I’ll do the Friday megalinks in two parts today. I’m still trying to find out what happened with the launch of the MLB Network last night. I’ve now heard from a subscriber in Alexandria, VA who said he could not watch the channel through Comcast. Besides the problems with Time Warner Cable in Albany/Schenectady, NY as reported by Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette, much of the problems appear to be with Comcast. I do expect a statement from MLB Network and when I receive it, I’ll post it here.
Because I want to get to the links right away, I’ll do the Weekend Viewing Picks in the Part II of the Megalinks.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand grades the NFL TV networks’ performance this season.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball reports on the confusion over the MLB Network launch.
Mark Newman of MLB.com liveblogged the MLB Network launch last night.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell responds to reader reaction to his post on imposing a salary cap in baseball. Darren says the NHL Winter Classic was a hit again this year. And Darren says Madoff memorabilia is hard to come by.
The Sports Media Watch finishes its look at 2008 by reviewing the ratings for the Olympics. Paulsen’s story of the year was the economic downturn affecting sports. The SMW reviews its predictions from last year. Now we get the SMW’s predictions for this year. The blog wonders if TNT should discipline Charles Barkley after his arrest this week. And the SMW says the NHL Winter Classic drew higher overnight ratings from last year.
The Big Lead says Mike Patrick might have gone overboard with an analogy during the Capital One Bowl yesterday.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Bruce Allen of the Boston Sports Media Watch reports that WBZ Radio has laid off sports anchor Tom Cuddy.
Neil Best of Newsday writes about the MLB Network launch. Neil says while MLB Network did well last night, it’s better to judge the channel when the regular season begins in April. Neil writes that Chris Carlin did his final stint on WFAN today. And Neil wonders how coaches and managers will fare in 2009.
Justin Terranova from the Post talks with Fox Sports’ Charles Davis and Barry Switzer about the BCS National Championship Game. And Justin has five questions for Fox Sports’ Brian Billick.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Fox Sports’ Barry Switzer spent a lot of time defending his former Oklahoma Sooners team.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says TV could bring some good karma to the Ravens this weekend.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes about ESPN’s Dick Vitale’s return to the NBA after 24 years.
Dave Darling from the Orlando Sentinel gives us the top sports media stories of 2008.
Kyle Hightower of the Sentinel writes that Magic fans will have to upgrade to digital cable to get Fox Sports Florida as Bright House cable recently added the channel to its lineup.
Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram also talks with Fox Sports’ Barry Switzer.
David Barron in the Houston Chronicle says a new sports radio station made headway in the ratings.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News tells us that Bill Cowher has signed an extension with CBS Sports. Barry says former Texas Ranger broadcaster Victor Rojas will be the answer to a trivia question. And Barry notes that 60 Minutes will interview Texas Tech coach Mike Leach on Sunday.
The Daily Oklahoman’s Mel Bracht talks with Fox Sports’ Charles Davis who will call the Florida-Oklahoma BCS National Championship Game next week.
That will do it for Part I of the Megalinks. Part II coming up tonight.