As the 2012 Summer Olympics in London or officially known as Games of the XXX Olympiad get underway on Friday, let’s look back at how the 2008 Games in Communist China were covered by the English language rightsholders in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. I’ll provide videos of various opens, closes and how some of the events were called on NBC, CBC, BBC and 7 Network. In the cases of the CBC and 7 Network, 2008 marked the end of their Olympic roads. Unless CBC and 7 Network win the bids for the 2014/2016 Games, they’ll be shut out for another set of Olympics.
Let’s begin with NBC and its coverage of the Games of the XXVIX Olympiad in Beijing.
This is the opening to NBC’s coverage just as it was ready to show tape delayed coverage of the Opening Ceremony on August 8, 2008 (08/08/08). And we have a whole bunch of athletes which NBC showcased saying, “It’s not the triumph, it’s the struggle.” So dramatic. And you get the ending NBC’s Opening Ceremony coverage with a nice dedication to ABC’s Jim McKay who passed in 2008.
As the USA’s men’s basketball team took on Communist China, NBC surprised viewers by bringing back the “Roundball Rock” theme that had laid dormant since the network lost the rights to the NBA in 2002. It was nice to hear it again. Almost brought a tear to my eye. And note weekend host Jim Lampley who is no longer part of the Peacock’s coverage.
Here’s Tom Hammond’s call of Usain Bolt’s shattering the 100 meters World Record.
And we have NBC’s closing montage set to “Remember The Titans”.
This is CBC’s highlights of the entire 16 Days of Glory.
And to end CBC’s coverage of Beijing, it looks back at 40 years of Olympics coverage using Ali Slaight’s “Story of Your Life”.
CBC lost the contract to the 2010/2012 to the Canadian Olympic Broadcasting Consortium led by CTV. The rights to 2014/2016 are up in the air.
Here’s 7 Network in Australia and its open to its coverage of the Games in Communist China. A bit different to how it looks in the US. Matthew White is the host.
And here’s a 7 Network montage done to “Ready to Fly” by Amy Pearson. The song is about breaking up with a man, but whatever. 7 Network reworked it to fit its coverage.
This was released before the 2008 Games, the great animation used by BBC for the Olympics, based on the old Monkey TV series, this was done by Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn who also did work for the group Gorillaz.
Here’s a few minutes of BBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony. Just be patient after the weather forecast. Sue Barker hosts and throws it to Hazel Irvine, Huw Edwards and Carrie Gracie.
And this is a compilation of opens featuring Michael Johnson saying, “Previously at the Olympics”. I love these opens. The music is from “The Matrix Reloaded”.
This is a cool BBC review of Michael Phelps’ 8 gold medals in Communist China.
Finally, here’s BBC’s ending montage. I like this a lot. It’s done to Tom Baxter’s Miracle.
And that’s going to do it for the Videos of the Week. Enjoy the Olympics.
Let’s do the Monday linkage. Some interesting stories out there already.
I’ll start with some housekeeping from the weekend in regards to Saturday’s passing of Nick Charles.
Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski who wrote a wonderful and poignant article in March on Nick’s coming to peace with his cancer and how he attempted to make every day count, has another wonderful and poignant article on Nick’s passing.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun remembers Nick’s time in Baltimore.
Matt Schudel of the Washington Post has an obituary for Nick from another market where he worked before hitting it big with CNN.
Michael Marley at Examiner.com notes how boxer Mike Tyson made up with Nick before Charles’ passing.
Jason Levine of the Delaware News-Journal mourns Nick’s passing as well as USA Today baseball writer Rod Beaton.
Becky Schlikerman of the Chicago Tribune writes about Charles never forgetting his Windy City roots.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News also has a remembrance of Charles and calling his last fight earlier this year for HBO.
At Fight News, Nick’s Showtime partner, Steve Farhood, also gives his thoughts on Charles’ passing.
Now to other sports media and business news of the day and there’s quite a bit on this Monday.
One big story surfacing today is the potential bidding for the first half of a Thursday Night Football package that would begin in 2012. John Ourand and Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal write about it. I add some thoughts as well.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have filed for bankruptcy after MLB Commissioner Bud Selig rejected the team’s 17 year deal with Fox for media rights. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports on owner Frank McCourt’s filing in bankruptcy court.
The Times has the Dodgers’ statement on the bankruptcy filing.
Chris Dufrense of the Times has a good story on how the Dodgers lost their toehold on Los Angeles to the Lakers.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell reports on some of the biggest Dodgers creditors.
Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal writes that McCourt’s filing sets up a battle with Selig.
David McLaughlin of Bloomberg News also has a story on this latest Dodgers development.
Craig Calcaterra of NBC’s Pro Hardball Talk tells us what bankruptcy means for the Dodgers.
From Sports Business Journal, we have a couple of stories from this week’s issue.
First, Terry Lefton breaks news that the new Meadowlands Stadium, home to the Giants and Jets, is close to having a new sponsor for naming rights.
Tripp Mickle reports that Sprint is about to roll out a new promotion with NASCAR that will benefit both fans and drivers.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today explains how NBC’s tape delayed shenanigans at Wimbledon will work this week. This is the last year of NBC’s contract with Wimbledon. Let’s hope the shenanigans end in 2011.
Mike writes that ESPN college football analyst Craig James could be starting a political career.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reviews ESPN’s NBA Draft coverage.
Mick Mulvenney from Reuters says the International Olympic Committee says athletes can go on Twitter during competition during the 2012 Olympics so long as they don’t do it for commercial purposes.
Jason Fry writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center discusses some of the comparisons Grantland faces with the late, great The National.
SportsGrid notes some nutty behavior by some baseball announcers over the weekend.
