On this 4th of July holiday, let’s do some All-American sports media thoughts. They’re in bullet form as always.
- The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir gave us some food for thought in his latest column this week on the MLB rights negotiations. Richard raised the possibility of MLB awarding the entire broadcast contract to one network, having the company air all five jewels, the All-Star Game, Wild Card Playoffs, League Divisional Playoffs, League Championship Series and the World Series. However, that is highly unlikely. MLB has had one broadcaster in the past to air all of its showcases, NBC from 1965 through 1975 and CBS from 1990 to 1994.
In this current contract, ESPN and Fox share All-Star Game Week, TBS has the Wild Card Playoffs, TBS and MLB Network have the League Division Series, Fox and TBS split the League Championship Series and Fox carries the World Series.
With NBC extremely interested in getting back into baseball needing programming for NBC Sports Network, ESPN hoping to regain a piece of the postseason, TBS and Fox wanting to keep their present packages or even expand them (Fox does have plans to launch its own cable sports network) and MLB looking for more inventory for MLB Network, this negotiation looks to be a big battleground among the networks. Someone is going to leave the bargaining table very disappointed when all is said and done.
No matter what, Major League Baseball is bound to get very rich from the networks. As Sandomir reports, MLB currently receives $711 million per year from ESPN, Fox and TBS. Expect that to possibly reach or even surpass $1 billion when the dust settles.
- On Tuesday, Erin Andrews did what many ex-ESPN’ers do, make her first national appearance as an ex-ESPN’er on the Dan Patrick Show. While Erin didn’t trash her former employer, she did make some news by stating that she’ll be roaming the sidelines for NFL games in addition to hosting Fox’s college football studio and having a role on Fox’s MLB Postseason coverage.
Some have speculated that Erin might replace Pam Oliver on Fox’s NFL “A” team with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. That is not going to happen. Can you imagine what would happen to the Fox executive who had to tell Pam that she was booted from the NFL on Fox? Pam takes crap from no one and is willing to fight anyone at any time. That executive’s limbs would be ripped from his/her joints, so no, Pam Oliver is not going anywhere.
And let’s think about this realistically. Erin will host the College Football studio from Los Angeles. It would not be conducive to have Erin travel cross country especially when the Fox college football game will most likely end after 11:30 p.m. ET Saturday and then be on the sidelines for a potential 1 p.m. game on Sunday. Yes, she’ll work some NFL games, but if she does a back-to-back, it’ll be on the West Coast.
It will be nice to have Erin on the NFL.
- Is there any way for Fox Soccer Plus to sublicense some Australian Rules Football games to ESPN2? It doesn’t seem right not to have some Aussie Footy on basic cable.
- Some of you have asked and there is still no US TV for Canadian Football League games. The 2012 season started last week and the only US outlet was ESPN3 online. NFL Network had picked up CFL games in the past, but never went beyond the regular season and never aired the Grey Cup. Unless a cable network steps up, it appears the only way to see the CFL in the US is ESPN3. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.
Enjoy your 4th.