I have more press releases to pass along for you. Let’s start with the two biggest sports attractions of the weekend, the Daytona 500 and the NBA All-Star Game.
I’ll start with the Daytona 500 since it’s scheduled first on Sunday. Here are highlights of a Fox Sports media conference call with the announcing crew of Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond.
NASCAR on FOX’s broadcasters Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Mike Joy joined FOX Sports Chairman David Hill and President Ed Goren to preview this weekend’s Daytona 500 action and FOX Sports’ coverage of the 2009 season today during a media conference call.
Darrell Waltrip on Jimmie Johnson’s chances of making NASCAR history and winning a fourth straight Points Championship: “Three in a row is pretty special because only one other person, Cale Yarborough, has ever done it in the history of NASCAR. If you win four championships in a row, you have put yourself in a class by yourself. Until somebody proves to me they have what it takes to do what he and Chad Knaus can do, which is make no mistakes in the last ten races, I’m going to bet on Jimmie Johnson.”
David Hill on the economic state of NASCAR : “We have been very gratified that advertisers are stepping up to the plate. It’s like every year – sponsors come and sponsors go. We’re very, very comfortable about where we are. Any sports’ popularity is going to be related to the number of people who sit and watch it. NASCAR’s popularity remains strong. We had an increase in ratings last year and we’re hoping that we get an increase in ratings this year.”
Larry McReynolds on how Jimmie Johnson uses the regular season to prepare for the Chase for the Championship: “Before the Chase format, you used to win the championship one race at a time. That’s not true anymore. You win the championship now in 10 races. You have the luxury in those first 26 races to get yourself in only the top-12. When the final 10 get there, you want to have done all of your homework, preparation and be ready to attack.”
Mike Joy on how NASCAR’s drivers make opportunities for themselves: “There are several start-up teams, like Joe Nemechek’s and Jeremy Mayfield’s, that didn’t exist 30 days ago. In Mayfield’s case, he didn’t arrive with an established team for the Daytona 500, so he put a team together. Every person working on his car now was laid off last fall by a team. Every problem creates an opportunity somewhere else.”
Jeff Hammond on the unique relationship between Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus: “When it comes to Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, they have the most one-dimensional team. They’re all thinking alike, they all react as one. They don’t beat themselves. They are about as perfect a race team you could draw on paper.”
Onto to Sirius XM which provides its complete schedule of coverage for the Daytona 500.
Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR will provide listeners with the live race call plus access to in-car audio on additional Driver2Crew Chatter™ channels
SIRIUS NASCAR Radio channel 128 to broadcast live daily from Daytona Int’l Speedway
On race day, listeners will hear 15 hours of live coverage of the 51st running of the Daytona 500
NEW YORK – February 12, 2009 – SIRIUS XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI), the Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR, announced today that it will provide comprehensive coverage of the 2009 Daytona 500 on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, the only radio channel dedicated to NASCAR 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, available nationwide on SIRIUS channel 128 and now on XM channel 128 with the “Best of SIRIUS” programming package, will broadcast live from Daytona International Speedway throughout NASCAR Speedweeks offering every race, including the Daytona 500, plus live talk, news, analysis and interviews every day.
On Sunday, February 15, SIRIUS XM will provide listeners with 15 hours of live coverage of the 51st running of the Daytona 500 starting at 9:00 am ET. SIRIUS NASCAR Radio will present live play-by-play of all the action on the track from the moment the green flag drops to the waving of the checkered flag, plus full pre- and post-race coverage that will include expert analysis, reports from pit road and the garages, driver introductions and interviews with the race winner and other competitors.
SIRIUS XM will also offer additional Driver2Crew Chatter™ channels that will carry the in-car audio of NASCAR’s top drivers as they compete in The Great American Race. Driver2Crew Chatter™ channels combine the race broadcast with the pit crew communications, allowing fans to follow the overall race call and the in-car audio of a driver on a single channel. The “Fan’s Choice” channel will feature the in-car audio of a driver determined by fans who log on to www.sirius.com/nascar and vote from a selection of competitors.