SportsGrid has video from Wendi Nix’s subbing for Karl Ravech on Baseball Tonight from Sunday and it apparently didn’t go over well.
Fox Sports in Australia has announced that tennis analyst John McEnroe will be part of its Australian Open coverage in 2012. He had previously called matches for 7 Network, but had not been in Australia since 2004.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post feels WFAN’s Craig Carton can be a good listen when he wants to be.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY has ESPN Radio New York’s Jared Max reaction to the New York State Senate passing the same sex marriage bill last Friday.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that the Nationals’ TV ratings are beginning to surpass other teams in the market.
Dan has some observations from the news conference involving Wizards top draft pick Jan Vesely who made a big splash last week with a kiss from her girlfriend at the NBA Draft.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times shares his thoughts on the sports weekend on TV.
Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel says the local NBC station won’t be airing Wimbledon this week due to its wall-to-wall coverage of the Casey Anthony trial.
Jeff Korbelik of the Lincoln (NE) Journal-Star says a new local sports radio station will pick up programming from Fox Sports and Premiere Radio Networks in addition to having some local shows.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says soccer’s popularity is rising.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News has your Southern California sports calendar for the week.
Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News writes that the Pac-12 Conference is consideration all distribution options on both TV and the internet for its in-house channel.
Bruce Dowbiggin in the Toronto Globe and Mail writes about the NHL delaying a decision about participating in the Olympics and the media rights for the new Winnipeg Jets.
The Toronto Sports Media blog says expect to hear some changes at the local Rogers Sportsnet’s radio station.
With some upheaval expected for next season, Paulsen at Sports Media Watch has some announcing suggestions for the NBA’s TV partners.
At Puck The Media, Steve Lepore notes that the NHL Awards saw increased ratings on both Versus and CBC last week.
And Steve says NHL Network will pick up TSN’s coverage of the first day of the league’s free agent signing period.
Doug Farrar at Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner wonders if NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens injured himself during the taping of a VH1 reality show.
EPL Talk looks at ESPN’s coverage of the Women’s World Cup.
The Big Lead notes that Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban shot a new Transformers 3 movie ad.
Jack Dickey at Deadspin says it seems Marv Albert’s conviction on sexual assault charges has been long forgotten.
And that’s where we’re going to leave it.
Been to a couple of jobsites already today on this scorcher of a day. I hope you’re inside and not working. Not easy to be working out of doors with temperatures in the 90′s. Don’t overexert yourself and drink plenty of fluids. And most of all, stay cool.
Of course, the big story is still NBC winning the rights to four Olympic Games spanning from 2014 — 2020 for a whopping $4.38 billion. We have some links in regards to the aftermath of the bid and what it means for NBC and the other networks which bid.
Stephen Wilson of the Associated Press who broke the story has a recap of the bidding and NBC’s big win keeping the Games in the family.
Jessica E. Vascellaro and Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal says this was a huge win for NBCUniversal.
Patrick Rishe at Forbes asks if Comcast was crazy or crazy like a fox for bidding over $4 billion on the Olympics.
David Wilkerson of Marketwatch.com says Comcast certainly made a statement on winning the rights to four Olympiads.
David Goetzl of MediaPost says NBC got a big win for the future.
Karen Rosen with Ed Hula of Around The Rings speaks with International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge about why NBC was chosen again as America’s Olympic Network.
Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter notes that NBCUniversal is now stressing “Live” across all platforms for its Olympic coverage.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel has Comcast Chairman & CEO Brian Roberts stating that NBCUniversal will be profitable when all is said and done on these Games.
Michael Malone from Broadcasting & Cable has NBC’s affiliates cheering out loud about keeping the Olympics for the foreseeable future.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek notes that Olympics host Bob Costas helped to close the deal for NBC.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated talks about Costas’ role in NBC’s presentation to the IOC.
Brian Lowry of Fox Sports says NBC keeping the Olympics and keeping them away from ESPN is a big deal.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today says NBC’s $4 billion bid was a winner.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today wonders if NBC can make money on the Olympics.
Sports Business Daily has opened its paywall for today and let’s bring you some Olympic stories from this edition.
Tripp Mickle and John Ourand write about NBC’s winning Olympic bid.
SBD notes that NBC is saying there will be more live coverage in future Games, but exactly how much?
SBD says Versus is expected to play a big role in NBC’s Olympic plans.
SBD wonders if an American city will play host to the 2020 Olympics which would make NBC’s broadcasts more attractive.
James Poniewozik at Time wonders how much of NBC’s Olympic coverage will be live.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders if NBC can actually make money off the Olympics.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times goes over how the new NBC/Comcast will present the Games.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the emphasis of the new NBC Sports team is on live Olympic action.
Claire Atkinson of the New York Post says Comcast CEO Brian Roberts had no intention of losing the Olympics a month after NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol left.
Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the successful Olympic bidding was a huge win for Comcast.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner hopes NBC will step up and go live with the Olympics.
At the Houston Chronicle, David Barron writes about NBC outbidding ESPN and Fox by wide margins.
Anthony Schoettle of the Indianapolis Business Journal says the Olympics should give Versus a big boost in viewership and help one of its sports properties in the process.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says even without Emperor Dick Ebersol, NBC came in and won the Olympic bid.
In the Chicago Tribune, Philip Hersh speculates whether the IOC would be interested to have the 2020 Olympics in the United States based on NBC’s win.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times says it was NBC/Comcast that blew away the IOC to win the rights to four Olympic Games.
Phil Swann at TV Predictions feels NBC’s successful bid is a huge win for HD viewers.
Ben Koo at Awful Announcing says Twitter made the wait for the Olympic bidding quite fun.
Alex Weprin at SportsNewser asks “What’s next?” for NBC.
To some international reaction to NBC’s bid.
