Archive for January, 2008
Saturday, January 27
Auto Racing/24 Hours at Daytona – Fox, 1 p.m.
PGA Tour/Buick Invitational, 3rd Round – CBS, 3 p.m.
College Football Year in Review – Versus, 3 p.m.
U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Dance and Pairs Free Skate – NBC, 4 p.m.
Horse Racing/Sunshine Millions – ESPN2, 5 p.m.
NHL/All Star Game Weekend, YoungStars Game and SuperSkills Competition – Versus/CBC, 7 p.m.
Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials – CBS, 8 p.m.
U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Ladies Free Skate – NBC, 8 p.m.
Miss America Live 2008 – TLC, 8 p.m.
College Hockey/Minnesota at Wisconsin – CSTV, 8 p.m.
Boxing After Dark (including Roy Jones, Jr. vs. Felix Trinidad replay) – HBO, 10 p.m.
Sunday, January 27
Australian Open/Men’s Final, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Novak Djokovic – ESPN2, 3:30 a.m.
NBA/Boston at Orlando – ABC, 1 p.m.
Giada’s Weekend Getaways/Vancouver – Food Network, 2:30 p.m.
PGA Tour/Buick Invitational, 4th round – CBS, 3 p.m.
Track and Field/Boston Invitational – ESPN2, 3 p.m.
NBA/Cleveland at LA Lakers – ABC, 3:30 p.m.
NHL All Star Game – Versus/CBC, 6 p.m.
NBA/Denver at Dallas – ESPN, 6:30 p.m.
U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Men’s Free Skate – NBC, 7 p.m.
SAG Awards – TNT, 8 p.m.
The L Word – Showtime, 9 p.m.
Breaking Bad – AMC, 10 p.m.
Touchdown!: The Patriots and the Business of Winning – CNBC, 10 p.m.
Saturday, January 26
College Gameday, live from Southern Illinois University – ESPN, 11 a.m.
Gonzaga at Memphis – ESPN, noon
Drury at Indianapolis (women’s) – CSTV, noon
Tennessee State at Tennessee Tech (women’s) – ESPNU, noon
UConn at Indiana – CBS, 1 p.m.
South Carolina at Kentucky – Raycom, 1 p.m.
NC State at Florida State – Raycom, 1:30 p.m.
Hope at Calvin – CSTV, 2 p.m.
Texas A&M at Oklahoma State – ESPN, 2 p.m.
Southeast Missouri State at Murray State – ESPN2, 3 p.m.
Missouri at Texas (women’s) – ESPNU, 2 p.m.
Washington at Arizona – FSN, 3 p.m.
Auburn at Alabama – Raycom, 3 p.m.
Wisconsin at Purdue – ESPN, 4 p.m.
UNLV at San Diego State – Versus, 4 p.m.
Loyola (MD) at Manhattan – ESPNU, 4 p.m.
Colorado State at Wyoming – CSTV, 4 p.m.
Virginia Tech at Boston College – Raycom, 4 p.m.
Utah State at New Mexico – ESPN2, 6 p.m.
Rutgers at Pittsburgh – ESPN Classic, 6 p.m.
St. Joseph’s at Temple – ESPNU, 6 p.m.
Penn State at Iowa – Big Ten Network, 6 p.m.
Georgetown at West Virginia – ESPN, 7 p.m.
College Gameday, live from Southern Illinois University – ESPN2, 8 p.m.
DePaul at Marquette – ESPNU, 8 p.m.
Minnesota at Ohio State – Big Ten Network, 8 p.m.
Creighton at Southern Illinois – ESPN2, 9 p.m.
USC at Oregon – FSN, 9 p.m.
Arkansas at LSU – ESPN Classic, 9 p.m.
Sunday, January 27
Army at Navy – ESPNU, noon
Temple at URI (women’s) – CSTV, noon
Georgia Tech at Virginia – FSN, 4:30 p.m.
Georgia at Oklahoma (women’s) – ESPN2, 5 p.m.
Duke at Maryland – FSN, 6:30 p.m.
UConn at Notre Dame (women’s) – ESPN2, 7 p.m.
Northwestern at Illinois – Big Ten Network, 8 p.m.
College Basketball/Canisius at Fairfield – ESPNU, 7 p.m.
NBA/Minnesota at Boston – Comcast SportsNet New England, 7:30 p.m.
NBA/Orlando at Detroit – ESPN, 7 p.m.
College Hockey/Air Force at Army – CSTV, 8 p.m.
College Basketball/Vermont at Boston University – ESPNU, 9 p.m.
Friday Night Lights – NBC, 9 p.m.
Australian Open, Women’s Finals, Ana Ivanovic vs. Maria Sharapova – ESPN2, 9:30 p.m.
20/20 – ABC, 10 p.m.
Co-Ed Confidential 13 (Season Finale) – Cinemax, 11:30 p.m.
Late Show with David Letterman – CBS, 11:35 p.m.
Friday megalinks will be coming up in the next few hours, but we have the picture of Dana Jacobsen swigging vodka at the Mike & Mike Celebrity Roast in Atlantic City earlier this month. It’s not pretty.
Here’s the latest promo for The Amazing Race Asia 2.
I was out at a job site all day preventing me from giving you links today. I’ll give them to you tonight. I did get back in time to give you video of the Kelly Tilghman apology on the Golf Channel and I just saw the re-air as the 1st Round of the Buick Invitational and it’s contrite and short. Hopefully, that will be the end of the story. But as Kelly returns, we find the Dana Jacobsen controversy just won’t go away.
The Big Lead blog contacted Scott Cronick of the Atlantic City Press who covered the Mike & Mike Celebrity Roast earlier this month. He tells the blog that Jacobsen never said “F*ck Jesus!” as the Catholic League and Christian Defense Coalition have said. The Sports Media Watch blog reports that the Christian Defense Coalition will hold a demonstration and prayer vigil outside ESPN headquarters demanding that Jacobsen be fired. Here’s the press release from the Christian Defense Coalition on the protest. The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty writes in his Best Seat in My House blog that Jacobsen’s suspension should be longer than a week. Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes in his Farther Off the Wall blog that Jacobsen is paying the price in more ways than one. Michael Hiestand of USA Today in a rare Thursday column chimes in on the Jacobsen controversy.
Moving onto other subjects, Hoffarth has the text of Kelly Tilghman’s apology. In his golf blog, the Chicago Tribune’s Ed Sherman says there was an audio glitch when Tilghman was stating her apology (which was corrected in the primetime airing). World Golf News has a press release from Golfweek announcing a new editor replacing David Seanor who was fired after the noose cover controversy last week.
Newsday’s Neil Best writes in his blog that WFAN’s Mike Francesca has signed a long term deal with the station.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner writes in his blog that the NFL has 13 of the 15 most watched TV shows this season. That’s impressive.
Joanne C. Gerstner of the Detroit News is bored with the Big Ten Network/Comcast dispute.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla who will call the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game with Ron Franklin on Monday night. Bracht has his weekly media notebook. He also lists the TV ratings for the past week. And Bracht gives his viewing picks for the next few days.
