Ok, let’s answer some questions that have come into the Fang’s Bites inbox over the last week or so. I will do another mailbag in October during MLB postseason and as college football and the NFL are in high gear so you can mark your calendars for that. And unfortunately, the swag did not come through for this mailbag. Hopefully I can procure some for the next one.
One of my regular commentors, DyHrd who always has insightful thoughts. Well DyHrd, your question gave me food for thought and did inspire me to write my post for Dan Levy’s Press Coverage on the aging of our play-by-play announcers. As I stated in the Press Coverage post, Spero Dedes is being nurtured by CBS to eventually take a starring role. I think he’ll be moving up the ranks. He’s quite good on basketball. I haven’t heard him call football yet, but he will this season for the NFL.
I also like Dan Hoard who calls the Pawtucket Red Sox on radio in Rhode Island and also does the Cincinnati Bengals preseason games on TV as well as the Cincinnati Bearcats football and basketball teams. I think he deserves a national shot.
Let’s go to one more from DyHrd.
Wow. Interesting question. I’ve been partial to CBS’ packages from the Terry O’Neil redesign in 1981 up until now. I liked ABC Sports (when they were ABC Sports) graphics during the 1988 Winter Olympics. And NBC’s fonts in the early 1980′s were pretty good. I wish I had some examples for you.
Hmmm. Now? Ok, I’ll list them this way top to bottom.
Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth – NBC
Jim Nantz and Phil Simms – CBS
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa – Fox
Dave Sims and James Lofton – Westwood One Radio
Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan – Fox
A quick question for you: I was watching the CBS College Football Preview Show and a promo for the “NFL ON CBS” came on. At the end of the promo, I hear what appears to be three or four seconds of not the rap theme (which they have been using for way too long) but an altered version of the Frankie Vinci theme. Has CBS dropped the rap theme for this season?
Thank You in advance for taking the time to read my e-mail.
No problem. I did not see the College Football Preview so I didn’t hear the music. I’m not sure what CBS is planning for its music for the NFL season. Usually, they change every time a new TV contract comes into place. The current CBS theme which is not my favorite at all has had a bit of a rap to it, but we’ll see what they use in Week 1.
With the NFL extending its TV deals with existing partners, I read this spring that ESPN will gain more digital rights. Does that mean Monday Night Football will be streamed on ESPN3.com? Will NBC continue to stream Sunday night games?
Little Rock, Arkansas
You have a good memory, Ken. Yes, John Ourand, Terry Lefton and Daniel Kaplan wrote the story in Sports Business Journal back in March. I have an e-mail into ESPN on this and I hope to get an answer. If I do, look for an update in this post. ESPN appears to have streaming rights for Monday Night Football, but it’s not known where it will post the live video, whether it will be ESPN3.com, NFL.com or the main ESPN.com site.
As for Sunday Night Football, it appears that will be streamed once again this season at NBCSports.com and NFL.com.
Hi Charles. It appears that Time Warner and NFL Network will enter another season on the outs. While Time Warner Cable is about to hash out a new deal with Disney keeping ESPN on its systems, NFL Network remains on the outside looking in. NFL Network has hashed out deals with Suddenlink, the National Cable Television Cooperative, Cable One and Cox Communications this summer, however, it has yet to make a deal with two huge holdouts, Cablevision and Time Warner/Bright House. It’s very silly that this dispute has lasted this long. But Time Warner is a very stubborn company refusing to pick not only NFL Network, but MASN in North Carolina. I think you’re out of luck again this season. My sympathies to you.
I was and still am a loyal ABC Sports fan. I was really disappointed when ESPN took over ABC Sports several years ago. I sometime believe that ESPN can’t handle all of the sports they cover. For example, when the Arena Football League television contract moved to ESPN from NBC, the AFL folded after 1 season on ESPN. A couple of weeks ago, the AVP had to discontinue operations due to financial problems. This happened after they moved their television coverage to ESPN earlier this year. Coincidence? ESPN did very little promotion of these sports along with other sports that they cover. These days, it seems that SportsCenter is just a promotion for the NFL, MLB, college football & basketball, and nothing else.
Ok, first things first. I wrote two years ago that ESPN was trying to hoard events for itself and it was a thought that was scoffed at back then, but as we see now, this is coming to fruition.
This includes college basketball although the SEC Championship is on ABC in March. ESPN has the philosophy that with the digital conversion, cable is now on a level playing field with the over the air networks and can keep events instead of buying time on ABC, which basically what the ESPN on ABC productions are, glorified time buys. ESPN sells the ads and it buys the time on ABC.
By keeping events on cable, instead of shelling out money, it keeps the ad revenue while also taking money from the cable companies, thus the dual revenue streams that CBS, Fox and NBC were complaining over the last few years.
In a perfect world, yes, ABC would get more events. The local affiliates have complained that their sports inventory has dwindled almost to nothing and it’s legitimate. This was a huge complaint by the ABC affiliates during network meetings in the spring. The discontent could get bigger if ESPN gets other sports and doesn’t put a portion on ABC.
We’ll see if ESPN continues to keep events on cable.
This last question comes from a commentor.
Ken, who are the ten most influential individuals in sports media today? Is there anyone close to the level of importance and prestige that Rudy Martzke had for years at USA Today ?
Sports sure could use their own version of the Drudge Report ….
Ten? I’m not sure I could go that far. I have to assume you mean sports media writers since you mention Rudy Martzke. I’ll say upfront I was not a fan of Martzke because he played favorites (Bob Costas) and also seem to revel in silly verbal sniping between the networks which was by his own doing, by the way.
I’ll list the writers and bloggers whom I think have the most influence now. It’s in no particular order. These are listed off the top of my head.
Richard Deitsch – Sports Illustrated
John Ourand – Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily
Richard Sandomir – New York Times
Neil Best – Newsday (yes, even behind a paywall)
Barry Horn – Dallas Morning News
David Barron – Houston Chronicle
Tom Hoffarth – Los Angeles Daily News
AJ Daulerio – Deadspin
Paulsen – Sports Media Watch
Jim Williams – Washington Examiner
Bob Wolfley – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Jason McIntyre – The Big Lead
Dan Steinberg – DC Sports Bog, Washington Post
Barry Jackson – Miami Herald
That’s the mailbag. Thanks once again for your questions. Let’s do this again in October.