Glenda Korporal of The Australian says NBC’s win now raises the bar between 7 Network and Nine Network for the Aussie rights to 2014/16.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail writes a very uninformed article about NBC’s Olympic bid.
Jeff Lee at the Vancouver Sun looks at NBC’s win and how it might affect the rights in other parts of the world.
Matthew Garrahan and Roger Blitz of the Financial Times says NBC owner Comcast passed a big test in winning four Olympics.
And that will do it for now. I’ll do another set of linkage for other sports media news later.
Let’s do some linkage on this lazy Sunday.
Kari Lipschutz of Adweek writes that it’s a photo finish in the race to the US rights to the 2014/16 Olympics.
Rachel Cohen of the Associated Press looks into the Olympic bidding.
David Lieberman and Patrick Hipes at Deadline wonder what losing the Olympics could mean to NBC.
Jaqueline Magnay of the London (UK) Telegraph says the longtime Olympics rightsholder BBC is watching the US TV bidding with more than casual interest.
Glenda Korporaal of The Australian notes that current Australian Olympics rightsholder 9 Network is hoping it will keep the Games after taking them away from 7 Network for 2010/12.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News handicaps the Olympics bidding among the US networks.
Mike says viewership for the first two games of this year’s NBA Finals are outpacing the ratings from last year.
Mike writes that the NBC Sports Group is all over collegiate rugby this weekend.
Jackie Finlan of Rugby Magazine says NBC has put its full support behind airing rugby.
Pat Yasinkas at ESPN.com mourns the passing of Tampa Tribune sports editor Tom McEwen.
Phil Swann at TV Predictions asks if sports can save 3-D TV. I doubt it.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reviews the new book on Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post decides that ESPN is to blame for the world coming to an end.
Mike Harrington at the Buffalo News writes that MLB Network is trying to generate excitement over the MLB Draft.
Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that it’s time for Comcast to step up to the plate for the Olympics bidding.
Tim Whitaker at Philadelphia Magazine has this profile of Comcast SportsNet host Michael Barkann.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner notes that sports on television continues to gain traction with viewers.
Joey Johnston of the Tampa Tribune has the obituary for former sports editor and columnist Tom McEwen.
Mike Baldwin of the Daily Oklahoman speaks with ESPN softball analyst Michele Smith.
Kent Sterling reacts to Fox Sports Indiana dropping Pacers pregame host and sideline reporter Stacy Paetz.
Blair Kerkhoff at the Kansas City Star looks at the Big 12 distributing its TV revenue more evenly to member schools.
Woody Paige of the Denver Post has his look at “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World at ESPN.”
Kyle Ringo of the Boulder (CO) Daily Camera writes that Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott will hold some marquee events and games for the Conference’s in-house TV network.
Jill Painter of the Los Angeles Daily News says former Dodger Steve Garvey would join fellow ex-Dodger and current ESPN’er Orel Hershiser in a potential bid to buy the team from Frank McCourt.
Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu Advertiser notes that the Mountain West Conference now has to play catch up with the Pac-12 after it signed a megabucks TV deal last month.
Gayle MacDonald of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the Canadian TV landscape is getting crowded with the increased amount of players for sports TV rights.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing says ESPN’s Marty Reid wrongly called last night’s finish of the NASCAR Nationwide Race wrong. Oops.
Brandon Stroud at With Leather gets on UFC’s brainless analyst Joe Rogan for calling MMA writer Maggie Hendricks “a cunt”. Joe is an ass.
Sports Media Watch looks at NBC’s ratings for the first weekend of the French Open.
SMW notes that the PGA Tour’s ratings continue to rise this year.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media notes that after getting off to a good start, the NHL Stanley Cup Finals hit a big ratings brick wall on Saturday.
Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski also looks at the NHL’s mediocre ratings on Saturday.
Joe Favorito takes a look at two MLB teams which are trying to reach fans beyond their local areas.
SportsbyBrooks is looking into ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s relationship with 7-on-7 summer football camps which have come under scrutiny of the NCAA and the SEC.
Corey Nachman of the Business Insider Sports Page looks at the 20 Worst Sports Ads of All Time.
Sox & Dawgs has the video of NESN’s Jerry Remy making fun of on his on-air partner Don Orsillo’s capsizing of a paddle boat on Friday.
And I worked extra hard to squeeze as many links as I did today. I hope you enjoy them.
I don’t know what got into the water in Melbourne over the last two weeks, but tennis players showed some spunk and personality during postmatch interviews and press conferences throughout the fortnight. That is a very good thing too as tennis tries to regain popularity in the United States. If players continue to show humor instead of the boring same old, same old answers, then we might see some more of tennis in the highlight shows.
Let’s start with Caroline Wozniacki who decided that she would take control of a postmatch press conference after learning that reporters called her “boring.”
The following day, Caroline decided to have some fun with the media saying she got cut by a kangaroo. This ended up not being true.
Caroline did apologize for pulling one over the media on her Twitter account.
Round 2 with the media:) hope you enjoyed my kangaroo story, hope you know i was just kidding:) see you on tuesday for round 3!
But these interviews pale in comparison to Kim Clijsters’ interview with Todd Woodbridge of Australia’s 7 Network after her second round match. Kim and Todd are friends off the court and they like to tease each other. This has become viral.
Of course, there’s Li Na’s funny interview after her semifinal win over Wozniacki. Every wife and girlfriend could identify with Li’s comments about her husband’s snoring, inspiration to win, remembering the date of her wedding anniversary and dealing with her mother. As you can see from the reaction of 7 Network’s Sam Smith, she must have felt like the straight man to Li Na’s classic lines. Li became a worldwide star thanks to this interview.
