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.
We’ve been waiting for the start times of Wednesday games of the League Division Series since we learned the MLB Postseason participants. In addition, we wondered which game MLB Network would air. Now that the times have been updated for Wednesday, we know that MLB Network will get the first game of the day on Wednesday, Game 3 of St. Louis at Washington at 1 p.m. ET.
Bob Costas will have the play-by-play with Jim Kaat on the analysis. Sam Ryan will be the on-field reporter. MLB Tonight will lead into the game starting at 11 a.m.
Let’s take a look at the MLB Network press release regarding Wednesday’s telecast.
GAME THREE OF THE 2012 NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES FEATURING THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS AT WASHINGTON NATIONALS TO AIR EXCLUSIVELY ON MLB NETWORK THIS WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10 AT 1:00 P.M. ET
Washington Leads Best-Of-Five Series 1-0
MLB Network’s Bob Costas and Jim Kaat to Call the Game
Game Marks Costas’s First MLB Postseason Telecast in 12 Years
Secaucus, N.J., October 8, 2012 – MLB Network will exclusively televise Game Three of the National League Division Series featuring the St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals, with Bob Costas and Jim Kaat on the game call this Wednesday, October 10 at 1:00 p.m. ET, live from Nationals park.
- The game marks the first Postseason game in Washington D.C. since 1933.
- The game marks Costas’s first MLB Postseason game call since the 2000 ALCS.
- Sam Ryan will serve as reporter for the game.
- The telecast will be available across the country exclusively on MLB Network, including in the St. Louis and Washington home television territories.
- MLB Network will air complete coverage of the 2012 Postseason, including previews, highlights, analysis, interviews and press conferences across all of its studio programming. MLB Tonight will air live before and after every Postseason game, with reporters on-site at each ballpark during the Division Series and Championship Series, and MLB Tonight and Intentional Talk on the road during the World Series.
- 2008 World Series champion Jimmy Rollins will serve as in-studio guest analyst on MLB Tonight during the League Division Series on October 8, 9 and 10.
- MLB Network will keep its social media followers updated with the latest news, quotes, interview clips and breakdowns using #MLBTonight, #Postseason and #WorldSeries through its presence on Facebook and Twitter. Fans can also stay up to date by following MLB Network’s on-air personalities on Twitter.
- MLB Network is available on each of the top 10 video distributors in the U.S. and local channel listings are available at www.FindMLBNetwork.com.
More coming up later.
We haven’t had a “Get off my lawn” commentary from Bob Costas since Week 1 when he lectured Cleveland Browns fans on Art Modell.
This week, Bob is back on the soapbox to discuss Andrew Luck engineering an Indianapolis Colts comeback win over the Green Bay Packers. Here, Bob waxes poetic on Luck and tries not to go overboard on the accolades when he actually goes overboard on the accolades. Remember, this is just Luck’s fourth NFL regular season game.
Here’s the commentary.
On a night when the greatest name in early Colts history was surpassed by Drew Brees, following a day when the greatest name in recent Colts history fell short against Brady and the Pats, the quarterback the Colts hope will someday follow them into the Hall of Fame continued to serve notice that he may, in fact, be up to the task.
After a disastrous 2-14 season without Peyton Manning, the Colts parted ways with the four-time MVP and used their No. 1 pick in the Draft to cast their lot with Stanford’s Andrew Luck.
Today, down 21-3 against reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, Luck, who plays with the poise and awareness of a veteran, threw for nearly 400 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score as he led his team back to a 30-27 win. It’s the largest deficit overcome by the Colts since Manning brought them back from 18 down in the AFC title game against New England in January of 2007 during Indy’s Super Bowl run.
So, this year’s Colts are now a modest 2-2, but those two victories match last year’s entire total. And but for a last minute 80-yard touchdown pass by Jacksonville two weeks ago, the Colts could very well be 3-1. And they’ve been competitive in every game since their opener against Chicago.
There is still a long road for Andrew Luck to travel before anyone will say that the Colts have the next Johnny Unitas or Peyton Manning. But it does appear that Indianapolis might very well have lucked into one of the NFL’s next great stars.
That’s it for our Sunday posts.
Tonight, NBC will air interviews that Bob Costas conducted with San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates and New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees in anticipation of Sunday Night Football’s matchup between the Chargers and Saints.
Bob asks Brees about requesting suspended coach Sean Payton to watch his potential record breaking game in which has thrown a touchdown pass in consecutive games.
Costas talks with Gates about playing football for Nick Saban at Michigan State.
BOB COSTAS INTERVIEWS SAINTS QB DREW BREES & CHARGERS TE ANTONIO GATES
“Those guys are as big a part of this record as anyone.” – Drew Brees to Bob Costas on why he requested that Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt attend tonight’s game
“I’m still in the moment. I’m still playing. It hasn’t even dawned on me.” – Antonio Gates to Bob Costas on being a potential Hall of Fame TE
NEW YORK – October 7, 2012 – Bob Costas interviewed New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees and San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates for tonight’s Week 5 edition of Football Night in America, which will preview Chargers-Saints, and also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 5 games.
Football Night will also air a feature on how the city of New Orleans is handling the team’s 0-4 start. The feature includes interviews with Bobby Hebert, a former Saints QB; John Besh, owner and executive chef of New Orleans’ August restaurant; and Kermit Ruffins, a New Orleans native, jazz trumpeter, singer and composer.
Football Night, the most-watched pre-game studio show in sports, airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst) as well as NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward for reaction to the afternoon games and to preview tonight’s match-up.
Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com. Carolyn Manno will report from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on the Broncos-Patriots game.
INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Brees and Gates. ”
DREW BREES WITH BOB COSTAS
On why he requested permission from the NFL to have Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt be at the game: “Because those guys are as big a part of this record as anyone. Certainly it was important to me that they at least have the opportunity to be in the building to share in what hopes to be a historic night for all of us.”
On having a moment with them after the game: “I hope so. Obviously we’re hoping that this record gets broken, but, regardless, that was part of my request to Commissioner Goodell, that I could have the opportunity at a pre-determined location of their choosing to be able to see Sean, Mickey, Joe, and, hopefully, celebrate this moment with them.
On being wanted by Sean Payton and the Saints when he was an injured free agent: “Yeah, they did. There weren’t many people knocking on my door, a six-foot quarterback with a bum shoulder, but Sean Payton did believe in me, this organization did believe in me. They gave me an opportunity that nobody else was willing to give me. I’ll always be indebted to them for that. One of the reasons that I work as hard as I do and want to win as bad as I do is for those who believed in me.”
On if the Saints are 0-4 because of the suspensions: “There’s no excuses. We’re certainly not an 0-4 team as I look around our locker room. But, unfortunately, you are what your record says you are. We’re going to hit the tipping point. I hope that it’s this week and that gets us on the winning track, and we’re able to get hot.”
ANTONIO GATES WITH BOB COSTAS
On being recruited out of high school by then-head coach Nick Saban, who wanted him to play only football, not football and basketball, at Michigan State: “If you asked a million kids, they all wanted to become NBA players. That was my dream at the time. I was always embracing basketball, so when I went to Michigan State. I never viewed myself as a guy going to the NFL. I was 6-3, 6-4, 245 pounds. I wanted to play basketball.”
On Nick Saban trying to get him to play football: “I just remember him saying something about, ‘What’s the difference between buying your mother a house with $50 million instead of $70 million?’ At 17, I was like, ‘$20 million.’ His message was, whether you go to the NBA or the NFL, you can still buy your mom a house. When I played him, when he was in Miami (as head coach of the Dolphins), I just had to say thank you because…he had seen the future all along. I couldn’t see it.”
On being a possible Hall of Fame tight end: “You know what, I’m still in the moment. I’m still playing. It hasn’t even dawned on me. I’m still a kid from Detroit who’s trying to make it out, trying to make it out of the inner city, trying to support my family, trying to play football, trying to enjoy competition. And that’s the way I still approach it.”
That will conclude this post and the early Sunday NFL quotage.
Tonight in advance of the Sunday Night Football game between the New York Football Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, NBC’s Bob Costas talks with the Giants’ Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, then with Philadelphia’s Michael Vick.
Here’s a preview through transcripts.
BOB COSTAS INTERVIEWS EAGLES QB MICHAEL VICK; GIANTS DE OSI UMENYIORA AND DE JUSTIN TUCK
“I understand that turning the ball over is something that you just can’t do.” – Eagles QB Vick to Bob Costas on being upset by Coach Andy Reid’s comments
“I laughed when I heard that. I didn’t know he had that in him. We’re going to settle this on the football field.” – Giants DE Osi Umenyiora to Bob Costas on being called a ballerina by Eagles RB LeSean McCoy
NEW YORK – September 30, 2012 –Bob Costas interviewed Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick, and New York Giants DE Osi Umenyiora and DE Justin Tuck for tonight’s Week 4 edition of Football Night in America, which will preview Eagles-Giants, and also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 4 games.
Football Night, the most-watched pre-game studio show in sports, airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst) as well as NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward for reaction to the afternoon games and to preview tonight’s match-up.
Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com. Carolyn Manno will report from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on the Saints-Packers game.
INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Vick, Umenyiora and Tuck.
MICHAEL VICK WITH BOB COSTAS
On the nine turnovers at the beginning of the season: “I think it’s just a coincidence, but the thing I get out of it when I go back and look at it is that they all can be corrected. I have to be conscious of who I throw the ball to, when and where. Last week we had no interceptions but I had two fumbles and I just have to do a better job of protecting the ball.”
On whether Coach Andy Reid’s comments at the beginning of the week hurt him: “I understand that turning the ball over is something that you just can’t do. As a coach you don’t have to say the right things all the time. Sometimes he can express what he’s feeling.”
On whether he talked to Reid after the comments: “Yes, we talked about it. The one thing about Andy and I, we just keep it all the way at one-hundred with each other. Meaning, we talk to each other. We are realists about each and every situation. If he feels a certain type of way he can tell me, and I can tell him what I’m feeling without him getting sensitive about it.”
On if he feels there is a special bond between him and Reid that goes beyond coach and quarterback, and if the commonality of tragedy and adversity in their lives brought them closer together: “Yes it has. Coach and I don’t even have to say anything to each other for me to know what he’s thinking or for him to know what I’m thinking. He’s just a great man, and has been very inspirational in my life and has been a great individual that I have gotten to know. It means the world to me that God has placed him in my life and that we have that bond.”
OSI UMENYIORA AND JUSTIN TUCK WITH BOB COSTAS
Tuck on how Vick is different to rush than any other QB: “When you have a guy like Michael, who can put long plays at his feet, you have to be careful. Vick is not one of the taller quarterbacks, so if you keep him in the pocket it makes it tough for him to see downfield. You start seeing that quarterback rating go down a little bit more when he has to be subject to be in the pocket all night.”
Umenyiora: “I concur.”
Umenyiora on the worst thing he’s heard from the Philadelphia crowd: “I can’t even repeat it, they are bad. They throw stuff at you and apparently they were throwing Gatorade bottles at the bus when we were leaving last year after the team won. So it’s Philly, I mean this is how they’ve always been, there’s nothing new and this is what we expect.”
Tuck: “As an opposing player you kind of respect that because they have so much passion for their team.”
