Let’s do a few sports media thoughts and a couple non-sports thoughts. They’re in bullet form, of course.
- Fox did its usual good job in covering the MLB All-Star Game. The production was spot on. Joe Buck was decent. Ken Rosenthal was good in his role. Fox did not shove Erin Andrews down our throats in her Fox debut as she made just a few appearances. Tim McCarver’s analysis still is lacking and there were times when his statements were head scratchers (“Electric stuff is a new baseball term”). Basing it on the pictures and replays, Fox usually steps up and it did so on Tuesday.
However, the postgame ceremonies with All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera were quite awkward as MLB Commissioner Bud Selig looked confused and wooden like he always does and MLB Nerwork’s Matt Vasgersian wasn’t helpful as Cabrera had difficulty speaking English, yet Matt didn’t try to bail him out. He just let Melky struggle. Bad spot by Matt there.
While the game was a blowout early and there was most likely a late tune out factor, the All-Star Game’s ratings will probably be on a par with last year’s all-time record low 6.9 rating.
- On Monday night, ESPN carried the Home Run Derby and while ratings for this year’s event were up compared to 2011, one had to think the numbers increased despite Chris Berman’s presence behind the mic.
While the Derby itself was dull, the highlight of the broadcast was Hall of Fame Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett bringing barbecue ribs to the set and seeing John Kruk demolish them.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Chris Berman’s act is old. ESPN puts him on the U.S. Open and Home Run Derby every year and the complaints about his performance pick up on social media. Every ball that was hit started with either a “WOW!” or an “OH!” How is that a good call? And when Berman tried to get cute with geography by saying one blast was headed to Omaha, Brett chimed in with “Wrong direction,” which made my night.
Berman is not a play-by man and I wish he was taken off the Home Run Derby.
The social media bashing of Berman will rise to new heights next month when he handles his first NFL play-by-play assignment.
- The Big Lead reported on Tuesday that ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball voice Dan Shulman could be in demand when his contract expires later this year.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead wrote that Fox and possibly, NBC would be interested in Shulman’s services. Of course, Shulman can call baseball and basketball, both of which he calls very well. If Fox retains baseball, Shulman could easily supplant Joe Buck as lead voice, call the entire season of Fox Saturday Baseball which Buck does not do, and have a role in the MLB Postseason for the network. He could also call college basketball for either Fox’s cable entities, Big Ten Network or Fox Sports Net.
Should NBC get a piece of the MLB contract, then Shulman again could be the lead voice and also call basketball if NBC gets Big East rights. Of course, NBC could also give Shulman an Olympic sport to call every two years.
And there’s always the option that Dan could remain with ESPN where he calls the League Championship Series and World Series on Radio and call college basketball with a few NBA games thrown in for good measure.
Shulman certainly has some options after the final out is recorded at this year’s World Series.
- After failing to come to an agreement, Viacom pulled 17 networks off DirecTV including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and Spike, among others. No one wins in these disputes. Both sides blame the other. It all comes down to money. Viacom wants more money from DirecTV, but the satellite provider says it doesn’t want to pay it. No matter what, I see a slide in the Viacom Network’s place. This is all unnecessary and avoidable, yet it happens time and time again.
- Is there a better network meteorologist than Ginger Zee of ABC’s Good Morning America and World News? I didn’t think so. She can chase storms for me any time.
And we’re done.