And finally after losing a hard fought three set match in the women’s final to Clijsters, Li made some very funny comments about her husband again.
If I work for Breathe Right strips, I sign Li Na and her husband to an endorsement contract right away. What a great two weeks of tennis. Now, it’s to the winter tournaments here in the States, then the clay court tournaments leading to French Open in May.
We’re done here. Nice to have the Videos back again.
Today through Saturday, I’ll be scarce on the blog. My sister is getting married and I’m not going to be blogging much. In fact, I won’t blogging at all. The Viewing Picks and the posts you’ll see for the next three days have been done ahead of time. But I don’t want to lose you the loyal reader so I’m going to provide as much original content as possible so you’ll have these to tie you over until I return, most likely on Monday.
Even if news breaks, I won’t be able to blog, but know that I’ll be thinking of you while I’m gone.
This post is going to list the best announcers of all-time. I’m going to list these by sport, then do them by play-by-play and analysts. In some cases, I’ll also list local announcers. Of course, you’ll disagree with me because that’s what people do on the internet. And you can debate away.
Let’s start with the lists and go from there.
1. Vin Scully – Los Angeles Dodgers/NBC Sports/CBS Radio
2. Ernie Harwell – Detroit Tigers/California Angels/CBS Radio
3. Curt Gowdy – Boston Red Sox/NBC Sports/CBS Radio
4. Jack Buck – St. Louis Cardinals/CBS Radio/CBS Sports
5. Jon Miller – Boston Red Sox/Baltimore Orioles/San Francisco Giants/ESPN/ESPN Radio
At age 82, Vin has still got it. He doesn’t need a partner and continues to be the best baseball broadcaster. Ernie Harwell was a baseball historian and could weave tales with the best. Curt Gowdy was one of the first all-around broadcasters on network TV, calling baseball, football, basketball and the Olympics. Jack Buck’s call of Kirk Gibson’s home run in the 1988 World Series is one of the most iconic calls in the history of the sport. Jon Miller is one of the best announcers of his generation.
1. Tony Kubek – NBC Sports/TSN/MSG Network
2. Don Drysdale – California Angels/ABC Sports
3. Jim Palmer – ABC Sports/MASN
4. Jerry Remy – NESN
5. Jim Kaat – CBS Sports/MSG Network/YES/MLB Network
Tony Kubek was the best network analyst, bar none. Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan don’t even come close and don’t hold candles to Tony. And even in the 1990′s some thirty years being removed from the game, Kubek continued to teach viewers on the game. Don Drysdale gave great insights on pitching. Jim Palmer was the better and less verbose half of the ABC analysts teamed with Al Michaels. Jerry Remy is one of the best local analysts and could be on the networks if he so chose. And Jim Kaat continues to be an excellent analyst.
Best Local TV/Radio Teams
1. Harry Kalas/Richie Ashburn/Andy Musser/Chris Wheeler – Philadelphia Phillies
2. Ned Martin/Jim Woods – Boston Red Sox
3. Skip Caray/Pete Van Wieren/Ernie Johnson, Sr./Don Sutton – Atlanta Braves
4. Ernie Harwell/Paul Carey – Detroit Tigers
5. Jon Miller/Fred Manfra – Baltimore Orioles
6. Sean McDonough/Jerry Remy – Boston Red Sox
7. Marty Brennaman/Joe Nuxhall – Cincinnati Reds
8. Chuck Thompson/Bill O’Donnell – Baltimore Orioles
9. Harry Caray/Steve Stone – Chicago Cubs
10. Dick Enberg/Don Drysdale – California Angels
I’ve listened to a lot of baseball growing up and one of my thrills was to find the 50,000 watt AM stations carrying baseball. While I loved the Red Sox, I always enjoyed listening to the Phillies team on WCAU. Ned Martin and Jim Woods were the best radio broadcasters the Red Sox have ever had. Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren were comfortable listens on Braves games on TBS.
1. Howard Cosell – ABC Sports
2. Jim Lampley – HBO Sports
3. Tim Ryan – CBS Sports
4. Marv Albert – NBC Sports
5. Bob Papa – HBO Sports/Versus/ESPN/NBC Sports
Seriously, there wasn’t anyone better than Cosell calling a heavyweight championship fight. Jim Lampley is great now. Tim Ryan was tremendous doing CBS fights in the 1980′s. Many probably don’t know Marv Albert used to call a fight every Sunday on NBC SportsWorld in the 80′s. Bob Papa is a very good announcer now for HBO.
1. Dick Enberg – NBC Sports/CBS Sports
2. Brent Musberger – CBS Sports/ESPN
3. Curt Gowdy – NBC Sports
4. Jim Nantz – CBS Sports
5. Verne Lundquist – CBS Sports
Nothing needs to be added to this list. Enberg did UCLA basketball in its heyday when the school was winning championships and went to NBC where he was teamed with Billy Packer and Al McGuire as the one of the best broadcasting tandems ever. The others on the list can speak for themselves.
1. Billy Packer – Raycom/NBC Sports/CBS Sports
2. Al McGuire – NBC Sports/CBS Sports
3. Clark Kellogg – ESPN/CBS Sports
4. Quinn Buckner – CBS Sports/ESPN
5. Len Elmore – CBS Sports/ESPN
I used to love Billy Packer on the games up until the 21st Century when he seemed to become disinterested, bitter, crotchety and cranky. During his early career, he was very good in finding the nuances to college basketball and picking up trends, but he seemed to forget that in his later years. His overall body of work was good enough to be on top.
Best Local Play-by-play
1. Cawood Ledford – Kentucky
2. Woody Durham – North Carolina
3. Bob Harris – Duke
4. Paul Keels – Ohio State University
5. Gene Deckerhoff – Florida State University
I did the same for college basketball as I did for baseball, finding games on the radio. In addition, Cawood Ledford called the Final Four on radio for NBC and CBS Radio well into the 1980′s. Excellent announcer and still beloved by old school Kentucky fans. Woody Durham is a legend among Tar Heel fans.