Shawn Courchesne of the Hartford Courant says ESPN will run a five part series on Dale Earnhardt, Jr. moving to a new racing team for the upcoming NASCAR season.
Robert Crow from the Southern Illinoisan writes that ESPN’s College Gameday will be broadcasting live from the SIU Arena in advance of the game against Creighton Saturday night.
John Eggerton from Broadcasting & Cable magazine reports that CSTV.com and USAToday.com are teaming up to form an online alliance.
The NCAA is proud of TV ratings and attendance for college football during the regular season and college bowls.
Greg Stiles of the Mail Tribune (OR) writes that a new sports radio station will pop up in the local area and will include Dan Patrick in its programming.
That will do it for tonight. Friday megalinks coming up in the morning.
During her return to the Golf Channel today in the 1st round of the Buick Invitational, Kelly Tilghman issued this apology for her words about Tiger Woods during the Mercedes-Benz Championships two weeks ago.
NHL/New York Islanders at Boston – NESN, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Duke at Virginia Tech – ESPN, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Seton Hall at Providence – ESPN2, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Dayton at Xavier – CSTV, 8 p.m.
NBA/San Antonio at Miami – TNT, 8 p.m.
College Basketball/Michigan at Northwestern – Big Ten Network, 9 p.m.
College Basketball/Austin Peay at Jacksonville State – ESPNU, 9 p.m.
College Basketball/UCLA at Oregon – FSN, 10:30 p.m.
NBA/New Jersey at Golden State – TNT, 10:30 p.m.
Late Show with David Letterman – CBS, 11:35 p.m.
Australian Open, Men’s Semifinals – ESPN2, 3:30 a.m.
In a story that first came out on January 13 from Scott Cronick of the Atlantic City Press, then suddenly mushroomed this week, we learned that ESPN First Take co-host Dana Jacobsen was suspended for her comments made at the Mike & Mike Celebrity Roast.
In a paragraph that was 4th from the bottom of the story, Cronick wrote the following:
ESPN anchor Dana Jacobson made an absolute fool of herself, swilling vodka from a Belvedere bottle, mumbling along and cursing like a sailor as Mike & Mike rested their heads in their hands in embarrassment. Griffin came to the podium to defend her after she was booed by the crowd. Ross eventually had to pull her off stage, too.
It appeared that was the end of the story, however, the Catholic League got a hold of the story and began to inundate ESPN about the comments made by Jacobsen at the roast which apparently were disparaging towards Notre Dame University and Touchdown Jesus. And it apparently is not letting go at this point.
And similar to what Al Sharpton did with the Kelly Tilghman story in not letting go until the Golf Channel suspended the anchor, the Catholic League did the same with Jacobsen.
Religion writer for the Chicago Tribune, Manya Brachear writes in her blog about the story without passing judgment.
The Baltimore Sun’s Bill Ordine writes in his blog about the Jacobsen incident and another involving St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Judd Zulgad has more on the suspension which has not been confirmed by ESPN by the way.
Justin Terranova writes in his NYP TV Sports blog about the Jacobsen suspension.
Michael David Smith from the AOL Fanhouse blog notes that Jacobsen may be anti-Notre Dame, but she’s not anti-Catholic as the Catholic League wants you to believe.
Jeff Carroll of the South Bend Tribune says when it comes to religion, it’s best to think before one speaks. But at the same time, Carroll says the Catholic League went a bit far in characterizing Jacobsen.
The story grew legs this week. It will be interesting to see if Jacobsen actually returns this week. The Catholic League is known for being very militant when it comes to issues like these. You may remember what happened to Opie & Anthony in 2002 in the infamous “Sex for Sam” incident when the League would not let go until CBS Radio fired the pair.
We’ll continue to monitor.
Australian Open, Day 12 – Tennis Channel, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Purdue at Penn State – Big Ten Network, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/URI at George Washington – Cox Sports RI, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Iowa State at Kansas – ESPN, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Georgia Tech at NC State – ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
College Basketball/Villanova at Rutgers – ESPNU, 7 p.m.
NBA/Toronto at Boston – Comcast SportsNet New England, 7:30 p.m.
NHL/Washington at Toronto – NHL Network (US), 7:30 p.m.
College Basketball/Memphis at Tulsa – CSTV, 8 p.m.
College Basketball/Florida at South Carolina – Raycom Sports, 8 p.m.
College Basketball/Iowa at Indiana – Big Ten Network, 9 p.m.
College Basketball/Kansas State at Colorado – ESPNU, 9 p.m.
College Basketball/North Carolina at Miami (FL) – Raycom Sports, 9 p.m.
NBA/LA Lakers at San Antonio – ESPN, 9 p.m.
Australian Open, Day 12 – ESPN2, 9:30 p.m.
Inside the NFL – HBO, 10 p.m.
Late Show with David Letterman – CBS, 11:35 p.m.
Time for some links on this Wednesday.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes about the changes in the ESPN production of NASCAR for this upcoming season. The Daly Planet motorsports blog talks about the lovely Wendy Venturini returning to Speed this week.
Newsday’s Neil Best has Tiki Barber picking his former team to win the Super Bowl on his Sirius Satellite Radio show.
Christine McConville of the Boston Herald says the Patriots in the Super Bowl will bring a huge windfall for Fox and local station, Fox25. Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life magazine has a primer for the Super Bowl. Megan Manfull (I’ll let you make the joke there) of the Houston Chronicle writes about two Houston Texans players who will be in Super Bowl ads for the NFL.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at NBC/TSN NHL analyst Pierre McGuire who is usually located between the benches during games.
Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune reports that ESPN has suspended First Take co-host Dana Jacobsen for her behavior at the Mike & Mike Roast in Atlantic City earlier this month. Deadspin has more including an apology from Jacobsen on the matter. Apparently, the Catholic League got invovled after Dana made some disparaging remarks about Notre Dame where Mike Golic attended.
Ed Sherman also writes about WMVP’s afternoon drive show which is now the number one rated sports radio talk show in Chicago.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times writes about ESPN2′s extended coverage of the Australian Open from Friday morning into Saturday afternoon.
Mike Lucas of the Capital (WI) Times says it’s not the same without Dick Vitale on a college basketball broadcast.
Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News says the Bowl Championship Series just doesn’t compare to the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
Macleans magazine from Canada talks with Deadspin’s Will Leitch about his new book.
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press says the Golfweek noose cover was wrong, but the message it was trying to convey was correct. And Monarrez talks with a crisis expert on what’s the best course for Kelly Tilghman to take when she returns to the Golf Channel tomorrow.
That will do us for now. Check back later for more stuff.
A few links to give you tonight.
Justin Terranova of the New York Post’s TV Sports blog says CBS’ Jim Nantz made good on a deal last week.
The Sports Media Watch has the ratings from the weekend.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth looks inside the numbers of the AFC and NFC Championship Game ratings in his Farther Off the Wall blog.
Bruce Allen’s Boston Sports Media Watch has the ratings for the AFC Championship in Boston and nationally.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun writes in his Medium Well blog about Dan Marino’s cell phone going off during the AFC Championship game halftime show on CBS.
