conference shows that it’s now learning the cost of big business. Brian Dickerson of the Detroit Free Press says the migration of games to cable is a loss for viewers. And Dickerson doesn’t seem to be a sports fan so be wary of his agenda here. Mike Lucas of the Capital (WI) Times says Big Ten Commish Jim Delany should know when to pick his fights and this isn’t a good fight.
The Atlanta Braves are not happy over their game on July 22 being moved by ESPN from a 1:05 p.m. to an 8:05 p.m. start for Sunday Night Baseball.
One piece of news, ESPN Radio is attempting to wrest the radio rights of Notre Dame football away from Westwood One. The current contract expires next season and Mutual/Westwood One has been broadcasting Notre Dame games since 1972.
Ok, we’ll keep an eye on the NBA TV rights announcement and have an update later in the day.
America’s Got Talent – NBC, 8 p.m.
Making the Squad 2006 (on the San Diego Charger Cheerleaders) – NFL Network, 8 p.m.
NFL Cheerleader Playoffs, Week 6 – NFL Network, 9 p.m.
Red Sox at Seattle – NESN, 10 p.m.
Doing some work and also keeping an eye on ESPN2′s Wimbledon coverage online. It’s nice to have live tennis. Also, when you have Dick Enberg, Patrick McEnroe, Cliff Drysdale, Pam Shriver, Mary Carillo, Chris Fowler, Mary Jo Fernandez and Luke Jensen, you have a very solid team. Plus, ESPN2 has been hitting all the major stories like the potential upset of Venus Williams which did not happen. And it’s been fun watching the use of the video challenges at the Big W (as Bud Collins likes to call it). As much as I like to trash ESPN, I also will give them praise when it’s warranted as is the case here. Besides, ESPN’s Grand Slam Tennis unit is experienced having worked the Australian and French Opens and Wimbledon every year for the last few years. My only problem with viewing this online is that ESPN360 rotates the same promos in every break. It’s either seeing “High School Musical”, This is SportsCenter promos or various ESPNU ads. Very sickening by the second day of online viewing.
Looking at one of ESPN’s properties, NASCAR is finding another downward trend for viewers. However, there is an increase in younger viewers. The Sporting News takes a look at the numbers.
SI’s Stuart Mandel writes about the battle for viewership by the Big Ten Network.
This morning, I gave you the letter from Comcast to the Big Ten responding to Conference Commissioner Jim Delany’s request for an apology. Seems to me that there’s none coming. Well, here’s a letter from Michigan Congressman John Dingall who is about to get involved in this dispute.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has a good entry today in his Sports Business blog. He talks about Gia Allemand. Who? Why she’s the ex-girlfriend of Yankee Pitcher Carl Pavano and she’ll be in the new issue of Maxim. And Rovell also has some words for the WWE which had to break from its regular storyline of the “death” of Vince McMahon to the real death of Chris Benoit who apparently killed his family in a horrible murder-suicide. In addition, Rovell points out that McMahon started his “death” storyline four days after former WWE women’s wrestler Sherri Martel died.
This is a bit apples and oranges, but the Gold Cup soccer final between the U.S. and Mexico got higher ratings than the Stanley Cup.
That’s it for now. Primetime viewing choices later.
Tuesdays are never fun as it’s still early in the workweek and the weekend is not in sight. But still, there are links to get to.
Sports Media Watch says WWE President Vince McMahon had to “return from the dead” on USA last night to announce the tragic death of wrestler Chris Benoit and his family.
From Boston Sports Media Watch, Dave Scott has an update on Gerry Callahan who’s been away from WEEI since having throat surgery in April. Scott criticizes parent company Entercom for not coming clean about Callahan’s status. In addition, Scott speculates that Callahan and morning show co-host John Dennis may not return when their contracts expire in a few weeks.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at the TV ratings for the sports weekend.
Jim Williams of the Baltimore/DC Examiner says there was high comedy on Fox during the Yankees-Giants game on Saturday.