1. Keith Jackson – ABC Sports
2. Ron Franklin – ESPN
3. Brent Musburger – CBS Sports/ABC Sports/ESPN
4. Verne Lundquist – CBS Sports
5. Tom Hammond – NBC Sports
Keith was the best hands down. Ron Franklin is still great. Brent can spot a big story from a mile away. Uncle Verne on SEC games is as comfortable a fit as you can get.
1. Frank Broyles – ABC Sports
2. Pat Haden – CBS Sports/NBC Sports
3. Gary Danielson – ABC Sports/ESPN/CBS Sports
4. Dan Fouts – ESPN
5. Ara Parseghian – ABC Sports/CBS Sports
1. Marv Albert – NBC Sports/TNT
2. Dick Stockton – CBS Sports/TNT
3. Mike Gorman – Comcast SportsNet New England
4. Brent Musburger – CBS Sports
5. Mike Tirico – ESPN
Marv is probably the best ever at calling the NBA.
1. Doug Collins – NBC Sports/TNT
2. Hubie Brown – USA Network/CBS Sports/TNT/ESPN
3. Bill Walton – NBC Sports/ESPN
4. Charles Barkley – TNT/TBS
5. Kenny Smith – TNT/TBS
1. Al Michaels – ABC Sports/NBC Sports
2. Dick Enberg – NBC Sports/CBS Sports
3. Pat Summerall – CBS Sports/Fox Sports
4. Charlie Jones – ABC Sports/NBC Sports
5. Don Criqui – NBC Sports/CBS Sports
Al Michaels is another announcer who can call multiple sports well, except for the NBA which he seemingly didn’t care for. But the NFL has become his calling and he’s the best.
1. John Madden – CBS Sports/ABC Sports/NBC Sports
2. Hank Stram – CBS Sports/CBS Radio
3. Merlin Olsen – NBC Sports/CBS Sports
4. Dan Dierdorf – ABC Sports/CBS Sports
5. Phil Simms – ESPN/NBC Sports/CBS Sports
Seriously, could anyone be ranked over Madden?
1. Mike Emrick – ESPN/NBC Sports
2. Dan Kelly – CBS Sports/USA Network
3. Bob Cole – CBC
4. Chris Cuthbert – CBC/NBC Sports/TSN
5. Jiggs MacDonald – SportsChannel America
For the longest time, I felt the late Dan Kelly was the best in calling hockey (I never heard Foster Hewitt), but Mike Emrick has surpassed him in this decade. Four out of the five I’ve listed have been honored with Foster Hewitt Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame and deservedly so. Cuthbert should be soon.
1. John Davidson – MSG Network/Fox Sports/ESPN/NBC Sports/Versus
2. Harry Neale – CBC
3. Ed Olcyzk – NBC Sports
4. Mickey Redmond – CBC/Fox Sports Detroit
5. Don Cherry – CBC
JD’s got into the Hall of Fame last year and I’m surprised it took that long. Harry Neale was very good until his later years, but is still doing decently for MSG Buffalo on Sabres games.
Best Local Play-by-play
1. Bob Wilson – Boston Bruins
2. Ron Weber – Washington Capitals
3. Chuck Kaiton – Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes
4. Mike Lange – Pittsburgh Penguins
5. Pat Foley – Chicago Blackhawks
Again, four of out of five here are in the Hockey Hall of Fame, Weber being the most recent this year. Pat Foley should be honored. Bob Wilson really gave me my love for hockey while calling Bruins games. Ron Weber educated fans on hockey in DC. Chuck Kaiton had to endure some really bad teams in Hartford before finally calling a Stanley Cup in Carolina. Only Mike Lange can say, “You can scratch my back with a hacksaw,” or “Lord Stanley, Lord Stanley, give me the brandy,” or “Tell Granny the bingo game is over.” Pat Foley is back with the Blackhawks after being exiled to the AHL Wolves. He should be in the Hall of Fame too.
1. Dick Enberg – NBC Sports/CBS Sports/ESPN2
2. Jim Simpson – NBC Sports/ESPN
3. Tim Ryan – NBC Sports/CBS Sports
4. Cliff Drysdale – ESPN
5. Pat Summerall – CBS Sports
1. John McEnroe – USA Network/NBC Sports/CBS Sports/ESPN2/7 Network/BBC Sport
2. Mary Carillo – USA Network/CBS Sports/NBC Sports/ESPN2
3. Bud Collins – NBC Sports/ESPN2/Tennis Channel
4. Tracy Austin – USA Network/7 Network/BBC Sport
5. Tony Trabert – CBS Sports
1. Bob Costas – NBC Sports/HBO Sports/MLB Network
2. Jim McKay – ABC Sports
3. Brent Musburger – CBS Sports/ABC Sports/ESPN
4. Ernie Johnson, Jr. – Turner Sports
5. James Brown – Fox Sports/CBS Sports
6. Howard Cosell – ABC Sports
So that will do it for this set of lists. Coming up later today, the Most Influential Sports Series of All-Time.
As tennis gets ready for the first Grand Slam tournament of the year in Melbourne, Australia later this month, you would think that Tennis Channel would pick up maybe one or two of the prep tournaments in Australia or New Zealand. Instead, Tennis Channel is showing the Masters Cup Doubles Finals from Communist China that took place last year!
You would think Tennis Channel could pick up at least one of each from the various home networks carrying the tournaments. 7 Network in Australia is doing Brisbane, TVOne is carrying the ASB Tourney in New Zealand. Tennis Channel would not have to send anyone, it could just pay a fee to the networks and we would be able to watch these tournaments here in the States at reasonable hours, just about primetime on the East Coast.
