Due to me being all over the place today, Southern Rhode Island, Northern Rhode Island, Eastern Massachusetts, then Central Rhode Island, I was not able to do the megalinks during the day, so I’m doing them at night. One of these Fridays, I’ll be able to provide them to you at its regular time. And I have to get ready to go to New York for TARCon. But I’ll do the links while doing laundry and packing, I’m that loyal to you, my readers.
So we begin as always with the Weekend Viewing Picks.
Your college football Saturday has a bunch of conference championships including the two biggies, the SEC Championship involving Alabama and Florida (CBS, 4 p.m.) and the Big 12 Championship which has Missouri and Oklahoma (ABC, 8 p.m.). The winner of the SEC Championship will most likely advance to the BCS Championship game on January 8. Most of the country is rooting for Missouri to correct an injustice in the last BCS poll when the Sooners leapfrogged over Texas. But the most important game is of course, Army vs. Navy which kicks off the day on CBS at noon. You can check out the national viewing schedule in the very last College Football Viewing Picks of the season. When all the dust is settled, Fox has the BCS Selection Show, Sunday night at 8.
The NFL has a full schedule of games for Week 14 including six, count ‘em six late games, four regional games on CBS and two on Fox. The feature late game will be Dallas and Pittsburgh on Fox at 4:15 p.m. On Sunday night, NBC has the Washington Redskins taking on the Baltimore Ravens. Check out the entire schedule in the NFL Viewing Picks.
College Basketball is underway and there a lot of games this weekend. If I were home this weekend, I would focus on my University of Rhode Island Rams playing in-state rival, the Providence College Friars (Big East Network, 2 p.m., Saturday), but there’s also Duke at Michigan (ESPN, 3:30 p.m., Saturday). Take a gander at the College Basketball Viewing Picks for the weekend to see if your favorite team is playing on television.
There’s also the Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquaio fight which is on HBO pay per view, Saturday night at 9.
Now to your links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand visits MLB Network’s headquarters at the old MSNBC studios in Secaucus, NJ and finds that there’s a half-regulation infield that will be the showcase for its studio shows.
Alex Weprin of Broadcasting & Cable says the MLB Network studios honor two of baseball’s greatest players.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News also toured the MLB Network studios.
Linda Moss of Multichannel News says GolTV and Dish Network are locked in a massive dispute over carriage fees.
Christopher Byrne has some thoughts on Raycom’s last SEC production before giving way to ESPN Regional Television next year.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has the last word on a mini-controversy that brewed this week regarding an ESPN/ABC factoid that Florida State University invented Gatorade. Darren says Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach is one weird dude.
Steve Lepore’s Puck The Media has another round of its NHL Tournament of Announcers. And Steve loves the fact that CBC is carrying another tripleheader on Hockey Night in Canada this Saturday (the last two games will be carried on NHL Network in the States).
Deadspin has an interesting story about why Fred Hickman no longer works at ESPN.
And New York Magazine says the Fred Hickman story is just part of an embarrassing week at ESPN.
SportsByBrooks has this year’s Playboy Sexiest Sportscaster Poll participants.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe talks about the NFL’s 3-D experiment that was showcased in movie theaters in selected cities (including Boston).
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette writes that Charter Channel 3 is committing its resources to bringing high school sports to the local area.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the Plaxico Burress mess got all types of coverage in the New York media this week. Neil has a little more on the Plax mess in his blog. Neil says the New York Jets and Brett Favre have become national attractions this season. Neil has noticed Jerry Seinfeld has appeared on WFAN quite a bit this week. And Neil went to the NFL 3-D test broadcast on Thursday. Finally, Neil announces the latest round of cutbacks at Newsday.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick feels the Mets are treating their fans like suckers.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the YES Network is televising the University of Albany’s game against Jacksonville for a cause.
The Schenectady Gazette’s Ken Schott has some news and notes in his blog.
Jim Williams of the Baltimore/DC Examiner writes that the Ravens and Redskins want Baltimore and DC to be an NFL shared market.
John Patton of the Gainesville Sun talks with CBS college football analyst Gary Danielson about the SEC Championship.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald lists some things he likes about football broadcasts.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel says a popular internet show gets its TV debut after David Letterman tonight.
Jon Solomon of the Birmingham (AL) News writes that CBS hit the jackpot with a #1 vs. #2 SEC Championship Game.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle talks with ESPN’s Lee Corso who feels that Texas’ QB Colt McCoy deserves the Heisman Trophy.
Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram talks with Pat Summerall about the NFL’s Greatest Game Ever Played.
The Daily Oklahoman’s Mel Bracht interviews ESPN/ABC’s Brent Musberger who will call his 7th Big 12 conference game of the season with the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday. In his notebook, Mel says the BCS Championship Game will be shown in selected movie theaters including in Oklahoma.
Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News looks at HBO’s documentary on the integration of college football.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says the SEC Championship is the closest thing we have to a college football playoff.
The Chicago Daily Herald’s Ted Cox speaks with the man who is credited with inventing instant replay.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business says Cubs TV voice Len Kasper will be on the job for a bit while longer.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says people are indeed watching sports and the numbers prove it.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin previews the SEC Championship on CBS.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch speaks with a local sports radio veteran who lost his job this week.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News likes a local TV station’s coverage of high school football.
John Maffei of the North County Times says Cox 4 is looking to find that special someone to replace Padres voice Matt Vasgersian.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times was one of the 400 lucky people to watch the Oakland-San Diego game in 3-D at Mann’s Chinese Theater.
But the Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth wonders if 3-D is THE definining moment for sports television. In his blog, Tom has some more impressions on the 3-D experiment. You get Tom’s extensive media news and notes here. Tom has his early favorites for Playboy’s Sexiest Sportscaster Poll (Charissa!). Tom says USC football voice Pete Arbogast is kissing up to ‘SC athletic director Mike Garrett to get back in his good graces. And Tom talks with ESPN/ABC’s Todd Blackledge about the next eating establishment he’ll review during the USC/UCLA game.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers radio voice Joe Starkey is probable for Sunday’s game against the Jets.
Gary Washburn of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes that NFL Network’s Rich Eisen sets the standard for hosts of league-owned TV channels.
Here we go again. William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says Rogers Sportsnet NFL analyst Chris Landry has been pulled off the air and has had his web column spiked for allegedly plagiarizing work from NationalFootballPost.com. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has been all over it just like he was with the Ron Borges plagiarizing scandal.
William Houston also writes that viewership for the NHL on CBC, TSN and RDS are all up. Way up.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says the Dolphins-Bills game at the Stadium Formerly Known as Skydome sold out in time meaning that it will be seen live in the local area.
And that’s going to do it for the megalinks. I’m going to be in New York for TARCon. I’m leaving Saturday morning so I won’t be blogging at all then. I will try to blog from TARCon from my iPhone on Sunday. If not, I’ll be back on Monday.