No matter what you think of Tim McCarver and judging from the reaction on social media, a lot of people are happy he’s leaving the Fox broadcast booth after this season. I was not a fan and felt he was overrated by the New York media when he was with the Mets in the 1980′s into the 1990′s. In addition, I thought he was verbose and overexplained things. However, you can’t deny his longevity in the booth and his career.
He’s been either the number analyst or co-number dating back to 1985 when he was with ABC Sports. McCarver has worked with some of the game’s best broadcasters including Jack Buck, Bob Costas, Dick Enberg, Sean McDonough and Al Michaels. He’s one of the few broadcasters who has worked for ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. And behind the mic, he’s been witness to some of the game’s greatest moments either as a local or national announcer.
So thanks to Fox Sports, we have a timeline of McCarver’s broadcasting career in addition to the partners with whom he’s shared the mic.
Here’s the timeline.
Tim McCarver’s notable broadcasting career began as his standout four-decade baseball career concluded. A three-time Emmy Award winner, he established his reputation as a first-guesser, which has always set him apart from other analysts, during a local broadcasting career that spanned 23 seasons and as MLB’s predominant national voice since 1984. His analysis and astute observations have become synonymous with Major League Baseball’s jewel events and most dramatic moments for 30 years. Below is a summary of McCarver’s impressive broadcasting credits:
LOCAL BROADCAST CREDITS
- 23 seasons as a local team analyst:
- Philadelphia Phillies: (WPHL) 1980 – 1982, 3 seasons
- New York Mets: (WOR) 1983 – 1998, 16 seasons
- New York Yankees: (WNYW) 1999 – 2001, 3 seasons
- San Francisco Giants: (KTVU) 2002, 1 season
- One of only three broadcasters to call local games for the Mets and Yankees
NATIONAL BROADCAST CREDITS
- 30 seasons as a national network MLB analyst
- NBC: 1980 – Analyst – Game of the Week
- ABC: 1984 – 1989 (6 seasons) – Analyst & Field Reporter
- Monday Night Baseball
- National League Championship Series – 1984, 1986, 1988
- World Series – 1985, 1987, 1989
- All-Star Game – 1986, 1988
- CBS: 1990 – 1993 (4 seasons) – Lead Analyst
- Game of the Week
- National League Championship Series (1990-1993)
- World Series (1990-1993)
- All-Star Game (1990-1993)
- ABC: (The Baseball Network) 1994 – 1995 (2 seasons) – Lead Analyst
- Baseball Night in America
- National League Division Series – 1995 (Inaugural Season)
- National League Championship Series – 1995
- World Series – 1995
- FOX: 1996 – through 2012 (17 seasons) – Lead Analyst
- FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week – 1996 – 2012
- World Series – 1996, 1998, 2000-2012
- American League Championship Series – 2001, 2003 – 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011
- National League Championship Series – 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012
- American & National League Division Series 1996-2007
- All-Star Game – 1997, 1999, 2001 – 2012
- 2012 Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
- Only MLB analyst to work for all four major broadcast networks
- Won three straight Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Event Analyst (2000 – 2002)
- Worked on-air every postseason since 1984 (28 consecutive)
- Called 23 World Series – a record
- Called 20 All-Star Games – a record
- Called Mark McGwire’s record breaking 62nd regular season home run in 1998
- Teamed with Joe Buck, his MLB on FOX play-by-play partner, a record 17 years as the network’s lead national baseball broadcast team
- Co-hosted HBO’s Race For the Pennant in 1978
- Field reporter for the National League Championship Series for ABC Sports in 1984
- Hosts the syndicated sports interview program, The Tim McCarver Show, currently in its 12th season
Dick Enberg (NBC Sports 1980)
Bob Costas (NBC Sports 1980)
Richie Ashburn (Phillies local WPHL 1980-1982)
Harry Kalas (Phillies local WPHL 1980-1982)
Andy Musser (Phillies local WPHL 1980-1982)
Chris Wheeler (Phillies local WPHL 1980-1982)
Fran Healy (Mets local WOR 1983-1998)
Ralph Kiner (Mets local WOR 1983-1998)
Tom McCarthy (Mets local WOR 1997-1998)
Bob Murphy (Mets local WOR 1983-1998)
Gary Thorne (Mets local WOR 1983-1998)
Don Drysdale (ABC Sports 1984)
Keith Jackson (ABC Sports 1984)
Al Michaels (ABC Sports 1985-1989 & The Baseball Network/ABC Sports 1994 & 1995)
Jim Palmer (ABC Sports 1985-1989 & The Baseball Network/ABC Sports 1994 & 1995)
Jack Buck (CBS Sports 1990-1991)
Sean McDonough (CBS Sports 1992-1993)
Jim Kaat (Yankees local WNYW 1999-2001)
Bobby Murcer (Yankees local WNYW 1999-2001)
Ken Singleton (Yankees local WNYW 1999-2001)
Suzyn Waldman (Yankees local WNYW 1999-2001)
Joe Buck (1996-2013)
Bob Brenly (1996-2000)
Kenny Albert (2003-2013)
Thom Brennaman (2003-2013)
Josh Lewin (2003-2012)
Mel Proctor (2003-2005)
Dick Stockton (2003-2013)
Matt Vasgersian (2003-2013)
- Steve Garvey’s game-winning home run off Lee Smith in Game 4 of the 1984 NLCS
- Umpire Don Denkinger’s infamous blown call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series
- The classic 16-inning sixth game of the 1986 NLCS between the Mets and Astros
- The memorable seven-game World Series in 1987 between the Twins and Cardinals (home team won every game)
- The Dodgers/Mets seven-game NLCS in 1988
- The 1989 Earthquake Series between the A’s and Giants
- The heart-stopping 1991 World Series between the “worst to first” Twins and Braves, considered by many to be the greatest Fall Classic ever (all seven games were won by the home team)
- The base hit by Atlanta’s Francisco Cabrera that scored Sid Breem with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth of the seventh game of the 1992 NLCS
- Joe Carter’s World Series-winning home run off Mitch Williams in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series
- The Yankees return to glory as they came back from an 0-2 deficit to beat the Braves in the 1996 World Series
- Mark McGwire breaking Roger Maris’ single season home run record in 1998
- David Cone’s perfect game for the Yankees on July 18, 1999
- The 2000 Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees
- The post-9/11 World Series in October 2001, a series that saw:
- The Diamondbacks take a 2-0 lead at home
- the Yankees roar back with three wins at Yankee Stadium, all by one run and Games 4 and 5 in extra-innings after needing to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie
- the Diamondbacks win Games 6 and 7 at home
- Arizona’s come-from-behind win in the ninth-inning of game 7 (on-air McCarver noted: “The problem with bringing the infield in against a guy like Rivera is that left-handed hitters tend to get a lot of broken-bat hits to…the shallow part of the outfield,” thus predicting Luis Gonzalez’ game-winning hit)
- The Angels first-ever World Series win the seven-game All-California World Series vs. San Francisco in 2002
- The nail-biting 2003 ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox that featured Aaron Boone’s walk-off pennant-winning home run in Game 7
- The Red Sox historic comeback from an 0-3 deficit to beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS
- The Red Sox sweep the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series
- The White Sox end their 88-year World Championship drought in 2005
- The Giants win the franchise’s first World Championship since 1954, and it’s first-ever in San Francisco in 2010
- The 2011 Rangers/Cardinals World Series including the epic Game 6 where St. Louis come back from deficits in the 9th and 10th innings and David Freese hit the game-winning, 11th inning solo home run to force Game 7
- Giants’ Pablo Sandoval’s three home runs against Tiger’s Justin Verlander in Game 1 of 2012 World Series
Some interesting material there.
I haven’t done a post like this in a very long time. Viewers take watching sports for granted. We watch the games in high definition or some cases, 3-D, get instant replays, we can rewind plays instantly on our DVR’s, know how far a team has to go in order to get a first down, see the score and time as soon as we tune into a contest, get taken to another game if the one we’re watching is a blowout and watch a profile of an athlete to get to know him and/or her better. All of these are standard fare in sports, but at one time, producers needed to think outside the box to make them realities.
Let’s review the five greatest innovations in sports television. You can agree or disagree.
5. “Up Close and Personal”
ABC Sports brought this to fruition for its Olympic coverage. Executive Producer Roone Arledge realized that viewers were not familiar with most of the athletes in the Olympics. To help to get to know them better, Arledge and his ABC Sports producers developed profiles of the athletes to make viewers care about them. They would show the men and women at home instead of training for the Olympics. There would be interviews in relaxed settings. Some would have voiceovers from ABC announcers while others had narration from the athletes themselves. No matter how they were voiced, the profiles served their purpose. Starting with the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics, Arledge titled them “Up Close and Personal.” While English teachers across the country cringed, viewers responded. And the profiles were used by all networks especially when NBC took over the Olympics. While the profiles are rarely used by NBC now, they still bring viewers closer to athletes.
Here’s an example of one ABC Olympics profile from the 1988 Calgary Games. This is of US Men’s Figure Skating Champion Brian Boitano as narrated by Jim McKay. As a bonus, you get a little preview of the “Battle of the Brians” between Boitano and Canadian Brian Orser with McKay and analyst Dick Button.
4. Fox Box
When Fox Sports surprised the sports world and purchased the rights to the National Football League in 1993, snatching them away from long-time incumbent CBS, the network promised to bring a new attitude to the game. They promised to bring younger viewers to the game as the ratings actually skewed to older demographics. And one of the first features people saw when Fox aired its first NFL game was a scorebug in the upper left hand corner of the screen. It was welcomed by fans all over the country. Former Fox Sports El Jefe del Mundo David Hill had brought something similar to English Premier League coverage on Sky Sports in the UK and felt it would work in the NFL. Boy did it ever. Other networks followed. Hill mentioned the Fox Box in the unveiling of Fox Sports 1 in New York, joking that he wished it was called the “Hill Box” instead.
It’s changed the way we’ve watched sports. Every network has had to develop some type of scorebug. If you look at any sporting event pre-1994, it looks strange not to have a Fox Box.
3. “Whiparound” Coverage
A key for NCAA Tournament coverage, it started either in 1980 on ESPN or in 1981 on NBC depending on which account you want to believe. With most people watching NBC back in the early 1980′s, the Peacock gets most of the credit for bouncing in between three buzzer beaters in the NCAA Tournament with host Bryant Gumbel navigating viewers from St. Joseph’s upsetting DePaul to Arkansas winning over Louisville on the only halfcourt buzzer beater in NCAA Tournament history and finally to Rolando Blackman’s jumper with no time left to steer Kansas State over Oregon State. That is when the Madness was added to March. Here’s the last two buckets of Arkansas-Louisville with Marv Albert on the call for NBC, host Bryant Gumbel is in the middle of the video.
ESPN perfected the format for the NCAA Tournament in the early rounds as it shared the event with CBS from 1982 through 1990. When CBS took over the entire tournament in 1991, it did its best to match ESPN’s whiparound.
ESPN also used the whiparound on its NHL coverage in the 1980′s into the 1990′s and currently uses it on its college football “Goal Line” and college basketball “Buzzer Beater” channels as well as on the NCAA Women’s Tournament. MLB Network also utilizes it on MLB Tonight, but nothing quite matches the whiparound on the NCAA Tournament.
2. 1st and 10 Line
It first debuted on an ESPN Sunday Night NFL Football game in 1998 and was quickly followed by its network TV debut weeks later on CBS on Thanksgiving Day. It was soon standard for every football game both college and pro. It’s mostly yellow, sometimes orange, but yellow has become the best color to stand out on a green field. Other lines are used for the line of scrimmage or to signify a kicker’s field goal range for a game winning score or for an onside kick. No matter the network, the 1st and 10 line has to be included in the game broadcast or it doesn’t feel right.
1. Instant Replay
Where would we be without instant replay? Not only do we want to see a replay on television, but for a controversial play on-site, we want to see it at the stadium. Replay began in 1955 on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada through a kinescope, but that was only a few minutes after the play was aired. Videotape replay or “instant” replay didn’t occur until 1963 when CBS Sports director Tony Verna invented a system to play back the shot that was just seen during the Army-Navy football game. It wasn’t in slow motion, but it was the first-ever replay of a touchdown in the history of sports television. And soon afterwards, the way we watch sports would change forever.
Replay is used to review calls in the NFL, home runs in Major League Baseball, three point shots in college basketball and the NBA and goals in the NHL. Without replay, games would be be seen and mostly forgotten. Games become memorable with replays. Now we can watch that great catch, that bone crushing tackle, that dramatic home run or that game-winning goal from several different angles. Imagine if Verna hadn’t called for the replay?
Honorable Mentions: Pregame shows, ESPN SportsCenter.
Those are my selections for the greatest innovations in Sports Television.
Last week, NBC Sports sent out a press release stating that it would begin its primetime coverage the night before the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In this press release, NBC made the bold claim that: “This marks the first time any U.S. media company has dedicated primetime coverage to Olympic competition – Winter or Summer — prior to the Opening Ceremony.” Sounds good, right? I mean, this looked correct and who would dispute this claim?
In his Monday media column, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch inserted that NBC claim (now since removed).
