Let’s give you some more links today.
More reason to hate ESPN. They plan a huge New Year’s Eve special complete with motorcycle jumps, truck flips, fiery explosions, musical acts and plenty of hype. This will run for three hours so ESPN can mark the New Year on both coasts. I can’t make this up.
Dave Del Grande of the Oakland Tribune writes that Bay Area TV stations are preparing their slate of legal analysts for Barry Bonds coverage next month.
Buffalo Business First reports that Western New York has a regional sports network to finally call its own since the demise of the Empire Sports Network.
Neil Best of Newsday posted in his blog that WFAN’s Craig Carton made an anti-Newark, NJ remark during the Boomer and Carton in the Morning Show today. This is the second anti-Newark remark in a month after ESPN’s Barry Melrose had to apologize for making one on ESPN.com.
Larry Dobrow writes in Advertising Age magazine that ESPN SportsCenter is no longer “Must See TV”. I agree.
Darren Rovell of CNBC writes that the stronger Canadian dollar is helping the Toronto Blue Jays’ bottom line.
Peter Schwartz of Forbes magazine looks at the Top 20 Most Valuable College Football Teams and included on that list is Notre Dame for its contract with NBC. You can look at the rankings through this slideshow.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says New York Jets fans are among the lowest of the low. It comes in the wake of the New York Times story I linked to last night in which the Jets fans conduct their own halftime show in Gate D of the Giants Stadium concourse.
Ted Hearn of Multichannel News reports that Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is appealing to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin not to get involved in the NFL Network vs. cable dispute. And Linda Haugsted of Multichannel News writes that the NFL Network has the support of two North Carolina legislators in attempts to get the channel on cable systems in the Tobacco State. Fortune magazine talks with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts about the NFL Network among other topics.
In the wake of the Writers strike and the news writers at CBS calling to strike, there’s actually some good news out of Hollywood. Dave McNary of Variety reports that the Directors Guild of America has come to an agreement with the networks for news, sports and other operations.
The NFL says there will be no change in the Sunday Night Football game for Week 13, December 2, but there will be one change for the Fox doubleheader game:
The final Week 13 NFL schedule was announced today with the originally scheduled
CBS Sports’ Charley Casserly explains why Dallas and Detroit get the traditional Thanksgiving Day games.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post notices the migration of reporters leaving the print world for TV.
Rick Bird of the Cincinnati Post says a local TV station will air a series of interviews with the late Red pitcher and announcer Joe Nuxhall starting next Monday.
Elliot Harris of the Chicago Sun-Times would like to nominate the Big Ten Network’s and FSN’s Charissa Thompson to be in Playboy’s Sexiest Sportscaster poll (scroll down).
William Houston in the Toronto Globe and Mail laments the absence of big market teams in the CFL Grey Cup which will be CBC’s last for at least the next five years.
There you have it. Plenty of links for today. Primetime Viewing Picks coming up.
Let’s do some links.
From zap2it.com, NBC’s Sunday Night Football won the overnight ratings in the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. timeslots. The Amazing Race on CBS finished second in the 8 p.m. hour.
Newsday’s Neil Best blogs that Dick Lynch was absent from the New York Football Giants radio broadcast yesterday because of a bout with pneumonia.
An article in the San Antonio Business Journal has AT&T U-verse exclaiming it’s seeing an increase in customers who want the NFL Network. The Wall Street Journal is urging the FCC to look beyond the NFL’s appeal to have it look into the dispute over the NFL Network with big cable. Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News has reaction from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who has been the NFL’s point man to get NFL Network on basic cable.
In an attempt to corrupt sports fans at an early age, ESPN is launching a new interactive channel on Dish Network aimed at kids as Linda Moss of Multichannel News reports.
Ryan Wood of the Lawrence (KS) Journal-World says ESPN’s College Gameday is figuring out the logistics for its Saturday show at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News delves further into the Tom Brady-Joe Montana debate which John Madden started on Sunday Night Football last night.
Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says the annual Backyard Brawl between Pittsburgh and West Virginia will be on one of the ESPN networks.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun noticed that CBS’ Ian Eagle made a couple of errors during yesterday’s Browns-Ravens game. The first one was on Haloti Ngata (try to pronounce that on the first try, I’m sure you’ll get it wrong too). The other was on Ravens QB Kyle Boller’s first half.
From the AOL Fanhouse blog, Michael David Smith reports that both CBS and NBC are considering airing Mixed Martial Arts shows for original programming in the wake of the writers strike. David Goetzl of the Media Daily News talks about NBC’s negotiations with an MMA organization (not the UFC).
Christine Daniels of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Barry Bonds story was a study of the media kicking someone when he’s down.
The Tennis X blog tells us that Tennis Channel will have extensive coverage of the Asian exhibition matches between Roger Federer and Pete Sampras starting Tuesday.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says CBC’s CFL coverage shined during the Western Division Finals while it didn’t do so well in the Eastern Finals.
I think that will do it. Primetime Viewing Picks and Videos of the Week coming up.
Time for links today. Let’s get to the weekly Saturday media columns first.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a fixture in St. Louis radio returns to do football on Thanksgiving Day.