Neil Best of Newsday has a recap of the NFL Broadcasters Boot Camp.
For some reason, there’s debate in Philadelphia over legendary Phillies announcer Harry Kalas. Philadelphia Magazine quoted an unnamed sports analyst stating that Kalas has lost his fastball. Bill Conlin counters saying Kalas at age 71 should not be criticized and allowed to retire on his own terms.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says Mets announcers Gary Cohen and Ron Darling didn’t go far enough in criticizing Paul Lo Duca in his tantrum that got him ejected from the Mets-A’s game on Saturday.
Richard Sandomir in the New York Times says corporate America is not on board in the Barry Bonds home run record chase.
Very sad day for those of us who love to watch the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Kobayashi may be out with a jaw injury. The contest is not the same without Kobayashi.
Now Congress may be getting involved in the Big Ten Network-Comcast dispute. Forbes Magazine reports that Michigan Congressman John Dingall is “concerned” about fans’ access to games they once saw for free. Dingall’s committee oversees telecommunications. “Concerned” usually means hearings are on the horizon. Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press has another story on the matter. Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen has written a letter to Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany responding to the Commish’s request for an apology. Steve Warden in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette says the extra cost for the Big Ten Network may not be worth it.
Bob Wolfey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter ranks #2 in a poll to determine the top sports star. Of course, Tiger Woods is #1.
Jay Hart of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says the upcoming ESPN mini-series “The Bronx is Burning” is confusing.
John Smallwood in the Philadelphia Inquirer says US Soccer dropped the ball by giving the rights of the Gold Cup to Fox Soccer Channel which is on cable TV digital sports tiers. But the game was on Univision which is available throughout the US.
There are stories about the ESPY’s and its silly nominations for the even sillier self-serving award show. I’m not going to link to them. If the ESPY’s mean something to you, then Google them and you can read the stories yourself. I don’t care and I wish the ESPY’s would go away.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail has his take on the Louisville Courier-Journal reporter who was ejected from covering a college baseball Super Regional game for live blogging.
David Barron in today’s Houston Chronicle has the story of the passing of J. Fred Duckett, the former public address announcer for the Astros and Rice University. Old school fans will remember his famous introduction of Jose Croooooooooooooz in the early 1980′s.
Those are your links for now. I’ll be back later with more links.
Thanks to Awful Announcing, we have the clip where Kyle Petty swore on TNT during the Save Mart 350 NASCAR race. As we say on the internet, NSFW.
Because my computer is so slow tonight, my plans to give you a full update have to be scrapped. I’ll give you a full set of links on Tuesday.
Mets at St. Louis – ESPN, 7 p.m.
Hell’s Kitchen – Fox, 9 p.m.
Red Sox at Seattle – NESN, 10 p.m.
Time to check out some updates from today. First, I’ve been checking ESPN2′s Wimbledon coverage through it’s broadband service, ESPN360 (only available through participating Internet Service Providers). Like the French Open, the first day has been plagued by rain. Unlike the Tennis Channel, which had to rely heavily on tapes of old matches, ESPN2 didn’t go to the video of a 27 year old match until 6 hours into Day 1.
ESPN2 did have some matches to show. The network relied on studio host Chris Fowler doing play-by-play at first with studio analysts Mary Carillo and Darren Cahill along side, bouncing from court to court. Viewers were able to see Roger Federer and Andy Roddick complete their matches. Eventually, Cliff Drysdale and Mary Jo Fernandez were brought in to do a match featuring Serena Williams, however, rains came in the first set. As of this writing, the Alleged Worldwide Leader is showing the 1980 Final between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, but there’s only so much you can do with rain delay filler during present times. And since ESPN did not have the rights to Wimbledon in 1980, its relying on an archive tape from the BBC. The retractable roof at Wimbledon is coming not a moment too soon.
