Well, U.S. Open has been the dominant sports story of the day. As much as I enjoy criticizing ESPN, I will give the network praise today for live online coverage of the U.S. Open and the Euro 2008 soccer tournament. Through ESPN360, I was able to keep track of the Open and Croatia-Germany thanks to a couple of mouse clicks. And thanks to U.S. Open’s website, I could watch NBC’s coverage of the tournament when it went on the air. And unlike ESPN360 which would air promos and ads, U.S. Open.com would just cutaway to a shot of the Pacific Ocean, sometimes catching off-air comments like Johnny Miller patting himself on the back for noticing Tiger Woods grimace during his golf swing.
Overall, it was a fun day to keep track of sports online. And some of the bigger events to watch online while you’re at work (make sure you get your work done before watching sports at your office) in the next two months include Wimbledon, the Open Championship and of course, the Summer Olympics in Communist China.
The one drawback from ESPN’s multi-platform coverage was during its US Open Extra program between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. If you’re going to promise wall-to-wall coverage of golf’s toughest test, give us full coverage during your US Open Extra program. Don’t overload it with ads and features while Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott are ready to tee off at 7. Yes, there’s online coverage on ESPN360, but not everyone has access to ESPN’s broadband service, so throw viewers a bone.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union agrees with my assessment.
The Sports Media Watch has the ratings of the U.S. Open since 1998.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes in his blog that ESPN has set things up rather nicely for some ratings records for the U.S. Open.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times says putting the U.S. Open in primetime will be an interesting experiment.
Darren Rovell of CNBC likes the logo for this year’s U.S. Open tournament.
Awful Announcing says the US Open Extra program got ESPN off to a confusing start. AA also has video from Turn Back the Clock Day at Wrigley Field and on WGN-TV.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner says Jim McKay was truly a nice man.
Chris Pursell of TV Week wonders where Michael Strahan will end up, Fox, NFL Network, CBS or NBC.
Richard Durrett of the Dallas Morning News writes that Texas Rangers outfielder Milton Bradley tried to confront Kansas City Royals TV broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre over comments he made last night.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball says MLB.com will be releasing a new widget for the iPhone 3G when it comes out next month.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable writes that ESPN is buying a high school sports website.
Broadcasting Engineering talks about some new wrinkles in ESPN’s MLB telecasts.
Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News says the A-10′s biggest challenge especially for new league commissioner Bernadette McGlade, is the conference’s TV contract with CBS College Sports.
That will do it for now. The Friday megalinks should be up sometime around noon.