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.