On to some links. Kurt Snyder of the Newark Advocate has a story on the Big Ten Network. He wonders if cable will eventually cave to carrying the channel. One error that I’ve noticed in this story. Snyder says the Big Ten Network has signed with DirecTV. He tries to tie them together as he says Rupert Murdoch owns both. That’s not true. Murdoch sold DirecTV to Liberty Media Corporation in exchange for more control of News Corp. of which Liberty owned a large stake.
Brian Vanotchen of the Grand Rapids Press applauds Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney for taking on the big cable companies on behalf of sports fans. I don’t know about that. Getting the Big Ten Network on the big cable companies means more revenue for the Conference. It’s all about money these days. Remember, most of the games that are going on the channel had been syndicated by ESPN Regional Television to over the air channels and various Regional Sports Networks so many fans that were getting these games for free will have to pay for them no matter what.
Can you believe Arrogant ESPN is going to put the World Series of Poker on pay per view?
Phil Swann who runs a website devoted to HDTV news says you won’t be able to see Wimbledon in Hi Def unless you live in the UK.
Thomas Hauser writes a very good article for boxing website, Seconds Out, and the focus is on the contentious contract talks between HBO and Larry Merchant. At one point, Merchant was resigned to leaving the network which had been his home over almost 30 years. When word leaked that Merchant was being replaced by charlatan Max Kellerman, HBO backtracked and signed Larry. Merchant and Kellerman will alternate World Championship Boxing bouts under the new deal. But having Kellerman on the telecasts brings a college radio feel. All Kellerman does is yell and talk for no good reason. HBO made a bad move in signing Kellerman.
The Sports Media Watch blog has three quick hits today, including news that the Tennis Channel picks up some Wimbledon coverage next year. That means it’ll have the Australian, French and Wimbledon Grand Slams in its fold. Tennis Channel owns the rights to the French outright, but will have sublease agreements from ESPN for the Aussie and Wimbledon tournaments. And there’s no news to report on the NBA TV deal today.
That’s it for now. I’ll have primetime viewing choices later.
It’s never fun to be back at work after a weekend off, but it also means that we get to review the sports weekend. I saw bits and pieces of the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on NBC plus some of the College World Series on ESPN2. In my last post on Sunday, I compared Jerry Trupiano and Glenn Geffner as both were broadcasting at the same time on Saturday. It was no contest.
In track & field, NBC had to deal with rain in Indianapolis, but it did not delay any races. Tom Hammond, Carol Lewis and Lewis Johnson have a very good chemistry. Dwight Stones on the field events like the high jump and the decathlon is steady. Bob Neumeier worked the sidelines and asked appropriate questions. The one shaky addition to the booth was Ato Bolton. He was used sparingly and understandably so. I give NBC a B for its production, B- for the booth.
For ESPN, the College World Series has been one of its signature events since its inception in 1979. For a short time, CBS muscled its way in to broadcast the championship game, but since the CWS finals became a best 2 out of 3, ESPN has had the exclusive rights. I like Mike Patrick doing baseball. He has a nice hometown style and I don’t understand why the Alleged Worldwide Leader doesn’t use him on MLB games. On analysis, Orel Hersheiser was on top of things. Of course, Erin Andrews on the sidelines is a welcome sight, especially when she wears summer tops. Game 1 was a very good production. However, the game got out of hand in the 7th inning when Oregon State rallied to put it out of reach. I’ll give ESPN an A- overall for its coverage.
Now let’s go to the links from the weekend and today.
Neil Best has the results from last week’s Newsday poll on favorite New York sportscasters. Needless to say, some of the results were skewed. On WFAN this morning, Mike & the Mad Dog discussed and pretty much dismissed the poll.
Bob Raissman in Sunday’s New York Daily News wonders if this marks the last year of Yankees games on over the air TV.
In today’s New York Post, Phil Mushnick goes after Mad Dog Chris Russo for defending Barry Bonds.
Michael Hiestand in USA Today writes that some salty language seeped into TNT’s coverage of the Save Mart 350 NASCAR race.
The Dallas News’ Barry Horn discusses ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla who has become an expert on international players for the network’s coverage of the NBA Draft this week.
