Let’s provide you with three thoughts on this Tuesday. You know the drill.
- After learning that her contract was expiring, leading to speculation that she was about to leave, seemingly leaving, then indeed she was leaving, we finally got the official wordfrom NBCUniversal that Michelle Beadle was joining the company.It’s a good move for her. She’ll still have a hand in sports with a show on NBC Sports Network and appear on big events like the Olympics, NFL Kickoff, the Triple Crown and down the road, the Super Bowl. In addition, Michelle will be the New York-based correspondent for Access Hollywood. If you read the NBC press release, you’ll notice that there was plenty of mentions of her past entertainment work as well as her sports resumé.I know I said sports wasn’t in Beadle’s future and I was partly right in my thoughts. It will be interesting to see if her NBC Sports Network show will be weekly or monthly. I think the show won’t be a daily series, but you never know. Michelle will be a guest on an upcoming edition of Sports Media Weekly with Keith Thibault and I and we’ll be asking her what her role at NBC Sports will be. And I’m sure she’ll continue to be a Friend of Fang’s Bites.
- Before NBC’s Beadle announcement, the big news on Monday was the surprising development that ESPN had removed Pam Wardfrom its college football coverage. Since 2000, Ward had a weekly assignment starting with noon ET Big Ten games on ESPN2. While there’s no arguing that she was a trailblazer, becoming the first woman to regularly call football on a major television network, there was certainly no argument that she was polarizing among viewers.The original Awful Announcing site under original editor, Brian Powell named its Worst College Football Announcing Awards, The Pammies, after Ward. While some media writers like Aaron Barnhart of the Kansas City Star were squarely in her corner, your humble blogger found Ward’s play calling to be sorely lacking. For four years running, she was the “winner” of Worst Play-by-Play in my annual College Football TV Awards and had it named after her last year. Even with her not calling college football this year, the award will still be named in her dishonor.
Beth Mowins is the lone female on ESPN still calling college football and I think she’s much better than Ward.
- And another Monday development, CBS announced that it was sublicensinga package of ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 basketball games from ESPN. It’s something CBS had to do to continue airing marquee conference matchups during the regular season. While CBS dominates the college basketball postseason, it’s ESPN that carries the load of the regular with new contracts in tow with the three aforementioned conferences. It’s kind of like doing business with the Devil, but knowing you have to do it in order to survive. While that analogy is certainly a stretch, it’s not too far off as ESPN is the 800 lb. gorilla that has most, if not all the bananas in its possession.Let’s not cry for CBS here, it has contracts of its own with the Big East, Big Ten and SEC, but it needed a sublicense agreement with the Alleged Worldwide Leader to continue to air a diversified college basketball portfolio. I wonder if we’ll see similar arrangements for other sports with ESPN down the line.
We’re done for now.