Pete Dougherty tells us in the Albany Times Union’s Best Seat in My House blog that HBO will re-air the Felix Trinidad-Roy Jones, Jr. fight during its Boxing After Dark show this Saturday.
Thomas Bonk of the Los Angeles Times says Tiger Woods is just as important to the TV networks’ ratings as he is to the PGA Tour.
On Milwaukee.com reports that ESPN Radio is moving to a more powerful frequency.
Michael Garcia of the Albuquerque Tribune says the ratings for the New Mexico Bowl were up slightly from the year before.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the CBC is considering launching a new amateur sports channel.
Ok, that’s it. See you in the morning.
It was announced tonight that Versus has signed for three more seasons with the National Hockey League. That’s just great. I’m being facetious, of course. The NHL needs eyeballs, not just money. While Versus’ ratings for the NHL are up from last season, it’s modest gain, a rise from an 0.2 rating last season to a 0.3. So that’s the reason for the renewal? Please.
Anyway, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has the story on this deal. Justin Terranova of the New York Post had the story at 9:36 this evening. The CBC also has a blurb on the three year extension. Even Buffalo sports radio station WGR has the story of the three year deal.
Financial terms have not been disclosed. There has been speculation that ESPN will also have the NHL when all is said and done. Currently NBC has the over the air deal, but has an option it can exercise for next season. However, NBC is not paying a rights fee and is sharing ad revenue with the NHL.
The NHL has new deals with the CBC and TSN in Canada that start next season.
The first Real Sports program of the year gives us three new stories and an update on streaker Mark Roberts. This is the best sports magazine on television, bar none and it’s won numerous Emmy Awards for Best Journalism, all of them much deserved.
It’s also our first real time review of the program for 2008 as it airs “live” here on the East Coast.
Segment #1 – Drinking Games
Reported by Bryant Gumbel, this story focuses on the massive amount of drinking done at NFL games. This starts with a group of Washington Redskins fans drinking hours before the game in the parking lot of FedEx Field. These fans are drinking not just beer, but Crown Royal and other hard mixed drinks. This group known as the DTB’s or Dead Tree Boys drink way before the game and during the game.
Police say drinking accounts for 99% of the arrests at NFL games. And in Buffalo, police arrested 64 people for charges stemming from disorderly conducts to fighting. HBO looked at the police overlooking the fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium during the last game of the season. The police say they can’t enforce the public drinking laws because they’re outnumbered by the fans. So they try to stop fans who are too drunk to enter the game.
Dick Meyer, a Chicago Bears fan, says he won’t go back to an NFL game after an experience he had after bringing his 13 year old son to Soldier Field. He says fan behavior at the game was so obnoxious, he was totally shocked. And he tried to ask one guy to stop yelling obscenities in front of his son. Then Meyer was told the fan would stop yelling by halftime because he was so drunk.
And at Jets games at Giants Stadium, there was the story that fans during halftime would harass female fans to show their breasts. It came to surface when videos were shown on YouTube.
The NFL says it’s proactive in trying to stop drinking at the games. But despite what the NFL has done, critics point out to the advertising done by beer companies at the games and on TV. The NFL says its policy is promote responsible drinking at games.
Th NFL has now teamed with one organization to try to prevent people from driving home drunk.
In Oakland, a checkpoint by police arrested 20 fans, but it only covered one exit and it was the only checkpoint of the season.
On November 19, 2006, one woman lost her husband when a drunk Miami Dolphins fan driving home from a game slammed into his car. In addition, she lost her two year old daughter. The fan claimed he only had one beer at the game, but police found open containers in his car and failed three sobriety tests. But the problem is that no matter what the police or the NFL do, the drinking at games continues.
The question is, when is enough enough? Grade – A.
Segment #2 – Tainted
Our next segment focuses on allegations that New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush took money from men who aspired to be his agent. But one man, Lloyd Lake, says he gave $13,000 to buy a car while he was at USC. Bush even posed on the cover of a magazine with the car. Lake says he gave even more money to Bush to go to clubs. And Lake says he would give Bush $3,000 each time he visited him at his college dorm.
Lake became friends when Bush was an up and coming high school football star in San Diego. Lake would give money to Bush. But Lake, a former gang member went to prison for two years, and the next time he would get in contact with Bush was through his stepfather when Reggie was at USC. Lake and the stepfather, LaMar Griffin, talked about setting a new sports agency, New Era, featuring Bush as its primary client. To finance that, Lake went up to a prominent businessman, Michael Michaels, to set up financing.
Lake says Griffin talked to him about getting more money. And he got money from the company, New Era, to help pay for Bush’s parents to go road games, an NCAA violation.
And Bush was financed for a trip to Las Vegas and Bush’s name is on the receipt.
In addition, Lake helped to pay for a new house that the Griffins moved into. However, one year later, the Griffins moved out with $12,000 of furniture that New Era paid for.
Bush, of course, hit the jackpot when he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints. Lloyd Lake also thought he was going to hit the jackpot, but another agent Mike Ornstein who’s also accused of paying Bush while at USC.
But Lake became angry when Bush went to Ornstein. Bush maintains his innocence of taking money from Lake. For his part, Lake says Bush is lying. When it looked like the business deal with the Griffins was unraveling, Lake started to take his conversations with Griffin. And on one tape, Griffin says Bush is going to give the money back.
Lake is suing Bush for $290,000. Michaels also sued Bush, but settled for over $200,000 and is banned from talking about the settlement. Lake, however, refuses to settle and he’s talking.
Lake decided to talk to HBO, authors of a new book called “Tainted Heisman” and the NCAA.
I’m a bit skeptical of this. Solid report by Goldberg. But Lake’s credibility is not the best. But somewhere in the middle lies the truth. There are signed receipts and proof the Griffins lived in the house New Era paid for. But I’m not sure of Lake’s word.
I’ll give this segment a B.
Segment #3 - The NFL Wives Club
Reported by Jon Frankel, this story focuses on NFL wives who are sisters in one way, yes, wives of former NFL players, but also a support group of sort.
Cindy Phillips, Randy Winans and Autumn DeMarco all are dealing with terrible disabilities that their husbands are dealing with now that they’re retired.
Autumn is not only taking care of her two children, but her 35 year old husband as well. Some days he can put medicine in his mouth, but others, he can’t. And Autumn says she has to wash him and also brush his teeth. They’re living in a decent place, but the money has run out. Their rent is being paid for by a fund for old football players, plus she has to pay for gas by coins. DeMarco is pawning his items just to pay for food. Her husband, Brian tried to hang himself, but Autumn stopped him. She hopes to find a doctor to help him.
Randy Winans was married to an offensive lineman, Jeff, who played for the Buffalo Bills. Her husband was knocked out 11 times in his career. Randy says there were times he would go into a rage and the concussions caused him blackouts. Randy could no longer cope with fearing for her life. She finally divorced him.