Thanks to both accounts for debunking the NBC Sports press release.
UPDATE, 5:15 p.m.: Heard from Twitter follower Eric Fingerhut and he tells me that ABC also aired a USA men’s hockey game on the night before the 1984 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Sarajevo in primetime on tape delay.
UPDATE, 6:20 p.m.: I’m also hearing from former ABC Sports staffers who told me they were angry about NBC’s claims.
UPDATE, 9:40 p.m.: Classic Sports TV and Media now has an ABC promo from 1980 showing that indeed, ABC aired hockey the night before the Opening Ceremony.
UPDATE, 3:45 p.m., 02/12/2013: Jeff Haggar of Classic Sports TV and Media has sent these two archive grabs, one from the New York Times and the other from the Washington Post showing that the Olympics primetime coverage started 33 years ago today at 9:30 p.m. ET and not 9 as shown above. Apparently ABC felt it wanted to get one last showing of the sitcom hit “Three’s Company” before the Olympics.
And there you have it. We’re done here.
I provide this table which has all of the Super Bowls to date including their networks and broadcasters. I thought you might get a kick out of it to see who has called which games. The CBS lines are in bold because this table was compiled by CBS.
SUPER BOWL BROADCASTERS HISTORY (1967-2013)
|Super Bowl||Date||Stadium/City (Network)||Broadcast Teams|
|I. Green Bay Packers vs. Kanas City Chiefs||1/15/1967||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA (CBS/NBC)||Ray Scott, Jack Whitaker, Frank Gifford, Pat Summerall (CBS);
Curt Gowdy, Paul Christman, Charlie Jones (NBC)
|II. Green Bay Packers vs. Oakland Raiders||1/14/1968||Orange Bowl, Miami, FL (CBS)||Ray Scott, Pat Summerall, Jack Kemp|
|III. Baltimore Colts vs. New York Jets||1/12/1969||Orange Bowl, Miami, FL (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis, Kyle Rote|
|IV. Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs||1/11/1970||Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA (CBS)||Jack Buck, Pat Summerall, Frank Gifford|
|V. Dallas Cowboys vs. Baltimore Colts||1/17/1971||Orange Bowl, Miami, FL (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, Kyle Rote|
|VI. Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins||1/16/1972||Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA (CBS)||Ray Scott, Pat Summerall,|
|VII. Washington vs. Miami Dolphins||1/14/1973||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis|
|VIII. Minnesota Vikings vs. Miami Dolphins||1/13/1974||Rice Stadium, Houston, Texas (CBS)||Ray Scott, Pat Summerall, Bart Starr|
|IX. Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1/12/1975||Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis, Don Meredith|
|X. Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1/18/1976||Orange Bowl, Miami, FL (CBS)||Pat Summerall, Tom Brookshier|
|XI. Minnesota Vikings vs. Oakland Raiders||1/9/1977||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, Don Meredith|
|XII. Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos||1/15/1978||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (CBS)||Pat Summerall, Tom Brookshier|
|XIII. Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1/21/1979||Orange Bowl, Miami, FL (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, John Brodie, Merlin Olsen|
|XIV. Los Angeles Rams vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1/20/1980||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (CBS)||Pat Summerall, Tom Brookshier|
|XV. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Oakland Raiders||1/25/1981||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen|
|XVI. San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals||1/24/1982||Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, MI (CBS)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XVII. Washington vs. Miami Dolphins||1/30/1983||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen|
|XVIII. Washington vs. Los Angeles Raiders||1/22/1984||Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL (CBS)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XIX. San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins||1/20/1985||Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA (ABC)||Frank Gifford, Don Meredith, Joe Theisman, Tom Landry|
|XX. Chicago Bears vs. New England Patriots||1/26/1986||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen, Bob Griese|
|XXI. New York Giants vs. Denver Broncos||1/25/1987||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (CBS)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXII. Washington vs. Denver Broncos||1/31/1988||Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, CA (ABC)||Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf|
|XXIII. San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals||1/22/1989||Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, FL (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen|
|XXIV. San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos||1/28/1990||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (CBS)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXV. New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills||1/27/1991||Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL (ABC)||Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Frank Gifford|
|XXVI. Washington vs. Buffalo Bills||1/26/1992||Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN (CBS)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXVII. Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills||1/31/1993||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Bob Trumpy|
|XXVIII. Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills||1/30/1994||Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Bob Trumpy|
|XXIX. San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers||1/29/1995||Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, FL (ABC)||Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Frank Gifford|
|XXX. Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1/28/1996||Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Paul Maguire, Phil Simms|
|XXXI. Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots||1/26/1997||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (Fox)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXXII. Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos||1/25/1998||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Paul Maguire, Phil Simms|
|XXXIII. Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos||1/31/1999||Pro Player Stadium, Miami, FL (Fox)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXXIV. St. Louis Rams vs. Tennessee Titans||1/30/2000||Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA (ABC)||Al Michaels, Boomer Esiason|
|XXXV. New York Giants vs. Baltimore Ravens||1/28/2001||Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL (CBS)||Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms|
|XXXVI. St. Louis Rams vs. New England Patriots||2/3/2002||Lousiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (Fox)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXXVII. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Oakland Raiders||1/26/2003||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA (ABC)||Al Michaels, John Madden|
|XXXVIII. Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots||2/1/2004||Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas (CBS)||Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms|
|XXXIX. Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots||2/6/2005||ALLTELL Stadium, Jacksonville, FL (Fox)||Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Chris Collinsworth|
|XL. Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||2/5/2006||Ford Field, Detroit, MI (ABC)||Al Michaels, John Madden|
|XLI. Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts||2/4/2007||Dolphin Stadium, Miami (South Florida) (CBS)||Jim Nantz, Phil Simms|
|XLII. New York Giants vs. New England Patriots||2/3/2008||University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ (Fox)||Joe Buck, Troy Aikman|
|XLIII. Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||2/1/2009||Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL (NBC)||Al Michaels, John Madden|
|XLIV. New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts||2/7/2010||Dolphin Stadium, Miami (South Florida) (CBS)||Jim Nantz, Phil Simms|
|XLV. Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||2/6/2011||Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX (Fox)||Joe Buck, Troy Aikman|
|XLVI. New York Giants vs. New England Patriots||2/5/2012||Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN (NBC)||Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth|
|XLVII. San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens||2/3/2013||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (CBS)||Jim Nantz, Phil Simms|
There you have it.
In the midst of all the silliness that’s going on in the world of sports (Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o), we learn of the passing of one of the greatest managers in the history of baseball, Earl Weaver. He died Friday at the age of 82.
Throughout the 1970′s, Earl guided the Baltimore Orioles to four World Series, winning one in 1970, and constantly having them in contention for the postseason in the American League East. Between 1973 and 1976, I can recall some of the most intense games for Boston Red Sox were against the Orioles. At the time, the New York Yankees were in a downward spiral and the O’s were the team to beat the AL East.
He had two tenures managing the O’s, from 1968 through 1982 and again between 1985 and 1986. He only had one losing season in his career.
Weaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for his stellar managerial career.
Earl was certainly known for having salty language. He certainly could swear on a dime as evidenced in one of my all-time favorite tapes, a prank Manager’s Corner that never aired, but was circulated for years in radio circles. This was done in 1982 as Earl recorded his pregame segment with then-Orioles broadcaster Tom Marr. It’s so funny. And yes, it’s Not Safe For Work.
I’m still laughing over this. I used to have a copy of this tape. I don’t know where it is now, but I used to listen to it constantly. Back in 2008, Rick Maese, then of the Baltimore Sun (now he’s with the Washington Post), looked into how the tape came to light.
Of course, Weaver was well known for his umpire spats. He was ejected 98 times during his career including from both ends of a doubleheader. And while he had a fiery temper, Weaver’s arguments were certainly entertaining like this one with umpire Bill Haller. Again, Not Safe For Work.
In this video from 1982, Weaver had already announced his retirement from the O’s. This marked his last game of his first tenure, a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in the last game of the season. The Brewers won to go to the American League Championship Series against the California Angels. Weaver was emotional. ABC Sports broadcast the game and the great Howard Cosell was at the mic to describe the scene.
In between his two managerial stints for the Orioles, Weaver joined ABC to become an analyst on Monday Night Baseball and joined Al Michaels and Howard Cosell in the broadcast booth. In fact, Weaver was in the booth calling his old Orioles team win the 1983 World Series for ABC as SportsRantz recalls. Weaver remained with ABC the following season as part of the “B” team with Don Drysdale, then rejoined the Orioles in 1985.
Following his last stint with the Orioles, Weaver did not venture back into broadcasting, choosing to attend various team events even to his dying day. Weaver died on an Orioles-themed cruise.
Weaver was beloved by Orioles fans and remained popular in retirement. He will be missed by baseball fans all over.
The last few days, I’ve been sick which limited the number of posts between Friday and Saturday. I’m still not feeling well, but I’ll be providing linkage and posts as long I’m physically able. To the links.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with NFL Network’s Melissa Stark about returning to sports television after leaving in 2008 to become a full-time mom.
Don Banks of SI looks at how NFL teams are adjusting to a full season of Thursday Night Football.
John Ourand & Michael Smith from Sports Business Journal report that ESPN is close to nabbing the college football playoff for many years to come.
John catches up with outgoing Fox Sports Media Group Vice Chairman Ed Goren who helped launch the company in 1994.
Eric Fisher at SBJ notes how MLB Advanced Media kept operating after Hurricane Sandy wiped out power in the company’s headquarters.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report looks at an unusual Comcast SportsNet Chicago documentary which went to Cambodia to tell a compelling story.
Kurt Badenhausen from Forbes explains how ESPN is the cash engine that drives Disney.
Joe Levine of SportsGrid tells us that Fox NFL Sunday had some technical issues during one of its halftime updates.
Brian Steinberg at Advertising Age says Century 21 will return to advertising in the Super Bowl in February.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post doesn’t understand the bubble screen.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has NBC Sports Network’s college basketball announcing teams.
Dave Zoren of the Delaware County Daily Times says Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and The Comcast Network team up for almost 70 college basketball games this season (scroll down).
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks about waking up with NFL AM.
The Charlotte Observer talks with CBS’ Jim Nantz.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times looks back at the weekend in sports television.
Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel says a fourth sports radio station launches in the local market today.
Christine Lee of NBC Dallas says ESPN is teaming up with the Irving Chamber of Commerce to attract businesses to the local area.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has DirecTV’s CEO complaining about Comcast SportsNet Houston’s subscriber fees.
Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman reviews the TV productions of the Oklahoma and Oklahoma State games from Saturday.
John Vomhof, Jr. of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal says a Fox Sports North reporter is leaving for a similar position at Root Sports Pittsburgh.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post feels Dick Vitale is key to any college basketball season.
Patrick Finley of the Arizona Daily Star says the Pac-12 Conference will no longer have exposure issues now that with new TV contracts with ESPN, Fox, CBS and of course, the Pac-12 Network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Tom has the five things he learned from watching sports over the weekend.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin notes that Minnesota Vikings QB Christan Ponder made a tongue-in-cheek comment about his girlfriend, ESPN’s Samantha Steele.
The Classic Sports TV and Media blog has a look at ABC’s Monday Night Football’s halftime highlights as narrated by the late, great Howard Cosell.
And that will do it for now.
Let’s do some links now.
Austin Karp at Sports Business Daily says the MLB TV partners saw record low ratings this season.
Sports lllustrated’s Richard Deitsch reviews ESPN2′s first foray into pro hockey since losing the NHL in 2005.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that Bob Costas is back calling postseason baseball for the first time since 2000.
Chris Strauss at USA Today says Monday Night Football on ESPN easily beat the MLB League Division Series on TBS.
Gary Mihoces of USA Today writes that former NFL’er, Monday Night Football analyst and actor Alex Karras has died.
Len Pasquarelli writing for SI.com has this remembrance of Karras.
At Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski recaps ESPN2′s telecast of Tuesday’s KHL game.
The Sherman Report’s Ed Sherman talks with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit about a resurgent Notre Dame program.
Ed says it appears that White Sox TV analyst Steve Stone won’t be splitting up with Ken Harrelson.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable notes that Andrea Kremer is joining NFL Network.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine looks at Philadelphia where there are a lot of radio and TV deals and where sports radio remains hot.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid has video of an awkward CNBC interview of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson in regards to …. Tim Tebow.
Michael Bradley from the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says the media has to appeal to fans to show compassion in the wake of Kansas City fans cheering the injury to Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel.
Ryan Hannable at Boston Sports Media Watch talks with NESN’s Jenny Dell about her first season as the regional sports network’s Red Sox on-field reporter.
Anthony Sulla-Heffinger, George King III and Mark Hale at the New York Post note that the Jets beat the Yankees head-to-head in the local ratings on Monday night.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times discusses WFAN’s move to the FM dial.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record also talks about WFAN going to FM.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says a local sports radio station will air selected AHL games.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post says Nationals fans are angry about the early start time for today’s NLDS Game 3 against the Cardinals and the fact that it’s on MLB Network.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle gets Milo Hamilton’s reaction to the Astros letting go of its radio team.
