I have a few more press releases for you on this Thursday.
First, ESPN’s Chris Berman will interview both Barack Obama and John McCain at halftime of the Steelers-Washington game on the eve of Election Day.
John McCain and Barack Obama on ESPN’s Monday Night FootballChris Berman to Interview Presidential Candidates on Eve of Election for Halftime of Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins Game November 3On the eve of the presidential election, ESPN’s Monday Night Football game November 3 will originate from the nation’s capital when the Pittsburgh Steelers meet the Washington Redskins. Before the polls open the next day, ESPN’s audience will hear from the candidates when Chris Berman interviews both major party presidential nominees, Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Barack Obama, during halftime of the MNF game.The candidates will be on the campaign trail and have agreed to participate one-on-one, pending last-minute schedule changes, via satellite with Berman from the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn. The conversations will be taped earlier in the day and will air at approximately 10:15 p.m. ET. The Steelers-Redskins game will kickoff at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN HD with the Spanish-language telecast on ESPN Deportes.“We worked with our partners at the NFL to schedule a Monday Night Football game in Washington on this special night, and this presents a unique opportunity for John McCain and Barack Obama to reflect upon the last few months and address a large primetime audience on the final day of the campaigns,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production.ESPN’s Monday Night Football is the most-watched series in cable television history. Now in its third season on ESPN, Monday Night Football has registered nine of the top 10 all-time biggest household audiences in cable history, led by this year’s Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys telecast (Sept. 15), which attracted cable’s largest audience ever (13.0 million homes and 18.6 million viewers).
The Big Ten Network will televise three fall conference championships in November.
Big Ten Fall Championships to Air on Big Ten Network in November
Coverage to include cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer
– When Big Ten champions are crowned this fall, the Big Ten Network will be there to provide television coverage. The network will televise live the semifinals and finals of the upcoming Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament, Men’s Soccer Championship and Women’s Soccer Tournament and will also cover the Big Ten Cross Country Championships. CHICAGO
Coverage begins at 10 PM ET on Sunday during Big Ten Tonight with highlights and reaction from the 2008 Cross Country Championships, hosted by the
. The Big Ten has four men’s teams ranked in the top 20 led by No. 6 Wisconsin. On the women’s side, four Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 10 and seven are ranked in the top 25, paced by No. 7 Minnesota. Universityof Michigan
The Big Ten Network will be in
for the semifinals and final of the Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament. The games will air live at 10 AM ET and 12:15 PM ET on Friday, Nov. 7, as will Sunday’s final at noon ET. Four Big Ten teams are in the top 20 and defending tournament champion and No. 9 Iowa figures to be challenged by No. 8 Penn State, No. 10 Michigan State and No. 18 Ohio State. Bloomington
Immediately following the field hockey semifinals, the action continues in
with the semifinals of the Big Ten Women’s Soccer Tournament. Those games will air live at 2 PM ET and 4:30 PM ET. Sunday’s championship game will be live at 3 PM ET. Last season, Iowa City won the Big Ten title, but Purdue captured the tournament title. This year, the Nittany Lions are the Big Ten’s highest-ranked team at No. 21 with Penn State following closely behind at No. 25. Minnesota
The Big Ten Network will televise live the semifinals and finals of the Big Ten Men’s Soccer Championship, hosted by the
. Semifinal coverage begins at noon ET and 2:30 PM ET on Friday, Nov. 14. Sunday’s final will be carried live at 1 PM ET. Universityof Wisconsin will be out to defend its 2007 title and will be joined by four teams currently appearing in the national polls, including No. 6 Northwestern, No. 17 Indiana, No. 18 Michigan and No. 25 Michigan State. Ohio State
Entering this week’s action, the Big Ten has 31 nationally ranked programs in the fall season, including top-10 teams in men’s cross country (No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 9 Michigan), women’s cross country (No. 7 Minnesota, No. 8 Michigan, No. 9 Michigan State and No. 10 Illinois), field hockey (No. 8 Penn State, No. 9 Iowa and No. 10 Michigan State), football (No. 3 Penn State), men’s soccer (No. 6 Northwestern) and volleyball (No. 1 Penn State).
Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament
Friday, Nov. 7 at
10:00am ET Semifinal #1 (LIVE) Indiana
Friday, Nov. 7 at
12:15pm ET Semifinal #2 (LIVE) Indiana
Sunday, Nov. 9 at
12:00pm ET Championship Game (LIVE) Indiana
Big Ten Women’s Soccer Tournament
Friday, Nov. 7 at
2:00pm ET Semifinal #1 (LIVE) Iowa
Friday, Nov. 7 at
4:30pm ET Semifinal #2 (LIVE) Iowa
Sunday, Nov. 9 at
3:00pm ET Championship Game (LIVE) Iowa
Big Ten Men’s Soccer Championship
Friday, Nov. 14 at
Wisconsin12:00pm ET Semifinal #1 (LIVE)
Friday, Nov. 14 at
Wisconsin2:30pm ET Semifinal #2 (LIVE)
Sunday, Nov. 16 at
Wisconsin1:00pm ET Championship Game (LIVE)
The NFL has a statement on Pennsylvannia US Senator Arlen Specter’s letter to the league seeking further free TV coverage of NFL Network games.
Statement from an NFL Spokesman:
We received a letter from Senator Specter’s staff last night.
Senator Specter knows that our television policy regarding the eight primetime games on NFL Network this season will be identical to the broadcast pattern we have followed for more than 20 years with our ESPN primetime games.
That same television policy makes the NFL the only league that has all of its regular season and playoff games on free TV, including our limited number of cable games that also are televised on free TV in participating team markets.
The goal of our NFL Network games is to show them to a national audience. However, that goal has been undercut by several of the largest cable operators that are discriminating against our Network by either refusing to carry it or placing it on a much more costly tier than the sports networks that the cable operators themselves own. These cable operators are denying their consumers fair access to this popular NFL programming.
The Federal Communications Commission Media Bureau earlier this month ruled that we indeed had demonstrated that our discrimination charge had merit and rejected the arguments of Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator based in Pennsylvania. The FCC Bureau also found merit in our complaint that Comcast retaliated against NFL Network, thereby also punishing consumers.
We continue to seek a negotiated agreement with Comcast, Time Warner and several other major cable operators so that our fans will not be deprived of our package of eight Network games in the next two months.
Any help that Senator Specter or his colleagues could lend to encourage Comcast or other cable operators to reach a fair agreement with us would be in the best interests of their constituents and our fans.
And ESPN360 will be showing more soccer online thanks to a new agreement reached with Setanta Sports.
ESPN, Setanta Ink Deal for Live US Broadband Coverage of The Football League and Carling Cup Soccer
ESPN and Setanta Sports have agreed a new deal to bring US soccer fans extensive live broadband coverage of England’s Football League and Carling Cup tournaments, featuring many top English soccer teams including Leeds United, Wolves and Sheffield United. The Football League consists of competitions from The Coca-Cola Championships, League One, League Two and the Carling Cup, which is the annual tournament that matches Football League and Barclays Premier League teams.The deal will bring live coverage (and replay availability) of nearly 100 English soccer matches on ESPN360.com, the company’s signature broadband sports television network. ESPN360.com’s schedule will include up to two Football League matches per week (totaling up to 84 matches this season), Football League playoff and final matches, and will feature five matches from rounds 1-5, four semi-final matches and the finals from Carling Cup competition.“We have established ESPN360.com as one of the leading destinations for U.S. fans of global soccer. Adding matches from the Football League and Carling Cup to our lineup further adds to that leadership,” said Damon Phillips, vice president, ESPN360.com. “These competitions feature some of the highest-level clubs and players in the world, which have an enormous, passionate base of fans around the globe and in the US.”Shane O’Rourke, president of North American and Australia Operations, added, “Setanta is committed to increasing the exposure of the Football League and the Carling Cup alongside our other key properties and working with ESPN360.com is a great way to achieve this.”
There you go. That’s it for now. Work schedule has been a bear. I hope to have linkage tonight.