For this weekend’s Daytona 500, SIRIUS subscribers and XM subscribers with the “Best of SIRIUS” programming package can hear the following:
- Live race call provided by MRN – SIRIUS 128 / XM 128
- Jimmie Johnson in-car audio – SIRIUS 121 / XM 102
- Tony Stewart in-car audio – SIRIUS 125 / XM 103
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. in-car audio – SIRIUS 126 / XM 104
- Jeff Gordon in-car audio – SIRIUS 127 / XM 105
- Fan’s Choice (Driver TBD) – SIRIUS 113 / XM 106
SIRIUS NASCAR Radio will also provide live coverage of both Gatorade Duels, the 150 mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying races, on Thursday, Feb. 12 (1:15 pm ET), the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, Feb. 13 (7:30 pm ET), and the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Feb. 14 (12:45 pm ET).
SIRIUS NASCAR Radio hosts will broadcast live from Daytona International Speedway throughout Speedweeks with shows that will air live from the “Fan Deck” atop the Cup garage, providing NASCAR fans with exclusive interviews, news and expert analysis.
SIRIUS NASCAR Radio’s daily weekday lineup begins at 7:00 am ET with The Morning Drive (7:00 – 11:00 am ET), hosted by Mike Bagley and David Poole, followed by Tradin’ Paint (11:00am – 3:00pm ET), hosted by Steve Post, Rick Benjamin, Danny “Chocolate” Myers, and Hall of Famer Buddy Baker, then SIRIUS Speedway (3:00 – 7:00 pm ET), hosted by Dave Moody. Late Shift, hosted by Alex Hayden and Buddy Baker, airs Mondays and Tuesdays (7:00 – 10:00 pm ET), followed on Monday night by Mojo Nixon’s Manifold Destiny (10:00 pm – midnight ET).
Wednesday through Friday (7:00 – 10:00 pm ET), Claire B. Lang hosts Dialed In. Lang has hosted Dialed In on XM Radio since 2001 and has been a fixture in the NASCAR garage every weekend, providing her listeners with up-to-the-moment news and interviews.
Lang, Steve Post and Alex Hayden, three of the best reporters covering NASCAR today, will team up for SIRIUS NASCAR Radio’s pre- and post race shows to give NASCAR fans a comprehensive view of everything on, inside and around the track every weekend.
On Monday, February 16, The Morning Drive will broadcast live from the Daytona 500 Experience at the speedway where hosts Mike Bagley and David Poole will conduct live in-person interviews with the 2009 Daytona 500 Champion driver, crew chief and team owner.
SIRIUS NASCAR Radio / ch. 128 – Daytona 500 Week Schedule: (All times ET)
· 7:00 am – 11:00 am: “The Morning Drive,” hosted by Mike Bagley and David Poole
· 11:00 am – 3:00 pm: “Tradin’ Paint,” hosted by Steve Post/Rick Benjamin/Chocolate Myers/Buddy Baker
· 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm: “SIRIUS
,” hosted by Dave Moody Speedway
· 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm: “Dialed In” hosted by Claire B. Lang
· 1:15 pm: NASCAR Sprint Cup Gatorade Duels (race broadcasts preempt regularly scheduled programming
· 7:30 pm: NextEra Energy Resources 250 Camping World Truck Series Race (race broadcast preempts regularly scheduled programming
· 9:00 am – 12:45 pm: “The Front Stretch” hosted by Pat Patterson
· 12:45 pm – 4:00 pm: Camping World 300 Presented by Chevrolet NASCAR Nationwide Series Race
· 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm: “
” hosted by Alex Hayden and Steve Post Press Pass
· 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm: “Dialed In” hosted by Claire B. Lang
· 9:00 am – 11:30 am: “The Front Stretch” hosted by Pat Patterson
· 11:30 am – 1:30 pm: “SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre-Race Show” hosted by Claire B. Lang and Steve Post
· 1:30 pm – 6:00 pm (approx): Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race
· 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: “SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Post-Race Show” hosted by Steve Post, Alex Hayden and Claire B. Lang
· 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm: “The Back Stretch” hosted by Pat Patterson and Claire B. Lang
· 7:00 am – 11:00 am: “The Morning Drive,” hosted by Mike Bagley and David Poole live from the Daytona 500 Experience at the speedway.
(Schedule subject to change.)
Next, NBA TV says it’s going to provide extensive coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend.