It is carrying the mixed doubles Hopman Cup from Perth, Australia this week, but I would like to see some singles action.
I just checked Tennis Channel’s website and it will carry the finals of Brisbane and Chennai this weekend, but it would behoove TC to pick up the action from the week as well.
It will carry Medibank next week, but the schedule has not been set. In my ranking of the sports specialty networks, Tennis Channel came in dead last of the six I listed. This is one of the reasons why Tennis Channel is stuck in last place. Not enough live tournaments and too much dependence on past action to sustain programming.
I have high hopes for Tennis Channel, but when I see what it pulls during the week, I come off quite disappointed. For a network that bills itself as the Home of the Slams, it also should carry tournaments leading up to the majors. Hopefully, we’ll see better coverage leading up to the French Open in May.
Let’s give you some linkage tonight.
David Scott of the Boston Sports Media Watch tells us that the Boston Herald is now talking with noted plagiarist Ron Borges about coming on board. Bad move if you ask me.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union wonders why Bills-Jags is not being shown on the local CBS affiliate this Sunday.
Bob Diddlebock of the Denver Examiner says ESPN did not match the Broncos’ high quality performance on Monday night.
Paula Duffy of the Examiner wonders if Keith Olbermann should be anchoring sports during the election season.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the possible sale of naming rights to the new Giants-Jets stadium and how it has ties to Nazi Germany.
In the Biz of Football, Maury Brown looks at ESPN’s use of virtual technology in a show the Alleged Worldwide Leader is producing with video game producer EA Sports.
Laura Nachman says NFL Films President Steve Sabol will be honored next week.
Adam Rose of the Los Angeles Times talks about ESPN’s College Gameday airing live from the LA Coliseum in advance of Saturday night’s Ohio State-USC game.
Etan Horowitz of the Orlando Sentinel says Bright House cable will add Big Ten Network to its lineup in central Florida.
But in Iowa, Michael Tidemann of the Estherville Daily News says despite Mediacom and BTN coming to an agreement, not all communities in the Hawkeye State can watch the channel.
The Big Ten Network says it will stream live games including some non-conference basketball games and other sports on its website for free. Football will not be streamed on the website.
Here’s CBS Sports’ press release on its live streaming of SEC games on CBSSports.com.
Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks with CBS Sports’ Gary Danielson about the SEC.
Jen Murphy of the Wall Street Journal talks with the vice president of content for CBS College Sports about his workout and his doing color analysis for Rutgers football.
Also from the Journal, Matthew Futterman talks with Fox Sports Head Honcho David Hill about a myriad of subjects.
Dan Slater of the Journal says the son of the late NFL Films voice John Facenda can sue over the use of his father’s voice in a commercial.
Shahaz Mahmud of Adweek writes that ESPN will debut a channel on social networking site Bebo that will offer highlights from SportsCenter and other programming.
Joe Favorito likes the way the George Foreman Grill used the US Open to gain brand recognition.
Keith Thibault of the Sports Media Journal had the opportunity to visit Fenway Park’s press box.
The Associated Press reports that last Thursday, the Washington Nationals scored a record low in the ratings on MASN against the Redskins-Giants game. Ooof.
Christopher Byrne’s Eye on Sports Media has a few posts tonight. We start with the announcement that the New York Times is eliminating its separate sports section to save money. Chris wonders if the Chicago White Sox is trying to buy off the media by allowing reporters first dibs to buy postseason tickets???? And Chris looks at Inside the NFL debuting on Showtime this week.
Bobby “Butch” Burney of the Sulfur Springs (TX) News-Telegram talks about ESPN coming to town to televise a local high school game this Friday.
Jimmy DeButts of the Birmingham (AL) Business Journal says a local sportscaster is suing his old station over a non-compete clause in his contract.
Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune reports that every Utah Jazz game will be televised and that includes all of the exhibition games.
Moving overseas, Dan Sabbagh and Amanda Andrews of the Times of London report that ESPN is seriously considering a bid for the TV rights to the English Premier League. They are currently held by Rupert Murdoch’s British Sky Broadcasting.
Going over to Australia, Paul McIntyre of the Sydney Morning Herald says Yahoo!7 (a consortium of Yahoo and 7 Network) and Telstra are crowing that they made more revenue online than NBC did during the Olympics.
That will do it for now. Since it’s late, I won’t have a review of Inside the NFL tonight. I’ll try to put one up on Thursday. Good night, now.
Well, the International Olympic Committee has been taking down videos of the Opening Ceremonies from Beijing on YouTube due to copyright issues. Various people have lost their accounts, others have seen their videos erased while others have been outright suspended.
If they chose to wait a few years, the IOC may have chosen to look the other way, but with so many TV partners paying so much money to broadcast the Olympics in Communist China, you can understand why the IOC wants to protect its brand. While I won’t post videos of the Opening Ceremonies, I do have some videos I can provide. Watch them now before they get taken down.
This is how 7 Network in Australia began its live coverage of the Opening Ceremonies. Opening shots of China before Matthew White threw it to the 7 Network crew outside the Bird’s Nest.
Although here’s a shorter, but better quality version of the above.
This is the intro from GWN which 7 Network’s affiliate in Western Australia.
Here’s how the intro looked from the official broadcaster providing the world feed, Beijing Olympic Broadcasting:
I’m not even going to look for intros for BBC, CBC and NBC as I’m sure those have been taken down. But since I’ve been on an Olympic theme over the last few weeks, I figured I would continue this week. Enjoy.
I’ve got to get up really early on Thursday so I won’t have the links for you right off the bat so you’ll have to make due with my Wednesday night links for now.