Joe Phillips thought he was ready for life after football. So did his wife Cindy. She started law school so could be ready when he retired. However, Joe Phillips is now wanted in multiple states on several charges. Cindy Phillips’ life unraveled when Joe retired from football. He found he couldn’t deal with life without football. Now without a compulsion to keep himself in shape, he found a compulsion to drink. And he would disappear for several days at a time. He was arrested for drinking and driving. Now, he’s been missing for two years. Cindy wonders what happened. Today, Cindy is practicing law and raising four children. Alone.
Autumn DeMarco says she’s talked with other NFL wives about how to deal with life after football. And Cindy says a lot of former NFL players can’t deal with life after football. There is a private website for NFL wives to talk to one another.
Compelling segment. A+
Segment #4 – The Full Monty
Updating a story from five years ago, Bernard Goldberg reports on Mark Roberts, the streaker who runs naked at several sporting events. Living in Liverpool, England, Roberts is the most persistent streaker in Europe. He was streaked at more than 300 events including Wimbledon, the Olympics and soccer matches.
Roberts has been banned from every soccer stadium in England. And he has to turn in his passport to authorities when he travels abroad so they know he won’t show his nekkid butt at away soccer matches.
It started in 1988 at rugby match in Hong Kong on a dare from his friends. So he went onto the field, took off his clothes and stole the ball. Roberts says the fans cheered loudly. Roberts even has run naked at a dog show and during a British morning TV show.
His mum, Patricia, says she did drop him on his head once. He’s held various jobs including a bartender and painter.
He has rarely been stopped. He’s paid many fines through the help of his friends who have bailed him out of jail or paid them outright. His friends have paid Roberts’ way into sporting events on their credit cards, but they haven’t told their wives about it.
Roberts’ mom she just laughs whenever she sees him. He has his own website that sells advertising and has even had gambling sites painted on his back when he streaks at events. He’s even starred in a clothing ad of all things.
Since the story aired, Roberts went to the Super Bowl in Houston dressing like a referee to get on the field and he danced naked on the field. It was his greatest accomplishment. But he went to jail for a night. Now he can’t enter the US after that arrest.
Roberts says he’s semi-retired. Every now and then, he returns to the scene and got naked at the Cannes Film Festival. And he got naked last year at the first NFL regular season game at Wembley Stadium.
Bryant says Roberts wanted to retire at the 2006 World Cup final in Germany by running nekkid on the field and score a goal, but he was stopped before entering the stadium. The guy is nuts, but he’s funny. Give the story a B+.
Bryant’s Last Words – Super Bowl
Bryant says the media is going to focus on a variety of topics ad nauseum. But the NFL hype machine will be in its full glory. And while the Super Bowl is more about American excess than a football game, it’s still a game. Bryant’s done better. I give his words a C.
Overall grade, a solid B.
Let’s give you a few links on this late Tuesday afternoon on the East Coast.
First, the Sports Media Watch says the NHL fell back to reality last Sunday with the first of 9 games on NBC. However, Chris Pursell of TV Week quotes a TV executive in his Pressbox blog saying the 1.1 rating on Sunday for the NHL can be considered a win. And in a story for this week’s print issue, Chris says the NHL is actually attaining ratings and attendance goals this season.
One more thing about the NHL, XM Satellite Radio will have the NHL All Star Game this weekend, plus coverage of the minor league All Star Games as well.
Sirius Satellite Radio subscribers get plenty of Super Bowl coverage thanks to NFL Radio, channel 124. And in addition, the Orbitcast satellite radio blog says there will be 12 live broadcasts of Super Bowl XLII including eight foreign language calls of the game.
Orbitcast also tells us that Sirius music channel Faction will be airing live from the Winter X Games starting this Thursday and all throughout the weekend.
In his Watch This! blog, Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner says the AFC and NFC Championship Games will be re-aired tonight on the NFL Network.
Neil Best of Newsday tells us to watch for extensive coverage of the Super Bowl in his newspaper and website.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post says the firing of Golfweek Editor David Seanor over the noose cover was the right move.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports that Time Warner Cable is indeed appealing this month’s arbitration ruling that it discriminated against MASN by keeping it off basic cable in North Carolina. Also from Broadcasting & Cable, Ben Grossman writes that NASCAR has extended Turner Broadcasting’s deal to operate its website through 2014. It’s a big win for Turner as it also completed a deal with the NBA to operate NBA.com and NBA TV. By the way, if you see Kelly Cross on NASCAR.com, tell her that the Fang’s Bites blog says hello.
John Consoli of Mediaweek says ESPN Deportes will broadcast much of the South American World Cup soccer qualifying tournament live.
Sarah Mahoney of the Media Daily News reports that advertisers are targeting women in several Super Bowl ads. And David Goetzl writes that NBC and ABC have announced their Super Bowl Sunday counterprogramming plans.
That will finish the links for now. I’ll have a real time review of HBO’s Real Sports later tonight.
Australian Open, Day 11 – Tennis Channel, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Michigan at Wisconsin – ESPN, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Central Michigan at Western Michigan – ESPNU, 7 p.m.
NHL/Boston at Montreal – Versus, 7:30 p.m.
College Basketball/DePaul at Notre Dame (women’s) – CSTV, 8 p.m.
Australian Open, Day 11 – ESPN2, 9 p.m.
College Basketball/Illinois at Ohio State – Big Ten Network, 9 p.m.
College Basketball/Tennessee at Kentucky – ESPN, 9 p.m.
48 Hours Mystery – CBS, 10 p.m.
Nip/Tuck – FX, 10 p.m.
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel – HBO, 10 p.m. (look for real time review tonight)
College Basketball/Colorado State at Air Force – CSTV, 10 p.m.
Late Show with David Letterman – CBS, 11:35 p.m.
In a battle that’s been brewing for months, Regional Sports Network MASN has won an arbitrator’s ruling stating that Time Warner Cable discriminated against the channel by putting it on a digital sports tier. MASN which broadcasts Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals games along with an extensive college basketball schedule has been fighting to get carried in North Carolina, however, Time Warner placed MASN on its digital sports tier saying that’s where it belonged. At the same time, Time Warner contended its own channel, News 14 Carolina was an RSN because it carried Charlotte Bobcats games and was in the midst of getting other sports properties.
MASN has been fighting battles since its inception after Comcast tried to keep it off its systems in DC and Baltimore, but MASN won that battle last year.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable writes that the arbitrator felt Time Warner deliberately discriminated against MASN in favor of its own channel.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball website has more on this. The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area reports that the arbitrator ruled that the actions by Time Warner Cable violated FCC rules on denying programming to protect its own interests.
Roger Van Der Horst of the Raleigh News & Observer writes that Time Warner plans to appeal the ruling while MASN hopes that this leads to Nationals and Orioles games being seen in North Carolina.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times reports that the NFL is watching the ruling closely to see how this affects the NFL Network and its cable dispute.
And Ted Hearn of Multichannel News writes that the ruling could affect 1.5 million cable subscribers in the Tobacco State.
It’s a big win for MASN and while Time Warner is appealing, it’s very rare for an arbitrator’s ruling to be overturned. We’ll keep on eye on this story.
Still recovering from TARCon 12, but we’re now in working mode, so we’ll give you a quickie update thing now. Let’s get started.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reviews the Fox production of the NFC Championship including counting the number of Tom Coughlin reaction shots during the game.
