I hope you enjoyed your Labor Day Weekend. Let’s do a few sports media thoughts for you on this back to work Tuesday. They’re in bullet form as always.
- In this week’s Sports Business Journal, John Ourand reports that both Fox and CBS/Turner are looking to combine packages to force the other out of the MLB TV business. As you know, ESPN renewed its rights deal with MLB keeping Sunday, Monday and Wednesday Night Baseball and getting one Wild Card Playoff Game.
Now with one half of the MLB contract settled, it appears MLB is pitting Fox and Turner against each other. In the SBJ article which is currently behind the dreaded paywall, Ourand says Fox is proposing to take Turner’s playoff games which includes the Division Series and one League Championship Series and all of Turner’s regular season games. Fox would place the earlier playoffs plus most of its regular season inventory onto its current Speed channel which would be converted to all-sports and Ourand says it would called “Fox Sports 1″.
For its part, Turner informed MLB that it would interested in not only keeping its current package, but also taking Fox’s package including the All-Star Game plus its half of the MLB Postseason. Turner would bring in CBS to air the All-Star Game, some LCS games and the World Series.
It would be interesting if MLB decides to combine the two packages or just keep them separate. Plus it appears that ESPN won’t be receiving more than the one Wild Card Playoff unless MLB decides to throw the other bids out.
And it also appears NBC is on the outside looking in for now.
The MLB bidding is turning out to be quite intriguing. I would like to see NBC back in baseball, but it appears that MLB wants to keep at least two of its current partners.
- Last week’s announcement that Vin Scully was returning to call Los Angeles Dodgers games next season was welcomed on this end. The man is a national treasure and still is the best at calling baseball. Here’s hoping that he’ll at least one more World Series before he decides to retire.
- The NBC Sports Radio Network officially launches today with a nighttime lineup which includes Mr. Know It All, Erik Kuselias. While the dayparts from 7 p.m. — 5 a.m. ET have been filled and affiliates across the country have been signed up, the more important morning drive and midday slots have yet to be slotted. The big question is if NBC can bring in Dan Patrick for the 9 a.m. — noon slot.
- Nice to have college football back, although I’m not sure having Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech to end Week 1 on Labor Day was the best of ideas.
- Thanks to a horrid Red Sox season, I have not been more ready for the NFL than I am right now.
- I’ve enjoyed having CBS and CBS Sports Network combine coverage for the U.S. Open, although cutting off right at 6 p.m. on Sunday and giving way to Tennis Channel was a bit abrupt.
That’s going to do it for now.