David has some local and national ratings.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman has the ratings of various events over the weekend.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Hall of Fame Reds voice Marty Brennaman will be throwing out the first pitch before today’s NLDS game against San Francisco.
Charles E. Ramirez, Ted Kulfan and Lynn Henning at the Detroit News remember long-time Red Wings public address announcer Budd Lynch who passed away this week.
Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune has new Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco talking about the league’s TV rights and possibly creating its own in-house network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notices the omissions for the Ford C. Frick Award for the Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcasters Wing.
Tom talks with Jennifer Allen, the daughter of the late Los Angeles Rams coach George Allen, who narrates tonight’s NFL Network “Fearsome Foursome: A Football Life” documenary.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says losing Hockey Night in Canada would create huge holes for CBC in more ways than one.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star says CBC is looking to fill NHL lockout holes with classic games as voted by viewers.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says CBC is hurt the most as the NHL lockout goes further into the regular season.
The Classic Sports TV and Media site gives us a fascinating look at how ABC filled college football and MLB Postseason conflicts with its #1 announcer for both packages, Keith Jackson.
Joe Favorito has some suggestions on how MLB teams could make money during rain delays.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing looks at the Boston Globe’s crusty curmudgeon Dan Shaughnessy blaming the internet for just about everything wrong in the world.
Sports Media Watch notes that taped delayed English Premier League action on Fox beat a live MLS game on NBC.
And that’s going to do it.
Sad story coming out from Southern California, Alex Karras, former defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions, actor in movies and TV as well as the third-ever analyst on Monday Night Football is near death. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Karras suffered kidney failure two weeks ago and is being cared for at home. Karras is considered one of the best players in Lions history having played from 1958-1970.
In 1974, he joined ABC’s Monday Night Football hastily replacing Fred Williamson who was fired after the preseason. Karras stayed with MNF through the 1976 season.
Karras also had a number of movie and TV roles. Among his most famous roles was playing in “Blazing Saddles.” He played George Papadapolis in the sitcom “Webster” with his wife, Susan Clark. Some of his other movie roles included “Victor Victoria,” “Porky’s” and “Against All Odds.”
Karras has been inducted in the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. As he is in hospice care at home to be joined by his family for his final days, we have a few videos showcasing Alex Karras.
First, here’s Karras being introduced as Mongo in “Blazing Saddles”:
We have Alex in a Schlitz Malt Liquor ad.
Here’s the intro to the 1980′s ABC sitcom, “Webster”
From 1975, here’s a rare animated open for ABC’s Monday Night Football with Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford and Alex Karras.
Finally, this extended clip shows Karras interacting with Howard Cosell from a 1976 MNF game featuring the New York Jets and New England Patriots. Karras and Cosell were certainly having fun in the booth.
I certainly hope that Alex rests comfortably in his final days.
I’m going to make a concerted effort to do linkage regularly again. It’s the reason why I started Fang’s Bites back in 2007 and I was able to do the links daily, even on weekends. But lately, my schedule has been so busy that the site has become a press release dump and I want that to stop.
So I hope to do the links every day for you this week unless I have to be off-site, but I’m going to do my best to bring you the linkage.
So without further delay, here’s the linkage.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about the drama that was the Ryder Cup at Medinah.
In Sports Business Journal, John Ourand notes that NBC Sports Network’s ratings have really fallen after getting big ratings for the 2012 London Olympics.
John reports that Fox Sports is about to renew its deal with NASCAR.
Over to the ESPN Front Row PR blog where ESPN PR maven Bill Hofheimer tells us that tonight’s Monday Night Football game between Chicago and Dallas will be Mike Tirico’s 100th contest. Congrats, Mike!
Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal delves into which MLB announcer is the most biased and the results will probably confirm your suspicions.
Bloomberg’s John Helyar, Scott Church and Scott Soshnick report on MLB’s secret TV deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report says the European post-Ryder Cup press conference was an embarrassment to golf.
Ed explains how the Ryder Cup become a coveted property for NBC Sports after it was originally a sleepy event.
And Ed talks with NBC’s Roger Maltbie about his first job in television.
Mike Barnes of the Hollywood Reporter remembers former ABC and CBS motorsports voice Chris Economaki who died last week at the age of 91.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says the Pro Bowlers Tour is back on ESPN.
As part of a special section, Advertising Age’s Brian Steinberg notes that NBC’s Seth Winter is one of the publications Media Mavens.
Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group writes about the launch of Comcast SportsNet Houston which kicks off on participating cable and satellite systems (not DirecTV though) today.
Mike McCarthy at Sports Biz USA talks about how track athletes are attempting to unionize to combat the International Olympic Committee’s Rule 40 which prevents them from being in non-Olympic sponsor ads during the Games.
At the New York Post, Phil Mushnick wants NBC’s announcers to kick Tiger Woods to the curb.
Newsday’s Neil Best says Fox’s Michael Strahan and co-host of “Live with Kelly and Michael” says he got good practice for his latest gig by talking with reporters when he was a New York Football Giant.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union talks with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with MLB Network Radio co-host Jim Duquette about the Nationals.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle tells us about today’s launch of the latest Comcast SportsNet regional sports network.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal and Sentinel says the Green Bay Packers got screwed by the replacement and the real NFL referees.
Chicagoland Radio and Media says WGN in Chicago, not WGN America, will air tonight’s Bears-Cowboys Monday Night Football game plus a locally produced pregame show.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch says former Comcast SportsNet reporter Sarah Kustok received an honor last week.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post notes that CBS’ Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will have called three consecutive Broncos games after next Sunday.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Tom has five things he learned from the weekend.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail says drunk tweets from an NHL player made the lockout hit home.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star previews this week’s Blogs with Balls 5 event which takes place in Canada for the first time.
At SB Nation’s Puck The Media, Steve Lepore notes that four sports networks will combine for 50 college hockey regular season games, none of them named “ESPN”.
Steve DelVecchio at Larry Brown Sports says comedian Norm MacDonald actually predicted the European Ryder Cup comeback on Twitter the night before Sunday’s matches.
EPL Talk says Fox Soccer needs its own English Premier League highlight show similar to what BBC has in its venerable “Match of the Day.”
Sports Media Watch says ESPN will shuffle an IndyCar race in primetime to ABC next year.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has ten minutes of bloopers from New York Yankees radio voice John Sterling.
Matt notes that NBC inserted salsa music for Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz after scoring a touchdown for the second time in as many seasons.
And that’s going to wrap up the links for today.
This comes from NBC and its Olympics media guide for 2012. This is one interesting chart that the network made and it contains the rights fees for all of the Olympics televised in the United States dating back to 1960. CBS aired both set of Games, Winter and Summer in 1960. You can see for the Winter Olympics in Sqauw Valley, CA, CBS paid a mere $50,000 to air just 15 hours of coverage. And for the Rome Summer Olympics, CBS paid a bit more, just under $400,000. And back in 1960, CBS had to fly film from Rome and have Jim McKay narrate the action. Much different than today’s production of the London Games which we will be able to see most everything in real time.
And you can note the way the rights fees have grown to the point where NBC is paying over $1 billion for the London Olympics.
Up until 1998, the Winter and Summer Olympics were bid separately. Until 1992, the Winter and Summer Olympics were held in the same calendar year and then in 1994, they were separated.
NBC set the tone by bidding for the 2000 and 2002 Olympics, wanting both Summer and Winter Olympiads. The 2002 Salt Lake Olympics were the first Winter Games NBC broadcast dating back to 1972 in Sapporo, Japan. And then NBC made a daring proactive bid for the 2004, 2006 and 2008 Olympics without the International Olympic Committee obtaining envelopes from ESPN/ABC, Fox or CBS.
So you can see the history of the rights as they have increased over the years. In 2011, NBC obtained the Olympics from 2014 through 2020, four sets of Olympiads for a total of $4.38 billion.
Take a look at the rights fees for the Olympics dating back to 1960 and the networks that broadcast them.
U.S. COVERAGE OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES
|Summer||Meixco City||ABC||43.75||$4.5 million|
|1980||Winter||Lake Placid||ABC||53.25||$15.5 million|
|Summer||Los Angeles||ABC||180||$225 million|
|2002||Winter||Salt Lake City||NBC||375.5||$545 million|
There you have it on the breakdown. 2012 marks the seventh consecutive Olympiad that the networks of NBCUniversal are airing dating to 2000. Again, from NBC’s Olympics media guide, a quick breakdown of how NBC obtained the Olympics from 2000 through 2020.
- In August 1995, NBC paid $1.2 billion to acquire the exclusive U.S. broadcasting rights to both the 2000 Games in Sydney ($705 million) and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City ($545 million).
- In December 1995, NBC and the IOC constructed a record-breaking $2.3 billion agreement granting NBC the exclusive U.S. media rights to the 2004 Summer Olympics ($793 million), the 2006 Winter Games ($613 million) and the 2008 Summer Olympics ($894 million). It marked the first time that the same network has been awarded the rights to five consecutive Olympics.
- In June 2003, NBC paid $2 billion for the exclusive U.S. media rights to the 2010 Winter Games ($820 million) and the 2012 Summer Olympics ($1.181 billion).
- In June 2011, the IOC announced that it awarded the U.S. media rights to the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games to NBCUniversal for $4.38 billion. At the conclusion of the 2020 Summer Olympics, NBC will have broadcast 17 Olympic Games and 11 consecutive.
You can see how NBC has valued the Olympics and managed to keep them in the fold.
This was compiled by the fine people at ESPN. Here’s the list of Monday Night Football announcing teams dating back to when the series began on ABC in 1970. Since ESPN took over production in 1998, there has been a lot of upheaval in the announcing teams and you’ll notice this especially since the series moved to ESPN in 2006.
Year Commentators 1970 Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1971 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1972 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1973 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1974 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Fred Williamson 1975 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Alex Karras 1976 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Alex Karras 1977 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1978 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1979 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Fran Tarkenton 1980 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Fran Tarkenton 1981 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Fran Tarkenton 1982 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Fran Tarkenton 1983 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, O.J. Simpson 1984 Frank Gifford, Don Meredith, O.J. Simpson 1985 Frank Gifford, O.J. Simpson, Joe Namath 1986 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford 1987 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1988 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1989 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1990 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1991 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1992 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1993 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1994 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Lynn Swann 1995 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Lynn Swann 1996 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Lynn Swann 1997 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Lesley Visser 1998 Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Boomer Esiason, Lesley Visser 1999 Al Michaels, Boomer Esiason, Lesley Visser 2000 Al Michaels, Dan Fouts, Dennis Miller, Melissa Stark, Eric Dickerson 2001 Al Michaels, Dan Fouts, Dennis Miller, Melissa Stark, Eric Dickerson 2002 Al Michaels, John Madden, Melissa Stark 2003 Al Michaels, John Madden, Lisa Guerrero 2004 Al Michaels, John Madden, Michele Tafoya 2005 Al Michaels, John Madden, Michele Tafoya, Sam Ryan * 2006 Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser, Joe Theismann, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya 2007 Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya 2008 Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya 2009 Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya 2010 Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya 2011 Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski ** 2012 Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
* Ryan filled in duringTafoya’s pregnancy/maternity leave
** Rotation of reporters (Kolber, Nichols, Nix, Paolantonio, Werder)
ABC – 1970-2005; ESPN – 2006-present
Last week, I asked you to vote on which themes should be the “official” tunes for each sport. This was a fun post and it was linked from Sports Illustrated. I appreciate all of the votes. The polls are now closed so let’s take a look at the results. I’ll provide the number of votes, the percentages and the video that will become the “Official” Theme Song for each sport. Some of the results will not be surprising, others may be.
Here they are:
Total Votes: 765
Which Should Be The “Official” Theme For MLB?
|ESPN’s MLB Theme||381||50%|
|MLB on Fox||299||39%|
|ABC’s Monday Night Baseball||85||11%|
The winner: MLB on ESPN
Total Votes: 713
Which Theme Should Be The “Official” Song For College Football
|SEC on CBS||367||51%|
|Present ESPN Theme||243||34%|
|Old School ESPN Theme||103||14%|
The winner: SEC on CBS
Total Votes: 719
Which is Your Choice for “Official” Theme For College Basketball
|CBS/Turner March Madness||628||87%|
|ESPN College Basketball (1995-2001)||62||9%|
|NBC’s 1980′s Theme||29||4%|
The winner: CBS/Turner March Madness
Total Votes: 748
What Should Be the “Official” Theme of the NBA?
|NBA on NBC “Roundball Rock”||663||89%|
|NBA on TNT||48||6%|
|NBA on CBS||37||5%|
The runaway winner: Roundball Rock
Total Votes: 735
Your Choice for “Official” Theme of the NFL
|ESPN’s Monday Night Football “Heavy Action”||343||47%|
|NFL on Fox||225||31%|
|NBC’s Sunday Night Football||141||19%|
|NFL on CBS “Pots and Pans”||26||4%|
Our winner: Monday Night Football “Heavy Action”
While this remix is good, I prefer the ABC version used in the late 1980′s.
Total Votes: 479
Which Should Be The “Official” Theme For The NHL?
|NHL on ESPN||225||47%|
|Hockey Night in Canada/Hockey Theme||161||34%|
|The Hockey Song by Stompin’ Tom Connors||37||8%|
|NHL on NBC||36||8%|
|NHL on Fox||20||4%|
The Winner: NHL on ESPN over my wishes for Hockey Night in Canada, but the voters have spoken.
