Before the links, let me comment on a couple of things. First, the United States got another gold medal in the IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan when Tyson Gay made history with the rare 100-200 double today. He won the 200 Meters today in a time of 19.76 seconds and really it was no contest as Gay outpaced the field rather easily. Usain Bolt of Jamaica got the silver and Wallace Spearmon of the US edged out fellow American Rodney Martin for the bronze. And the long jump competition was fun as it went down to the final attempt. Irving Saladino of Panama won his country’s first medal ever in the Worlds by taking the gold in a distance of 8.57 meters (just under 29 feet) over Andrew Howe of Italy (8.47 meters or 27 feet 8 inches, but had just taken the lead over Saladino’s previous jump by a mere centimeter). Defending champion, Dwight Phillips of the US took the bronze. Good stuff to see online.
Second, there’s no need for Channel 5′s Bob Halloran to be on WEEI. To hear him and lackey Jon Meterperel talk about Bruce Springsteen’s album was just horrible. Either Dennis & Callahan should just bite the bit and come back or WEEI needs to find a show to replace them because the fill-ins just aren’t cutting it. It’s no wonder I subscribe to Sirius Satellite Radio and listen to Howard every morning because these local morning shows are just unlistenable.
Speaking of John Dennis & Gerry Callahan and their protracted contract negotiations with WEEI, David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch.com has been keeping track of this story and he has an update on the talks. The latest round of talks is not scheduled until after the Labor Day holiday weekend so don’t expect to hear them right away unless the station’s management wants to allow D&C to work without a contract. It appears the host du jour concept will continue into football season.
Ok, let’s do the links for today.
The launch of the Big Ten Network is tonight at 8 ET. We’ve got a lot of links on this for you. Yesterday, it signed with Insight Communications, giving the channel clearance into Columbus, OH, Evansville, IN and much of Kentucky. But Insight customers in Illinois and other parts of Indiana won’t see it because their systems are being bought out by Comcast and the Big Ten Network won’t talk with Comcast right now. So this is still a mess. In the meantime, other cable systems are balking including Time Warner as Kyle Nagel of the Dayton Daily News writes. Nagel adds that smaller cable companies, however, are signing up. Mediacom in Iowa isn’t buying. Ryan Suchomel of the Iowa City Press-Citizen says some Iowans aren’t waiting to see if Mediacom is going to sign up, many have already bought DirecTV. Of course, Comcast remains the one big fish that still won’t take the bait and there won’t be any talks there for at least the foreseeable future. Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press says there are no winners in this. Mark Alesia of the Indianapolis Star writes that Fox Cable Networks is trying to drive the deals and finding it hard to win over the cable companies. Michael Cooper of the Springfield (OH) News-Sun says Ohio State fans will need the dish to watch the first two Buckeye games. Over to the Cincinnati Enquirer where Dustin Dow writes more about Time Warner customers being blacked out of BTN. Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch says money is driving the dispute. Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune writes that BTN is ready to go tonight no matter what. Lacy Banks of the Chicago Sun-Times says BTN’s largest market of Chicago won’t be able to watch the channel.
Of course, if anything changes between now and the scheduled launch of the Big Ten Network, I will let you know.
In the meantime, fans of the University of Kentucky will see games on two TV stations in the Louisville area as Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal reports.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle breaks down where you can see national college games this fall. Barron also writes about former Houston Texan Tony Boselli who will do the color for four NFL games on Fox and also looks at the NFL’s TV partners’ plans to broadcast games.
FSN Midwest announces it will team up with the St. Louis Rams for two shows that will air on the channel.
Robert Feder in his regular media column for the Chicago Sun-Times writes that Mike Ditka will providing NFL analysis for WMAQ-TV and Bear LB Lance Briggs (yes, the same one who crashed his car this past weekend) will be on every week on one particular radio station.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that NBC and CBC will share technology during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The networks are gearing up in case there’s a writers strike this fall. Variety reports that one option is purchasing international programming from the UK or Canada instead of relying on repeats or reality shows. Turning it back to sports, ABC may look to ESPN for some programming (think “Bronx is Burning”).
The next set of links involve the behemoth known as ESPN. Next month, the ESPN kingdom will have extensive coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup from China. Jackie Majerus of the Bristol (CT) Press talks with those who will be involved. Majerus also writes about the alleged Worldwide Leader looking to expand its presence on the West Coast with new studios in the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
ESPN will also create a “MNF Luncheon Series” in 12 cities where the game will be played. Most of the MNF crew will be on hand. Speaking of MNF, Charles Elmore of the Palm Beach Post writes about Ron Jaworski joining the venerable series this season.
Paul Gough of the Hollywood Reporter writes that ESPN360 will relaunch this Saturday in time for college football. Steven Zeitchik of Variety says ESPN360 will only webcast live events and one potential for the site is the Olympics.
Ok, I will have an update tonight as I have to leave my office early to beat the traffic going to the Patriots game, plus the Deutsche Bank tournament is going on nearby so it’s going to be crazy today. I’ll do the Viewing Picks shortly.