Michael Pointer in the Indianapolis Star has a story on the Big Ten Network/Comcast fight.
With Wimbledon starting today, it appears its two U.S. network partners, NBC and ESPN will renew their contracts to televise the tournament.
In his weekly Monday review of the sports weekend, Tom Jones in the St. Petersburg Times goes after Fox Sports’ Thom Brennaman for his work on the Yankees-Giants game on Saturday. I agree with him on this, but I wholeheartedly disagree on his comments on Max Kellerman who worked HBO’s World Championship Boxing telecast.
Alan Pergament in the Buffalo News has a news and notes column and his first note is on Brett Hull leaving NBC.
Jeff Elliot of the Florida Times-Union writes about Jacksonville University changing radio stations in the market.
David Barron in today’s Houston Chronicle says this upcoming season will be the last for Rockets broadcast team Jim Foley and Gene Petersen. They’ve worked together for over 30 years, something practically unheard of in the broadcast business.
That will be it for links for this morning. If anything breaks, you can be certain we’ll have it here.
Last night, I was able to listen to both former Red Sox announcer Jerry Trupiano and one of his replacements, Glenn “3 x 5″ Geffner. Thanks to Sirius Satellite Radio, I was able to listen to the College World Series from Westwood One’s NCAA Radio Network. Kevin Kugler and Trup were on the call. For about half an hour, the Oregon State-North Carolina broadcast overlapped with the Red Sox-Padres game on WEEI-FM. The College World Series game was in the 7th inning and the Red Sox-Padres game broadcast was just starting with Goofner and Joe Castiglione at the mike.
Trup was doing color and doing his usual corny jokes, but it was like listening to old friend. Trup was comfortable behind the mike. He was able to pick up certain nuances like pitcher’s arm slots (comes with experience). And it appeared that he meshed well with Kugler who usually works for 1620 The Zone in Omaha.
In the first two innings of the Red Sox-Padres game, Geffner was able to bring some insight into the trading of Doug Mirabelli from the Padres to the Red Sox last season. Instead of reading off 3 x 5 notecards (hence the nickname, “3 x5″), Goof actually sounded authoritative, something he had been lacking all season. But to this blogger, Joe Castiglione went on with his call of the game, not really responding to Geffner (lack of respect perhaps?).
Back to the College World Series, Trup was looking into the possibility of a North Carolina comeback. Down 10-3, the Tar Heels got a home run in the 8th inning and had two men on. Trup said the last thing North Carolina needed was a double play and the next pitch was indeed a 5-4-3 twin killing. Kugler and Trup said for all intents and purposes, the night was done for UNC. Both looked forward for Game 2 and discussed what the Tar Heels had to do to remain in the series. And their chemistry made it sound as if they had been working together for several years. In fact, I enjoyed Kugler and I think he has a potential to make it to the bigs someday.
Over to the Red Sox and the 3rd inning, it seemed Joe decided to take it off and let Geffner do the inning solo. This is where any goodwill that I had for Goof left the building. His play-by-play was weak. He was not strong and did not identify pitches. In fact, he was behind several plays. This is where I could see San Diego Padres lead announcer Jerry Coleman not having any respect for him.
By the time I switched back to the College WS, the game was over, but Westwood One was replaying highlights. One was Trup’s call of a Oregon State rally. There were no home runs so I could not hear, “Way back! Way back!”, but maybe tonight. If you don’t have Sirius Satellite Radio or have a radio station near you that carries the CWS, you can listen to live streaming from NCAA Sports.com, so you can listen to Trup once again.
I finally decided to turn on NESN to get a quality call of the game rather than subject myself to listening to the Goof. While the game turned out to be a downer, at least I could enjoy Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy without having to worry whether I would hear information read off a 3 x 5 notecard.
For Saturday, I suggest you watch Giada in Paradise: Capri on the Food Network at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
I’m watching Giada in Paradise: Santorini. Just seeing Giada de Laurentiis swimming in a pool is enough for me. I’m enamored with her.