Total Votes: 295
Which Do You Like As the “Official” Theme for Tennis
|Wimbledon on NBC||175||59%|
|USA Network’s US Open Theme||99||34%|
|BBC Wimbledon Theme||21||7%|
The winner: Wimbledon on NBC
Total Votes: 315
What Should Be Our “Official” Theme For Sports Anthologies?
|ABC’s Wide World of Sports||240||76%|
|CBS Sports Spectacular||52||17%|
The overwhelming winner: ABC’s Wide World of Sports as it should be.
This was very enjoyable to do. I hope to do similar polls with you in the future.
Since television began, theme songs have helped us to identify our favorite programs. This is certainly the case in sports where the theme for Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Wide World of Sports, the Olympics, The Masters and others have become iconic.
I thought about writing a post on which themes should be the “official” one for each sport since Paulsen at Sports Media Watch suggested ESPN trade for NBC’s “Roundball Rock” which became so identifiable with the NBA in the 1990′s.
So in this post, I’m going to provide nominees for each sport from the various networks and have you vote on which one should be the “official” theme. Results will be released next Sunday.
Two examples of how themes are identified with sports. The Olympics on American television have been introduced with”Bugler’s Theme” composed by Leo Arnaud. Played originally on ABC’s coverage of the Olympics starting in 1968, it was purchased by NBC and used starting in 1992 all the way to the present.
Here’s Bugler’s Theme in its original version.
And this is the version used by NBC which is composed by John Williams combining “Bugler’s Theme” with “Olympic Fanfare” which was written for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
The Masters has its own theme that has been used on CBS and around the world. The theme’s name is “Augusta”.
Those are two examples of iconic sports theme tunes. Now let’s go through the nominees for each sport. There will be no more than three for each sport except for the NFL and NHL otherwise this post could get ridiculously long.
I have three nominees for Baseball.
This is ABC’s Monday Night Baseball theme from the late 1970′s and one of my all-time favorites.
Here’s the MLB on ESPN theme. This is the current incarnation.
And the MLB on Fox theme that was used from 1996 through 2010, then Fox decided to use its NFL theme for all sports.
CBS March Madness Theme recut for its partnership with Turner Sports.
NBC’s College Basketball Theme from the mid-1980′s. Yes, NBC once had college basketball, kids.
ESPN’s college basketball theme from 1995 through 2001.
The SEC on CBS theme first introduced for Super Bowl XXI and subsequently used on its college football coverage, first the old CFA package in the late 1980′s, brought back in 1996 when CBS came back into college football after losing the sport in the early 1990′s and has been used ever since.
ESPN’s present College Football theme.
ESPN’s old College Football theme used until 1999. I like this one better than the current theme.
Here’s the NBA on CBS theme used from 1982 until 1990 when it left the sport for good. This is a clean copy of its open utilized from 1982 through 1988. The black spots are for video and voiceover. One of my all-time favorites.
The current NBA on TNT theme as composed by Trevor Rabin.
And you can’t have an NBA theme poll without NBC’s Roundball Rock composed by John Tesh and considered by many as the best sports theme of all-time. I’m inclined to agree.
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
We have four choices, one for each network.
This is known as the NFL on CBS “Pots and Pans” theme that was used from 1986 through 1988. I’ve preferred this theme over the others have been utilized since. And ignore the quality of the video, just listen to the theme. And it was called “Pots and Pans” because some fans thought it sounded like pots and pans banging.
The NFL on Fox theme, now the music used for all sports, originally composed in 1994.
NBC’s Sunday Night Football theme composed by John Williams. We’re not using the “I’ve Been Waiting All Day For Sunday Night” sung by Faith Hill for obvious reasons. Someone put a compilation of the current themes together. I like it.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football Heavy Action theme.
I’ll do five here.
The NHL on ESPN theme that was used through 2005.
How about the NHL on Fox theme that was used from 1995 through 1998? Here’s a compilation of the theme. You can still hear it on Fox Sports Net affiliates that carry the NHL locally.
Here’s the NHL on NBC theme that is currently being used. Different variation from its main theme, but you get the idea.
The Hockey Song by Stompin’ Tom Collins, probably the second most beloved hockey theme in Canada.
The old CBC Hockey Night in Canada theme which is now known as the Hockey Theme as it was purchased and now owned by TSN. Used since 1968.
We have three candidates for tennis.
The NBC Wimbledon theme which won’t be heard anymore as ESPN has the rights to the tournament.
When NBC was in the bad habit of tape delaying matches, I would find ways to watch BBC’s coverage which was always live. I got used to its Wimbledon theme and grew to like it.
And USA Network’s US Open theme music that we no longer hear unfortunately. Remember when USA actually had sports?
I don’t have a clean copy of ESPN’s tennis theme so the three we have will have to suffice.
Finally, we have the sports anthologies from the networks. This should be quite interesting to get your take. Anthology shows would put together various different events in one show, like track & field, barrel jumping, tennis or diving. ABC’s Wide World of Sports was the first of its kind on American television and then the other networks followed until the anthologies went extinct.
First, from across the pond, BBC’s Grandstand which was one of the longest running sports series on television. This ran until 2007. These are various opens from the 1990′s. This theme is catchy.
Here’s the open from the CBS Sports Spectacular from 1979 using Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
NBC had SportsWorld in the 1970′s and 1980′s. I like this music.
And the original that started it all in the U.S., ABC’s Wide World of Sports. The voiceover is from the late Jim McKay. This open is from 1984.
And that is going to do it. Vote and leave your comments on any omissions below.
On this day when many of you head back to work after the lazy holiday season, let’s provide some links as we get into the New Year.
I’m still saddened today by the passing of Turner Sports and PGA.com essayist Jim Huber. Reading the tributes on Twitter from those who knew him and those who did not, the man was widely well-liked. Jim gave us the facts, was willing to let the events come to him and never was one to call attention to himself. And when you finished reading or watching one of Jim’s essays, you felt the richer for having seen it.
Some links for you.
Scott Michaux from the Augusta (GA) Chronicle says Jim Huber’s passing was so sudden.
Michael Schulder, an Senior Executive Producer at CNN writes at SI.com, that Jim was not only a great writer, he was also a poet.
Ryan Ballengee at Golf Channel mourns Jim’s passing.
John Kim at PGA.com has an obit.
Carla Caldwell at the Atlanta Business Chronicle also has an obituary.
And the Turner Sports-run NBA.com has a story plus a video tribute to Jim Huber.
Other sports media links.
John Ourand & Michael Smith from Sports Business Journal report that Oklahoma University will have plenty of its sports programming seen in the Sooner State as well as Texas thanks to a new deal signed with Fox Sports.
Brian Steinberg at Advertising Age says NBC has sold out its Super Bowl XLVI ad inventory in sharp contrast to the last time it aired the Big Game when it was selling ads in the week leading up to the event.
And Brian writes that some Super Bowl advertisers are looking to make a big splash like Apple did with its famous “1984″ ad.
Alex Sherman of Bloomberg Business Week writes that NBC is getting as much as $4 million per 30 second ad for the Super Bowl. That’s a lot of money.
At the Hollywood Reporter, Georg Szalai writes about the neverending dispute between MSG Network and Time Warner Cable.
If you watched the NHL Winter Classic yesterday, you may have noticed a new ad from Bridgestone Tires with a fake press conference involving various ESPN personalities, one TNT analyst and if you’re really sharp-eyed, a reporter from Sports Business Journal. Shirley Brady of Brand Channel looks at the ad campaign that will climax at the Super Bowl.
To Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy where he laments the death of Versus.
Jeff Sonderman at the Poynter Institute looks at how Philly.com handled comments in the reporting of Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bill Conlin’s alleged molestation of seven children.
Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group mourns the passing of an ABC Sports production legend.
Dan Daley of SVG looks at how Turner Sports wired its NBA broadcasts when the league returned to play on Christmas Day.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that Time Warner Cable has put NBA TV in MSG Network’s channel slot.
Richard says HBO’s 24/7 on the NHL Winter Classic is another part of the network’s winning formula in sports documentaries.
Richard looks at the Super Bowl ads selling out and setting a revenue record for NBC.
Newsday’s Neil Best says NBC did its best to sell hockey during yesterday’s Winter Classic.
At Fishbowl NY, Jerry Barmash catches up with former WABC-TV sports anchor Scott Clark.
Will Leitch at New York Magazine wants to know what’s going on with the MSG/Time Warner Cable spat.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette tells Time Warner Cable subscribers what they’re missing tonight on MSG and MSG Plus.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that two ESPN’ers and also Capital Region natives get an on-air reunion during this week’s Orange Bowl broadcast.
Pete says Fox Sports Radio has debuted yet another morning show.
WCAU-TV in Philadelphia has announced a deal to pick up ACC Network basketball games this season.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has highlights of the DC NFL Team Radio Network’s season finale from Sunday.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times has some thoughts on the holiday weekend in sports television.
At the Houston Chronicle, David Barron writes that Jim Rome is promising a return to H-Town in the near future after his local affiliate dropped his radio show.
To the Daily Oklahoman where Mel Bracht says ESPN got the job done for last night’s Fiesta Bowl.
Dusty Saunders from the Denver Post is a fan of NFL RedZone.
Jason Quick of The Oregonian says Comcast SportsNet Northwest has struck a deal allowing fans without access to the channel to view Portland Trail Blazers games online. For a fee, of course.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times feels Fox Sports NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira should call things both ways.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL Winter Classic drew its lowest overnight rating ever.
Sports Media Watch notes that TNT is putting Charles Barkley courtside this week.
SMW notes the Rose Bowl saw its lowest overnight rating in years.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead says Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer is banning his players from Twitter and CNBC’s Darren Rovell is pissed.
Barry Janoff from The Big Lead looks at the aforementioned Bridgestone ad campaign.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has tweets from people angry over Matt Millen’s analysis during last night’s Fiesta Bowl. Millen was really awful last night.
Lots of good links for you today. That will do it.
This was just released by the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Tim McCarver, long-time MLB analyst for Fox Sports was named the 2012 Ford C. Frick winner for Broadcasting Excellence. Now McCarver and “Broadcasting Excellence” hardly go hand-in-hand. To me, the best moments for McCarver and “Broadcasting Excellence” are when he’s off the air.
For some reason, critics have raved about McCarver since he joined the New York Mets announcing team back in the 1980′s. He was originally part of the Philadelphia Phillies radio team but was dropped because the team didn’t think he was anything special. But when he moved to New York, suddenly the media press corps raved about him and he got a job with ABC in 1985 joining Al Michaels and Jim Palmer to form one of the most boring announcing teams of all-time. It was no fault of Al Michaels, but Palmer and McCarver could make an exciting game sound like a wake.
After ABC lost the MLB contract to CBS in 1989, McCarver was teamed with legitimate Broadcasting Hall of Famer Jack Buck from 1990-91 and then Sean McDonough from 1992-93.
McCarver rejoined ABC for the ill-fated Baseball Network from 1994-95, calling three games of the 1995 World Series with Michaels and Palmer.
Then in 1996, McCarver was hired by Fox Sports and with Joe Buck, formed one of the worst announcing teams ever. They have called the World Series in 1996, 1998, and from 2000 until the present.
Throughout his broadcasting career, McCarver has been verbose, dry, humorless and Master of the Obvious. There used to be a very funny “ShutUpTimMcCarver.com” website that compiled some of his worst statements over the years (i.e., “A walk is as good as a home run”), but that is no longer up and running.
Fans all over the country have disliked McCarver’s commentary, but he continues to be overrated by media critics and this award from the Baseball Hall of Fame not only is undeserved, but continues the inexplicable love affair with an analyst who’s time has come not only to leave the booth, but the game entirely.
I give you the press release from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
TIM McCARVER NAMED 2012 FORD C. FRICK AWARD WINNER FOR BROADCASTING EXCELLENCE
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Tim McCarver, who has served as a national analyst on networks for three decades and simultaneously shined as part of broadcast teams with four big league clubs, has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
McCarver becomes the second primary television analyst to win the Frick Award, joining Tony Kubek, who received the honor in 2009. McCarver will be honored as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2012, July 20-23, in Cooperstown, New York.
“Tim McCarver has been the face and voice of baseball’s biggest moments on national television,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. “His wit and intuition, combined with his passion for the game and his down-home style, delivers a trusted insight for viewers. Tim’s journey in reaching baseball broadcasting’s highest honor has connected generations of New York Mets fans as well as audiences across the country for more than 30 years.”
Born Oct. 16, 1941 in Memphis, Tenn., McCarver was a gifted high school athlete who signed with the St. Louis Cardinals after graduation in 1959. Scouted by Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey, McCarver debuted in the major leagues the year he signed at the age of 17, and by 1963 was the Cardinals’ starting catcher. The next season, McCarver helped the Cardinals win the World Series title, hitting .478 in St. Louis’ seven-game victory over the Yankees.