I’ll start with the NBA since the Association released its schedule today. I’m not a huge NBA fan so I was not into posting schedule-related links this afternoon. But I’ll give you some stuff now so you can peruse the games and plan your viewing accordingly.
I’ll go West Coast first as Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that the Lakers and Celtics have the maximum amount of national appearances on ESPN, ABC and TNT.
Awful Announcing has the ESPN/ABC schedule for 2008-09.
The Sports Media Watch says there are five, count ‘em, five NBA games on Christmas Day, all to be shown nationally. And the SMW breaks down the national appearances for each team.
And the Crowe’s Nest has a link to the defending champions Celtics schedule.
Moving from the NBA to the Olympics, where we go back to Ken McMillan who writes that WFAN will have hourly updates from Westwood One Radio. And Ken says 1050 ESPN Radio will air Westwood One’s nightly Olympics show.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a guide of NBC’s hosts and announcers for the Olympics.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times says despite what you heard about live coverage, a lot of NBC’s primetime Olympics programming will be delayed.
Pip Bulbeck of the Hollywood Reporter writes that Australia’s 9 Network is being banned from filming in and around Olympic venues at Beijing after rightsholder 7 Network caught a 9 Network photographer at the Water Cube and complained to the International Olympic Committee.
Stephanie Levitz of the Canadian Press says CBC is going all out for its last Olympics games for at least six years.
Scott Greczkowski of Multichannel blogs that both DirecTV and Dish Network have signed up to provide NBC Universal’s HD Olympic Networks as well as having foreign language coverage.
Lisa Snedeker of Media Life Magazine reports that ad buyers are nervous about protests at the Olympics.
Variety’s Brian Lowry and Clifford Coonan write that the Olympics are shrouded in secrecy over the Opening Ceremonies.
Broadcasting & Cable reports that the Daily Show will be sending Rob Riggle to Communist China to file reports from the Olympics.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail feels the start of the English Premier League on Setanta Sports later this month will hold its own against the Olympics on CBC.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable says an FCC test of white spaces using unlicensed mobile devices will take place at the August 9th Bills-Redskins game.
Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch remembers the time when the Boston Globe’s Will McDonough punched out Raymond Clayborne of the New England Patriots. True story.
And speaking of the Patriots, WBCN, the flagship of the Patriots Rock Radio Network has listed the four games it will stream for free at its website.
John Consoli of Mediaweek reports that Gillette will sponsor ESPN’s college football Kickoff Week which begins on August 28.
Back to Awful Announcing which shows that ESPN’s Erin Andrews is undaunted after being criticized for wearing a quote-unquote revealing dress last week.
Here’s a transcript of a chat Hannah Storm conducted on ESPN.com in advance of the premiere of the live morning SportsCenter block next week.
Barstool Sports was happy to see the lovely Tina Cervasio back on NESN covering the Little League World Series Regionals.
The 38Cliches blog finds a video of former Red Sox announcer Jerry Trupiano being interviewed on local access cable.
Joe Favorito says it’s important for an athlete to be involved in their own branding and marketing campaign.
Britt Braudo of the Detroit News talks with CBS’ Ian Baker-Finch who’s part of the crew calling the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills this week.
Barry Silverman of the Maryland Press Box site looks at the week in sports media from the Baltimore perspective.
That’s it until Thursday links later in the day. See you then.
This will conclude the mega-update this morning with the 3rd and final part of the Videos of the Week. These are various promos from BBC, 7 Network and NBC for the Olympics which start in five days.
We start with the BBC Monkey which has already caused a buzz in the blogosphere for being one of the cool promotional campaigns for the Olympics.
Here are a couple of promos for 7 Network in Australia. This marks the last games for 7 Network. The woman singing in the promo is Amy Pearson doing “Ready to Fly” which is the theme for 7 Network for these games.
Here’s an extended version of the “Ready to Fly” promo.
This is an NBC promo featuring swimmer Michael Phelps and his dog.
This is a Bud Light ad helping to promote NBC’s coverage.
And finally, NBC’s standalone promo.
This concludes our look at the Olympics. It was a lot of work to research each week, but it was fun to do. I have no idea what the theme for next week will be. If you have a nomination, feel free to leave a comment below.
Ok, we’re in Part 2 of our Videos of the Week and we devote this installment to the 2004 Games in Athens. Again as in Part 1, we’ll depend on videos from BBC, CBC, NBC and 7 Network.
Here’s a promo for Athens done by NBC. Notice the extremely attractive people posing as athletes.
In 2004, NBC had the rights to NASCAR so the network tried to tie that and the Olympics together in this promo starring Tony Stewart.
And here’s the beginning montage for NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremonies as narrated by James Earl Jones.
This is how 7 Network of Australia began its coverage, a montage of shots from the Sydney Games from 2000. I like this opening as well.
The CBC opened its coverage this way. This is pretty good.
This is a CBC feature on how Athens got the 2004 Games, then host Brian Williams gives us a brief history lesson on how the modern Olympics came to being, then Terry Leibel and Hockey Night in Canada Ron MacLean talk about the CBC coverage in these Games.
And during the Opening Ceremonies, the names of the cities that previously hosted the Games are read aloud as a runner goes through various finish lines.
I like this opening for BBC Sport’s Olympic Grandstand.
When NBC does gymnastics, the heartstrings are tugged, the emotions are at an all-time high. This is Al Trautwig doing an over-the-top introduction to the All Around competition.
Great Britain wins the 4 x 100 meter relay in track, just holding off the United States. This was called by the BBC. Mark Lewis-Francis holds off Maurice Greene in the anchor leg.
For comparison, here’s Tom Hammond’s call of the same race. I believe Lewis Johnson is also calling the race for NBC.