The perpetually angry Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News goes after the NFL studio analysts for criticizing Giants coach Tom Coughlin throughout the last few seasons. I wonder if Raissman agreed with them early on. It’s always easy to look back in hindsight.
Newsday’s Neil Best says America may be warming up to the Giants based on the ratings for the NFC Championship. In his blog, Neil lists the top ten rated markets for the NFC Championship and New York is not there.
Justin Terranova of the New York Post writes in his blog that ESPN2 showed a lot of tennis starting late Friday night and into Saturday afternoon. And Terranova says the Giants will win the Super Bowl next week and so will the Patriots.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Wall Street is rooting for the Giants and it’s not due to being in New York.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley reviews the Fox broadcast as well.
The Sports Media Watch blog says the overnight ratings for the NFC Championship are the highest since 1996.
While everyone’s talking about the great ratings for the NFC Championship, Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes the AFC Championship did well on Sunday for CBS, but was also down from last year.
And David Barron of the Houston Chronicle also talks about the Championship Sunday ratings for CBS and Fox.
In his Farther Off the Wall blog, Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News previews tonight’s Real Sports program on HBO. Doug Elfman of the Chicago Sun Times talks with Real Sports host Bryant Gumbel about the new season.
Mary Ellen Podmolik of the Chicago Tribune writes about the gamble advertisers take when buying ads in the Super Bowl.
There’s a great article in the Athens (GA) Banner-Herald by Dr. Jessica Johnson saying that there’s a double standard in the sports media, especially when African-American writers and analysts say something offensive about Caucasians.
Wendell Barnhouse of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram talks about the 1968 UCLA-Houston game which changed the face of college basketball on TV forever.
Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star writes that fans are angry that ESPNU pulled a scheduled tape delayed broadcast of the Kansas-Missouri game at the last minute.
Dave Reardon of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin laments that the Senior Bowl will only be available on the NFL Network.
Ferd Lewis from the Honolulu Advertiser says the University of Hawai’i made a lot of money from its Pay per View airings of its football games.
TV Week’s Chris Pursell talks with NBC Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol about the preparation for Beijing this summer.
Mike Brudenell of the Detroit Free Press profiles FSN Detroit’s Mickey Redmond who’s in his 11th season doing analysis on Red Wings games.
The Oakland Tribune’s Dave Del Grande writes about announcer Rick Cellini who’s a very busy man.
William Houston in the Toronto Globe and Mail writes about TSN starting its new deal with the NHL which will increase the appearances of Canadian teams on the network. And Houston remembers the late CBC announcer Don Wittman.
That’s it for now. Back later.
Yesterday, I went to New York to commiserate with fellow fans of The Amazing Race and to watch the season finale.
First, at Puglia’s Restaurant in Little Italy, the TARFlies lunch was held. This is a chance for members of the TARFlies message board to get together and meet the racers in a relaxed atmosphere. Because CBS did not fly in the final 3 teams this year and chose only to bring in the winning team, there was not the usual representation of racers, but Kynt & Vyxsin drove in from Kentucky at their own expense, and the lovely Jennifer from Shana & Jennifer made it to the restaurant. And when they arrived, there was the usual taking of pictures and shaking of hands.
I had the opportunity to talk to Jennifer for a few minutes and she couldn’t be nicer. She talked about the fatigue factor during the race and how the rush to the mat in each leg took its toll on her. I really didn’t speak to her long, but she took the time to answer everyone’s questions and was very genuine. I liked how frank and honest she was.
Kynt & Vyxsin were obviously the hit of the party. People flocked to them and Kynt gave out a pink double-sided card.
They also took the time to signed a picture for everyone in attendance to take home.
And when the lunch was over, Kynt reverted to his waiting skills and helped to clear the tables of dishes. I told him he didn’t have to do that, but he said he wanted to help. Very nice guy. And Vyxsin is definitely taller than I thought. Someone told me she’s over 6 feet and seeing her in person yesterday, she definitely is. They were so personable and outgoing and nice, that you would think you were eating lunch with regular people instead of someone who’s been on TV for the last three months.
The only drawback was listening to Jorge sing and while he’s not the most popular guy amongst those in attendance, he did his usual performance. His signature song is “Get Up and Shake Your Napkin” and judging from yesterday, not everyone was happy to see him. But here’s a performance and you can tell me whether you would think this is annoying.
Following the lunch, many of us gathered to get ready to go to Stitch for TARCon12 to watch the finale of the Amazing Race. It was a fun time. We all cheered when the show came on at 8 p.m. and also cheered when the final three teams were introduced. A big cheer went up for Kynt & Vyxsin, but a loud boo arose when Nathan & Jen were shown. When Phil came on the screen, he got a very loud cheer. Let’s face it, Phil’s the man. I won’t recap the episode here, I’ll give a full recap soon, but suffice to say when Nicolas forgot his bag at 6th Avenue Outfitters, everyone in the place screamed knowing that this could eliminate him and Gramps.
But there huge cheers when Ron & Christina got to the Roadblock first, but even louder cheers when Rachel was first to get the clue to get out. To be honest, that was the Best. Roadblock. Evah!
Finally, when TK & Rachel hit the mat first to win the race, the place got very loud. And when Ronald talked about how he had changed, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, and when Donald finished the race becoming the oldest racer at 69 to complete the entire course, he was also cheered. To be honest, all three teams were well liked so there wasn’t a hint of dislike in Stitch.
But with the end of the race, it meant that the night was just beginning.
The Goths and Jennifer were the first racers to make it to Stitch for TARCon. Kynt & Vyxsin signed autographs and handed out their pink cards. They drew a large throng of people who wanted to meet them and have their taken with the Pink and Black.
Jennifer recognized me as she walked in and I was impressed especially after our brief conversation at Puglia’s. Very nice and we also talked briefly as I was leaving. You appreciate someone like this who will take the time to talk and be genuine. She’s also a fan of The Amazing Race as well so I’m liking her a lot. I do hope she comes to future TARCons.
At about 10:30 p.m., The Man opened the door and stepped foot into Stitch. Of course, the crowd parted and host Phil Keoghan walked into the restaurant to meet his fans and have his picture taken with women.
There was this crazy person who was ruining pictures all night. She insisted of having herself thrust into pictures with the racers. I also wanted a picture of the Goths at Stitch, but she made the pic about her instead of Kynt & Vyxsin, and I won’t give her any more attention than this.
Other racers to show, Jon Vito and Tom & Terry. I don’t know of any others who made it to TARCon. By the time I left, it was already a rather raucous caucus, but I mean that quite lovingly. Lots of fun and I plan to attend TARCon 13 if and when it occurs.
Australian Open – Tennis Channel, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Syracuse at Georgetown – ESPN, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/North Carolina at UConn (women’s) – ESPN2, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Howard at South Carolina State – ESPNU, 7 p.m.
NHL/Washington at Pittsburgh – Versus, 7:30 p.m.
NBA/Cleveland at Miami – TNT, 8 p.m.
