Here are a couple of press releases for you on this Monday morning.
First, the International Baseball Federation says the 2009 Baseball World Cup will be televised on one of Europe’s biggest sports networks.
EUROSPORT 2 TO TELEVISE 2009 BASEBALL WORLD CUP
The UFL is opening up a webstore today.Fastest-growing channel in Europe to serve as broadcaster for September’s Pan-European World Championship
(LAUSANNE, Switzerland) – The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) today announced that Eurosport Group has agreed to televise on Eurosport 2 over 40 games of the 2009 Baseball World Cup, which will be held across Europe from 9-27 September. It marks the first time Eurosport 2 will serve as broadcaster for the event and will give the World Cup its first live television presence in Europe in the events’ 38 year history. Eurosport 2, the fastest-growing TV channel in Europe since its launch in 2005, already broadcasts to 36 million households in 14 languages across 46 countries.
“This is yet another positive sign of the growth of baseball globally, and its continued emerging in Europe,” said IBAF President Dr. Harvey Schiller. “The global interest in baseball, especially across Europe and in emerging nations, continues to grow exponentially and this agreement is further validation that the efforts the sport is making to grow are being recognized. We are confident that Eurosport 2 will contribute to the popularity of baseball in Europe”.
Eurosport 2 also televised the European Cup Championship on 21 June, won by Italy’s Danesi Caffe’ Nettuno, 1-0 over fellow Italian club Fortitudo Bologna.
The 2009 Baseball World Cup will be held in Regensburg, Germany; Zagreb; Prague; Barcelona; and Stockholm from 9-12 September. The second round will be split between Italy and the Netherlands, while the final round will be in Italy finishing on 27 September. In total, 22 nations will compete for the coveted world championship. Additional television plans for the World Cup will be announced shortly.
UNITED FOOTBALL LEAGUE
LAUNCHES UFL STORE
RUTHERFORD, NJ (August 10, 2009) – The United Football League announced its online retail store, www.GETUFL.com, will launch today, Monday, August 10th. The UFL’s e-commerce launch is in advance of the League’s press conferences next week in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Orlando and New York to announce team names, unveil “Premiere” season uniforms and commence ticket sales. Team merchandise will be available next week after each team name is revealed.
UFL’s online store, managed in conjunction with PAID Inc., will offer licensed products including but not limited to custom authentic jerseys, replicas, shirts, hats, player practice gear, accessories and novelties.
“From our initial announcement, fans have been asking for UFL-licensed merchandise and we are proud to fulfill this request with our new online store at www.GETUFL.com,” said Frank Vuono, COO of the UFL. “Our online store is another exciting way for our fans to connect with the UFL. We will be launching the site with some key products and will expand the selection as we head into the ‘“Premiere” season’.”
ESPN’s Champions Take Over Booth at
Nationwide Series Race Michigan
ESPN2’s live coverage of the Aug. 15 Carfax 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway will have a new and different approach as the telecast will prominently feature five former NASCAR champions and will be done without a traditional “play by play” announcer.
ESPN’s “Backseat Drivers” telecast will engage NASCAR fans with the authenticity and experience of analysts Tim Brewer, Ray Evernham, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree and Rusty Wallace. With Brewer contributing reports and analysis from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, Evernham, Jarrett, Petree and Wallace will call the race from the booth.
“Our goal is to give viewers a different presentation, one filled with discussion, observations, and stories from some of the most respected champions NASCAR has crowned, and their unique unfiltered perspective on an event,” said Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, motorsports.
“This is an opportunity for our viewers to have the experience of sitting around watching a race with these champions from their couch at home, and without the traditional approach to sportscasting.“
In addition to the five champions, the telecast will include pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, while Allen Bestwick will host. The race airs Saturday, Aug. 15, at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from
on ESPN Michigan
ESPN will have live, flag-to-flag coverage in high definition as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competes in the Carfax 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 16. The telecast begins with NASCAR Countdown at 1:00 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag is at 2:16 p.m.
The final 17 races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will air on the ESPN Networks, with the first six on ESPN and the final 11 on ABC, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Dr. Jerry Punch will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, in the ESPN pit studio.
Also this week, ESPN Classic will air highlights of the 1991 Champion Spark Plug 500 from Pocono (PA) Raceway on Monday, Aug. 17, at 6 p.m. The race was won by Darrell Waltrip, with Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, Harry Gant and Geoff Bodine completing the top five.
Craven, Said, Chengelis on NASCAR Now Roundtable
NASCAR on ESPN analysts Ricky Craven and Boris Said will join ESPN NASCAR reporter Angelique Chengelis as panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on Monday, Aug. 17, at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Allen Bestwick will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.
Mike Massaro hosts half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now airing Tuesday through Thursday of this week at 5 p.m., and Friday at 9 p.m. following ESPN2’s live coverage of U.S. Open Series tennis.
Massaro also hosts the one-hour weekend edition that airs Sunday, Aug. 16, at 10 a.m. with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. The weekend wrap-up edition airs at 1 a.m. Monday, Aug. 17 (late Sunday night). Nicole Manske and Chengelis will report from
for both programs, while Said will join Massaro in the studio. Michigan
NASCAR Now is hosted by Massaro, Bestwick and Manske and originates from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Conn. Contributors include NASCAR Insiders Marty Smith and Angelique Chengelis, analysts Ray Evernham, Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Boris Said, Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie, and ESPN.com reporters Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton. The NASCAR on ESPN team event coverage team of Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Dr. Jerry Punch, Andy Petree, Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Spake and Vince Welch also make frequent contributions to NASCAR Now.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing from
on ESPN2 Minnesota
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns from a two-week break with action at Brainerd (MN) International Raceway this weekend, and ESPN2 will air qualifying and eliminations action on a same-day basis. Qualifying from the NHRA Nationals airs Saturday, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m. ET, and again at 11 p.m., with eliminations airing Sunday at 10 p.m. Finals coverage re-airs Monday, Aug. 17, at 11 a.m. on ESPN Classic.
NHRA’s version of a weeklong campout, this event is a popular stop due to the area’s recreational opportunities. Avid fishers often spend the days before the event trolling the area’s many lakes for walleye, bass, and northern pike, and a huge on-site campground provides nightly camaraderie for racegoers who sit around fires discussing the day’s action. A 700-foot concrete launchpad, one of the longest on the tour, helps boost performances as competition heightens for positions in the Countdown to 1.
Paul Page anchors ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould and Dave Rieff report from the pits. Rieff and Dunn host NHRA RaceDay on Sunday at 11 a.m. to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action.
Other NHRA programming airing on ESPN Networks this week includes highlights from the 2003 NHRA Nationals in
airing Monday, Aug. 17, at 10 a.m. on ESPN Classic. PhoenixTORC Series Action on ESPN2 Sunday
Action from the TORC Series returns to ESPN2 on Sunday, Aug. 16, at 11:30 a.m. ET with highlights from the series event held in Bark River, Mich. The premier short-course racing series with the top stars in off-road racing, this exciting form of door-to-door action will appear on both ESPN2 and ABC this season.
The 2009 season features eight total rounds of racing. ESPN2 will air five rounds with three to appear on ABC, including a live telecast on ABC of the 40th Anniversary of Off-Road Racing. Marty Reid, lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN on ABC’s coverage of the
500 and selected NASCAR races, will call all of the TORC Truck Series events on ESPN2 and ABC. Joining Reid will be long-time extreme sports announcer Tes Sewell and former Miss USA Kimberly Pressler as pit reporter. Indianapolis
That’s it for now. I expect some more press releases later today.