Back to your regularly scheduled blog.
Joe Theismann is a bitter man. Who wouldn’t be after being fired by ESPN for really no reason at all. But when you go over the unceremonial firings, I can go back to Fred “The Hammer” Williamson who was fired back in 1974 after two pre-season games to be replaced by Alex Karras. Producer Terry O’Neill was also fired from the show and there was the revolving carousel of announcers in the the late 1990′s – early 2000′s.
Theismann is now speaking out in a new interview with the Boston Metro newspapers. His comments include:
I’m not happy with what happened. When you sit down in a meeting and they tell you that you’ve had your best year ever, and the ratings have gone up 50 percent and the executives don’t even talk to my boss and tell me that they didn’t like the fact that I talked about football, you have a little trouble trying to process how you could have done better. For Mike [Tirico] and Tony [Kornheiser] and Ron, it’ll be a learning process again, because Ron hasn’t done television. Tony is extremely neurotic. And I think Mike really settled in. I felt like the last six games we really settled in as a real solid team, all of us. And now, they’ll have to re-create that chemistry again.
It’s not known where Theismann will work because he’s still under contract to ESPN. Thanks to Sports by Brooks for the link.
Saturday, June 23
America’s Cup – Versus, 8:30 a.m.
U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships – NBC, 2 p.m./ESPN2, 7 p.m.
Travelers Championship, 3rd Round – CBS, 3 p.m.
Yankees at Giants, Houston at Texas or Detroit at Atlanta – Fox, 3:55 p.m.
College World Series, Game 1/Oregon State vs. UNC – ESPN, 7 p.m.
World Championship Boxing/Ricky Hatton vs. Jose Luis Castillo – HBO, 10 p.m.
Red Sox at Padres – NESN, 10 p.m.
Sunday, June 24
U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships – NBC, 1 p.m.
Travelers Championship, 4th Round – CBS, 3 p.m.
Red Sox at Padres – NESN, 4 p.m.
NASCAR/Save Mart 350 – TNT, 5 p.m.
College World Series, Game 2/Oregon State vs. UNC – ESPN2, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Atlanta – ESPN, 8 p.m.
Entourage – HBO, 10 p.m.
Meadowlands – Showtime – 11 p.m.
I’m watching the NHL Entry Draft, something I forgot to put in the Primetime Viewing Choices for tonight. But, Versus has not done a good job in promoting the NHL and getting carriage so I simply forgot to list it. Anyway, thank goodness TSN is doing the coverage otherwise listening to Versus’ analysts might be painful.
A few links tonight, then I’ll move to doing the Weekend Viewing Choices.
The Sports Media Blog posted this on Thursday. It’s about how the announcement of a new TV deal with Disney/TNT has been delayed yet again. Overrated NBA Commissioner David Stern kept saying publicly that June 21st was the deadline to announce a deal, but it appears it’ll be unveiled next week.
I’ll give you two links from the 38 Cliches blog which monitors the activities of charlatan Red Sox announcer Glenn Geffner. First, Geffner returns to his old stomping grounds of San Diego this weekend. Nice find by LC linking to a North County Times article by John Maffei which mentions that Goofboy was forced out from the Padres after he himself was forced upon legendary announcers Jerry Coleman and Ted Leitner. And in previewing the weekend series between the Sawx and Friars, LC links to a San Diego Union-Tribune article which quotes our favorite Goof. I just love the fact that Maffei says that Goofner was “jettisoned” from the Padres organization. I don’t have anything to prove this, but I’m beginning to think Geffner muscled his way into the broadcast booth in a similar fashion as how Jay Leno got the Tonight Show from David Letterman.
I forgot to link to this last night. In his blog, Newsday’s Neil Best mentions that former Boston Bruin Mike Milbury is talking to NBC about replacing Brett Hull. Milbury would be a very good choice. He’s worked at ESPN previously.
Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has more on the Big Ten Network-Comcast battle.