Umenyiora: “But they’ll talk about their own team too. They’ll let everybody have it.”
Umenyiora on his feud with Eagles RB LeSean McCoy: “It started on the field and it progressed to off the field, but you know everything is okay now. We’re cool, we’re alright.”
On being called a ballerina by Eagles RB LeSean McCoy: “I laughed when I heard that. I didn’t know he had that in him. We’re going to settle this on the football field. He’s said some things to me and I’ve said some things to him, and I took the low road.Usually I take the high road but I took the low road and responded and that was out of my character and I’m just going to try to stay out of all that.”
The quotage from Football Night in America will come later this evening.
Let’s go over what’s coming up on the next NFL Sunday.
Our NFL Week actually began on Thursday? – Yup. First of 13 Thursday Night Football games on NFL Network this season.
So I won’t hear a disclaimer for “60 Minutes” on CBS at 7 p.m.? – Not when the Tiffany Network has the NFL doubleheader. With the late games now starting at 4:25 p.m. ET, both CBS and Fox have to make adjustments. When CBS has the doubleheader, primetime will start at 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT. In the Mountain and Pacific time zones, the Sunday primetime lineup won’t change. The entire CBS lineup will be pushed back a half-hour and there won’t be any shows that will be preempted.
What’s with Fox showing this soccer documentary? – On five Sundays, Fox will run programming either before or after its single NFL game depending on when your contest will air in your region. This week, Fox airs the premiere of its Fox Soccer documentary series called “Being: Liverpool”. On three other Sundays, Fox will air tape delayed coverage of English Premier League action. And on the other Sunday being programmed by Fox, it will have a UFC special previewing that weekend’s MMA card on the network.
Blackouts? Tell me about the blackouts? – None this week. The San Diego Chargers narrowly avoided embarrassment by having its home opener and tribute to the late Junior Seau blacked out. An extension to sell the last remaining tickets worked. The Dolphins did not sell out their home opener, but the team bought all of the remaining tickets and the game against the Raiders on Sunday will be seen in South Florida. Finally, the Cincinnati Bengals sold out their home opener after problems selling out last season.
What are your Games of the Week, compadre? – On CBS, I’ll choose Baltimore at Philadelphia (Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf). Ravens look really good. Philadelphia has to show something after barely defeating my Browns last week. The other for CBS is Tennessee at San Diego (Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts). It should be a rather emotional scene as the Chargers pay tribute to the late Junior Seau before the game.
For Fox, I choose New Orleans at Carolina (Ron Pitts/Mike Martz/Kristina Pink) as both teams have to show something after lackluster performances last week. And Dallas at Seattle (Kenny Albert/Daryl Johnston/Tony Siragusa) as we need to know if both teams were really what we saw in Week 1. Was Dallas really as good as it showed in the NFL Kickoff Game against the New York Giants? And what about Seattle? Questions abound after its loss to Arizona.
Anything else? – Sunday Night Football with a decent game as the Detroit Lions take on the San Francisco 49ers (Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth/Michele Tafoya). I wonder what “Get Off My Lawn” commentary Bob Costas will make on Sunday.
That concludes the Viewing Guide for Week 2 in the League Where They Play for Pay.
I’ll provide a few links on this Wednesday afternoon.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at CBS pushing its Sunday primetime lineup to 7:30 p.m. ET to accommodate the NFL.
Michael Kruse of Grantland has a very good story catching up with former ESPN Radio host Nanci Donnellan aka “The Fabulous Sports Babe”.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report has some thoughts on Notre Dame joining the ACC except for football and hockey.
Ed notes that Michelle Beadle might be headed to mornings on NBC Sports Network.
ESPN’s Kristi Dosh writes that despite losing Notre Dame, the Big East can still get a big TV rights eal.
Darren Rovell of ESPN says Notre Dame won’t becoming a full-time member of the ACC simply due to the fact that it likes its deal with NBC for football.
Georg Szalai from the Hollywood Reporter has CBS Head Honcho Leslie Moonves boasting about Super Bowl ads being sold for more than $4 million per 30 second spot.
Todd Spangler of Broadcasting & Cable writes that Google Fiber has added ESPN and several other Disney networks.
Tim Baysinger of B&C says Fox Sports has partnered with Oklahoma University to provide exclusive content on its Fox Sports Net channels.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek tells us NBC’s Sunday Night Football set another ratings record.
Jason Del Ray at Advertising Age says ESPN is launching an ad campaign for its pay Insider service.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life writes that thanks to the Olympics, NBC cruised to a summer ratings victory.
John Koblin of Deadspin has the great video of WFAN’s Mike Francesa falling asleep during his NFL Now show that was simulcast on YES last Sunday.
John also looks at the NFL going further into Sunday primetime.
Matt Yoder from Awful Announcing looks at Tim Brando’s Twitter war with Ohio State fans that stemmed from an interview during his radio show today.
Bill Carter of the New York Times discusses CBS adjusting its Sunday primetime schedule for the NFL.
Jerry Barmash from Fishbowl NY says the New York Giants season opener on NBC topped the ratings in the Big Apple.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call is one of the few who likes Bob Costas’ Sunday Night Football halftime commentaries.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has the local ratings for the DC Football Team’s season opener and RGIII’s pro debut.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle looks at the new Fox Sports-Oklahoma University rights deal.
David has a few notes in his blog including one on retiring Astros voice Milo Hamilton.
Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman says the NFL topped the local weekend ratings.
Berry Tremel of The Oklahoman looks at the new Fox Sports-OU relationship.
Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World has details of the Fox Sports-Oklahoma agreement.
Guerin Emig of the World has a Q&A about the new Sooner Sports TV programming arrangement.
Paul M. Banks from the Chicago Sports Media Watch says the White Sox set a 3 year ratings high for Comcast SportsNet on Tuesday.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune anticipates the 50,000th edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says the next inductee to the Broadcasters Wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame could be going in as both a player and a broadcaster.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail says a documentary on soccer match fixing is a reason why Canada needs the CBC.
Sports Media Watch says Monday Night Football got off to a slow start.
SMW notes that the U.S. Open men’s final on Monday afternoon didn’t do as well as it could have.
Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth noticed an error in one of Fox Sports’ MLB promos.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says NBC Sports Network is increasing its college hockey schedule in case of an NHL lockout.
That’s going to do it for now.
Ok, I’m steaming after seeing Bob Costas’ commentary on the late Art Modell. As a Browns fan, I’m still angry about the move from Cleveland. I know Baltimore fans couldn’t be happier about him.
Costas lecturing Browns fan about eventually forgiving Modell is just the thing we want to hear. I’m posting the text without further comments. Read it for yourself.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL HALFTIME
Dungy on the first half: “John Fox is a defensive coach and likes the running game and all that, but don’t wait 20 minutes to let Peyton be Peyton. That no huddle, that high-energy, fast-paced, that’s Peyton Manning. You’re going to score points, if you let him do that.”
Dungy on Redskins QB Robert Griffin III: “Griffin is smart, he’s mobile and he’s got a strong arm. The same qualities John Elway had as a young man. And he’s running the same offense so we’re going to get the same results, a lot of big plays from him.”
Patrick to Harrison on 49ers-Packers: “As you said, Alex Smith outplayed Aaron Rodgers.”
Harrison on 49ers QB Alex Smith: “He looked like the MVP.”
Bob Costas’ Halftime Essay on Art Modell
As you’ve heard, Art Modell, the longtime owner of the Cleveland Browns, and then the Baltimore Ravens, died Thursday at the age of 87. Modell’s rich and impactful life began in Brooklyn, where he grew up. With that background, he no doubt understood the lasting enmity toward Walter O’Malley, the owner who moved Brooklyn’s beloved Dodgers to Los Angeles. Teams – especially certain teams – can get tied up in people’s hearts and in the identity of a city.
The original Cleveland Browns were such a team. With a deep and dramatic history, a devoted fan base, a distinctive character, they were one of the league’s true flagship franchises. So when Modell up and transplanted them to Baltimore, he became his sport’s – and his generation’s – Walter O’Malley. Whatever his justifications, what Modell did to Cleveland far outweighed whatever he had done for it. Long before Lebron James, he was Cleveland’s public enemy #1, persona non grata for the rest of his life, in a town that had once loved him.
That’s a lasting part of Modell’s story, but even if this falls on deaf ears in Cleveland, it’s not the only part because here’s what else is true: For decades, Art Modell was one of the most significant and influential figures in the NFL, a chief architect of the television deals and strategies that made it America’s most popular and profitable sport.
From his earliest days in the league a half century ago, Modell was a progressive on racial issues – his hiring of Ozzie Newsome as the league’s first black GM, only one indication. He was well known for his philanthropy and for his winning way with a story or a joke, and to the end, he was a man who treated players and employees like family.
In truth, there’s a case to be made for Art Modell in the Hall of Fame and if that ever happens, maybe one day, in an ultimate proof of the adage that time heals all wounds, at least some Browns fans will decide that, that all things considered, Art Modell belongs, if not in Cleveland, then in Canton.
Ah yes. It’s football season and we know it’s here when we get pregame show quotage. In this case, it’s NBC’s transcripts from tonight’s NFL Kickoff 2012 show that was simulcast on the Peacock and NFL Network.
I like how we get quotage from NBC just an hour after the show ended. Very nice job, NBC. I appreciate getting the quotage in an efficient manner.
Check it out.
“Only difference is, Ben won two Super Bowls and Romo hasn’t yet.” – Hines Ward on comparisons between Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo
“He’s the best pass rusher on the planet.” – Rodney Harrison on Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul
“Instead of being nervous in those circumstances, I’m excited.” – Eli Manning to Bob Costas on the end of close games
NEW YORK – Sept. 5, 2012 – NBC’s coverage of the 2012 NFL season began tonight with NFL Kickoff 2012. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants were hosting the Dallas Cowboys in the first game of the 2012 NFL season. Costas was joined on-site by Hines Ward, the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and newest addition to NBC Sports’ NFL team.
Dan Patrick co-hosted the program from inside the stadium and was joined on-site by Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and NFL insiders Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.
As part of the NFL Kickoff 2012 celebration, Michelle Beadle hosted NBC’s coverage of a pre-game concert from Rockefeller Plaza in New York City that featured performances by Grammy Award-winning artists Mariah Carey and No Doubt.
Following are highlights from NFL Kickoff 2012:
TONY ROMO WITH BOB COSTAS
Costas interviewed Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo.
Romo on his newborn son: “It’s real easy to look at your son smile and know that life’s going to be okay. Football’s a tough sport and it’s a hard deal. It’s great to just have your son and see him smiling.”
Click here for a full version of this interview:
ON TONY ROMO
Ward on similar styles between Romo and Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Ward’s former teammate in Pittsburgh: “Only difference is, Ben won two Super Bowls and Romo hasn’t yet.”
Harrison: “The time is now.”
ON JASON WITTEN
Harrison: “He’s Tony Romo’s security blanket. Whenever we played against the Cowboys, we felt like, if we shut Jason Witten down, we shut their offense down.”
ELI MANNING WITH BOB COSTAS
Costas interviewed New York Giants QB Eli Manning.
Manning on the few Giants distractions this off-season: “It’s a good thing. That’s the way we like it around here. We have discovered that the less drama, distractions and different things going on, the better off we are.”