Prison Break – Fox, 8 p.m.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – Fox, 9 p.m.
Jon & Kate Kate Plus 8 – TLC, 9 p.m.
Australian Open – ESPN2, 9 p.m.
College Basketball/Texas at Oklahoma State – ESPN, 9 p.m.
College Basketball/Alcorn State at Arkansas-Pine Bluff – ESPNU, 9 p.m.
NBA/Denver at LA Lakers – TNT, 10:30 p.m.
College Basketball/Pepperdine at Santa Clara – ESPNU, 11 p.m.
Late Show with David Letterman – CBS, 11:35 p.m.
College Basketball/San Francisco at Gonzaga – ESPN, 11:59 p.m.
I’m dragging after getting home from TARCon at 3 a.m. I haven’t done any work and I really need to, but let me give some links first. I’ll provide some pics from TARCon in the next few hours so look out for them.
First, Michael Hiestand of USA Today says the Fox NFL Sunday crew constantly worked in the weather references during the Giants-Packers broadcast.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is not happy to see three more years of Bud Selig as Commissioner of Baseball.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes in his blog that the NFL Network will be showing classic Super Bowl games in their entirety starting today and leading up to Super Bowl XLII.
The Sports Media Watch says the NFC Championship Game drew big numbers.
Chris Zelkovich from the Toronto Star says the cold added an element to the NFC Championship Game.
Newsday’s Neil Best writes about the 13 hours of live tennis provided from the Australian Open from Friday night into Saturday morning. And Neil says the ratings for the NFC Championship are the highest for a conference final since 1996.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner writes in his blog about the return of Tony Kornheiser to radio today.
The Los Angeles Daily Times’ Tom Hoffarth gives the top 10 LA sports moments of 2007.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes in his blog about Baylor University fans being angry over a switch.
The Biz of Baseball reports that the Tribune Company will continue to own the Cubs in 2008, despite the sale of the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV and Radio.
That’s it for now.
NFL Conference Championship Sunday is always a great day. Two games for two berths into the Super Bowl. However, I do think in the next TV contract that both conference championships will be played in primetime, one on Saturday night and the other on Sunday night so both networks can maximize revenue. It’s bound to happen. But before it does, let’s cherish having both the AFC and NFC Championships on the same day. Let’s get to the picks now.
AFC Championship, San Diego at New England – CBS, 3 p.m.
This is not the matchup CBS was hoping for. San Diego took care of Indianapolis last week in what should not have been a surprise. New England took care of business against Jacksonville after making adjustments from an even first half. The Chargers do have some revenge on their minds after the Patriots beat them in last year’s playoffs. Remember the Chargers were the number one seed with a 14-2 record, but they let the game slip away to the Pats. And in Week 2, the Patriots totally manhandled the Chargers, 38-14 in the game following Spygate.
The Chargers come into this game banged up. Philip Rivers left in the 3rd quarter in the game against Indy and never came back. LaDanian Tomlinson was injured in the 1st quarter and didn’t return either. LT should play and Rivers did practice on Friday, however, one can legitimately question their effectiveness on Sunday.
Will the Patriots run over the Chargers like they did in Week 2? No. Can the Chargers pull a second straight upset on the road? Of course they can, but I think this is where their run ends. While San Diego has played well the last two weeks, expect the Patriots to try to contain the Chargers running attack, then ask Philip Rivers or Billy Volek to beat them. The game against the Jags proved that Tom Brady doesn’t have to have his two top receiving weapons, Randy Moss and Wes Welker to be effective. And Laurence Maroney is running well for the Patriots. If the Chargers want to win, they’ll have to pressure Brady, but the offensive line is doing a great job protecting him. While Jacksonville did not send the kitchen sink last week, expect Shawn Merriman to be set loose tomorrow. But the Patriots will be the victors to go 18-0. They’ll win, 28-17.
NFC Championship, New York Giants at Green Bay – Fox, 6:30 p.m.
I have liked Green Bay’s defense throughout the season. And the Giants’ D is very good as well, but their secondary is banged up. How the Cowboys did not capitalize last week is beyond me, but give the G-Men the credit for winning two playoff games on the road. Yes, the Giants have only lost one game on the road all season, but playing in Green Bay is something else. Eli Manning has finally come of age and is playing as expected. However, the Packers secondary is very good and I expect to see some flashes of the old Eli on Sunday.
What can you say about Brett Favre that hasn’t been said already? The man is having a great year and his personal PR man, Peter King of Sports Illustrated continues to find accolades. Against the banged up Giants secondary, expect Favre to light it up. Unless Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora can pressure Favre repeatedly, he could have a field day.
I like the Pack to win to get back to another Super Bowl, 31-13.
I’ll give you some quickie links tonight.
First, CBC Sports reports that its long-time announcer Don Wittman died earlier today at the age of 71. Just ten days ago, he announced his retirement from the network. Don covered practically every sport CBC broadcast including the NHL, the CFL, Olympics, baseball and basketball. CBC’s Scott Oake remembers Wittman. And you can check out a video version of Oake’s report (QuickTime required). The Canadian Press has a story on Wittman’s career. And CBC Sports compiles quotes from many of his friends and colleagues on his passing. Just before its Scotiabank Hockey Night pregame show this evening, host Ron MacLean announced that CBC would dedicate tonight’s broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada to Don’s memory.
The Sports Media Watch gives its weekly ratings predictions for the weekend.
In his Best Seat in My House blog, the Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty says the concept of “The Game of the Week” broadcast doesn’t work in this day and age.
Newsday’s Neil Best blogs that Monday’s Celtics-Knicks game will appear on WNBC-TV. Also, Neil writes that NBC’s NHL analyst Mike Milbury has angered the Rangers’ Jaromir Jagr and he won’t speak to the network in advance of the Bruins-Rangers game tomorrow. Finally, Neil gives us some quotes from Charlie Rose’s interview of NBC’s Tiki Barber about the Giants’ chances tomorrow against the Packers.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with former heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis about his appearance on the Celebrity Apprentice.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel News reports that the NFL Network has signed up with Sky Angel, a Christian-based internet video provider to have its channel on its service.
Laura Nachman has a press release from Philadelphia sports radio station WPEN that it will carry the NFL Conference Championship Games and the Super Bowl.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes in his Four DVRs, no waiting blog about the top 10 shows in Houston for the week ending January 13.
That will do it for now.
Let’s give you some links today. Just to let you know, there will be no posts on Sunday. I will be attending the 12th TARCon in New York to meet some of my fellow Amazing Race fans plus I have learned there will be a few racers there as well. Most of the teams will be in California for the West Coast Viewing Party, however, the winning team will be in New York for the check presentation The Early Show on Monday (the e-mail campaign worked) and host Phil Keoghan will be there as well. Looking forward to it. Look for pictures here on Monday and Tuesday.
Also, wanted to thank former Fox Sports Public Relations guru Vince Wladika for sending me a nice note over the last few days. He’s a fan of Fang’s Bites and e-mailed me. It was much appreciated.
So without further delay, here are your links.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that many fans in both Kansas and Missouri won’t be able to see tonight’s basketball game because ESPNU picked it up and it’s not available in most of St. Louis.