And it’s not only Comcast that BTN is having trouble with. The Big Ten Network is also battling Time Warner Cable as Kyle Nagel of the Dayton Daily News tells us.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventury County Times has a news and notes column today and he talks Wimbledon being available online. He also has some raves and rants. One of his raves is listening to baseball on XM Satellite Radio and he enjoys Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien of the Red Sox. No mention of Glenn Goofner.
And Tom Jicha of the Miami Sun-Sentinel wonders why tonight’s Twins-Marlins game was not picked up by FSN/Sun.
Weekend Viewing Choices coming up.
Slim pickings tonight.
Red Sox at San Diego – NESN, 10 p.m.
Sin City Diaries 04 – Cinemax, midnight
Naked and Betrayed – Cinemax, 12:30 a.m.
Weekend choices later.
I had to leave the office earlier today, but it’s time for one mega dose of links. After last week’s U.S. Open, this week is a bit tamer with Interleague baseball, the NASCAR race which will have a couple of firsts, the College World Series and golf in Hartford, CT.
Let’s start with USA Today’s Michael Hiestand who mentions Kyle Petty’s double in the Save Mart 350 on Sunday, driving and providing analysis for TNT. In addition, Wendy Venturini will be one of the announcers for DirecTV as part of its Hot Pass multi channel platform.
Bob Raissman of the NY Daily News criticizes the Mets and MLB for making the All Star Game an overhyped affair. I wouldn’t go that far, but I think the campaigning by teams to get their players in the Mid-summer Classic is too much.
In the New York Post, Phil Mushnick correctly criticizes ESPN for not mentioning Sammy Sosa’s misdeeds after he hit his 600th homer.
Laura Nachman of the Bucks County Courier Times talks about a new documentary on the great Palestra in Philadelphia.
Ray Frager in the Baltimore Sun has more of a news and notes column today.
The Orlando Sentinel’s website must have undergone a relaunch, because the place looks totally different today. Anyway, Dave Darling says there’s no buzz entering the chase for the home run record.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune says the Big Ten and Comcast are digging in their heels over the battle for carriage. He also grades the White Sox and Cubs broadcast teams.
And in Minnesota, the Big Ten Network has only one cable company in its fold and it’s not in the Twin Cities. Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the battle is about money.
Over to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel where Bob Wolfey previews next week’s NBA Draft on ESPN.
David Barron in the Houston Chronicle gives his thoughts on the sports radio Arbitron ratings in the last period. And he says the stations carve up a very small listening audience to begin with.
Out west, Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says NBC is looking at ways to show off the Torrey Pines course which will be the site of the U.S. Open next year.
In the North County Times, John Maffei says the Red Sox-Padres series slipped under the radar of the network schedulers this year. The series pits two of the better teams in MLB this weekend.
Ah, an article about Fang’s Bites favorite, Erin Andrews.
Larry Stewart of the LA Times has a profile on Erin (who says she grew up a Red Sox fan! Even more reason to like her!) who will be at the College World Series this weekend.
Up in Canada, some changes in the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast booth. Legendary broadcast team Bob Cole and Harry Neale will be given a reduced role in favor of Jim Hughson and Greg Millen. William Houston in the Globe and Mail reports.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star talks about former Blue Jay Jesse Barfield who will be on CBC’s premiere Blue Jay broadcast this weekend.
That’s it for now.
College World Series, Rice vs. UNC – ESPN, 7 p.m.
Pirate Master – CBS, 8 p.m.
Just in time for the movie, a new version of the Speed Racer cartoon will be out next year for Nicktoons.
Apparently, the new Speed will be Speed Racer’s son and he’ll have a new race car, the Mach 6 which will be totally green and not run on gas.
Having grown up in the 1970′s, Speed Racer was one of my favorite cartoons. The live action movie is coming out next year and I’m hoping it can live up to the cartoon.
Apparently, the guy who voiced the original Speed Racer cartoon will do the new version. And just for kicks, here’s the original open and close.