Manning on which was the better throw and which the better catch between the David Tyree play in Super Bowl XLII and the Mario Manningham play in Super Bowl XLVI: “The Tyree catch is the better catch. The Manningham play was a great catch, but it was a better throw, just to a spot where you had to put it in the right place to execute on that.”
Manning on excelling at end of games: “I’m looking forward to it. This is the fun part. Our guys know what we’re doing. We should be able to play fast and we have a chance to go and win the game right here. Instead of being nervous in those circumstances, I’m excited.”
ON ELI MANNING
Dungy: “Here’s how far Eli has come. Peyton told me that when they talk now, Peyton never gives advice to Eli. There’s nothing he can tell him about playing quarterback.”
ON VICTOR CRUZ
Ward: “His coming out party is over now. He’s not a secret anymore…He’s going to command the No. 1 cornerbacks.”
ON JASON PIERRE-PAUL
Harrison: “He’s the best pass rusher on the planet.”
ON PEYTON MANNING
Dungy, who attended Broncos practice this week and interviewed Peyton: “I saw a lot of the same things. Him going 100 miles an hour during practice, talking to the receivers in between drills and showing them things. But the big thing I noticed…. He delayed (our) interview 25 minutes because he was having a (hand) signals meeting with all of his receivers and backs. That’s the old Peyton Manning, the Manning that I know.”
Harrison on Manning’s hand signals: “I think half of those calls were dummy calls…Close your eyes. Don’t pay attention.”
ON REPLACEMENT OFFICIALS
King: “I talked to lead negotiator Scott Green, an NFL official. He said, ‘I’ve never seen our guys more solid and stronger.’ So no real officials this first weekend.”
NBC can certainly crow about its ratings over the Olympics, but they happened during the dead month of August when network fare is as original as a Jason Blair article. It took me ten minutes to think of that. Anyway, the top-rated primetime series of 2011-12, Sunday Night Football returns to NBC this week and it all begins on Wednesday with the NFL Kickoff game between the defending Super Bowl Champions the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys live from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
It begins with NFL Kickoff 2012 at 7:30 p.m. ET live from 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York with Michelle Beadle hosting the concert portion of the program. Musical acts include Mariah Carey and No Doubt.
Then on Sunday, it’s the season premiere of Sunday Night Football with the Denver Broncos taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers live from the Mile High City.
Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya will be at both games. Bob Costas will recite inane commentary from high above the field at MetLife Stadium and at the new Mile High.
The Football Night in America crew of Dan Patrick, Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison will be live at MetLife, then return to its normal digs at 30 Rock on Sunday.
NBC also announces the return of NFL Turning Point and the premiere of Pro Football Talk to be co-hosted by Mr. Know It All, Erik Kuselias and ultimate multi-tasker Mike Florio.
Here’s the NBC press release.
New York Giants Host Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday, September 5. Coverage of NFL Kickoff 2012 Begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Denver Broncos Host Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, September 9. Coverage Begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC
Michele Tafoya to Provide Live Video Tweets During Each SNF Game
Sunday Night Football Extra to Live Stream NBC NFL Games for Fifth Consecutive Year on NBCSports.com
NFL Turning Point Season Premiere on Wednesday, September 12 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
Pro Football Talk with Mike Florio Airs Weeknights at 5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
NEW YORK – September 4, 2012 – The NFL will open the regular season tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 5, with NFL Kickoff 2012 on NBC. The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants will host their division rival Dallas Cowboys from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. A pre-game concert will feature performances by Grammy Award-winning artists Mariah Carey and No Doubt, from a specially constructed stage in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Coverage begins on NBC at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Sunday Night Football, the No. 1 primetime show on television, kicks off on Sunday, Sept. 9, with Peyton Manning making his first regular-season appearance as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos as they host the Pittsburgh Steelers from Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. Coverage begins with Football Night in America at 7 p.m. ET
Calling both games is six-time Emmy Award-winner Al Michaels (play-by-play), in his 27th season as the voice of the NFL’s premier primetime package; 13-time Emmy Award-winner Cris Collinsworth, who has won the Emmy for outstanding event analyst in each of his three seasons in the Sunday Night Football booth; and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, who, last year in her first season with SNF, won the inaugural Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Reporter.
Football Night in America is hosted by 23-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas, who will report from MetLife Stadium on Wednesday and Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday. Costas is joined on site by Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and two-time Super Bowl winner Hines Ward.
Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from MetLife Stadium on Wednesday night, and from NBC’s Studio 8G at 30 Rockefeller Plaza on Sunday night. Patrick is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network and NBCSports.com.
Michelle Beadle will host the concert portion of NFL Kickoff 2012 on NBC, featuring performances by Mariah Carey and No Doubt, from a specially constructed stage in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
In addition to the weekly Sunday Night Football and Football Night in America broadcasts, NBC Sports Group’s NFL coverage also includes digital content and social media extensions that are available online, as well as NFL-related shoulder programming available on NBC Sports Network.
PREVIEW VIDEO: Michaels and Collinsworth on Cowboys vs. Giants.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL EXTRA
SNF EXTRA: For the fifth consecutive season, the entire Sunday Night Football schedule will be streamed live on NBCSports.com. The video stream will come directly from NBC’s broadcast of SNF, and will include additional camera angles and interactive features.
Sunday Night Football Extra employs a full HD-quality player, which includes a draggable picture-in-picture feature for any of the online-only cameras, plus full DVR functionality allowing the user to pause, scroll back-and-forth, and review plays in slo-motion.
SNF Extra includes expert analysis, including fantasy tips from Rotoworld fantasy experts as well as in-game chats and analysis from Mike Florio. Additionally SNF Extra employs online-only in-game analysis from the Sunday Night Football and Football Night in America teams.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL EXPANDS DIGITAL COVERAGE
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ALL-ACCESS. ALL SEASON LONG: For the third straight season, NBCSports.com is providing a destination for fans dedicated to behind-the-scenes content of Sunday Night Football. SNF All-Access includes exclusive photos of the Sunday Night Football production, look-ins on SNF production meetings, Michele Tafoya interviews with key NFL players and a weekly notebook and conversations with SNF talent.
Visit SNF All-Access at: http://snfallaccess.nbcsports.com/
“THE SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL”: This season NBC Sports will introduce “The Sunday Night Football”, a custom made football from Wilson, which will travel with the SNF crew all season long. Fans of SNF on Facebook and Twitter will be able to keep up with “The Sunday Night Football” on the SNF Facebook page, follow its path through each city and recommend where it should visit while in town. At the end of each SNF game, “The Sunday Night Football” will be signed by the player of the game. Photos, video and stories around “The Sunday Night Football” and its travels will live on Facebook, Twitter and SNFAllAccess.com all season long.
SNF ON FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/SNFonNBC – The Sunday Night Football Facebook page provides links, photos and videos exclusive to behind-the-scenes at SNF every week. The page aggregates all SNF-related content found within the NBC Sports digital network, including NBCSports.com, SNF Extra, ProFootballTalk.com, and Rotoworld.com.
SNF ON TWITTER: twitter.com/SNFonNBC – For the first time ever, Michele Tafoya will be doing live video tweets from @SNFonNBC on the sideline exclusively for the SNF social media platforms, providing fans extended real-time content from Michele’s unique sideline perspective. Using tweets, twitpics and twitvids @SNFonNBC provides unique content with SNF talent, production crew and NFL players.
Each week @SNFonNBC will promote a guest player who will live tweet during the Sunday Night Football broadcast. On Wednesday, September 5, Super Bowl winner and retired New York Giant David Tyree will be the guest player. On Sunday, September 9, Super Bowl winner and retired Pittsburgh Steeler Willie Parker will be the guest player. The tweets from the guest player will automatically be pulled into the SNF Extra Player.
SNF ON INSTAGRAM: Going into its second season, Sunday Night Football gives the SNF fan a look at photos through the filters of Instagram. Fans get a look inside the production trucks, the locker rooms, on the field and around the city. Fans also have the opportunity to submit photos through Instagram using #SNF that will automatically be curated into a special Instagram tab on the Sunday Night Football Facebook page..
SNF ON GETGLUE: For the second season in a row, fans can check into each SNF game on GetGlue. Fans watching Sunday Night Football at home have the opportunity to win weekly SNF themed stickers and chances at real-world prizes by checking into SNF on GetGlue every Sunday night.
NFL TURNING POINT SEASON PREMIERE WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 12, 10 p.m. ET on NBC SPORTS NETWORK
The second season of Emmy-nominated NFL Turning Point, NBC Sports Network’s weekly show co-produced by NFL Films, will premiere Wednesday, Sept. 12th at 10 p.m. ET and will be hosted by Football Night in America’s Dan Patrick. The hour-long program will air throughout the NFL regular season and will focus on the crucial ‘turning point’ moment in several games for football fans each week by utilizing NFL Films’ unmatched cinematography and sideline and on-field audio.
Click here for more details on this week’s show: http://www.nbcuniversal.presscentre.com
PRO FOOTBALL TALK ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK WEEKNIGHTS, 5 p.m. ET
Mike Florio, who created the innovative, NFL-focused web destination ProFootballTalk.com, hosts the new NBC Sports Network television program Pro Football Talk. The one-hour show airs at 5 p.m. ET every Monday through Friday. Pro Football Talk will be co-hosted by Erik Kuselias.
Pro Football Talk features concentrated NFL insight from Florio and other experts from around the league. Florio and Kuselias will regularly welcome a roster of NBC Sports football commentators, including Rodney Harrison, Hines Ward, Doug Flutie, Ross Tucker, Amani Toomer, and Peter King, among others. In addition to deep diving on the most topical NFL stories of the day, Pro Football Talk will also touch on injuries, fantasy football and officiating.
There you go. Good night.
On the next Costas Tonight airing Wednesday on the NBC Sports Network, Bob will speak Joe Paterno biographer Joe Posnanski. The book, Paterno, was recently released and has come under scrutiny for not being hard enough on the late Penn State coach in the midst of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Costas will talk about the Sandusky scandal with Posnanski, how he handled the story as it broke and how it affected his writing of the Paterno tome.
In addition, the show will air Costas’ now-infamous interview with Sandusky that aired last year on Rock Center with Brian Williams plus show some footage that didn’t make the show.
Here’s the NBC Sports Network press release.