To middle distance running and here’s the men’s 800 meter race won in an upset by Russia’s Youriy Borzakovskiy over the favorite, Wilson Kipketer of Denmark. Again, Tom Hammond was on the call, this time with Marty Liquori.
We have two double gold medal wins in track. First, Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj wins the 1,500 meters. El Guerrouj holds off Bernard Lagat, then of Kenya in the final straightaway. Tom Hammond and Marty Liqouri have the call for NBC.
El Gerrouj came back a few days later and won the 5,000 meters, pulling an extremely rare 1,500-5,000 double gold. Again, Tom Hammond and Marty Liquori are on the call.
Great Britain’s Kelly Holmes came into 2004 injury-free, but was not considered a favorite in the women’s 800 meters race as Maria Muutola of Mozambique was the defending gold medalist and caught Kelly four years earlier in Sydney. Kelly outduels her in the final straightaway. Kelly’s reaction was priceless and the BBC had the call. The announcers were funny as well.
And a few days later, Kelly brimming with confidence comes in and blows away the field in the women’s 1,500 to take double gold and become Dame Kelly Holmes. Note in the last lap, Kelly bounces off a push and takes the race. The BBC again was there.
In swimming, Michael Phelps wins the 400 meter individual medley. Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines have the call.
This is Ian Thorpe beating Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands and Phelps in the 200 meters freestyle. I believe this is from the BBC.
This is 7 Network’s call of Ian Thorpe winning the 400 meter freestyle over his countryman, Grant Hackett.
From NBC Olympic HD’s coverage, this is Craig Hummer and Dara Torres (yes, that Dara Torres) calling the 100 meter freestyle race that van den Hoogenband wins. No Americans in the final and Ian Thorpe won bronze racing out of Lane 8.
And that’s going to wrap up this segment. Coming up, some promos for 2008 coverage by the various TV partners.
With this being just five days before the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Communist China, I’ll give you various videos from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the last Summer Games in Athens. Then I’ll give you some promos from the Olympic network partners who are getting ready to bring you this year’s Games so the Videos of the Week will be split into three parts.
This particular post will focus on the 2000 Games in Australia which were run very well and were the best organized since Los Angeles in 1984. Because there are a bunch of videos from these games, I’ll be able to provide you with clips from NBC, CBC, BBC Sport and 7 Network which was the host broadcaster.
NBC’s opening was narrated by James Earl Jones and was made to be too melodramatic. I’m happy that the person who put this up won’t allow embedding. At the end, Bob Costas and the always too perky Katie Couric co-hosted the Opening Ceremonies.
For comparison, here’s CBC’s opening for the Games. I actually prefer this one as it’s not as over the top as NBC’s.
And here’s 7 Network’s opening for the games. The host did a pretty decent job introducing the moments leading up to the Opening Ceremony.
You want BBC’s opening of Olympic Grandstand you say? Well, here’s what BBC’s coverage looked like. Steve Rider and Sue Barker co-hosted.
And this is the second part of BBC’s Olympic Grandstand from September 15, 2000 as the Opening Ceremonies begin.
Usually, I’m not a big fan of the Opening Ceremonies, but this is one of my favorite moments from 2000 when James Morrison started this sequence, then the Australian singing group, Human Nature and Julie Anthony sang the Australian National Anthem, Advance Australia Fair. You could say this was the start of a lot of national pride for Australia during the Games. From 7 Network’s coverage.
I find it hard to believe that this is the only clip I can find of this particular moment. From the CBC, here’s Cathy Freeman lighting the Olympic flame. This was a very cool seeing the flame on hydraulics being lifted to its final resting place at Olympic Stadium.
Cathy Freeman was truly one of the great stories of the 2000 Games. She had all of Australia rooting for her and you could see a big weight lift off of her shoulders when she won the 400 meters. And a dramatic moment during her victory lap was when she lifted the Australian and Aboriginal flags side by side. This is the call from the BBC.
Another big moment for Australia was the 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay race in swimming which the United States had dominated for years. Gary Hall, Jr. made his infamous comment that the US would smash Australia like guitars. Well, Australia with the team featuring Michael Klim and Ian Thorpe. This is 7 Network’s call of the race with Dennis Cometti and Andrew Baildon behind the mic.
But the US got revenge after it also lost in the 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay, wnning in the 4 x 100 medley relay. Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines had the call for NBC.
Continuing with swimming, Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands defeated Ian Thorpe of Australia in the 200 meters freestyle as Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines shout through the race.
Back to track, this is the men’s 400 meters won by Michael Johnson of the US as called by the BBC. He was hoping to repeat his 200-400 double, but went down in the 200 during the Olympic trials.
This is the 4 x 400 meter relay as won by the USA. Michael Johnson ran the anchor leg.
From wrestling, here’s Rulon Gardner conducting the biggest upset in Olympic wrestling history, defeating Alexander Karelin. Ths is NBC’s Bob Costas introducing the match. I don’t know why the size of the video is so small.
Vince Carter for USA Basketball dunks over a 7 foot 2 inch center from France. Pretty good, I’d say.
Just before the Closing Ceremonies were to take place, CBC gave this preamble.
As the 2000 Games drew to a close, CBC gave this review.
And to close out the Games, Australian legend Slim Dusty came out to sing Australia’s unofficial second national anthem, Waltzing Matilda. The Closing Ceremony saw a lot of heavy hitters like Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John, Midnight Oil perform, but it was Slim who really gave the Closing Ceremonies its signature moment and seeing everyone in the stadium sing along gave me the feeling at that moment that the Olympics were truly a community. At the end, the CBC’s Ron MacLean and Terri Leibel wrap up coverage.
There you have it for 2000. Videos for the 2004 Olympics are coming up.