McCarver remained with the Cardinals through 1969, earning two All-Star Game selections while finishing second in the National League MVP voting in 1967. That season, McCarver and the Cardinals won the World Series, and the following year St. Louis again won the National League pennant. McCarver was traded to the Phillies following the 1969 season and spent 11 more seasons in the majors with the Red Sox, Expos, Cardinals and Phillies. He retired following the 1980 season.
Almost immediately after his retirement, McCarver began calling Phillies games for WPHL in Philadelphia. He moved on to the Mets in 1983, where he worked at WOR as the team’s primary television analyst through 1998. During this time, McCarver debuted on NBC’s Game of the Week before serving on ABC’s baseball coverage from 1984-89.
When CBS took over the World Series package in 1990, McCarver teamed with Jack Buck – the 1987 Frick Award winner – and later Sean McDonough from 1990-93. He broadcast national games on The Baseball Network from 1994-95, before joining FOX in 1996 when that network took over the World Series rights. Throughout much of that time, McCarver continued to broadcast for teams, including the Yankees (1999-2001) and the Giants (2002). McCarver also covered the 1988 Winter Olympic Games for ABC and served as an anchor for CBS’s coverage of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games. He has won six national Emmy Awards for “Best Sportscaster/Analyst.”
McCarver will be honored at the Hall of Fame’s Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 21 in Cooperstown, along with 2012 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Bob Elliott, who was announced on Tuesday. Ron Santo, who was elected on Monday by the Golden Era Committee, will be inducted as part of Hall of Fame Ceremonies on July 22, along with any electees who emerge from 2012 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced Jan. 9.
McCarver was chosen from a list of 10 finalists selected in October, featuring three fan selections from an online vote and seven broadcasters chosen by a research committee from the Cooperstown-based museum. The final ballot contained a mix of pioneers and current-day broadcasters: Skip Caray, Rene Cardenas, Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, Bill King, Tim McCarver, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel and Mike Shannon. Cardenas, Doucet, McCarver, Nadel and Shannon were the living candidates. In September, a total of 37,212 votes were cast in the Museum’s online fan poll for inclusion on the final 10-name ballot, with Shannon, Cheek and Doucet as the top three fan poll selections.
The 20-member electorate, comprised of the 15 living Frick Award recipients and five broadcast historians/columnists, includes Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Jon Miller, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker, 2011 Frick Award winner Dave Van Horne and Bob Wolff, and historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of NY Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).
The Ford C. Frick Award is voted upon annually and is named in memory of the sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and Baseball commissioner. The complete list of recipients includes:
FORD C. FRICK AWARD RECIPIENTS
Dave Van Horne
Voters were asked to base their selections on the following criteria: longevity; continuity with a club; honors, including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games; and popularity with fans. To be considered, an active or retired broadcaster must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous major league broadcast service with a ball club, network, or a combination of the two.
I have pretty much agreed with most all of the choices, but I vehemently protest this year’s recipient.
It’s Wednesday. It’s mid-week and it’s time for some sports media links. Let’s get to them without further delay.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with NBC’s Bob Costas about the “get” of accused child molester Jerry Sandusky for “Rock Center with Brian Williams”.
While NBC and Bob Costas are being praised for the Sandusky interview, Sofia M. Fernandez of the Hollywood Reporter writes CBS is being mocked for heavily promoting a disappointing “get” of Penn State assistant coach Mike McQuery.
If you didn’t see the :24 second interview, the Big Lead has the video.
Back to Michael Hiestand, he writes that two Penn State alums will be on the call for ESPN/ABC for the next two Nittany Lions games.
Patrick Rishe at Forbes says Golf Channel should see a ratings spike for the Presidents Cup for Tiger Woods and his ex-caddie Steve Williams.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable says despite losing UFC to Fox, Spike TV will launch a mixed martial arts newsmagazine.
George Winslow of B&C notes that HBO and Sports Illustrated will use social and digital media to promote their new documentary series premiering in 2013.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News advises NBA Communist Sympathizer David Stern to cut the “nuclear winter” rhetoric.
Mike says the Minnesota-Green Bay Monday Night Football game despite being a blowout, drew over 14 million viewers for ESPN.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says even though Fox’s UFC debut had a very brief fight, it still came out a winner.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes that mobile production companies are being hit hard by the lack of NBA games.
SVG notes that CBS Sports Network will be airing National Lacrosse League games in primetime next year.
Dave Miller at the National Football Post says ESPN analyst Bob Davies will be the new head football coach at New Mexico.
Tim Malloy and Daniel Frankel of The Wrap take a look at how the NBA’s TV partners are coping with a lack of live games this season.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the NBA Players are taking a $3.3 billion gamble.
At the Boston Herald, Michael Silverman reports that Don Orsillo of NESN will stay on as Red Sox voice while reporter Heidi Watney is apparently heading back to her native California.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe confirms Heidi’s departure.
Sean McAdam of Comcast SportsNet New England also has the story.
Sean notes that former Red Sox manager Terry Francona will take 2012 off and possibly pursue broadcasting opportunities for next season.
CSNNE’s Boston Bruins beat reporter Joe Haggerty says B’s forward Brad Marchand isn’t happy over a nickname created by a local sports radio talk show.
Greg Sullivan at the Fall River (MA) Herald says former NBA player Chris Herren has become a high demand speaker after the airing of his ESPN Films documentary “Unguarded”.
Amy Chozick of the New York Times says the NBA’s TV partners are trying to fill programming holes left behind by the lockout.
Claire Atkinson at the New York Post says NFL Network will put a full court press on Time Warner Cable during tomorrow’s Jets-Broncos game.
To Jerry Barmash and Fishbowl NY, he tells us that ESPN Radio New York broadcaster Jared Max will be honored by a gay publication.
At the Albany Times Union, Pete Dougherty has the Week 12 college football TV schedule.
Peter Van Allen at the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Monday Night Football analyst Ron Jaworski will be the local spokesman for a national tire chain.
To the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog where Dan Steinberg has CBS News’ Armen Keteyian defending his piss poor interview with Mike McQuery.
Dan says the local CBS affiliate has yet to replace sports anchor Brett Haber who left station three months ago.
Maggie Fazelli Fard of the Post looks at the ESPN Zone auction in DC.
Bob Molinaro at the Virginian-Pilot is not a fan of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman has the local ratings of the weekend sports action.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer says Time Warner Cable will air a couple of high school football championship games this weekend.
Scott Suttell of Crain’s Cleveland Business says ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt will host an awards show next year.
Bill Zavestoski of the LaJolla (CA) Patch says the local ESPN Radio affiliate will pick up Cal-San Diego basketball games.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Dodgers are suing Fox Sports for interfering in the sale of the team.
Chris Erskine of the Times reviews the new book on the late ABC Sports broadcaster Howard Cosell.
Also from the Times, Kevin Baxter and Joe Flint report that the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS are the latest team to join Time Warner Cable’s SoCal regional sports network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News also looks at the Galaxy’s move to TWC from Fox Sports.
Tom has the football TV schedules in both college and the NFL for SoCal.
From the Toronto Globe and Mail, Bruce Dowbiggin feels Bob Costas missed an opportunity to get real answers from Jerry Sandusky. What interview was Dowbiggin watching?
Steve Lepore from Puck The Media wonders why the Chicago Blackhawks-Vancouver Canucks rivalry hasn’t been aired nationally in either Canada or the U.S.
Kelsey Smith at Transworld Business says NBC Sports Network will be the home of Pro Motorcross Championship in 2012.
And that’s going to do it.
Let’s do some links for you now.
First, Sports Business Journal’s editorial team talked with ESPN and NFL executives on the decision to remove Hank Williams, Jr.’s open from Monday Night Football.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at the ratings from the weekend in sports television.
Mike Lopresti of USA Today writes about Turner Sports’ Ernie Johnson’s tough month.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today notes that Hank Williams, Jr.’s new song rips ESPN, Fox News and everyone else in his path.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that several ex-NHL fighters plan a response to CBC’s Don Cherry who called them out last week.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says former Red Sox manager Terry Francona got the job done for Fox in Games 1 & 2 of the American League Championship Series.
Lindsay Powers of the Hollywood Reporter says ESPN’s Monday Night Football game between Chicago and Detroit is the network’s 2nd highest rated game of the year.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that the NBA’s national and local TV partners are now scrambling to find other programming in the wake of the cancellation of the 1st two weeks of the regular season.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel News says YES Network is not happy over Cablevision’s live iPad app.
Adweek’s Anthony Crupi writes that ESPN/ABC and TNT will have to find a way to replace almost a billion dollars in ad revenue if the entire 2011-12 NBA season is lost.
Andrew McMains from Adweek looks at Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash spending the NBA lockout as a pitchman.
Media Life Magazine’s Toni Fitzgerald says the ALCS and NLCS helped to take a chunk out of the network ratings on Monday.
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports says the Big East feels ESPN definitely had a hand in its current inner turmoil.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid notes a sign in Detroit that made fun of an ESPN NFL analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group both broadcasters and production companies know they’re going to take a hit with the NBA lockout.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell gets Twitter reaction from real people about the impact of the NBA lockout on their lives.
Richard Goldstein of the New York Times remembers the late ABC, CBS and Fox Sports director Joe Aceti who worked many of sports’ biggest events.
Newsday’s Neil Best feels Joe Buck’s voice is coming back.
Neil says Terry Francona shows potential if he wants to be a full-time TV analyst.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has the Week 7 college football TV schedule.
From the Washington Post, the DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg has an old picture of Tim Brant and former DC NFL team QB Joe Theismann from a 1980 media guide.
David Teel from the Newport News (VA) Daily Press has Virginia and Virginia Tech athletic officials refuting what Boston College’s athletic director said about ESPN influencing the ACC’s decision to add Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has some local football TV ratings.
John Kiesewette of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Bengals hit their season ratings low on Sunday.
John says Fox Sports Ohio will pick up a good number of Xavier basketball games this season.
Eric Lacy of the Detroit News says preliminary ratings show both the Tigers and Lions pulled big numbers on Monday.
Jo-Ann Barnas of the Detroit Free Press goes behind the scenes with ESPN’s Monday Night Football at Ford Field.
The Free Press has three questions for Fox Sports Detroit MLB analyst Rod Allen.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says NBA broadcasters are officially on lockout watch.
Bob looks at the national numbers for the Green Bay-Atlanta Sunday Night Football game.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business hopes to have the NBA back by Christmas. Good luck.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog says NBA labor strife doesn’t help its local and national TV partners.
The Los Angeles Times notes that the USC Trojans have announced their basketball TV schedule.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog asks if Don Cherry went too far.
Sports Media Watch notes that Game 1 of the National League Championship Series hit its lowest ratings ever.
SMW has some various overnight ratings.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media has the final numbers for the NHL opening night on Versus.
Steve also has last Friday’s ratings for the NHL’s Europe game on Versus.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has the video of Joe Buck’s call of Texas’ walkoff win against Detroit in Game 2 of the ALCS on Monday.
And that’s where we’ll end things for today.
I was hoping today would be quiet, but instead, the Hank Williams, Jr. story is released and all hell breaks loose. What can you do?
Anyway, let’s do some links while I can. With Hank Williams, Jr. being the stop story, I’ll start with those links first.
I think those are enough links on Hank Williams, Jr.
Now to the other sports media stories of the day.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid says ESPN had Bobby Valentine and Herman Edwards get into an argument that made no sense.
Andrew Gauthier from Media Bistro’s TV Newser gets a video tour of the MLB Network studios. They’re nice.
Sports Video Group’s Ken Kerschbaumer remembers a legendary ABC Sports and Fox Sports director who passed away yesterday.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes about NHL Network getting a new master control area.
Bill Pennington of the New York Times profiles long-time Yankees radio voice John Sterling.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Syracuse’s game against Tulane will be seen in the New York area this Saturday.
The St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans notes the changes that Apple’s Steve Jobs made in TV viewing.
Chip Brown of OrangeBloods notes that the Longhorn Network will not air any high school highlights as part of a new agreement between Texas and the Big 12.
The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter remembers a local sportscaster who passed away today.
Craig Lyndall of Waiting For Next Year looks at the new Cleveland Cavs radio announcing team that will begin announcing the new season whenever the new season gets here.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that NBC’s Rodney Harrison is picking Green Bay to beat Atlanta on Sunday Night Football.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News takes a gander at the NFL TV ratings by market.
Tom has the college and pro football TV schedules for SoCal this weekend.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has the Hockey Night in Canada regional splits for October.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog recaps some of the NHL TV partners offseason moves.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the viewership numbers for the NHL Opening Night numbers on US TV dating back to 2003.
Tony Manfred of the Business Insider Sports Page has the video of the Busch Stadium squirrel that wreaked havoc on yesterday’s Game 4 of the Phillies-Cardinals series. Of course, the squirrel now has its own Twitter account.
Joe Favorito says the lesson from Steve Jobs is never squash creativity.
And that’s where we’ll end it today.
This from a story that I’ll be linking to in today’s links. This is from the Sports Business Journal and a story written by Tripp Mickle on how Comcast managed to keep the Olympics in NBC’s fold and away from aggressive bids from Fox and ESPN. It’s good reading. Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer also wrote about Comcast’s presentation to the International Olympic Committee and that story is in today’s links as well.