Bob Costas Goes One-On-One With “Paterno” Author Joe Posnanski on the Next “Costas Tonight,” Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
90-Minute Show Includes Costas’ Full November 2011 interview with Jerry Sandusky from Rock Center with Brian Williams with Never-Before-Seen Footage from 10-10:30 p.m. ET
“Costas Tonight” Originates from Studio 8G at 30 Rock and Airs Wednesday, August 29, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
EXCERPTS FROM COSTAS/POSNANSKI INTERVIEW BELOW
“I believe that Joe Paterno should have done more. I’ve told him that to his face directly. I said ‘you’re Joe Paterno. You’re just expected to do more.’ I don’t believe he was involved in a cover up. I don’t believe that he did this to protect his legacy. I understand that others do.” – Posnanski
“I have no qualms with the Louis Freeh report, he had his goals and his role in this thing…but I believe the report is very incomplete.” – Posnanski on Louis Freeh Report
“What I come away with is what a complicated life it was and what a big life it was.” – Posnanski on Paterno’s life
“That’s not the story, that’s not the book. I wasn’t going to write THAT book. Somebody else can if they want. I wrote the honest book, the book that I believe is true.” – Posnanski answering his critics that he wasn’t hard enough on Paterno
NEW YORK – August 28, 2012 – Paterno author Joe Posnanski, who spent months in State College, Pa., both before and after the Penn State scandal writing his book on the school’s former head coach, will join Bob Costas, a 23-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and one of America’s preeminent interviewers, on the latest edition of Costas Tonight, a 90-minute program, to air tomorrow night, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
Following Costas’ one-on-one with Posnanski, Costas Tonight will feature the entire interview – including never-before-seen footage – that Costas conducted with convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. That interview aired exclusively on Rock Center with Brian Williams on November 14, 2011.
Posnanski, an eyewitness to history, spent months embedded within Penn State to write Paterno, and had unprecedented access to the head coach before, and then after the scandal broke at the school.
About Costas Tonight:
Costas Tonight builds on Costas’ long and storied career as an interviewer from Later with Bob Costas and Costas Coast-to-Coast to his acclaimed HBO programs, On the Record and CostasNOW. Costas Tonight originates from Studio 8G at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
# # #
EXCERPTS FROM COSTAS’ INTERVIEW WITH POSNANSKI:
Costas: “You had to have an opinion. You were closer to this than most of us. Do you believe that Joe Paterno was a principled man, not perfect – flawed – but a generally principled man, who in his old age and his inattention simply neglected what he should have done, which is still a pretty serious charge? Or do you believe the more serious charge, much more serious charge, as leveled by Louis Freeh, which is that he, along with others, but he is the major figure, that he knew essentially what was going on and he actively and knowingly covered it up?”
Posnanski: “You know my own personal opinion, which I will share with you, is not as important as the reader’s.”
Costas: “Is that a dodge, though?”
Posnanski: “I’m not going to dodge because I will answer it. But I think it’s really important, if I say what I think, that does influence…I wrote in the book and I believe that Joe Paterno should have done more. I’ve told him that to his face directly. I said ‘You’re Joe Paterno. You’re just expected to do more.’ I don’t believe he was involved in a cover up. I don’t believe that he did this to protect his legacy. I understand that others do. I’ve read the Louis Freeh report several times. I know what’s in it. I think its missing things. I think there were a lot of people he didn’t talk to. I also believe that this is such an emotional topic that if people look at the facts that I presented, they can absolutely go to that conclusion.”
Costas: “Without getting bogged down in the particulars, this is the essence of Louis Freeh, former FBI director‘s report. The conclusion: In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, Paterno, among others, but again Paterno is the figure that the public gravitates toward here, repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from authorities, the university’s trustees, the Penn State community and the public. If that is true, as Freeh concluded, it is indefensible.”
Costas: “You don’t believe that though.”
Posnanski: “I don’t believe that, no. I honestly don’t. I honestly believe that what Louis Freeh did, and I have no qualms with the Louis Freeh report, he had his goals and his role in this thing.”
Costas: “Well if you don’t think that’s true, you must have qualms with his report.”
Posnanski: “He didn’t talk to Tim Curley; he didn’t talk to Gary Schultz; he didn’t talk to Joe Paterno; he didn’t talk to Jerry Sandusky; he didn’t talk to Tom Harmon; he didn’t talk to Mike McQueary. He didn’t talk to any of the major players in this and I think, I understand why he went to those conclusions, and he did, but I believe the report is very incomplete and I do believe that as things come out, it’s going to emerge that some of the people who wrote some of the emails and so on are going to say that everything has been misspoken.”
“My feeling again is, and I’m really not looking to dodge because there are so many things that we don’t understand and hard to know, but I have many of the same facts that I reported on my own that are in the Freeh report – he jumped to conclusions that I cannot jump to. I mean, I jump to definitely there was a sense that Joe Paterno knew more than he suggested; there’s definitely a sense that Joe Paterno should have done more. But the cover up, the idea that he was actively following it, these sorts of things, I think they’re still, to me, they’re still up in the air.”
# # #
Costas: “Here’s a passage from your book: ‘as I was writing this book, the line before the time and the line after the time became clear. Before November 5, 2011, it was very difficult to find anyone willing to say a truly bad word about Joe Paterno. After November 5, it was far more difficult to find anyone willing to say a good word.’ And I think, and this is understandable, that to a lot of people that the nature of these crimes was so heinous, and the idea of inaction is so unfathomable that anything less than complete unequivocal condemnation is interpreted as somehow insufficient concern for the victims or the severity of the crime. That made your assignment to parse the good and the bad more difficult.”
Posnanski: “Very difficult. And I knew when this book came out, and like I say I’m very, very proud of it, but I knew when this book came out that it was going to get hit pretty hard by that group of people. I tried to make it as fair as you know. You’ve read it. There are many, many things about Joe Paterno in here that are not flattering – even long before Sandusky. It is as fair and honest of a book as I could write but it doesn’t hide from the fact that for 50 years people considered Joe Paterno a saint, and that for 50 years he was sportsman-of-the-year and he was considered the best thing about sports. We all know that.”
Costas: “Or among them.”
Posnanski: “Or among them. But people would write those words, ‘The best thing about sports is Joe Paterno.’ And suddenly that was gone, completely gone and in many ways rightfully so. But it’s not like those 50 years didn’t happen. And I think even mentioning those years, even talking about that time, for exactly the reasons you say, some people just don’t want to hear it.”
# # #
Costas: “Obviously there has been mixed reaction to the book. Among the reviews we’ve seen so far, this is the most extreme, Paul Campos at salon.com, ‘Paterno is a disgraceful book and a minor literary crime. To say Posnanski botches his journalistic and literary opportunity is akin to saying that the Titanic’s maiden voyage might have gone more smoothly.’ Let’s concede that that’s at one end, what criticism somewhere towards the middle of that, do you concede correct or fair?”
Posnanski: “I kind of felt like those guys in Spinal Tap there when you were reading that review. I think this is a book that as people get away from this, and are less emotional about it; they’ll see what I was trying to do in this book. I think that some people see it now, fortunately. But I think as time goes on and as people get less emotional about it, a lot of people who have written reviews, frankly, came in with the same opinion that they went out with. I’ve been, as you know, taking a lot of hits long before the book came out.”
Costas: “(According to public opinion) the only acceptable take is that Paterno was fully culpable in the most extreme interpretation, and that he was, prior to that, a fraud and a hypocrite and this doesn’t just invalidate the good he may have done, it exposes that good as a fraud.”
Posnanski: “Exactly, and I think that’s what certain people wanted. That’s not the story, that’s not the book. I wasn’t going to write THAT book. Somebody else can if they want. I wrote the honest book, the book that I believe is true. I believe that I had better access than I’ll ever get again for a book and I believe that I used it as well as I could.”
Costas: “What did you come away thinking? What is your bottom line on Joe Paterno?”
Posnanski: “I think really what I come away with is what a complicated life it was and what a big life it was.”
Costas: “Do you view him as a good man who made a tragic mistake, be it of omission or commission? Or is he less of a good man because of that mistake?”
Posnanski: “It’s somewhere in the middle. That’s a tough one. I don’t want to dodge it. I think he did a lot of good in his life and I think he did make a tragic mistake.”
Costas: “At his best, was he a good man?”
Posnanski: “Definitely. At his best, I think it’s too long and too distinguished and too many achievements to think that it was worth nothing.”
Some sports media thoughts coming later.
Well, the Olympics have been over for a week, but in the time since the flame was extinguished in the Olympic Stadium in London, it’s meant the start of a whole slew of montages being uploaded from all over the globe. We have several videos from BBC’s extensive coverage, one from CTV and one from NBC.
We’ll start with our neighbors from the north, CTV and the Canadian Olympics Broadcast Media Consortium. This group was forged by Bell Media and Rogers mostly to team up for the 2010 Vancouver Games while 2012 in London was an afterthought. It still did not prevent the Consortium from sending a large crew to cover the Olympics including the venerable Brian Williams. In this video, Brian gives his thoughts on the London Olympics, compares them to the Vancouver Games and we get the final playing of the Consortium’s theme, “I Believe” sung by Nikki Yanofsky.
Now to NBC’s montage which always starts off with music from “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” and crescendos with the theme from “Remember The Titans”. Bob Costas says goodbye to former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol and director Bucky Gunts as both left the network after the Olympics. This is a good montage, but one that I thought was not as good as past videos. It doesn’t mean that it won’t stand with the test of time. We’ll be getting at least four more of these as NBC will take us through the 2020 Olympics. However, as long as we don’t get multiple shots of Debbie Phelps, I’ll be happy. The audio is low so turn up your speakers.
Now to the first of BBC’s many 2012 Olympic montages. I keep finding new ones. This ended BBC’s “Red Button” and online coverage. This montage was set to Frank Turner’s “Rivers”.
Next, this is a montage that focused on the cycling in the Velodrome, a venue that was very successful for Team GB. Overall, seven gold medals which was way beyond the other countries that sent athletes to challenge the Brits. This video is done to will.i.am.
Here’s one from BBC News using its iconic theme. I’m intrigued by the BBC News theme.
This montage ended BBC’s coverage on the final Saturday of the Games. This was cut to Thea Gilmore’s rendition of “London” written by the late Sandy Denny. I like this video. The BBC’s Gary Lineker introduces the video.
And going off the beaten path, here’s the song in its entirety. I like the song a lot. Unfortunately, it’s not available on iTunes in the States.
And here’s our final clip. This is the final BBC Olympic montage that ended the entire 19 days of coverage on the network. The song is John Lennon’s “Imagine” and sung by Emeli Sandé of Scotland. This was recorded especially for the BBC. And the montage is quite well done. Olympic hosts Gary Lineker and Sue Barker say goodbye for the last time.
And this really concludes the Fang’s Bites coverage of the 2012 Olympics.
Time to hand out the medals for NBC’s coverage for the Games of the XXX Summer Olympiad in London. This was a largely successful Olympics for NBC as it outdid its own expectations for ratings, profits and viewership. I’ll do the same as I did back in 2008 for Beijing and 2010 in Vancouver. For those not getting on the medal stand, they will get a horrid Bowl of Haggis. I guess some people in the UK like Haggis, but looking at that recipe, I don’t think I could eat it and I would challenge those who fail to medal here to eat it.
I will do hosts in this segment. I will follow up with play-by-play and analysts in the next installment.
So let’s do the medals for 2012. You may agree, you may not agree. Comment below.
Bob Costas, NBC Primetime – I know, it’s easy to put him in this category, but even if there’s slippage, which there wasn’t, you can’t put him in any other place. Unlike in Beijing where he had live events to handle, London’s primetime was all taped including Costas’ own transitions in and out of events. His interviews mostly went well except when he tried a 1975 World Series Carlton Fisk home run reference on 19 year old gymnast Aly Raisman who had no idea what he was talking about. This year, Bob was more sarcastic and caustic in his comments. Maybe it was the hour he was taping, but overall, Costas was back in his element as host.