Jerry Garcia of the San Antonio Express-News says perhaps the NFL Conference Championship Games should be carried by the Weather Channel instead of CBS and Fox.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says network executives don’t think snow is a four letter word when it comes to ratings.
Johnny Diaz of the Boston Globe looks at the Boston TV stations all vying for ratings based on their relationships with the New England Patriots.
Jim Williams writes in his DC/Baltimore Examiner Watch This! blog about the return of Tony Kornheiser to radio on Monday.
William Houston in today’s Toronto Globe and Mail writes that NBC is going to focus on the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sidney Crosby in its NHL schedule.
David Abramowicz of the Wall Street Journal previews the week ahead in Sports TV including Kelly Tilghman’s scheduled return to the Golf Channel.
The Canadian Press has golfer Jim Thorpe ripping Golfweek for its noose cover.
Patrick Sauer of Fast Company magazine looks into the strides Yahoo has made against ESPN.com.
Joey Johnston of the Tampa Tribune talks with ESPN’s Jay Bilas about the college basketball version of College Gameday which will air live from Gainesville today.
Paul Grimaldi of the Providence Journal writes about the number of reporters and NFL officials staying in Providence over Boston for the AFC Championship Game (if you don’t know, Providence is closer to the Patriots’ home of Foxboro, MA than Boston and it’s cheaper to stay in Providence than Boston).
Alan Siegel of the Gloucester (MA) Daily Times or as they say in Massachusetts, Glaw-sta, talks with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski about the Patriots’ Tom Brady.
Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World talks with Fox Sports’ Troy Aikman about the NFC Championship Game.
Newsday’s Neil Best has some positive words about Will Leitch’s new book.
Dick Harmon of the Deseret (UT) Morning News blogs that there may be hope for the Mountain West Conference’s TV deals which are probably the worst in the country.
Radar Online, a radio newsletter, looks at some of the gaffes sports announcers have made over the years.
Jo-Ann Barnas of the Detroit Free Press writes about NBC hoping to get some juice out of the US Figure Skating Championships which begin in St. Paul, MN next week. USA Today picks up an Associated Press story written by Nancy Armour which talks about figure skating in transition and US Figure Skating using NBC to promote its sport.
Tennis fans in Australia were irate at Channel 7 for not showing the thrilling five set match between Roger Federer and Janko Tipsarevic.
That will do it.
Saturday, January 19
Australian Open Today – Tennis Channel, 8 a.m.
NHL/New York Rangers at Boston – NESN, 1 p.m.
PGA Tour/Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, 4th Round – Golf Channel, 3 p.m.
Australian Open, Day 7 – Tennis Channel, 7 p.m.
College Football/East-West Shrine Game – ESPN2, 7 p.m.
NHL/Pittsburgh at Montreal – CBC/NHL Center Ice, 7 p.m.
NHL/Buffalo at Toronto – CBC/NHL Center Ice, 7 p.m.
NBA/Detroit at Chicago – WGN, 8:30 p.m.
Boxing/Felix Trinidad vs. Roy Jones, Jr., live from Madison Square Garden – HBO PPV, 9 p.m.
NHL/Los Angeles at Vancouver – CBC/NHL Center Ice, 10 p.m.
Sunday, January 20
Australian Open Today – Tennis Channel, 8 a.m.
NHL/Boston at New York Rangers – NBC, 12:30 p.m.
NFL Championship Chase – CBS, 1 p.m.
The NFL Today – CBS, 2 p.m.
Giada’s Weekend Getaways/Bermuda – Food Network, 2:30 p.m.
NFL/AFC Championship, San Diego at New England – CBS, 3 p.m.
PGA Tour/Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, 5th Round – Golf Channel, 4 p.m.
Fox NFL Sunday – Fox, 6 p.m.
NFL/NFC Championship, New York Giants at Green Bay – Fox, 6:30 p.m.
Australian Open, Round of 16 – ESPN2, 7 p.m.
The Amazing Race 12, Season Finale – CBS, 8 p.m.
NHL/Columbus at Colorado – NHL Network (US), 8 p.m.
The L Word – Showtime, 9 p.m.
Fox NFL Sunday Postgame – Fox, 10 p.m.
NFL Gameday – NFL Network, 10 p.m.
Breaking Bad (series premiere) – AMC, 10 p.m.
Here’s the latest promo for the next episode of The Amazing Race Asia 2.
Saturday, January 19
College Gameday, live from Gainesville, FL – ESPN, 11 a.m.
Villanova at Syracuse – ESPN, noon
LSU at Vanderbilt – Raycom Sports, 1 p.m.
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech – Raycom Sports, 1 p.m.
Illinois at Purdue – ESPN, 2 p.m.
Mississippi State at Alabama – Raycom Sports, 3 p.m.
Ohio State at Tennessee – CBS, 3:30 p.m.
USC at UCLA – CBS, 3:30 p.m.
Maryland at North Carolina – ABC, 3:30 p.m.
Texas A&M at Kansas State – ESPN, 4 p.m.
BYU at Utah – Versus, 4 p.m.
Eastern Illinois at Tennessee State – ESPNU, 5:30 p.m.
Clemson at Duke – ESPN, 6 p.m.
Oregon State at Washington – FSN, 6 p.m.
Kent State at Ohio -ESPN Classic, 6 p.m.
Iowa at Michigan – Big Ten Network, 7 p.m.
Kentucky at Florida – ESPN, 9 p.m.
Northwestern at Wisconsin – Big Ten Network, 9 p.m.
Wyoming at San Diego State – CSTV, 11 p.m.
Sunday, January 20
Holy Cross at Bucknell (women’s) – ESPNU, noon
Florida State at Wake Forest – Raycom Sports, 1 p.m.
Penn State at Indiana – Big Ten Network, 1 p.m.
Richmond at UMass (women’s) – CSTV, 2 p.m.
Louisville at Rutgers (women’s) – ESPNU, 2 p.m.
Baylor at Oklahoma (women’s) – ESPN2, 3 p.m.
Michigan State at Minnesota – Big Ten Network, 4 p.m.
Oregon at Washington State – FSN, 8 p.m.
I’ll give you a few more links before calling it a day.
Newsday’s Neil Best remembers the late Bobby Fischer, who was chess champion back in 1972.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth has more fallout of the Golfweek cover controversy.
Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune is hoping to hold off on buying a satellite dish so the Big Ten Network can hash out an agreement with Comcast. While we keep hearing word that BTN and Comcast are talking, Steve Batterson of the Quad City (IA) Times writes that there’s been no such discussion between BTN and Mediacom. Don Doxsie also of the Quad City Times writes that Iowa fans are learning to go without the Big Ten Network.
Doug Nye of The State in South Carolina says knowing past history will enhance a fan’s enjoyment of sports.
Jeff D’Alessio of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks with Sports Business Journal’s Daniel Kaplan about the five most powerful people in the NFL.
Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram gets contrasting opinions on Cowboys QB Tony Romo from NFL Network’s Jim Mora and Fox’s Troy Aikman.
