I’m trying something new to get the Friday megalinks in during the day. I hope it works.
As always, we highlight the Weekend Viewing Picks and there are quite a few this weekend.
The PGA Championship, golf’s last major of the year is taking place at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota. CBS is hoping to see Tiger Woods in contention as he has helped raise the network’s golf ratings over the last few weeks. If he’s at or near the top throughout the weekend, then you’ll see the ratings rise significantly. If not, then it’ll be a long weekend for CBS. TNT has early 3rd and final round coverage at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. CBS then joins at 2 p.m. for full 18 hole coverage.
Baseball continues to head towards the pennant races. Fox has three games highlighted by Philadelphia at Atlanta. Neither Joe Buck nor Tim McCarver are working on Saturday meaning that this is not a major showcase weekend in Fox’s mind. Phillies-Braves will also be the ESPN Sunday Night game. MLB Network and TBS will air Boston at Texas for their Saturday night and Sunday afternoon games respectively. And WGN has Pirates at Cubs on Sunday. MLB this weekend including regional splits and announcing assignments for Fox and ESPN are located right here.
The English Premier League returns this weekend and ESPN2 is an addition to the U.S. rightsholders. It will carry a Saturday morning and Monday afternoon game every week. This is part of the deal that ESPN signed with the EPL to carry games in the UK. Setanta Sports and Fox Soccer Channel will continue to carry games here as well. ESPN2′s debut will be Chelsea vs. Hull City at 7:30 a.m., Saturday.
NASCAR heads to Michigan International Speedway and the Carfax 400 which ESPN carries Sunday at 2 p.m.
If you need your football fix, NFL Network has a live exhibition game tripleheader on Saturday. It will carry both the home and away feeds of each game.
NBC has Olympic sports including the VISA Gymnastics Championships where gold medalist Nastia Liukin will participate Saturday night at 8. And there’s the World Track & Field Championships from Berlin which NBC carries Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Versus also has coverage Saturday night at 7.
And in primetime, the season premiere of Mad Men is on AMC, Sunday night at 10.
Check out the Weekend picks in full right here.
Now to the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand notes some changes to the Fox Sports NFL announcing lineup.
Mike Florio of Pro Football talk speculates that CBS’ Jim Nantz knew all along that Michael Vick was going to sign with an NFL team this week.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at the winners and losers in the Michael Vick signing.
Darren takes a gander at the ticket sales for various games involving Michael Vick.
And Darren asks readers for the potential signs Vick will see this season.
Christopher Byrne at the Eye on Sports Media looks at whether Louisville coach Rick Pitino faces excommunication from the Catholic Church for paying for an abortion.
Chris also looks at the NIT Tip-Off field.
Chris feels the promo for the Baseball World Cup in Nettuno, Italy stepped over the line.
The Sports Media Watch notes that former ESPN’er Steven A. Smith has become a go-to guy on the cable news networks.
Alex Weprin of Broadcasting & Cable says Spike hopes to take some MMA thunder away Showtime’s Strikeforce by showing highlights from UFC 100.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that CBS College Sports has made some new hires for college football season.
Mike reports that Telemundo and Mun2 scored in their simulcast of the US-Mexico World Cup soccer qualifying match on Wednesday.
Mike adds that ESPN Deportes also did well in its wraparound programming for US-Mexico.
And Joe Favorito says by going on HBO’s Hard Knocks this season, the Cincinnati Bengals are not only helping their brand, but their practice jersey sponsor as well.
East and Mid-Atlantic
From the Boston Globe, Chad Finn feels the new 98.5 The Sports Hub had a decent debut and needs some work.
But Christine McConville of the Boston Herald wasn’t impressed.
Kristine Leahy has Friday’s edition of The Five at WEEI.com.
Amanda Bruno from Batter-up with Bruno gives Chad Finn’s new Maple Street Press Patriots annual a plug.
Newsday’s Neil Best learns that Frank Gifford will be doing taped vignettes for ESPN to celebrate Monday Night Football’s 40th anniversary.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman urges all of us to watch James Brown’s 60 Minutes interview of Michael Vick with a critical eye. Whatever you say, Bob. Go eat your oatmeal now.
Richard Huff from the Daily News writes that WCBS-TV sports anchor Sam Ryan is leaving to focus on duties for CBS College Sports as well as CBS Sports.
Over to Phil Mushnick from the New York Post and Phil is in a very bad mood today judging from the hate he spews at ESPN for its live game coverage.
The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger about the Jets’ and Giants’ quarterbacking situation.
Justin has five questions for CBS golf analyst Sir Nick Faldo about the PGA Championship.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union speaks with local native Dottie Pepper who will be Golf Channel’s analyst for next week’s Solheim Cup.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette feels Michael Vick deserves a second chance.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says Redskins fans will be covered on the radio throughout the season.
Rodney Page of the St. Petersburg Times feels Jon Gruden got better as he went along during his ESPN debut on Thursday.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says former Astro Craig Biggio will be on Fox Sports Net this weekend analyzing a high school baseball All-Star Game.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News is amazed at the ratings for the Cowboys’ exhibition game opener.
Barry also looks at the local sports radio ratings.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer gets the first word on Hard Knocks’ second episode.
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bob Wolfley feels James Brown won’t be soft on Michael Vick.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers in sports business and media.
Ed tells us that he’ll be taking over hosting duties for a local golf show on WSCR.
To Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin who says Tiger Woods is very good for golf ratings.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals are dispelling rumors that they’re changing radio stations.
Dan says former Rams QB Trent Green will be in the booth for two of the team’s exhibition games.
John Maffei of the North County Times writes that the Chargers will be blacked out Saturday.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times says Tiger Woods is helping out TNT and CBS during the PGA Championship this week.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail says a big name needs to step and win the PGA Championship to help the tournament’s ratings.
Those are your links. Not as many as previous weeks as some media writers are on vacation.