I wanted to provide you a chart that is in today’s SBJ story and it shows you how the rights for the Olympics have escalated since the Games were first televised on CBS in 1960. Up until 1992, the Winter and Summer Olympics were held in the same year, a pattern that was broken in 1994.
Take a look at the chart.
The Olympics on TV
|YEAR||LOCATION||NETWORK||AVG. PRIME-TIME RATING||U.S. RIGHTS FEE|
|1960||Squaw Valley, Calif.||CBS||NA||$50,000|
|1968||Mexico City||ABC||14.3||$4.5 million|
|1968||Grenoble, France||ABC||13.4||$2.5 million|
|1972||Munich, Germany||ABC||25||$7.5 million|
|1972||Sapporo, Japan||NBC||17.2||$6.4 million|
|1976||Innsbruck, Austria||ABC||21.7||$10 million|
|1980||Lake Placid, N.Y.||ABC||23.6||$15.5 million|
|1984||Los Angeles||ABC||23||$225 million|
|1984||Sarajevo, Yugoslavia||ABC||18.2||$91.5 million|
|1988||Seoul, South Korea||NBC||17.9||$300 million|
|1992||Barcelona, Spain||NBC||17.5||$401 million|
|1992||Albertville, France||CBS||18.7||$243 million|
|1994||Lillehammer, Norway||CBS||27.8||$300 million|
|1998||Nagano, Japan||CBS||16.3||$375 million|
|2000||Sydney, Australia||NBC||13.8||$715 million|
|2002||Salt Lake City||NBC||19.2||$555 million|
|2004||Athens, Greece||NBC||15||$793 million|
|2006||Turin, Italy||NBC||12.2||$613 million|
|2014||Sochi, Russia||NBC||NA||$775 million|
|2016||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||NBC||NA||$1.226 billion|
|2018||To be determined||NBC||NA||$950 million|
|2020||To be determined||NBC||NA||$1.43 billion|
NA: Not available; no television ratings system was in place before the 1968 Games.
* The United States boycotted the 1980 Summer Games. NBC’s coverage was limited to highlights and two anthology-style specials after the Games were completed, though the network still paid the full rights fee.
Sources: SportsBusiness Journal research, U.S. Olympic Committee, The Nielsen Cos.
Links will be coming up shortly.
I’m not going to go crazy with a full set of links, but some that are topical. I was all over the place today and could not do the megalinks and I’m not in the mood to gather a full set tonight. It usually takes over two hours to do the megalinks so I’ll do some national and regional links.
Sean Leahy of USA Today notes that the ratings for the first round of the NFL Draft were down double digits from last year.
Mike McCarthy and Michael Hiestand of USA Today debate who’s the real NFL Draft Guru.
Jeff Pearlman feels one of the more dramatic moments on ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage on Thursday was more exploitation than real.
Alex Ben Block of the Hollywood Reporter notes that ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage on Thursday beat The Office on NBC.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo talks about how CBS became a major part of the Manny Pacquaio-Sugar Shane Mosley fight.
From Multichannel News, Mike Reynolds says the NBC Sports Group set ratings records for its NHL Playoffs 1st round coverage.
Mike says NBA TV received its highest ratings ever on Wednesday.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek says stronger competition from the networks led to lower ratings for the NFL Draft this year.
From Every Day Should Be Saturday, Spencer Hall has this funny post on whether the late sportswriter Grantland Rice could ever work for the Captain Blowhard-led website, Grantland.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser notes that ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit has deleted his Twitter account over harassment from Ohio State fans.
Jason Dachman of the Sports Video Group says NBC and Versus have become a one stop shopping for the NHL.
Sports Media Watch says the overnight ratings for the Lakers-Hornets series-clinching game finished lower than last year’s comparable game, but still was strong.
Puck The Media has Versus’ complete game ratings for the entire 1st round of the NHL Playoffs.
Ryan Yoder at Awful Announcing reviews ESPN’s 1st night of NFL Draft coverage.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe speaks with NESN’s Jack Edwards.
Newsday’s Neil Best has the best of his blog in his sports media column.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick says YES’ Michael Kay isn’t getting the job done.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union says there was no mention of the “L” word during the NFL Draft (and no, I’m talking about the Showtime TV series).
In Press Box, Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com looks at Daniel Snyder’s attempted lawsuit against the Washington City Paper.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner looks at ESPN celebrating the 50th anniversary of ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
David Neal of the Miami Herald says the late Jim Mandich was giving of himself whether it was as a player or as a broadcaster later in life.
Joe Rose of WQAM writes in his South Florida Sun-Sentinel blog about how much he misses his friend, Jim Mandich.
Tom Jones in the St. Petersburg Times has a Friday version of his sports media column.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press feels ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft goes on too long.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer would like to hear radio coverage of NASCAR in the Queen’s City.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a look at the local sports radio ratings.
And Dan has a breakdown of the ratings.
Iowa Tube Talk notes that Versus’ website is now part of NBCSports.com.
John Maffei from the North County Times says it appears the San Diego Padres have a rights deal in principle with Fox Sports Net for the next 15 seasons.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star wonders how ESPN would have covered the Royal Wedding.
Jim says New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is making the media rounds.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times says Major League Baseball cannot approve the Dodgers’ deal with Fox Sports Net because Jamie McCourt has not signed off on it.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News says a panel discussion on sportscasting careers will be moderated by a Hall of Fame announcer next month.
Tom says Fox’s role in the Los Angeles Dodgers and in the McCourt ownership mess goes way back.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders if Winnipeg will get left at the altar in its bid to get an NHL team.
That’s going to do it.
Time for the Monday linkage. I hope you had a good Easter if you observed the holiday. If not, I hope the weekend was relaxing for you. Let’s go over the linkage for today.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball analysts like the idea of expanded MLB playoffs.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today reviews ESPN’s upcoming documentary on Steve Bartman and what he’s had to endure since becoming the scapegoat for the Chicago Cubs failure in 2003.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says NFL Network is going all out for the NFL Draft.
Jason Fry at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says like it or not, ESPN isthe standard bearer for most things sports media.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek notes that NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebserol could very well pull a successful Olympics bid out of his hat.
David Goetzl at MediaPost says ESPN should be given credit for admitting it’s wrong.
At ESPN Front Row, Dan Quinn looks at how the Alleged Worldwide Leader keeps the ABC’s Wide World of Sports flame.
The always lovely Kristi Dosh of The Business of College Sports tells us why an antitrust suit against the BCS won’t necessarily bring a playoff to college football.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says a year supply of 7Up is not a worthy prize for hitting a half court shot.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick was apparently in a bad mood when he wrote today’s mishmash of a column.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with executives from NBA TV and the NHL Network about their postseason coverage.
Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times looks at the weekend that was in sports television.
Steve Svekis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has Bill Parcells discussing his Miami Dolphins drafts in anticipation of his ESPN special on Tuesday.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman reviews ESPN’s broadcast of the Thunder-Spurs game over the weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says TNT’s Charles Barkley is apologizing again.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says Game 6 of Vancouver-Blackhawks on Sunday set yet another ratings record for Comcast SportsNet.
Ed tells Bulls and Blackhawks fans to get their remotes ready for Tuesday.
Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at ESPN’s Baseball Tonight paying a visit to the Gateway City.
Dan Caesar of the Post-Dispatch says ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball announcers had trouble getting to the city due to the violent storms in St. Louis over the weekend.
At the Denver Post, Dusty Saunders explores the humble beginnings of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage with Bob Ley.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News goes over this week’s sports calendar for Southern California.
Raju Mudhar from the Toronto Star says this month’s crackdown on online sites is forcing ESPN, TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and The Score to rethink their poker programming.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says 2012′s NHL Playoff starting times could be staggered like the NCAA Tournament to gain more US TV viewership.
The Sports Media Watch has the weekend overnight ratings for the NBA Playoffs on TNT.
At Puck The Media, Steve Lepore wonders if the Winter Classic saved the NHL on network TV.
Jim Weber at the Lost Letterman site says if you think the NFL likes seeing the Draft in primetime, then we may be in store for a lot more in the future.
Joe Favorito says the team concept does not work for every sport.
Emmett Jones of the Sports Business Digest says the NFL stands to lose $2 BILLION in revenue if it lost the entire 2011 season.
Ryan Yoder of Awful Announcing has the video of the usually solid Versus’ Dave Strader calling the wrong winner during Saturday’s Canadiens-Bruins game.
At Tribal Football, Andrew Slevison talks about ESPN2′s MLS ratings from last week.
Bob’s Blitz correctly calls for Colin Cowherd’s resignation from ESPN based on his sitcom deal working for CBS that is now in violation of the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s endorsement guidelines.
And that will do it for now.
On SportsCenter Sunday and into this morning, ESPN is airing this segment paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of ABC’s Wide World of Sports. This week, ESPN Classic is airing programs commemorating the anniversary and this particular segment is a very nice look back at some of the sports Wide World covered dating back to its humble beginnings in 1961 and its impact on sports television.
Great to see some of the old ABC Sports announcers like Al Michaels, Keith Jackson and Donna de Varona.
This certainly brings back some memories.
Let’s do some linkage. I couldn’t get to them yesterday as I was racing in between two offices and by the time I got home, I wasn’t in the mood to sift through media links. I’ll do some now and include some Friday stories.
First, USA Today’s Michael Hiestand looks at the old ABC’s Wide World of Sports getting some attention from ESPN next week.
Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal explores the battle over the Los Angeles Dodgers’ media rights between two big media giants.
Ronald Grover and Andy Fixmer of Bloomberg News says the Dodgers’ agreement with Fox for the team’s rights must be approved by MLB.
Stu Hackel of Sports Illustrated says the NHL deal with NBC Sports Group is a win-win for both parties and for fans.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says MSG Network is seeing high ratings for the New York Rangers.
Mike notes that Comcast SportsNet Chicago garnered record ratings for both the Bulls and Blackhawks on Thursday.
Mike says the soon-to-be renamed Versus will really be known as the Home of the NHL under the new NBC Sports Group contract with the league.
Mike reports that on Monday, an FCC Administrative Law Judge will hear the case of Tennis Channel’s carriage complaint against Comcast.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Dave Kindred remembers a Virginia sportswriter who gave it all for his paper and his love of Duke basketball.
Cam Martin at SportsNewser notes that the agent of former New York Football Giants running back Tiki Barber knew his media career was doomed from almost the beginning.
Dashiell Bennett at the Business Insider Sports Page has Josh Elliot’s emotional farewell to SportsCenter. Josh heads to become the news reader on Good Morning America.
Cork Gaines of the Business Insider explains why MLB won’t repeal its silly and archaic blackout rules.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell speaks with Ticketmaster’s CEO about bringing dynamic pricing into ticket sales.
Chad Finn from the Boston Globe speaks with Friend of Fang’s Bites Tina Cervasio of MSG Network and Chad also reviews the ratings of the two local sports radio stations.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union wonders if the NHL should have taken less money to get on ESPN.
At Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com takes a look at the Baltimore Orioles’ TV ratings as well as other Baltimore-DC sports media news.
Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner writes that there will be plenty of coverage for Rangers-Caps today.
Patrick Stevens of the Washington Times says Navy jumped at the chance to air its spring football game on CBS Sports Network today.
Dave Poe of the Parkersburg (WV) News and Sentinel notes that ESPN will pick up the annual “Coal Bowl” matchup.
Ken Tysiac of the Charlotte Observer says the college football game formerly known as the “Meineke Car Care Bowl” will get a new sponsor this year.
Barry Jackson in the Miami Herald says ESPN is streamlining its NFL Draft coverage next week.
Creg Stephenson of the Mississippi Press says local Atlanta Braves fans after being able to watch TBS for years, are now scrambling for ways to watch games.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has some sports media news and notes.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says a local sports radio host is leaving the area for a new opportunity elsewhere.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that former Reds shortstop and current ESPN analyst Barry Larkin could make his way into the team’s broadcast booth in the future.
John also talks with Barry who jumped ship from MLB Network to ESPN’s Baseball Tonight this season.
Rob Oller at the Columbus Dispatch says TV has changed the spring college football game into big business.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the Bucks’ TV ratings fell this season.
Bob says giving Bill Parcells his own pre-NFL Draft show on ESPN could lead to some good television.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports media and business.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says despite having throat ailment, Joe Buck continues to call MLB games for Fox.
Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune says it appears likely that Cox Cable won’t be airing Padres games after this season.
John Maffei of the North County Times reports that Fox Sports Net appears to have won the Padres’ TV rights although nothing is official.
John says the NFL lockout has put the Draft into an bigger spotlight.
Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star is not a fan of the NFL Draft.
Jim talks about the NHL landing big money in its new TV contract.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times looks at Fox and Time Warner Cable fighting over the Dodgers’ media rights.
Diane Pucin of the Times goes into detail on Fox’s personal $30 million loan to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt that led MLB to take control of the team.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says ESPN’s Jon Gruden is showing himself to be a deft developer of young quarterbacks.
Tom goes over the week in sports media.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that those bidding for the US rights to the NHL took losing Phoenix into account.