NBA All-Star 2009 Tips Off on NBA TV Airwaves with Extensive Live Coverage of Weekend Festivities
NBA D-League All-Star Game airs live on Sat., Feb. 14; Free Preview continues until Wed., Feb. 18
NBA TV takes center court for coverage of NBA All-Star 2009 in Phoenix, AZ, as the network offers comprehensive coverage and behind-the-scenes access of the weekend’s events. The network’s stable of announcers will be on-hand throughout the weekend with hosts Ahmad Rashad, Rick Kamla, Andre Aldridge and Marc Fein, analysts Chris Webber, Gary Payton, Steve Smith and Eric Snow and NBA.com correspondents Kyle Montgomery and Melanie Collins all making on-air appearances throughout the weekend. TNT announcers will also make appearances on NBA TV’s All-Star coverage.
Highlights of NBA TV coverage include the Hall of Fame Press Conference (Feb. 13, 1 p.m. ET) and NBA D-League All-Star Game (Feb. 14, 4 p.m. ET) along with exclusive interviews with players throughout the weekend.
On Fri., Feb. 13, NBA TV will tip off coverage at 11:30 a.m. ET with the 2009 NBA All-Star Rookie Challenge Practice, followed by the Hall of Fame Press Conference. The network will give viewers inside access during media availability where players participating in the challenge will share their thoughts about the weekend. At 6 p.m. ET, NBA TV will air the first of two special editions of The Beat, a roundtable show hosted by Fein and David Aldridge featuring NBA beat writers from media outlets across the country.
On Sat., Feb. 14 at 12:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV will provide live coverage of the 2009 NBA All-Star East/West Practice, catching up with the All-Stars who will compete in the star-studded NBA All-Star Game. At 4 p.m. ET, the NBA D-League All-Star Game tips off live as Kamla, Smith and Fein provide coverage. NBA GameTime gets underway at 6:30 p.m. ET and will include footage from NBA Commissioner David Stern’s press conference as well as reports from NBA Jam Session. Following TNT’s coverage of NBA All-Star Saturday Night, NBA GameTime Live will air on NBA TV at 11 p.m. ET.
The NBA Legends Brunch will be featured on the network on Sun., Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. ET. An hour-long NBA All-Star Sunday edition of The Beat will air at 5 p.m. ET, followed at 6 p.m. ET by NBA GameTime featuring the red carpet entrances of celebrities, players and entertainers who are attending the highly anticipated event. Following the NBA All-Star Game, NBA TV will feature Inside the NBA on NBA TV at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Fans across the country will have access to the extensive All-Star coverage on NBA TV with the network’s free preview that will continue until Wed., Feb. 18, allowing cable and satellite distribution partners the opportunity to showcase the 24-hour network to all of their viewers.
The network’s Fan Night voting will remain open until Sun., Feb. 15, allowing fans the opportunity to vote on the matchup they most want to see throughout NBA All-Star Weekend, with the selected game airing on Tues., Feb. 17. On Tues., Feb. 17 and Wed., Feb. 18, Fan Night voting will reopen for the fans to select the game that will air on Tues., Feb. 24. All selections are available on NBA.com.
NBA TV’s weekly programming will feature its three signature nights, including:
- Fan Night (Tues. Feb. 17): The Beat is a weekly roundtable show featuring NBA beat writers from newspapers across the country who will join host Marc Fein and TNT Insider David Aldridge to cover hot topics and NBA news.
Fan Night voting opens on NBA.com on Tues., Feb. 17 for fans to decide the next NBA matchup they most want to see televised on NBA TV on Tues., Feb. 24. Voting will remain open until Wed., Feb. 18 with the fans’ selection being announced that night on NBA TV.
Premiere Night (Wed., Feb. 18): A one-hour special of NBA All-Star 2009 with Ahmad Rashad will air on Wed. Feb. 18. As the NBA takes its show to Phoenix for All-Star Weekend, NBA TV will take a look back and recap the events from the entire weekend. The show will show highlights from the Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam., Shooting Stars, Skills Challenge, Three-Point Shootout and the Slam Dunk. In addition, Rashad will recap the main event, the 58th NBA All-Star Game. The show will also feature some of the other stories surrounding the weekend, including the Latin flavor of this year’s festivities, the history of the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix, and some of the memorable All-Star moments from a hometown favorite, Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal, as he makes his 15th NBA All-Star appearance.