Michelle Beadle, NBC Sports Network Daytime — Michelle was an Olympic rookie, but she did a great job on the anchor desk. Quite often, she opened NBC Sports Network’s coverage and sent us right to live events. In addition, her interviews on the set gave us food for thought, especially when women’s 100 meter medalists Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells made news with Beadle criticizing Lolo Jones. Michelle showed her humor during the Olympics and it came across very nicely on the anchor desk. Here’s hoping we’ll see her in Sochi in 2014.
Dan Patrick, NBC Daytime – After appearing for just four days in Vancouver, Dan stayed for the entire duration of the London Games and did a spectacular job. As I previously wrote, Dan could step in for Bob if Costas ever chose to leave the primetime desk. Dan was very good on interviews, had very good chemistry with Al Michaels on the transitions and was very good as a nuts and bolts host. Patrick has firmly established himself as an upper echelon studio host with the 2012 Olympics.
Liam McHugh, NBC Sports Network Late Afternoon – Here’s a guy who has had a busy four month stretch for NBC Sports and he’s going to be busy again in September as he transitions to college football. Once part of The Daily Line on Versus, one of the few people to continue to NBC Sports Network under the Comcast transition, Liam has become one of the best young studio hosts on sports television. He’s gone from the NHL Postseason to hosting the Stanley Cup Final to the Tour de France and then the Olympics. In each case, he made hosting look easy when having to transition from sport-to-sport is hardly that way. Well done, Liam.
Mary Carillo, NBC Late Night – The late night show is perfect for Mary. It’s a mix of events, humor and interviews and Mary was up to the task. Unlike the daytime and primetime shows, Late Night was able to stretch its wings. Plus John McEnroe made a few appearances and it made for some funny moments. Mary gets a well deserved silver.
Al Michaels, NBC Daytime – A much better showing from Vancouver. Al was more relaxed on the set this year as compared to Vancouver where he looked uncomfortable. Perhaps it was having his new BFF Dan Patrick around to loosen thing up, but Al was quite good. He mixed anecdotes, Olympic factoids and one liners where he could. Overall, a good job by Al and he’s on the podium in London.
Willie Geist, NBC Sports Network Midday — I wanted to dislike Willie as his shaky performances in Vancouver didn’t give me much hope for hosting duties, but I have to admit, he showed some humor and some strong interviewing skills in London. He and Michelle Beadle had some funny transitions on the set and they showed some decent chemistry. Willie gets a surprising silver.
Kelly Tilghman, MSNBC Daytime – After a strong start, Kelly faltered a bit like in the second week where she made up countries. I’d like to see Kelly in Sochi and Rio. She’s on the podium. As she was in New York, she was able to speak with several NBC analysts who didn’t make the trip to London. Interviews went well for the most part.
Rob Simmelkjaer, MSNBC Daytime – He’s on the podium.
BOWL OF HAGGIS
Pat O’Brien, Bravo Tennis – There was a time when having Pat O’Brien at your event meant a heavy hitter who could write, quip and conduct interviews. While Pat has been back in sports on Fox Sports Radio after his long stint covering entertainment news, he was amazingly unprepared to host Olympic tennis on Bravo. He made numerous mistakes, conducted awkward interviews and despite being on every day for the first week, he did not improve. Here’s a guy who brought us Rock ‘n Roll Highlights and irreverence to Olympic Late Night in the 1990′s, but instead, gave us nothing in 2012. Sad to see.
Fred Roggin, CNBC Boxing – Fred was based in New York after being a venue host in 2008 and 2010. Fred has not been a fave since his stint hosting boxing in Beijing and curling in Vancouver. He received an #NBCFAIL in 2010 and a bronze in Beijing. NBC gave Fred a studio complete with analysts BJ Flores and Laila Ali. It appeared both Flores and Ali wanted to hit Fred at various points. The studio transitions between Fred in New York and the boxing crew of Bob Papa and Teddy Atlas were awkward at times. Fred gets a Bowl of Haggis. Down it with some warm British beer while you’re at it.
Bela Karolyi, Gymnastics – Was Bela hard to understand at times? Yes. But is he enthusiastic about his sport and does it come across on TV? Yes and yes. Once again, the Bela and Bob Show was entertaining television. His analysis was very biased, but Bela is not a journalist and we know this from the outset. The night his wife came on set to talk with Bob was quite funny as Bob tried to determine if both were going to be in Rio in 2016. And an interview on late night between Mary Carillo, Bela and Nastia Liukin turned out to be The Bela Show. We need more Bela in Rio.
Doc Rivers, Basketball – The Boston Celtics coach was once an analyst for TNT and ESPN and he stepped into the studio on NBC Sports Network/NBC and was fantastic. Doc explained replays and strategy concisely and he even stepped in during the transition between the women’s soccer semifinal and men’s basketball game last week. Liam McHugh asked him as a coach how he would handle the USA and Canada soccer squads after their emotional game and Doc gave great answers. And as the speculation grew for Doc as 2016 Olympic basketball coach, he answered the questions as best as he could. In addition, it was nice to see an NBA on ABC reunion between Doc and former partner, Al Michaels.
Laila Ali, Boxing – Laila did an adept job in analyzing women’s boxing with Fred Roggin (see above). Like her dad, Laila is charismatic and if she ever decided to become an analyst, I’d watch.
BJ Flores, Boxing – The analyst for NBC Sports Network’s boxing coverage was ok. I couldn’t understand him at times, but maybe that was me.
REPORTERS AND CONTRIBUTORS
John McEnroe, NBC Primetime and Late Night – John wanted to go outside his traditional tennis role and stretch his wings. I thought John did great. He filled two roles, one with NBC and another with BBC. McEnroe showed a general interest in the sports he attended whether it was track & field or swimming. I noticed that John’s feature on Usain Bolt ran on both networks over the weekend. And on Saturday, a feature on the proper way to behave was right up his alley.
Jimmy Roberts, NBC Daytime – Jimmy is a masterful writer and can find stories where others cannot. I would have liked to have seen him in primetime, bu we got to see Ryan Seacrest instead (more on him later).
BOWL OF HAGGIS
Ryan Seacrest, All-Around Hack – I know why NBC had him at the Olympics, he was there to draw viewers who don’t normally watch the Olympics. He had primetime segments where he talked with Michael and Debbie Phelps or discussed social media trends. On the Today Show, he interviewed athletes. Throughout, Seacrest showed a general lack of knowledge in sports and sometimes in the people he was interviewing. Then again, Seacrest is not a sportscaster nor does he pretend to be. I’m not a fan of Seacrest and I thought his primetime segments brought the proceedings to a halt. However, during the Closing Ceremony, he kept his talking to a minimum, introducing the musical acts and letting the pictures do the talking. For Sochi and Rio, let’s keep his Olympic appearances to the Today Show and off primetime where he can do the least damage.
Coming tonight, the medals for the play-by-play commentators, analysts and venue reporters.
As we go into the second week of the 2012 London Olympics or the Games of the XXX Summer Olympiad, I thought I would take the opportunity on this middle Sunday to look ahead for the next set of Games on television.
We know that NBCUniversal will carry the Olympics through 2020, that’s two Winter and two Summer Games in that timespan. While the network has been served well by its current crop of announcers, some of whom date back as far back as 1988, it’s time to replace them with a new generation of hosts, play-by-play callers and analysts who can carry the network through 2020 and possibly beyond.
I’ll focus this post on the Summer Games since that’s what we’ve been watching for the last 8 days. I’ll do a Winter Olympics announcing post at a later date. I’ll start with hosts, then go by the glamor sports.
Bob Costas — Bob is 60 this year and while his youthful look betrays his age, he’ll be 64 in 2016 for Rio and 68 in 2020 at a site yet to be determined. ABC’s Jim McKay hosted his last Olympics in 1988 at age 65. Costas remains the best interviewer on sports television and should be allowed to host the Olympics on NBC for as long as he wants. I don’t think he’s going anywhere.
Dan Patrick — Dan is just four years younger than Bob, but if Costas decides to leave, DP could step into his shoes as Primetime host.
Liam McHugh — For 2016, I would think this is where NBC could tap Liam McHugh and put him in Al Michaels’ place on Daytime. Al would be 71 in Rio and while he would still be very good at calling Sunday Night Football in four years, I would not put him in the host’s chair in Rio. McHugh has proven he can be very versatile hosting the NHL Postseason, the Stanley Cup Final, the Tour de France and the Olympics over a four month span. That is not easy, but Liam has made it look easy and that’s the sign of a very good host.
Bonnie Bernstein — ESPN’s Bonnie Bernstein is the best personality not to have an Olympic gig. This is like saying she’s the Best Golfer Not To Win A Major. She has proven as a substitute host for Dan Patrick and on Twitter that she can discuss multiple sports. And Bonnie’s also a former gymnast. Watching BBC’s coverage of the London Games, the network utilizes both studio and venue hosts. Making Bonnie a venue host at Gymnastics with Nastia Liukin as her analyst would work to one of her strengths. She was a five-time host of the NCAA Gymnastics Championship when she was at CBS. I would love to see her work an Olympic Games.
Ryan Burr — Ryan will be coming to the NBCUniversal family to work at Golf Channel and at NBC Sports Network. We could see him host on either MSNBC or NBCSN.
Michelle Beadle — Michelle’s done a great job thus far in London. She has shown she can talk Olympic sports and bring some humor as well.
Kelly Tilghman — I’ve liked her work on MSNBC. I can see her on future Olympics as well.
Let’s do this by sport.
BASKETBALL — If the NBA continues sending players to the Olympics, then NBC could continue utilizing Bob Fitzgerald from Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and Chris Carrino. This is where NBC should tap Turner Sports for a Steve Kerr or even Reggie Miller for analysts.
If basketball becomes an Under 23 tournament as speculated, NBC may have to hire college basketball announcers. Borrowing Ian Eagle from CBS and YES to call games would be a good move. Jay Bilas from ESPN would forge a strong team with Ian throughout the Games. And NBC should still utilize Craig Sager as the reporter although he looks muted with a regular wardrobe.
On the women’s side, if NBC could get Doris Burke on loan from ESPN, that would be ideal. She could work men’s games too as she’s proven over the past few years. If NBC can’t get Doris Burke, why not former ESPN’er Stacey Dales or Fox Sports Net’s Debbie Antonelli?
BOXING — Bob Papa and Teddy Atlas are a very good team and should remain, but I’d love for NBC to bring in its old friend Jim Lampley with Larry Merchant and Emmanuel Steward from HBO to call one or two bouts a day. What could be better than that? And bring in Harold Lederman for judging analysis while we’re at it.
Host Fred Roggin should be replaced with boxing fan Brian Kenny of MLB Network.
CYCLING — If it’s not Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, NBC should go announcer-less.
DIVING — Can you believe Cynthia Potter has worked every Summer Olympics on network television since 1984? She’s been solid, but it’s time to bring in some new blood. 2000 gold medalist Laura Wilkinson who worked the Diving Trials for NBC Sports Network in June is a potential candidate.
GYMNASTICS — Utilizing a favorite word of Tim Daggett’s, the announcing on this sport over the last two Olympiads has been catastrophic. Normally, I like Al Trautwig, but his calls of gymnastics in 2008 in Beijing and this year in London is reaching John Tesh disastrous proportions in 1996. Al makes everything seems at life or death levels. In addition, his penchant to focus on crying gymnasts borders on creepy.