At Puck The Media, Steve Lepore has the most watched NHL Playoff games on Versus through the first week of play.
And that’s going to do it for links today. I might be back with some press release posts throughout the day.
ESPN is announcing that it will mark the 50th anniversary of the program that put ABC Sports on the map and became one of the most important in the history of sports television. Wide World of Sports not only gave us our first glimpses of the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, the NCAA Final Four, Wimbledon, figure skating, the Open Championship, gymnastics, track & field, as well as the Little League World Series, it also propelled Muhammad Ali into superstardom. The program used great announcers like Jim McKay, Keith Jackson, Jim Simpson, Bill Flemming, Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, just to name a few.
In addition, Wide World gave daredevil Evel Knievel and the Harlem Globetrotters regular exposure. It was a regular staple on ABC on Saturday afternoons at 5. In the 1970′s, the program was a ratings juggernaut that Executive Producer Roone Arledge created a Sunday edition to counterprogram the NBA on CBS and the NHL on NBC to great success, often beating both in the process.
But by the 1990′s, the program was showing its age and ESPN which had taken over the ABC Sports division canceled Wide World in 1997.
Starting Friday, ESPN begins a weeklong celebration which will air mostly on ESPN Classic. There will be programs on ESPN Radio and ABC as well. Let’s take a look at what will be aired. I do wish some of these programs would air on ESPN instead of ESPN Classic as Classic’s viewership has been greatly reduced as it’s been placed on sports tiers. But take a look at what will be available.
70 Hours of Memorable Moments on ESPN Classic Starting April 25
Culminates with Special Winners Bracket on ABC April 30
ESPN will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the iconic ABC Sports program Wide World of Sports with a multi-platform celebration, highlighted by 70 hours of memorable moments on ESPN Classic. The tribute will begin Friday, April 22, on ESPN Radio and starting Monday, April 25, on ESPN Classic, capped by 29 consecutive hours of WWOS beginning Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m. ET. The marathon of memories will climax with the show’s 30th and 35th Anniversary Specials.
“Two generations of sports fans grew up on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, were introduced to the broad diversity that is sport and will never forget the opening words and visuals that defined its mission,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive president, content. “The legacy of Wide World also lies in the blueprint that became ESPN and lives on in what we do every day, serving fans and a broad range of tastes with innovation.”
Other elements of the tribute to WWOS:
- Friday, April 22 – ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life hosted by Jeremy Schaap at 10 p.m. will have a segment commemorating the anniversary.
- Sunday, April 24, at 9 a.m. – ESPN’s Outside the Lines with host Bob Ley will look back at the legacy of Wide World. With interviews from the show’s producers and on-air personalities, OTL will look at the many events, locations, legendary moments, and colorful personalities that helped form television’s most endearing sports series.
- Friday, April 29, at 4 p.m. – SportsNation on ESPN2 with co-hosts Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle will count down the top 10 WWOS moments as voted by fans from a list of 25 on www.SportsNation.com in a poll that will be posted this weekend.
- Saturday, April 30, at 5 p.m. – Winners Bracket on ABC will review 16 great moments in WWOS history and chose the best via a bracket format. There will also be a countdown of the show’s top 10 all-time “agony of defeat” moments. The 60-minute highlight-driven and often light-hearted program is hosted by ESPN SportsNation co-host Michelle Beadle and ESPN contributor and former NFL All Pro Marcellus Wiley. It is part of the ESPN Sports Saturday two-hour block of sports programming on ABC (4-6 p.m.).
For a complete schedule of ESPN Classic’s Tribute to Wide World of Sports, click Schedule. Highlights include:
Mon., April 25
7 a.m. Arnold Schwarzenegger wins Mr. Olympia, mountain climbing with Bobby Kennedy.
10 p.m. A review of daredevil Evel Knievel’s famous motorcycle jumps.
11 p.m. Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali discuss the boxer’s career.
Tue., April 26
9 p.m. Displaying the show’s variety, highlights include track & field from Russia, U.S. volleyball in Cuba, gymnastics in China, soap box derby in Akron, Ohio, rattlesnake roundup and cutterhorse racing
11 p.m. More with Ali, his 1975 fights w/Chuck Wepner, Ron Lyle and Joe Frazier in the last of their trilogy.
Wed., April 27
8 p.m. More from the “constant variety of sports” – hydroplane racing, skateboarding championships and ice boat racing.
Thurs., April 28
9 p.m. 1968 Dune Buggy Championships, 1965, ’66 and ’68 Reno Air Races, with a crash by the “Red Baron,” Steve Hinton
11 p.m. A series of interviews with Howard Cosell talking to Ali, Wilt Chamberlain, Pete Rozelle, Joe Namath, Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.
Fri., April 29
12 a.m. The first Wide World of Sports – Drake Relays and Penn Relays
9 p.m. WWOS 30th Anniversary Special, hosted by Jim McKay
10:30 p.m. WWOS 35th Anniversary Special, hosted by Robin Roberts
About Wide World of Sports
Originally envisioned as a fill-in show for one summer, Wide World of Sports debuted April 29, 1961, with a young future legend, Jim McKay, as host. The opening show featured the Drake Relays from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, along with the Penn Relays from Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Unexpected popularity led to WWOS becoming a fixture on Saturday afternoons – and eventually an iconic program in sports television history.
With a memorable opening voiced by McKay – “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition” — its goal was to showcase sports large and small from around the world. In so doing, it introduced the American sporting audience to such things as hurling, rodeo, curling, jai-alai, cliff diving, firefighter’s competitions, surfing, logger sports, demolition derby, slow pitch softball, and badminton. Traditional Olympic sports such as figure skating, skiing, gymnastics, and track and field competitions were also regularly aired, as was NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup racing. Just emerging from its Southeastern roots, it was not the nationally popular weekend staple it is today.
Wide World of Sports broke many barriers, and was the first program to air Wimbledon, The Indianapolis 500, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, the Daytona 500, the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the Little League World Series, Triple Crown, The Open Championship, the Grey Cup, and many other events. WWOS discontinued its traditional anthology format in 1997.
Again, Wide World did not discontinue the anthology format, it was ESPN that discontinued it. This makes it sound that Wide World made the decision to end it. Not the case.
Today is the 30th Anniversary of the shocking death of John Lennon. For those of us alive back then, it’s a moment we’ll never forget. I found out the following morning on the radio. But for millions of Americans watching the New England Patriots taking on the Miami Dolphins on ABC, it was Howard Cosell who broke the news. On Sunday, ESPN’s Outside the Lines explored how the news got to ABC Sports through an ABC News producer who just happened to be at the same hospital where Lennon was transported for treatment from his gunshots.
The most fascinating part was hearing an off-air conversation between Cosell and play-by-play man Frank Gifford on whether they should break the news during the game. Tom Rinaldi has the story.
Great story and one that wasn’t unveiled until now.
The legacy of ABC Sports is within the halls of ESPN and while Don Meredith probably never set foot at the Alleged Worldwide Leader, it still is the keeper for ABC’s history in sports.
And with Monday Night Football now on ESPN, it’s up to the network to remember Don Meredith’s who’s influence on the series especially in its infancy is immeasurable. Tonight during Monday Night Countdown, Chris Berman will introduce a tribute to Meredith and during halftime of the New York Jets-New England Patriots game, Mike Tirico will talk with Dandy Don’s play-by-play partner for all but one year of his tenure on MNF, Frank Gifford.
ESPN has sent this release with various executives and personalities remembering Don Meredith and his legacy on Monday Night Football.
ESPN Remembers Monday Night Football Legend Don Meredith
Don Meredith was part of the Monday Night Football booth beginning with the first season on ABC in 1970 when he paired with Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell. Meredith spent 12 seasons working on sports television’s signature series (1970-73 and 1977-84). Frank Gifford (1971-97) and Dan Dierdorf (1987-98) are the only former NFL players or coaches who have called more MNF games in the 40-year history of the show.Bob Iger, President and CEO Walt Disney Company:“Many deserve credit for making Monday Night Football into an incredible fan experience that has endured for decades and Dandy Don Meredith is one of them. I was privileged to work with him and will miss his humor, insight and charm.”George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports; Co-chairman, Disney Media Networks:“Don Meredith was a true legend, whose disarming style and quick wit helped him successfully transition from star NFL quarterback to broadcasting legend. He helped launch Monday Night Football on ABC in 1970 and his contributions over the next decade helped transform sports television’s signature series into a cultural icon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Susan, and the entire Meredith family.”Monday Night Football play-by-play voice Mike Tirico:“Don Meredith was a huge part of what has made Monday Night Football so special. His approach, attitude and love of football came thought in every broadcast. Just the phrase, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” makes any football fan watching in the 70s and early 80s break out in a smile. He was one of a kind and helped make Monday night’s magical. For any of us who have had Monday Night Football as a part of our life, it is a sad day.”Analyst Ron Jaworski:“I had the pleasure of meeting Don a few times. He was a guy I admired as much as anyone, both as a player and as an analyst. His great work inspired me to always be prepared and to have fun doing it. He loved what he did and it always showed. We’re going to miss him.’”Analyst Jon Gruden:“I used to sneak downstairs and watch Don and Monday Night Football when I was supposed to be asleep in bed growing up. He was special. Those crews had a lot of fun together and I always loved hearing him sing, ‘Turn out the lights, the party’s over.’”ESPN NFL studio host Chris Berman:“Don Meredith was a television pioneer who made pro football real, even for non-football fans. I can’t remember watching a Monday Night Football telecast, and I’ve seen a few, where Dandy Don failed to make me smile.”
Executive Vice President of Elias Sports Bureau Steve Hirdt, the Director of Information for MNF since 1982 who worked three seasons with Meredith on ABC:“Don was present at the launch of two great NFL institutions: the Dallas Cowboys in 1960, and Monday Night Football in 1970. Don’s style, wit and commentary helped put Monday Night into the public consciousness in the early years. I had enjoyed him as a viewer for years, but it wasn’t until I started working on the show that I learned that he was a whole lot smarter than he liked to portray himself on television. Don would use information I provided by prefacing it with, ‘Well, I don’t know how I know this, but…’ He helped Monday Night Football get off to a great start and the show wouldn’t be what it is today without his influence. We’re going to miss him.”Planned ESPN Tributes:Chris Berman will voice a tribute to Don Meredith tonight that will air on Monday Night Countdown (approx. 7:10 p.m. ET) and during the MNF halftime. Also, Mike Tirico will have an interview with Meredith’s longtime booth-mate and friend Frank Gifford during the MNF halftime.
That is it.
Just breaking this morning, we’re learning of the passing of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith. While Meredith had a very good playing career with the Cowboys, he got national notoriety for being the first analyst on ABC’s Monday Night Football starting in 1970 with Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell. The broadcast really took off in 1971 when Frank Gifford joined from CBS and became the play-by-play announcer. Meredith and Cosell played off one another, Cosell as the erudite, New York commentator, Meredith as the fun loving everyman who would downplay Howard’s attempts at seriousness.
Gifford, Cosell and Meredith were the traveling sideshow for Monday Night Football and the ratings for ABC were so good that movie theaters and restaurants would close at 9 p.m. when the broadcast started. Viewers also knew the game was out of reach when Don would sing, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over.”
There was a time when “Dandy Don” as Cosell nicknamed him, left ABC for NBC, joining Curt Gowdy and Al Derogatis as part time analyst in 1974, then full-time from 1975-1976, calling Super Bowl XI. Meredith had joined NBC in hopes of starting an acting career and had a part-time role on “Police Story” and various movies, but for the 1976-77 season, he triumphantly returned to ABC and the Monday Night Football booth.
He remained with MNF through the 1984 season, retiring one year after Howard Cosell left the booth. Along with Gifford and Joe Theisman, Meredith was on the call for ABC’s first Super Bowl, SB XIX in Palo Alto, CA.
After his retirement, Meredith rarely made public appearances, hardly gave interviews and chose to live in New Mexico with his wife of 38 years.
There’s no measuring the impact that Meredith had on Monday Night Football. Meredith had the personality to play off Cosell and fans identified with him. In addition, his ability to analyze the game and break down the quarterback position puts him as one of the best color men in NFL TV history.
In 2002, Pat Summerall asked Don to be his partner on Fox after John Madden left the network for ABC/ESPN, but Meredith turned him down stating that he had not watched enough present-day games to be knowledgeable on the NFL.
Tonight, ESPN will acknowledge the passing of Meredith and his influence on Monday Night Football.
Susan Montoya Bryan of the Associated Press has this story on Meredith’s passing.
Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News looks back at Meredith’s two careers, as a Cowboys quarterback and as a broadcaster.
The Morning News also shares some pictures of Meredith as a player and as a broadcaster.
ESPN Dallas has some highlights of Meredith’s life.
T. Rees Shapiro of the Washington Post has written an obituary for Meredith.
Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk shares his thoughts on Meredith’s death.
Here’s the opening to Monday Night Football featuring Cosell, Gifford and Meredith.
This open is from 1979 before the game between the Miami Dolphins and Houston Oilers.
Jay Harris of ESPN has this report on Meredith’s passing.