Jerry Garcia in today’s San Antonio Express-News looks into the second year of live games on the NFL Network and previews Tuesday’s edition of Real Sports on HBO (of which we’ll have a live review Tuesday night).
Barry Horn in the Dallas Morning News has separate interviews with Fox’s Troy Aikman and CBS’ Phil Simms. Also from the Morning News, NFL beat reporter Rick Gosselin says the TV spotlight sometimes avoids some teams.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star has some media news and notes.
Tom Jicha in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel catches up with South Florida native Shannon Spake of ESPN2.
Richard Sandomir in the New York Times talks about the cousins of George Gipp suing ESPN over the exhumation of his body earlier this year.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News wonders why ESPN lumped Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez in the same SportsCenter special on Friday.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC, Rogers Sportsnet and TSN are all hotly competing for ratings in the Saturday 6:30 p.m. timeslot with their own hockey pregame shows. This is like the Fox/CBS/ESPN battle for viewers just before NFL games on Sunday.
That’s it for now. NFL Picks coming up later.
I’m watching Paul Mooney’s stand up special on Showtime. It’s very funny. I forgot to put it in the Primetime Viewing Picks. The next time it’s on, I’ll recommend it. Paul Mooney is a very funny man. I have not laughed this hard since watching Chris Rock’s last standup special on HBO. If you have Showtime, it’s definitely worth watching.
Ok, let me try to do some links in between Paul’s jokes.
It was reported earlier today that Cincinnati Reds pitcher and announcer Joe Nuxhall died on Thursday at the age of 79. Nuxhall was the youngest pitcher ever to pitch in the major leagues at the age of 15, but he made his mark in Cincinnati as an announcer, first teaming up with Claude Sullivan and Jim McIntyre in 1967, then with Al Michaels in 1970, and finally in 1974 with his longest partner, Hall of Famer Marty Brennamen. While he no longer was in the booth full-time, that ended in 2004, he did selected games including Opening Day this past season. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer has Marty’s reaction to the Ol’ Lefthander’s passing. John Erardi says Marty and Joe were a special team. John Eckbert tells us that Nuxie was also a respected commercial pitchman. John Kiesewetter talks to the people he met for breakfast every morning. From the Dayton Daily News, veteran Reds beat reporter and Baseball Hall of Famer Hal McCoy talks with Marty Brennamen as well. And Dave Greber of the Daily News says a campaign to get Nuxie in the Hall of Fame as a broadcaster will continue. Mark Katz says Nuxhall will live on in the memories of Reds fans. Nuxhall’s signature signoff was “This is the Ol’ Lefthander rounding third and heading for home.” He’ll definitely be missed.
Neil Best of Newsday reports that New York Times columnist Selena Roberts is leaving to go to Sports Illustrated. Apparently, ESPN had sought her services as well. He also writes that WFAN has announced that SI’s Jon Heyman will make regular appearances with Mike & the Mad Dog. Heyman had been a regular guest on Michael Kay’s show on 1050 ESPN Radio. And finally, Neil tells us that SNY has picked up the Harvard-Yale game.
Paulsen at the Sports Media Watch gives his weekend ratings predictions. And he says the NFL’s primetime TV partners are seeing lower ratings this season.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that ESPN and TNT have seen demographic rises in the ratings for the NBA and FSN has seen higher ratings for its local cablecasts. Kent Gibbons from Multichannel reports that two women, Sheila Johnson, the first woman to own stakes in three sports franchises and CBS’ Lesley Visser, were honored for their trailblazing roles today. Finally, Reynolds reports that Tennis Channel has won the rights to show an exhibition series between Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says it might have been best for Barry Bonds to actually use flaxseed instead of the clear.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail reports that a popular Toronto sports anchor who abruptly left City-TV is apparently on her way back.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says a veteran sports anchor is heading to radio.
You’ve got a lot of links tonight. I’ll be back with some more links tomorrow morning.
Starting this a bit late on a Friday, but time for the megalinks today. Let’s get started.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes about the growth in internet-only sporting events.
Today, we’ll start with the Midwest region.
Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune talks with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who’s been leading the charge to get the NFL Network on the major cable TV providers.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the November 29 clash between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys won’t be seen by most of the country as it will be shown on the NFL Network.
From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, we find that relatives of George Gipp is suing ESPN along with a writer and a family member for exhuming his body for E:60. And the Star-Tribune’s Judd Zulgad says FSN North plans to expand its coverage for the next “Hockey Day in Minnesota”.
Paul Christian in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin reports that a local sports anchor is leaving the area to return to his Missouri hometown.
Moving west now, Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News writes that one middle finger has given the Mountain West Conference more national exposure than the mtn. has.
The San Diego Union-Tribune Jay Posner has some early observations on new sports radio station, XTRA. In his notebook, Posner writes that Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie likes having Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf doing his team’s games. And Posner has the ratings for the last weekend in sports.