Tim Daggett’s constant talking and use of the word “catastrophic” is annoying. Elfi Schlegel has been reduced to short sentences. NBC needs to replace this team for 2016.
This is where NBC can utilize a venue host (see Bonnie Bernstein above) with an analyst. Nastia Liukin could fill that role very nicely. Bela Karolyi has proven to be Must See TV and should be one of the studio analysts. And if his wife, Marta retires, imagine the fireworks on the set between those two.
NBC is using Terry Gannon this year to call rowing. Why not have Terry call Olympic Gymnastics in 2016? He has called the sport for ABC and did it well. And having watched the World Feed this year through NBC’s Olympics Live Extra app, I’m very impressed with Shannon Miller from 1996′s Magnificent Seven Team. She’s been the sole analyst for Olympic Broadcasting Services and has done very well in explaining certain moves, the scoring system and their implications without sounding overdramatic. Terry Gannon and Shannon Miller would make an excellent team.
GOLF — Remember, golf makes its return to the Olympics in Rio in 2016, having made its last appearance in 1904. NBC/Golf Channel has an established team with Dan Hicks, Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo, Roger Maltbie, Brandell Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, Rich Lerner, the aforementioned Kelly Tilghman, David Feherty, the incoming Ryan Burr and so many others who could work this event.
Some people have asked me on Twitter if Dan would stop calling swimming to do golf. I think Dan could do both especially if the IOC (with the help of NBC) decides to schedule golf in the second week of the Olympics, so that it doesn’t interfere with swimming, tennis, gymnastics and other sports in the first week. This is where a venue host would come in handy, perhaps Kelly or Ryan with one or two of the many Golf Channel analysts. And we could expect Golf Channel to have a role in picking up the first two rounds of Olympic Golf with NBC coming in for the last two rounds.
SOCCER — NBC used its MLS crew, Arlo White and Kyle Martino on the men’s games along with JP Dellacamera, Glenn Davis, Steve Cangialosi and Allen Hopkins. I’d love to see English Premier League announcers Martin Tyler and Ian Darke on US TV calling some Olympic action.
Brandi Chastain despite Hope Solo’s complaints last week is doing well on women’s games and I would keep her in the booth.
SWIMMING — Dan Hicks has made this one of his signature sports along with golf throughout his career at NBC. I can’t see him leaving the sport unless golf is scheduled in the first week, but I don’t think that would happen. Rowdy Gaines has been a good salesman for swimming and he’s doing yeoman’s work to raise money for the sport to establish a training center. However, I’ve grown tired of his screaming and his voice raising over 50 octaves. This is where NBC could bring in a plethora of gold medalists to replace Gaines. This is also a sport that could utilize a venue host and it’s where Liam McHugh could go if NBC decides to keep Al Michaels in Daytime.
While Phelps has said he’s retiring, NBC would like to see him in Rio either as a swimmer or perhaps an analyst. If the network uses him on TV, I’d prefer to see him in the studio. At first thought, I felt putting Phelps on camera would be a bad move, but this was based on his interviews in Beijing where he looked uncomfortable. During his NBC interviews in London, Michael has looked more at ease, but that does not necessarily make for a good analyst. If he wants to go the TV route, putting him in the studio for short spurts might be best for 2016.
As for the races, I’d go with Amy Van Dyken to replace Rowdy. For the past year, Amy has been co-hosting Fox Sports Tonight with Rob Dibble on Fox Sports Radio and she’s been in London analyzing the Olympic swimming for FoxSports.com. Amy is not only funny, but she speaks her mind. She knows the mind of an Olympic athlete and I think she’d be perfect with Dan in calling the races.
TENNIS — This sport finally received some glamor treatment from NBC this year. However, it was treated badly with Pat O’Brien as the venue host. Not only did Pat demonstrate a huge lack of knowledge, he conducted awkward interviews as well. Brett Haber and Andrew Catalon did very well on the play-by-play and I liked Rennae Stubbs to want her to return in Rio. Justin Gimelstob was a weak link in the crew. I’d replace him with ESPN’s Darren Cahill or have John McEnroe call more matches.
TRACK & FIELD — There’s not much I would replace here. Tom Hammond is about as classy an announcer as you will find. Ato Boldon has become a very strong analyst. And NBC has brought back Craig Masback, long a staple of track coverage in the 1980′s and 1990′s. But for 2016, I think Lolo Jones would make for a good studio analyst. And Michael Johnson who has been on the last few Olympics for the BBC would work well too. Having Bob host Primetime from the Athletics venue would be a nice change of pace from being in the studio. And he could mix it up with Lolo and Michael.
Those are my suggestions. If you have some of your own, put them in the comments below.
While we had a plethora of soccer games on Wednesday and Thursday, they weren’t the official start to the Olympics. Once the Opening Ceremony takes place and we hear the host country’s head of state say, “I hereby declare the Games of the (whatever number it is) Olympiad Open” then the Olympics have truly begun. And on Friday night, Queen Elizabeth will do the honors for the London Games.
NBC will air the Opening Ceremony on tape delay in all time zones, something that CTV in Canada will do as well, but only after airing the entire enchilada live across Canada starting at 4 p.m. ET. NBC will treat Americans like little children and we have to sit, nod and say, “Thank you, daddy” as the network airs the Opening Ceremony in primetime on tape at 7:30 p.m ET/PT on Friday.
Bob Costas will host. He’ll be joined by Today’s Matt Lauer and NBC News special correspondent Meredith Viera. Conducting interviews will be former NBC Nightly News anchorman Tom Brokaw and all-around hack Ryan Seacrest.
Acclaimed movie director Danny Boyle who has helmed two of my all-time favorite movies, Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, is responsible for the Opening Cermony of 2012 Olympics.
We have details from NBC below.
BOB COSTAS TO HOST OPENING CEREMONY OF THE GAMES OF THE XXX OLYMPIAD ON NBC WITH MATT LAUER AND MEREDITH VIEIRA TOMORROW, 7:30 P.M. ET/PT ON NBC
Ryan Seacrest and Tom Brokaw to Contribute Interviews and Reports
Queen Elizabeth II to Officially Open Games; First Lady Michelle Obama to Lead Official U.S. Delegation; Sir Paul McCartney to Perform
London Olympics Opening Tease Voiced by British Actors Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt
LONDON – July 26, 2012 – NBC’s Olympic primetime host Bob Costas will host the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony from Olympic Stadium alongside co-hosts Matt Lauer, NBC’s ‘Today’ co-anchor, and NBC News Special Correspondent Meredith Vieira, tomorrow – at a special early start time 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. Costas and Lauer anchored the Opening Ceremony together at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Olympic primetime correspondent Ryan Seacrest and NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw will contribute interviews and reports.
NBC’s opening tease of the London Olympics, which highlights the big stories of the Games and London as the host city, will air during the Opening Ceremony. The tease is voiced by British actors Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, and is produced by the NBC Olympics features unit.
The 2012 London Olympics will be Bob Costas’ 10th for NBC and his ninth as primetime host. After serving as late night host in 1988 from Seoul, South Korea, Costas earned acclaim for his work as primetime host from Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens, Turin, Beijing and Vancouver. Costas, who has the longest tenure of the network’s sports commentators, joined NBC in 1980.
The 2012 London Olympics will be Matt Lauer’s ninth Olympics for ‘Today’ and his third in a role on the primetime Opening Ceremony broadcast. Lauer has served as co-anchor of ‘Today’ since 1997; he joined the show in 1994 as news anchor.
While the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will not be streamed live, NBCOlympics.com will distribute some clips from the Opening Ceremony before the event airs in primetime. The clips will also be promoted across NBC Olympics’ social media partners, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. As previously announced, every Olympic sporting event will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com.
NBCUniversal, presenting its 13th Olympics, the most by any U.S. media company, will make an unprecedented 5,535 hours of the 2012 London Olympics coverage available across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com, two specialty channels, and the first-ever 3D platform, an unprecedented level that surpasses the coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics by nearly 2,000 hours.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II TO OFFICIALLY OPEN THE GAMES: The Games of the XXX Olympiad begin in grand and royal style as London, the first city to host the Olympics three times, welcomes the world, and Queen Elizabeth II officially opens the Games. Other members of the Royal Family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, are scheduled to attend.
NBC OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY FACTS
- Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney has announced that he will perform;
- First Lady Michelle Obama will lead the official U.S. delegation;
- British filmmaker Danny Boyle is the chief director of the Opening Ceremony. He is best known internationally for the film Slumdog Millionaire, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and earned Boyle the Oscar for Best Director, in 2008;
- A cast of more than 15,000 will take part in the spectacle.
Parade of Nations: The 2012 London Olympics will welcome more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries, plus one group of athletes who will march under the Olympic flag as “Independent Olympic Athletes.” These are athletes whose countries don’t have National Olympic Committees (NOCs) – South Sudan, a new country with no NOC, and athletes from Netherlands Antilles, which no longer has its own NOC.
In the Parade of Nations, the teams will enter the Olympic Stadium in London in alphabetical order. According to Olympic tradition, Greece marches first and the host nation, Great Britain, enters last. Team USA will march 195th. NBC’s broadcast of the Opening Ceremony will include every country’s delegation during the Parade of Nations.
Cameras: 92 total: NBC has 25 unilateral cameras (including a camera mounted on a blimp) and access to an additional 67 host broadcaster cameras.
Spotters: More than 20 spotters will be used by NBC to help identify athletes during the Parade of Nations.
OPENING CEREMONY CREDITS:
Executive Producer – Jim Bell
London marks Bell’s first Olympics as executive producer. Bell has worked on every Olympic Games NBC has broadcast since 1992, in either sports (1992, 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2004) or news (2006, 2008 and 2010). Bell also serves as executive producer of NBC News’ ‘Today.’
Director – Bucky Gunts
Gunts has directed every Opening Ceremony since Salt Lake City in 2002, and has been honored with four Primetime Emmy Awards for his work as director of the Opening Ceremony: Salt Lake City (2002), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and Vancouver (2010). He is the head of production of NBCUniversal’s coverage of the London Olympics.
Producers – Molly Solomon and Joe Gesue
Solomon, who is also the producer of NBC’ Olympic primetime show, is working her 9th Olympics for NBC. She began her Olympics career for NBC in 1990 as one of two researchers for the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Gesue is working his 8th Olympics for NBC. He began his NBC Olympics career as a researcher for the 1996 Atlanta Games, and also serves as the executive editor for NBCUniversal’s coverage of the London Olympics.
NBC’s Award-Winning Opening Ceremony Coverage: NBC won a Peabody Award and three Primetime Emmy Awards for its coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as a Primetime Emmy Award for the Opening Cermony of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. The Peabody organization called the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony broadcast, “an exponential magnification of what was once known in television as a ‘spectacular.’” This marked the first Peabody Award ever won by NBC Sports, and the first for an Olympics in 33 years. Previously, the 1972 Summer Games and the 1976 Summer and Winter Games had been honored (ABC).
There you have it.