- Legends Night (Thurs. Feb. 19): Thursday nights on NBA TV will continue to showcase the rich heritage of the NBA during Legends Night with a showcase of NBA legend Michael Jordan’s greatest moments, including NBA Home Video: Come Fly with Me, Hardwood Classic: Jordan’s 55 points against the New York Knicks in 1995, NBA Home Video: His Airness, and Hardwood Classic: Bulls @ Jazz, Game #5 of the 1997 NBA Finals.
Over to NBC Sports which talks about Sunday’s Flyers-Rangers NHL Game of the Week pick.
RANGERS HOST ARCHRIVAL FLYERS IN NHL GAME OF THE WEEK, SUNDAY ON NBC“There are no two ways about it, these teams hate each other and always will. — NBC’s Milbury on Flyers-RangersOvechkin Faces Malkin & Crosby as Penguins at Capitals Flexed Into Feb. 22 Game of the Week
NEW YORK – Feb. 12, 2009 – The New York Rangers will host their fierce rival the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL Game of the Week, Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, presented in high definition. Mike "Doc" Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter) call the action. McGuire will pull double duty, hosting NBC's studio show alongside analyst Mike Milbury on site at Madison Square Garden. NBC's NHL coverage is produced by Sam Flood, the son of a hockey coach and former captain of the Williams College hockey team.
With a win last night, the Ranger pulled even with the Flyers in the Eastern Conference standings with the Flyers holding three games in hand. The Rangers, losers of five of their last six, seek to rebound against a Philly team that has won its last two on the road. Jeff Carter leads the Flyers with 34 goals and 58 points, both career bests. His 34 goals rank second in the NHL. The Rangers are led by their stellar netminder Henrik Lundqvist, a three-time Vezina Trophy finalist.
MCGUIRE ON THE RANGERS TROUBLES: "Everybody's in a funk for the Rangers at the same time. They need to find a way to score goals, that's obvious. Even earlier in the season, when they were winning, it was with team defense and goaltending. Their puck movement from their defense, supposedly a strength, has been a glaring weakness. And they miss Jaromir Jagr. He and Marty Straka opened up so much room for everyone else on the ice."
MILBURY ON THE RIVALRY: "There are no two ways about it, these teams hate each other and always will."
PENGUINS AT CAPITALS FLEXED INTO FEB. 22 "GAME OF THE WEEK": The Sunday, Feb. 22 contest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals has been selected for the "NHL Game of the Week" on NBC. Puck drop is at 12:30 p.m. ET. The game features some of the game's brightest young stars including Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby of the Penguins, and Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals, who rank 1-3 respectively in the NHL in points.
MCGUIRE ON OVECHKIN: "He's the best player in the world. You have to go all the way back to 'Rocket' Richard to find a player like him."
NBCSPORTS.COM & NHL.COM PRESENT "STAR-CAM": NBCSports.com and NHL.com will offer a "Star-cam" in conjunction with NBC broadcasts, which will follow one player on each team throughout each of his shifts. Following the game, NBCSports.com will present a post-game show with game highlights and highlights from "Star-cam" and "Net-cam," along with analysis from McGuire and Milbury.
FLEX SCHEDULING & CONSISTENT 12:30 PM ET START TIME: For the first time, "Game of the Week" broadcasts have a consistent start time – 12:30 p.m. ET on Sundays (except for April 12, 2 p.m. start time). For the second straight season, the NHL and NBC will utilize flex scheduling and will be able to select from up to four games on Sunday afternoons. Thirteen days prior to the scheduled games (on Mondays), NBC, in conjunction with the NHL, will select one of those games as the "Game of the Week" to be broadcast during the NBC window. The other games will remain available to the teams' regional carrier but will not be televised during NBC's broadcast window.
NBC will also broadcast weekend games throughout the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and up to five Stanley Cup Final games.REMAINING 2009 NHL GAME OF THE WEEK REGULAR SEASON FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE
(All Games Announced At Least 13 Days Prior)
Sunday, Feb. 15, 12:30 p.m. ET
Philadelphia @ New York Rangers
Sunday, Feb. 22, 12:30 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh @ Washington
Sunday, March 8, 12:30 p.m. ET
Boston @ New York Rangers
Pittsburgh @ Washington
Phoenix @ New York Islanders
Colorado @ Chicago
Sunday, March 15, 12:30 p.m. ET
Philadelphia @ New York Rangers
Detroit @ Columbus
Boston @ Pittsburgh
Sunday, March 22, 12:30 p.m. ET
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh
New Jersey @ Boston
Los Angeles @ Chicago
Sunday, April 5, 12:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota @ Detroit
Pittsburgh @ Florida
Atlanta @ Washington
Sunday, April 12, 2 p.m. ET
New York Rangers @ Philadelphia
Detroit @ Chicago
Boston @ New York Islanders
St. Louis @ Columbus
And it’s never too early to talk college football. ESPN has already made its pick for Labor Day primetime as well as various Thursday night games.