Christine Daniels of the Los Angeles Times gives her weekend viewing picks in her Sound and Vision column.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Times says in the second year of the NFL Network doing regular season games, it’s no closer to being on local cable than ever.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News wonders what’s going on with sports radio station KSPN. Hoffarth’s sidebar column focuses on the Kings’ radio and TV announcer still buzzing about last Saturday’s 5-4 comeback victory against the Dallas Stars. And Hoffarth has his expanded media notes entry in his Farther Off the Wall blog which also includes What Smokes and What Chokes.
Let’s head East now and go to the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron who reviews FSN Southwest’s documentary on the historic 1963 Texas-Texas A&M game.
George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel says the Magic games should be on TV. And Dave Darling plays Chris Matthews and does “Hardball” with the Bright House-FSN dispute.
From The State in Columbia, SC, we find that one radio station will now air all South Carolina football, basketball and baseball games. And Doug Nye says BC-Clemson is his TV Best Bet for the weekend.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner talks with Fox Sports Radio’s Chris Landry about the plight of the Ravens in his Watch This! blog.
In the Baltimore Sun, Ray Frager writes in his Medium Well column that Bryant Gumbel calls his first year in the NFL Network booth “a learning experience.”
Laura Nachman has her annual sports turkeys list.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post goes after Monday Night Football and Tony Kornheiser, in particular. Also in the Post, Justin Terranova talks with ESPN’s Chris Spielman, an Ohio State alumnus, about tomorrow’s Ohio State-Michigan game.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says the Knicks’ ratings on MSG Network are falling just like the team.
We’ve got a few things from Neil Best of Newsday. First, his regular Friday column which focuses on the NFL Network dispute with the major cable TV providers. And from his Watchdog blog, Neil talks with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about getting the NFL Network carried in New York. Neil breaks news that YES Network has fired Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci from its Yankees Hot Stove show for writing an article critical of Yankees management for its handling of the Joe Torre contract talks.
In the Boston Globe, Nancy Marrapese-Burrell writes that the Celtics’ resurgence has led to higher ratings for Comcast SportsNet New England.
The Sports Media Watch blog goes over the Barry Bonds reaction especially by Steven A. Smith on last night’s SportsCenter and by Charles Barkley on TNT.
Awful Announcing says get ready to see more of ESPN’s Emmit Smith.
R. Thomas Umstead of the Multichannel News writes that the NFL Network’s contract with Comcast expires in 18 months.
Those are the links for now. Don’t forget we have College Football Viewing Picks, NFL Viewing Picks, the NFL Picks for Week 11, Primetime & Weekend Viewing Picks plus a whole lot more over the next 24 hours. Keep it here.
Checking around the net so you don’t have to, I have managed to find some more links this evening.
Starting off with the Barry Bonds Indictment coverage, the Sports Media Watch blog has a look at how the network evening newscasts reported the story. And Paulsen has his take on the comments Steven A. Smith made on ESPN’s SportsCenter. They had to be heard to be believed.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell is putting out an All-Points Bulletin for the person holding Bonds’ 762nd home run, who now has an expensive piece of sports memorabilia. And Rovell wonders about the other big story of the day, the agreement in principal between Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees for ten years. Darren correctly asks, what role did Goldman Sachs, a 40% owner in the YES Network have in these negotiations?
Before I continue, let me say ESPN was all over the Barry Bonds Indictments. As the news broke early in the 5 p.m. ET hour, ESPNews and SportsCenter could only get their legal analysts and reporters via the phone. Roger Cossack, Lester Munson, Baseball Tonight analyst Steve Phillips and newly hired Mark Fainaru-Wada, one of the reporters along with Lance Williams who covered Bonds and the BALCO scandal for the San Francisco Chronicle, were heard immediately. As SportsCenter continued in the 6 p.m. hour and news kept breaking, Terrence Moore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was brought in via the phone as well. All of the guests gave nuts and bolts answers on the indictments, but the strangest interview was Steven A. Smith. Why ESPN decided to go to him was not the best idea, but as he told anchor Chris McKendry, he said the case was all about race and he said there’s no coincidence that the Feds decided to go after Bonds following Mark McGwire’s retirement. I see no correlation at all, but that’s Smith for you. At 6:30 p.m., news broke that Alex Rodriguez had reached an agreement with the Yankees so coverage turned to that story, but overall, ESPN’s coverage was ok as they mostly used talking heads and the phone to get perspective. I give the coverage a B-.
Andrew Krukowski of TV Week has the sports TV ratings for the week ending November 11. Chris Pursell writes about Verizon DSL and Fios TV subscribers having extra access to NFL Network games online. And in his Pressbox blog, Pursell has the NFL Week 11 announcing team assignments.
Jake Grove of the Anderson (SC) Independent-Mail writes that ESPN will carry this Saturday’s Boston College/Clemson game in primetime.
Two things from CBS Sports. First is the NFL Week 11 preview including announcing team assignments for Sunday and next Thanksgiving weekend. Second is the college football preview of #1 LSU vs. #17 Mississippi which airs at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS.
ESPN tells us the features it will carry on Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Matchup and Monday Night Countdown.
I’ll end the links for now. You’ll have your Friday megalinks tomorrow as usual.