We also have some pictures of the Monday Night Football crew. I thank ESPN’s public relations department for making these available.
First, this is from 1970, with Keith Jackson, Cosell and Meredith.
Next, we have Cosell and Meredith posing for this publicity photo.
Here’s a photo from 1971 with Frank Gifford joining Cosell and Meredith.
Here’s a picture of the three from 1977 before the Cleveland Browns-New England Patrios game.
And finally, there’s this publicity photo before the 1980 season.
We’ll end it there. I’ll pass more stories on Meredith as they become available.
For the first time since 1997, the Professional Bowlers Association Tour will be seen on ABC. ESPN renewed its contract with the PBA that will run through 2013. As part of the new contract, ABC will air the Tournament of Champions and other events. While it won’t be as extensive as it used to be, having ABC back in professional bowling is a nice touch.
Here’s the press release from ESPN.
ESPN Reaches Three-Year Extension with PBATournament of Champions Returns to ABC
ESPN has reached a three-year extension with the Professional Bowlers Association which will run through 2013. As part of the agreement, the record $1 million PBA Tournament of Champions will air live on ABC Saturday, Jan. 22, at 2:30 p.m. ET from Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas. The event last aired on ABC in 1997.ESPN has a long-standing relationship with the PBA, which dates back to the network’s launch in 1979.The new agreement includes more than 20 telecasts per year on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, including multi-day coverage of the PBA World Championships and the 68th US Open as part of the 2010-11 season. ESPN will also continue to televise the PBA All-Star Shootout.Further details of the 2010-11 PBA Tour season, which will begin Sunday, Nov. 28, on ESPN at 1 p.m., can be found on www.pba.com.
And as an added bonus, here’s the final moments complete with tributes of the last PBA Tour event on ABC from June 21, 1997. The late Chris Schenkel, one of the greatest announcers ever and Nelson Burton, Jr. close it out. ESPN which was taking over ABC Sports at the time decided to put the PBA events solely on cable. Sound familiar?
This is the open from the 1980 Tournament of Champions.
I can’t believe the good condition of this open. From 1968 and a filmed opening sequence with the late Bud Palmer voicing the billboard.
And here’s an open from 1982 complete with a toss from Jim McKay.
Great stuff and you can find more bowling videos from BowlingOldies’ channel on YouTube.
Been a bit busy at work so the linkage is coming to you later than usual. I try to finish it late morning or early afternoon, but there have been a few issues that needed taking care of. They’re done now so let’s provide the links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that Fox will be using a cablecam during its coverage of the National League Championship Series and World Series next month.
Sports Illustrated’s college football writer Stewart Mandel
ESPN’s public relations department was quick to let us know yesterday that SportsCenter had one of its “firsts”, having an all-female anchor team hand off to another all-female anchor team, Hannah Storm and Linda Cohn tossed it over to Chris McKendry and Sage Steele from the morning edition to the midday edition.
John Ourand and Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal tell us that the PGA Tour is talking with General Electric about taking over sponsorship of the Nationwide Tour as part of a wide range deal.
Sports Business Daily talks about ESPN’s tremendous ratings for Monday Night Football.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse praises Ken Burns’ sequel to his extensive PBS “Baseball” documentary.
Jon Weinbach of Fanhouse wonders if an infusion of cash from Fox Sports West will help the Los Angeles Dodgers. Weinbach writes that owner Frank McCourt has held only preliminary discussions with Fox over the renewal of TV rights.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the UFL has to figure out what it wants to be.
Mike Barnes at the Hollywood Reporter says one of ABC Sports’ technical pioneers passed away earlier this month.
Jon Lafayette from Broadcasting & Cable notes that ESPN’s research showed that marketers who bought multi-platform ads fared better than those who bought just ads for TV.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News explores ESPN’s high ratings for Monday Night Football.
Mike writes that NBA TV will have the first look at LeBron James and his Miami Heat in October.
Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press talks with NBC’s Johnny Miller who will be analyzing the Ryder Cup this weekend.
Noah Davis at SportsNewser explains why the new TV deal between the Texas Rangers and Fox Sports Southwest makes fiscal sense for both sides.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the Albany Devils have hired a play-by-play man.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette has learned that CBS College Sports will be the new home of the ECAC and Hockey East conferences.
Ken McMillan at the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says CBS College Sports will air an Army-Navy basketball doubleheader in January.
Evan Weiner in the New Jersey Newsroom says Cablevision is fighting with Fox over local stations in New York and Philadelphia and that could affect the Giants and Eagles fans respectively.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun talks about the TV ratings for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post says the new movie on the superhorse Secretariat has DC ties.
Dan Steinberg of the Post’s DC Sports Bog says Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will be doing pregame shows for both the Capitals and Wizards this season.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is rebranding its nightly sports highlight show.
The Greensboro (NC) News & Record says ESPN and Time Warner Cable came to an agreement over this Saturday’s East Carolina-North Carolina game which will be carried on ESPN3.com and the provider does not have agreement to pick up the internet service.
Scott Hawkins from the Biloxi-Gulfport (MS) Sun-Herald says Cable One has recently added NFL Network.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times says ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike spent much of their show Tuesday talking about the Rays’ attendance problems.
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel crows about the new Amway Center.
Gil Lebreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram asks wouldn’t it be better if the Texas Rangers pooled their $1.6 billion in rights fees from Fox Sports Southwest with the rest of baseball? Ask that to the Yankees or Red Sox, Gil?
The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter lobbies for Reds fans to get the late announcer Joe Nuxhall nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award.
John says Fox Sports Ohio plans plenty of Reds postseason coverage even though the regional sports network won’t be carrying the games.
Anthony Schoette of the Indianapolis Business Journal says local ratings for the Cincinnati Reds are up from last year.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business says Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski may have poured the accolades on too thick during Monday Night Football.
Ed looks at the local ratings for Packers-Bears.
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune also talks about the ratings for the Pack and Bears.
Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal says the Cardinals are generating ratings heat in the desert.
Bob Young of the Arizona Republic says two local golfers return to Golf Channel’s Big Break series tonight.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says the international attention on the Ryder Cup will put Wales in everyone’s sights.
Alex Belth writing for Deadspin gives us an inside look working for Ken Burns on the original “Baseball” documentary.
Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball says “The Tenth Inning” could use an “Eleventh Inning.”
Shane Bacon over at Press Coverage gets on NBC for tape delaying the Ryder Cup on Saturday.
Baseball Prospectus reprints an article from the great Jonah Keri remembering the last days of the Montreal Expos. It was six years ago today the team played its final home game against the Florida Marlins before moving to Washington. You know how sad that last game was? It wasn’t even aired live in Montreal. I watched it on MLB.com through Florida’s feed. I still have a pit in my stomach thinking about the Expos.
Sports Media Watch has the weekend overnight ratings.
SMW says Sunday Night Football’s ratings hit a season low for NBC, but it still won the night handily.
SMW notes that NASCAR’s ratings are reaching the depths of despair.
Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest says the regular fan can play football at Wrigley Field for a nominal fee.
I think we’re done here.
Ok, let’s answer some questions that have come into the Fang’s Bites inbox over the last week or so. I will do another mailbag in October during MLB postseason and as college football and the NFL are in high gear so you can mark your calendars for that. And unfortunately, the swag did not come through for this mailbag. Hopefully I can procure some for the next one.
One of my regular commentors, DyHrd who always has insightful thoughts. Well DyHrd, your question gave me food for thought and did inspire me to write my post for Dan Levy’s Press Coverage on the aging of our play-by-play announcers. As I stated in the Press Coverage post, Spero Dedes is being nurtured by CBS to eventually take a starring role. I think he’ll be moving up the ranks. He’s quite good on basketball. I haven’t heard him call football yet, but he will this season for the NFL.
I also like Dan Hoard who calls the Pawtucket Red Sox on radio in Rhode Island and also does the Cincinnati Bengals preseason games on TV as well as the Cincinnati Bearcats football and basketball teams. I think he deserves a national shot.
Let’s go to one more from DyHrd.
Wow. Interesting question. I’ve been partial to CBS’ packages from the Terry O’Neil redesign in 1981 up until now. I liked ABC Sports (when they were ABC Sports) graphics during the 1988 Winter Olympics. And NBC’s fonts in the early 1980′s were pretty good. I wish I had some examples for you.
Hmmm. Now? Ok, I’ll list them this way top to bottom.
Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth – NBC
Jim Nantz and Phil Simms – CBS
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa – Fox
Dave Sims and James Lofton – Westwood One Radio
Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan – Fox
A quick question for you: I was watching the CBS College Football Preview Show and a promo for the “NFL ON CBS” came on. At the end of the promo, I hear what appears to be three or four seconds of not the rap theme (which they have been using for way too long) but an altered version of the Frankie Vinci theme. Has CBS dropped the rap theme for this season?
Thank You in advance for taking the time to read my e-mail.
No problem. I did not see the College Football Preview so I didn’t hear the music. I’m not sure what CBS is planning for its music for the NFL season. Usually, they change every time a new TV contract comes into place. The current CBS theme which is not my favorite at all has had a bit of a rap to it, but we’ll see what they use in Week 1.
With the NFL extending its TV deals with existing partners, I read this spring that ESPN will gain more digital rights. Does that mean Monday Night Football will be streamed on ESPN3.com? Will NBC continue to stream Sunday night games?
Little Rock, Arkansas
You have a good memory, Ken. Yes, John Ourand, Terry Lefton and Daniel Kaplan wrote the story in Sports Business Journal back in March. I have an e-mail into ESPN on this and I hope to get an answer. If I do, look for an update in this post. ESPN appears to have streaming rights for Monday Night Football, but it’s not known where it will post the live video, whether it will be ESPN3.com, NFL.com or the main ESPN.com site.
As for Sunday Night Football, it appears that will be streamed once again this season at NBCSports.com and NFL.com.
Hi Charles. It appears that Time Warner and NFL Network will enter another season on the outs. While Time Warner Cable is about to hash out a new deal with Disney keeping ESPN on its systems, NFL Network remains on the outside looking in. NFL Network has hashed out deals with Suddenlink, the National Cable Television Cooperative, Cable One and Cox Communications this summer, however, it has yet to make a deal with two huge holdouts, Cablevision and Time Warner/Bright House. It’s very silly that this dispute has lasted this long. But Time Warner is a very stubborn company refusing to pick not only NFL Network, but MASN in North Carolina. I think you’re out of luck again this season. My sympathies to you.
I was and still am a loyal ABC Sports fan. I was really disappointed when ESPN took over ABC Sports several years ago. I sometime believe that ESPN can’t handle all of the sports they cover. For example, when the Arena Football League television contract moved to ESPN from NBC, the AFL folded after 1 season on ESPN. A couple of weeks ago, the AVP had to discontinue operations due to financial problems. This happened after they moved their television coverage to ESPN earlier this year. Coincidence? ESPN did very little promotion of these sports along with other sports that they cover. These days, it seems that SportsCenter is just a promotion for the NFL, MLB, college football & basketball, and nothing else.
Ok, first things first. I wrote two years ago that ESPN was trying to hoard events for itself and it was a thought that was scoffed at back then, but as we see now, this is coming to fruition.
This includes college basketball although the SEC Championship is on ABC in March. ESPN has the philosophy that with the digital conversion, cable is now on a level playing field with the over the air networks and can keep events instead of buying time on ABC, which basically what the ESPN on ABC productions are, glorified time buys. ESPN sells the ads and it buys the time on ABC.
By keeping events on cable, instead of shelling out money, it keeps the ad revenue while also taking money from the cable companies, thus the dual revenue streams that CBS, Fox and NBC were complaining over the last few years.
In a perfect world, yes, ABC would get more events. The local affiliates have complained that their sports inventory has dwindled almost to nothing and it’s legitimate. This was a huge complaint by the ABC affiliates during network meetings in the spring. The discontent could get bigger if ESPN gets other sports and doesn’t put a portion on ABC.
We’ll see if ESPN continues to keep events on cable.
This last question comes from a commentor.
Ken, who are the ten most influential individuals in sports media today? Is there anyone close to the level of importance and prestige that Rudy Martzke had for years at USA Today ?
Sports sure could use their own version of the Drudge Report ….
Ten? I’m not sure I could go that far. I have to assume you mean sports media writers since you mention Rudy Martzke. I’ll say upfront I was not a fan of Martzke because he played favorites (Bob Costas) and also seem to revel in silly verbal sniping between the networks which was by his own doing, by the way.
I’ll list the writers and bloggers whom I think have the most influence now. It’s in no particular order. These are listed off the top of my head.
Richard Deitsch – Sports Illustrated
John Ourand – Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily
Richard Sandomir – New York Times
Neil Best – Newsday (yes, even behind a paywall)
Barry Horn – Dallas Morning News
David Barron – Houston Chronicle
Tom Hoffarth – Los Angeles Daily News
AJ Daulerio – Deadspin
Paulsen – Sports Media Watch
Jim Williams – Washington Examiner
Bob Wolfley – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Jason McIntyre – The Big Lead
Dan Steinberg – DC Sports Bog, Washington Post
Barry Jackson – Miami Herald
That’s the mailbag. Thanks once again for your questions. Let’s do this again in October.