Hilary Potkewitz of Crain’s Business New York writes that a New York Giants Super Bowl appearance may not translate into merchandising dollars.
Warren Gerds of the Green Bay Post Gazette says Packers fans may not be able to see the NFC Championship game in HD.
Andy Giegerich of the Portland (OR) Business Journal says Comcast SportsNet Northwest is seeing higher ratings for Trail Blazers games as compared to when FSN Northwest carried them last season.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald wonders if NBC can get ratings for the NHL now that the Winter Classic is history.
Chros McDougall of the Columbian Missourian talks with current ESPNer John Anderson.
Christine McConville of the Boston Herald says NESN plans to expand its Red Sox Spring Training coverage starting next month.
CBC and the International Skating Union have signed a broadcast agreement that includes the World Figure Skating Championships for this and next year. Lyndon Little of the Vancouver Sun isn’t too happy about an early start time for the women’s free skate at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships on Sunday which was done for TV.
Phillip Derriman of the Sydney Morning Herald wonders if the TV channels set up by American sports leagues will be done by sports leagues in Australia.
Quite a bit of links on a late Friday. Not bad. Coming up, College Basketball Viewing Picks, Weekend Viewing Picks, NFL Picks and I still have to do an Amazing Race episode recap from last Sunday so expect all that coming up in the evening hours.
Australian Open, Day 6 – Tennis Channel, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Niagara at Canisius – ESPNU, 7 p.m.
NBA/Portland at Miami – ESPN, 7 p.m.
NBA/Philadelphia at Boston – Comcast SportsNet New England, 7:30 p.m.
NHL/Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh – NHL Network (US), 7:30 p.m.
Friday Night Lights – NBC, 9 p.m.
College Basketball/Bucknell at Holy Cross- ESPNU, 9 p.m.
NHL/Los Angeles Kings at Calgary – TSN/NHL Center Ice, 9 p.m.
NBA/Golden State at Chicago – ESPN, 9:30 p.m.
Australian Open, Day 6 – ESPN2, 10 p.m.
20/20 – ABC, 10 p.m.
World’s Most Amazing Videos – Spike, 10 p.m.
Late Show with David Letterman – CBS, 11:35 p.m.
Co-Ed Confidential 12 – Cinemax, midnight
Sexual Surrender – Cinemax, 12:30 a.m.
Last night I took a break from the blog and my computer and watched my URI Rams inexplicably lose to St. Louis, the same team that scored just 20 points against George Washington a week ago, then watched some Australian Open coverage.
I am happy to see Tennis Channel pick up early evening coverage at 7 p.m., then hand off to ESPN2 whenever the Worldwide Leader is ready to pick up after its commitments. It makes for better comprehensive coverage of the first Grand Slam of the Year. Perhaps when Tennis Channel picks up more cable systems, it can get the entire tournament instead of just two to three hours a night. It’s been enjoyable.
Ok, let’s get to your Friday links now.
First, from the “This Is Not A Surprise” Department, Golfweek has replaced Dave Seanor, the editor responsible for putting a hangman’s noose on the cover of this week’s issue in regards to the Kelly Tilghman controversy. I had a feeling this was going to be incendiary and it was.
Next, USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes about how CBS analyst Phil Simms’ advice during a 2005 radio interview still resonates with Brett Favre today.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that Under Armour is seeing a huge stock price fall today after news about its Super Bowl ad was released.
East and Mid-Atlantic Region
Let’s go East to South and then head West today. Starting with Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe, she says local TV stations will be rolling out the cameras for pregame coverage for the AFC Championship this weekend.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says NFL analysts Troy Aikman, Boomer Esiason and Dan Marino can all relate to Eli Manning’s maturity as a quarterback. And Sandomir writes about the controversial Golfweek magazine cover.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News who has been in a rotten mood for the first three weeks of 2008 informs us that the NFL cares about ratings and not about “ideal playing conditions.” He says the NFC Championship should be played in a dome. So we never would have had the 1967 Ice Bowl if Raissman had his way. Whatever.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post remembers former New York Met Don Cardwell who died earlier this week. The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson. And he talks with former Giants coach and current Westwood One Radio analyst Jim Fassell about the change in the team throughout the season. In his blog, Terranova writes that a Wisconsin TV station will pre-empt its normal airing of Seinfeld so Eli Manning won’t be able to watch his favorite show the day before the game.
Neil Best always has a bunch of stuff for readers on Fridays and today is no exception. Let’s start with his column in Newsday which focuses on Fox Sports’ Pam Oliver who made the comment in Week 2 that the Giants defense was listless on the sidelines. Neil also has a story on the Golfweek cover. From his blog, Neil adds a couple of paragraphs that were dropped from his column. And he adds a few things about Pam Oliver including her comments that she’s not speaking to Eagles QB Donovan McNabb after he threw her under the bus earlier this season.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes in his Best Seat in My House blog about the healthy dosage of coverage for the Australian Open this year.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun has a news and notes column starting with the Eli Manning-Seinfeld story.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner writes in his blog that Ravens fans have forgotten about Jason Garrett and are now focusing on Martyball.
From The State in South Carolina, Doug Nye has some TV news and notes.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald talks about the hiring of former Red Sox radio announcing hack Glenn Geffner by the Florida Marlins.
Dave Darling in today’s Orlando Sentinel writes about Deadspin’s Will Leitch who’s new book is being released on Tuesday.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says the NFL playoffs are the 800 lb. gorilla of the airwaves.
Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune writes that Golfweek’s cover only exacerbates the Kelly Tilghman controversy.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox Sports’ Troy Aikman is surprised with the NFC Championship matchup.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad says the CBS and Fox production crews are preparing for cold weather this Sunday.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News writes that Fox is getting up to $3 million per 30 second ad for the Super Bowl.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says the Chargers could really foul things up and be a Super Bowl spoiler for Fox. Here are the ratings for the last weekend in San Diego. Note the ratings for the Chargers-Colts game.
In the North County Times, John Maffei writes about the cold weather preparation for the network crews in the AFC and NFC Championship games.
The Ventura County Star’s Jim Carlisle says Packers QB Brett Favre is always fun to watch.
In her Sound and Vision column, the Los Angeles Times’ Christine Daniels previews the viewing weekend including the NFL Conference Championships.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth says the networks would love to see snow in the Conference Championship games. And he has a healthy helping of media notes in his Farther Off the Wall blog today.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the Patriots’ pursuit of perfection is the main storyline for the AFC Championship.
The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich says boxing is picking itself off the canvas as a viable television sport.
The 38Cliches blog has reaction to Glenn Geffner going to Florida to butcher four innings a game for the Marlins this coming season.
Awful Announcing notices that Versus is going to have The Karate Kid movies on this weekend.
The Biz of Baseball notes that veteran writer Hal Bodley will be covering the sport for MLB.com.
John Crowe of The Crowe’s Nest blog (and Executive Producer of 790/99.7 The Score in Providence) has some Friday musings.
And Joe Favorito has some tips for those wanting a job in sports marketing and PR.
That’s it. We have more things to do today so keep it here.