Olympics start today with women’s soccer and there’s more soccer action tomorrow on the men’s side. Let’s bring you some linkage before I get distracted by the live streaming.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand reports that Erin Andrews will get some high profile NFL assignments working with the Fox Sports “A” announcing team of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver on Thanksgiving and the postseason.
Roger Yu of USA Today looks at NBC’s Olympic online streaming plans.
Reid Cherner of USA Today says the Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies will not be streamed online by NBC. Both will be held for primetime broadcast. Grrrrr.
David Bauder of the Associated Press has your Olympics Viewing Guide.
I have my own Olympics Viewing Guide.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report wonders if NBC will force Bob Costas to back of his pledge to honor the slain Israeli athletes from the 1972 Munich Olympics during this year’s Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Jason Fry and Kelly McBride of the Poynter Review Project as the ESPN Ombudsman review ESPN’s coverage of the Penn State story on Monday.
Sports Business Daily Global notes that the Olympics are the second most valuable brand worldwide.
ESPN may not be the Olympics rightsholder in the US, but it does have the rights in Latin America and John Ourand at Sports Business Journal’s Olympic site looks at its sponsors for the Games.
UK Radio personality Polly James of Absolute Radio has started an Olympics blog and it’s quite good.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says Showtime and CBS will team up to show the professional debut of several Olympic boxers.
John Eggerton of Mulitchannel writes that Tennis Channel won a huge victory from the FCC in its carriage battle with Comcast.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel says Netflix feels that growth will be stunted in the current quarter due to the Olympics.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable notes that NBC News will use Storify to piece together certain stories of the Olympics.
Christopher Heine of Adweek reports that one Penn State sponsor has dropped the school in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Jerry Barmash of Fishbowl NY talks with former CBS News and WCBS anchor Dave Marash who covered the 1972 Munich tragedy.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette writes that CBS Sports Network will air some US Open Tennis on Labor Day Weekend.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record has Fox Sports college football analyst Charles Davis talking about the Penn State sanctions.
Laura Nachman notes that ESPN SportsCenter anchor Ducis Rodgers will be joining the Philadelphia ABC affiliate.
Tim Richardson in Press Box writes that the military will continue its sports sponsorships in the mid-Atlantic region.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says the DC NFL Team has already e-mailed the media on quarterback Robert Griffin III’s availability.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman talks about the Olympic streaming smorgasbord online.
Mel also looks at the local ratings from the weekend.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Bengals aren’t going to relax their requirements to ease TV blackouts.
Robert Feder of TimeOut Chicago says a popular Comcast SportsNet reporter is leaving the Windy City.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune has NBC’s Bob Costas lashing out at those who write about Olympic tape delays.
Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News has Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott optimistic about getting DirecTV on board for the Pac-12 Networks.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail talks with CTV Olympic Daytime host James Duthie.
Sports Media Watch looks at NBC Sports Network’s new highlight show.
Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing says the Olympics going digital.
AA’s Matt Yoder feels Fox should ditch the local announcers on its MLB broadcasts.
That’s going to do it.
The Olympics get started tomorrow with women’s soccer action and while the Games don’t officially begin until Friday with the Opening Ceremony (live in most countries except the United States), today is really the calm before the Olympic storm. Starting tomorrow and going through August 12, this site will be awash in Olympics sports media coverage as it was in 2008 for Beijing and 2010 in Vancouver. While I’ll be covering other sports media news, I’ll be focusing on NBC’s coverage, the business of the Olympics and other news out of London. I hope you’ll continue to visit.
Ok, let’s do the linkage. It’s time to bring it back. I was doing so well last week, six straight days of links, then last Friday, I got bogged down with family stuff and wasn’t able to do what I wanted to. Sometimes that happens. Time to take life back now.
Starting with the great Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, he has his Media Power List for July.
Ed Sherman of the Sherman Report talks with Big Ten Network’s President about doing an about-face and covering the Penn State story wall-to-wall on Monday.
Ed talks with NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell who takes the reins from his mentor, former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol, for London.
Sports Business Journal interviews the President of the Jacksonville Jaguars about stadium technology and the NFL Blackout policy.
Daniel Frankel of paidContent says the next sports network carriage dispute will be between the Pac-12 Networks and the two major satellite TV providers.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says NBC will provide an Olympics “Red Zone Channel” that will be online-only.
Shira Ovide of the Wall Street Journal says NBC will delay the Olympics Opening Ceremony and it won’t be seen live on cable or online.
The Big Lead says ESPN lured Brett McMurphy away from CBSSports.com to become one of its college football insiders.
Gabriel Beltone of Adweek looks at some of the best Olympic ads thus far.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says CBS Sports Network will piggyback on CBS’ coverage of the PGA Championship and US Open tennis.
Rich Thomaselli of Advertising Age writes that the Penn State scandal could hurt the school’s marketability down the road.
David Goetzl at MediaPost says McDonald’s has begun its Olympic marketing campaign.
Steve McClellan at MediaPost writes that the Olympics help brand awareness.
Evan Weiner of Examiner.com says the International Olympic Committee should honor the Israeli athletes who were massacred during the 1972 Munich Games.
Sports Video Group notes that the MLB At Bat mobile and tablet app had its 5 millionth download.
Merrill Knox of TVSpy says a former Washington DC sports anchor returns home to the Bay Area.
Excellent story from Jason Schwartz of Boston Magazine on the hard fall of Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios. Nothing to do with sports media, but very good reporting.
The Boston Bruins announced Monday that it has signed an extension with radio flagship WBZ-FM.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir says you’ll be able to see all of NBC’s live Olympics streams, provided you sign up.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks about Sports Illustrated coming to TV.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union says the Open Championship received its highest overnight rating in four years.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record writes that NBC’s Olympic specialty channels will be picked up locally.
Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer says Comcast will be all over the Olympics on its cable platforms.
David Selig of the Baltimore Sun says an Orioles pitching prospect will be featured on tonight’s premiere of Sports Illustrated on NBC Sports Network.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that the area’s sports radio stations are getting ready for the Robert Griffin III era in DC.
Dan notes that Maryland’s field hockey coach Missy Meharg who will be an Olympics analyst for NBC.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci who will be a part of the magazine’s TV premiere tonight.
KSAT-TV in San Antonio named Jessica Ghawi an honorary member of its sports department. She was one of the 12 victims killed in the Aurora, CO movie theater massacre.
Jerry Garcia of the San Antonio Express-News writes about the KSAT honor for Jessica.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch says MLB Advanced Media is bad for baseball.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says NBC’s Olympic coverage begins and ends with the Holy Diminutive One, Bob Costas.
Ben Fong-Torres of the San Francisco Chronicle profiles Ron Barr and his Sports Byline USA network which keeps plugging along from the Bay Area in a world dominated by ESPN Radio.
Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing says Big Ten Network got the job done in covering the Penn State sanctions on Monday.
Sports Media Watch has some various ratings news and notes.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says ESPN should air TSN’s SportsCentre to gain street cred with hockey fans.
Tony Manfred of the Business Insider’s Sports page notes that the Olympics helped to transform one of London’s seedier neighborhoods into a showcase.
And that’s going to do it.
With the Games of the XXX Summer Olympiad in London starting this week, it’s time to provide you with a breakdown of coverage that you’ll see on the networks of NBCUniversal. While the Opening Ceremony will officially start the Games on Friday, soccer action will begin on Wednesday. MSNBC starts the coverage Wednesday morning with women’s soccer.
Let’s breakdown how many hours each network will carry and what they’ll show.
Bravo is back in the Olympics picture. It last carried the Olympics for NBCUniversal in 2004 in Athens. The channel will be the home of Olympic Tennis at the fabled grounds of Wimbledon and NBC gets to return to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club after being kicked out last year. Altogether, Bravo will carry 56 hours of tennis live mostly from early morning to mid-afternoon from July 28 through August 3.
Pat O’Brien will be the venue host. Tennis Channel’s Brett Haber and Andrew Catalon will call the bulk of the play-by-play. They’ll be joined by analysts Justin Gimbelstob and Rennae Stubs both of Tennis Channel. Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim will be the on-site reporter.
As it was for 2008 Olympics in Communist China, CNBC will be the home of Olympic boxing. With the debut of women’s boxing in London, CNBC will be quite busy carrying 73 hours of boxing from July 28 through August 12. A bulk of the coverage will be delayed and shown from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET on weekdays. Six hours of live boxing will be aired on weekends.
Fred Roggin will host from NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Center studios in New York. Calling the boxing will be Bob Papa and Teddy Atlas. This will be the third consecutive Olympics for Papa and Atlas at the boxing venue known as the ExCel. Papa has also called Olympic boxing for NBC in Barcelona in 1992 and in Atlanta in 1996 as well as in Athens in 2004 and Communist China four years ago. Russ Thaler will be the reporter.
The network will put aside its daytime programming and air a plethora of Olympic sports, 20 overall including archery, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, handball, indoor volkeyball, soccer, table tennis, water polo, weightlifting and six other sports.
MSNBC will lean forward with 155½ hours of coverage starting with women’s soccer between the host country, Great Britain and New Zealand on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET.
On weekdays, MSNBC will air Olympic coverage between 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET with expanded coverage on weekends. The coverage runs from July 25 through August 12 with no Olympic programming on Friday due to the Opening Ceremony.
Kelly Tilghman of Golf Channel and Rob Simmelkjaer will host MSNBC’s coverage from the NBC Saturday Night Live studios in New York.
NBC SPORTS NETWORK
Now under the NBCUniversal umbrella, the network formerly known as Versus and Outdoor Life Network before that, takes USA Network’s place on the Olympic broadcasting roster. NBC Sports Network will get the bulk of the programming on the cable side, airing a total of 292½ hours.
NBC Sports Network will carry a similar menu of sports as MSNBC, carrying 22 Olympic sports and it will also be the home of USA basketball, women’s soccer and field hockey.
NBCSN’s day will be busy, starting at 4 a.m. ET and running until 8 p.m. making way for NBC’s primetime coverage.
Your hosts will be Michelle Beadle, Liam McHugh and Willie Geist. All three will be based in the International Broadcast Center in London.
NBC Sports Network kicks off its Olympics coverage with the US Women’s National Soccer Team taking on France at 11:30 a.m. ET this Wednesday. It will air the Games continuously until August 12.
NBCUniversal’s Spanish language network will air over 170 hours of the Olympics. Its coverage will most focus on boxing, basketball, soccer and swimming. It will air the Opening Ceremony and will be the only NBCU network that will air a full 20 days of Olympics programming between July 25 through August 12.
Bolstered by a broadcast network record of 272½ hours, the National Broadcasting Company will focus on the glamor sports of the Olympics, beach volleyball, diving, gymnastics, swimming and track & field.
Due to the five hour difference between the Eastern time zone and London, all of primetime will be delayed. However, action in daytime will be live at least for the Eastern half of the country. Once again, the Mountain and Pacific regions will be forced to wait for three hours to see Olympic action in the morning.
NBC’s coverage will begin with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 27, delayed in all time zones, airing at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. Unlike the sports action, you won’t be able to find the Opening Ceremony online as NBC is going back to its old tape delay shenanigans for that part of the Olympics even though CTV in Canada will be airing it live at 4 p.m. ET. But I digress.