Labor Day and Thursday Primetime Matchups Highlight Early College Football Selections for 2009Miami at Florida State Returns to Labor Day; 12 Thursday Night Matchups Determined
A top rivalry on Labor Day and marquee matchups on Thursday nights are among the telecasts slated for ESPN’s 2009 college football schedule. Additional games will be announced in the coming months. Highlights include:
- ESPN will televise Miami at Florida State on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. ET. It will mark the first time the intrastate ACC rivals have played on Labor Day since 2006, which was ESPN’s most-viewed college football game ever with 6,330,000 households (based on a 6.9 rating). ABC also televised the matchup on Labor Day in 2005.
- ESPN’s popular Thursday night series — ESPN College Football Primetime – will kick off September 3 at 7 p.m. with South Carolina at N.C. State. ACC teams will be involved in six of ESPN’s Thursday night telecasts in 2009, including the first-ever game from North Carolina. Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and North Carolina will play in two Thursday games while Florida State, Miami, Clemson and N.C. State will play one each.
- In addition to the opening Thursday game, South Carolina will host SEC foe Mississippi Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m.
- A Big 12 institution will be the home team on three of ESPN’s Thursday night games, including Texas playing Texas A&M in primetime on Thanksgiving for the second consecutive year (ESPN previously televised the in-state rivalry between the Aggies and Longhorns from 1984-89 and 1991-93). Last year was the first time a Big 12 Conference school was the host on an ESPN Thursday telecast.
In addition, Nebraska will play at Missouri in the first Thursday game from Columbia. Mo. since 1992 and Oklahoma State will host Colorado in the first Thursday game ever from Boone Pickens Stadium.
- ESPN will televise the annual Civil War rivalry game pitting Oregon State at intrastate Pac-10 Conference rival Oregon Thursday, Dec. 3, at 9 p.m., marking the first-ever Thursday game from Oregon.
- Two Saturday night telecasts will include:
- Saturday Night Football on ABC, the first and only weekly college football primetime series on broadcast television, will include Texas Tech at Texas September 19 at 8 p.m. Last season’s thrilling matchup featured Texas Tech defeating then-#1 Texas on a last-second touchdown pass, giving Texas their only loss of the season.
- ESPN will televise USC at Ohio State in primetime Saturday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. USC defeated Ohio State 35-3 last year in the first meeting between the traditional powers since 1990. USC has not lost to Ohio State since 1974.The 2009 schedule through February 12, 2009 (additional selections will be announced):
Thu., Sept. 3 7 p.m. ESPN South Carolina at N.C. State Mon., Sept. 7 8 p.m. ESPN Miami at Florida State Thu., Sept. 10 7:30 p.m. ESPN Clemson at Georgia Tech Sat., Sept. 12 8 p.m. ESPN USC at Ohio State Thu., Sept. 17 7:30 p.m. ESPN Georgia Tech at Miami Sat., Sept. 19 8 p.m. ABC Texas Tech at Texas Thu., Sept. 24 7:30 p.m. ESPN Mississippi at South Carolina Thu., Oct. 1 7:30 p.m. ESPN Colorado at West Virginia Thu., Oct. 8 7:30 p.m. ESPN Nebraska at Missouri Thu., Oct. 22 8 p.m. ESPN Florida State at North Carolina Thu., Oct. 29 7:30 p.m. ESPN North Carolina at Virginia Tech Thu., Nov. 5 7:30 p.m. ESPN Virginia Tech at East Carolina Thu., Nov. 19 7:30 p.m. ESPN Colorado at Oklahoma State Thu., Nov. 26 8 p.m. ESPN Texas at Texas A&M Thu., Dec. 3 9 p.m. ESPN Oregon State at Oregon
That’s going to do it.