NBC’s coverage will begin at 10 a.m. ET/PT weekdays and as early as 5 a.m. ET/PT on weekends lasting until 5 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. on weekends. Primetime begins at 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sundays. Late night coverage will last from 12:35 a.m. until 1:35 a.m.
Your hosts on NBC will be Al Michaels and Dan Patrick on daytime, Bob Costas, of course, in primetime, and in late night, it will be Mary Carillo.
This is where Olympic fans finally get their chance to see everything. NBC says 3,500 hours of Olympic programming will be made available either on NBCOlympics.com or through the NBC Olympics Live Extra app for mobiles and tablets. Not only will the TV coverage of CNBC, Bravo, MSNBC and NBC Sports Network will be streamed, but also every event including the glamor sports that NBC used to hold for primetime.
The individual sports that will be streamed will not have the NBC announcers and the NBC production. In all cases, the world feed will be used and there could be occasions where the event will not have announcers.
The catch here is that you will have to authenticate meaning that you will have to sign in through your cable provider, but unlike the process for March Madness, it’s rather easy.
NBC hopes that providing everything online, it will not cannibalize its TV product and actually encourage people to watch later in primetime. We shall see how this Brave New World in Olympics broadcasting takes shape.
NBC is also providing separate channels for basketball and soccer. Check with local cable provider for channel number assignments. And for the 63 people across the country who care, NBC is also providing 3-D coverage.
So this is how the Olympics will be handled this year. Let the Games Begin.
Time for the links on this Wednesday. Let’s check out what we have.
Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter talks with NBC’s Bob Costas about the Olympics, Jerry Sandusky and being short. That’s right.
Daniel Kaplan from the Sports Business Journal writes that the NFL will not sign a telecommunications partner this season and will see how the Wi-Fi experience goes at five stadiums before deciding.
Owen Gibson of the London (UK) Guardian reports that BBC has scored the rights to the Olympics through 2020.
BBC Director-General Mark Thompson blogs about the Beeb keeping the UK rights to the Olympics.
I have the BBC press release on the new Olympics contract.
Jeff Labrecque of Entertainment Weekly says ESPNU will have its own late night entertainment/talk show premiering in late August.
Also from EW, Dan Snierson says disgraced former Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose will get his own TLC reality show. The question is, who doesn’t have a TLC reality show?
Brian Moran at Broadcasting & Cable says World Team Tennis will get live national coverage this weekend on Tennis Channel and the Comcast SportsNet regional affiliates.
Toni Fitzgerald at Media Life writes that ratings for the Home Run Derby were up while the All-Star Game took a hit.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report wonders why SI passed on printing an excerpt of Posnanski’s book.
Ed notices that the promotional video for the Paterno book has been removed from YouTube.
Ed talks with an ESPN executive on the network now using its own cameras instead of relying on the BBC to cover the Open Championship.
Reinhardt Krause of Investor’s Business Daily look at how cable providers are finding ways to drive up sports rights fees.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Eric Deggans in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center talks with Real Sports’ Frank Deford about his updated piece on marching band hazing at historically black colleges.
SportsGrid’s Eric Goldschein has video of Los Angeles Dodgers voice Vin Scully scolding the team for its failure to execute a rundown play.
Patrick Burns at Deadspin says the Joe Paterno story dominated ESPN’s news coverage last week.
Deadspin’s John Koblin notes that Sports Illustrated is beginning to use the photo sharing site, Instagram.
The London (UK) Mirror provides 100 bizarre facts about the Olympics.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN’s Paul Azinger about the Open Championship.
Brandon Marcello of the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger says the SEC Storied documentary series will produce a film on a former Mississippi State football coach.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman notes that with the Thunder’s Kevin Durant, USA basketball vs. Brazil on ESPN drew very well locally.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer wonders what exactly will the new TLC Pete Rose reality show be about?
John says a local internet service provider will add ESPN3 in August.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times looks at ESPN paying the Rose Bowl $80 million per year starting in 2015.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has a preview of tonight’s “The Franchise” episode on Showtime which will show the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton going under the knife.
Joe Flint of the Times has Comcast appealing to the government to butt out of its programming decisions i.e., Tennis Channel.
Sports Media Watch notes that TNT’s NASCAR season finale saw increased ratings.
SMW has some ratings news and notes.
Chinwe Nwadike at Chinwe’s Corner wonders why some in the media are angry at Fox’s Erin Andrews.
Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest says the WWE has established a social media hub for investors.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has a screengrab of the Longhorn Network taking one final shot at Texas A&M before it leaves the Big 12 for good.
Jason Boog at Galleycat says an NBC Sports producer has published a children’s book on the Olympics.
That will do it for today.
Here’s the Monday linkage wrapped in a nice bow for you.
From Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand and Michael Smith, they report that ESPN will pay an average of $80 million per year to air the Rose Bowl. That more than doubles the current contract which pays $30 million.
Liz Mullen of SBJ says a noted movie studio is forming a sports talent agency further melding Hollywood and athletics.
Also from Sports Business Journal, Chris Botta notes that Brooklyn is ready and waiting if the New York Islanders can’t find a new home on Long Island
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Bill Walton returns to national TV through ESPN as he’ll become the network’s analyst for Pac-12 basketball games.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News writes that the early sign up numbers for NBC’s Olympic apps are encouraging.
Mike says NBCUniversal is looking to make the 2012 London Games a truly digital experience.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report talks with NBC’s Bob Costas about turning 60.
Talkers Magazine, the so-called Bible of Talk Radio, lists its 2012 Heavy 100 of Sports Talk. I agree with Mike Francesa and Dan Patrick in the Top 3, the rest I have issues with including a few in the New England area, plus why is Joe Morgan on the list? And there are only two women.
Lisa O’Carroll of the London (UK) Guardian says Britain’s oldest and largest black newspaper has been denied credentials to the Olympics Stadium for the track & field events.
George Winslow from Broadcasting & Cable notes that it’s expected that social media will be heavily used for the Olympics.
Matt Rudnitsky of SportsGrid notes that ESPN’s Captain Blowhard and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban are engaging in the next Great Twitter feud.
Brian Clapp at Sports TV Jobs wonders how NFL Network’s new morning show can sustain fresh content over a four hour period every day.
Kirk Minihane of WEEI.com tackles the question over whether the Boston Red Sox should fire advisor Bill James over his comments on ESPN Radio about Joe Paterno and the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
If it’s Monday, then it must mean that the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is in a bad mood about something.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that Syracuse has negotiated an early exit to the ACC from the Big East Conference.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette notes that ESPN is starting its weekday coverage of the Open Championship earlier than previously announced.
DCRTV’s Dave Hughes writing in Press Box talks about the friendship that has developed between MASN’s Washington Nationals studio team of the great Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog noticed that Democratic
gargoyle strategist James Carville wore a Nats t-shirt on MSNBC over the weekend.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times has a look back at the weekend in sports television.
Mike Herndon of the Mobile (AL) Press-Register writes about the SEC releasing its early-season football TV schedule.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle looks back at the ten years since the failed US Olympic bids for the 2012 Games.
David imagines what if Houston had been awarded the 2012 Olympics.
Dusty Saunders from the Denver Post says the Penn State scandal has been the talk of the town.
Matthew T. Hall at the San Diego Union-Tribune wants to organize a fan protest on the lack of movement on getting Padres games on local TV.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News has your weekly sports calendar.
Sports Media Watch looks at Bill Walton making his return to ESPN.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media suggests how the NHL Network can stop the inexorable amount of game reruns during the summer.
Cork Gaines from the Business Insider’s Sports Page says MLB Advanced Media gave a hollow apology for a system-wide outage preventing fans from watching MLB.TV online Friday.
Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest says truTV has given the go to a Shaquille O’Neal-fronted viral video show.
This is where we’ll end the links for today.
On Thursday, MLB Network airs a special hosted by Bob Costas with comedian Jerry Seinfeld as the guest. Costas and Seinfeld will spend 30 minutes breaking down one of the most iconic comedy sketches of all-time, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello’s “Who’s on First?”
The show which will be titled, “Costas & Seinfeld: Who’s on First?” will air this Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. Taped at Soho House in New York for airing during the MLB All-Star Break, Costas and Seinfeld review the 60th Anniversary of the Abbott & Costello skit that was unveiled for the first time in 1952.
Here’s the press release from MLB Network.
Jerry Seinfeld LOOKS BACK AT Abbott & costello’s “Who’s On First?” with Bob Costas on MLB Network on Thursday, July 12
Special Interview Marks the 60th Anniversary of the First Televised Performance of the Legendary Routine
Secaucus, NJ, July 10, 2012 – Comedian, actor, writer and longtime New York Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld recently spoke with MLB Network’s Bob Costas for a special interview to air during MLB’s 2012 All-Star break this Thursday, July 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET commemorating the 60th anniversary of comedy duo Lou Abbott & Bud Costello’s first televised performance of the legendary routine “Who’s on First?.”
Filmed at New York City’s Soho House, Costas & Seinfeld: Who’s on First? features extensive footage of the routine that TIME Magazine named as the best comedy sketch of the 20th century, interspersed with comments from Seinfeld on his favorite moments and how “Who’s on First?” influenced him as a comedian, writer and baseball fan. Speaking about why baseball lends itself to comedy, Seinfeld says, “Baseball has a heart of gold. It has a humanity that other sports, they just don’t have, for whatever reason, and humanity is funnier.”
Throughout the 30-minute interview, Seinfeld also reveals details of how “The Abbott & Costello Show” impacted the creation of and characters in the Emmy Award-winning sitcom Seinfeld. Seinfeld tells Costas, “I really wanted to imitate this show in my TV series in a couple of ways. … Even [with] Abbott and Costello and me and George, there’s a physical similarity there.” Seinfeld confirms that even the full character name of “George Louis Costanza” was influenced by the show, saying, “We named him after Lou Costello. We were all fans of Abbott and Costello on the show.”
A preview of Costas & Seinfeld: Who’s on First? can be viewed here. The interview will air on MLB Network prior to MLB Network Countdown: Fresh Faces at 7:30 p.m. ET, ranking the top ten players to have debuted since Opening Day 2011, and the midseason recap show Plays of the First Half at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Hard to believe that it’s been ten years since the passing of the late St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile. On June 22, 2002 before the Cardinals were to play their arch rivals, the Chicago Cubs, Kile died of a heart attack. It was the culmination of a very difficult week for the Redbirds as several days before, their beloved radio voice, Jack Buck had passed away and the team had held a public memorial at Busch Stadium the night before.
The tenth anniversary of Kile’s death will marked with a documentary on MLB Network, narrated by Bob Costas and featuring former teammates from both the Cardinals as well as the Houston Astros. Two teammates in particular, Jeff Bagwell and Mike Metheny will conduct their first on-camera interviews on Kile since his passing.
The doc airs this Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on MLB Network.
Documentary Marks Ten Years Since Kile’s Passing at Age 33
Jeff Bagwell and Mike Matheny Discuss Their Former Teammate For the First Time On-Camera Since 2002
Secaucus, N.J., July 9, 2012 – Marking the ten-year anniversary of his passing, MLB Network will premiere The Life and Death of Darryl Kile, an hour-long documentary about former St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies pitcher Darryl Kile, on Thursday, July 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Kile died of a heart attack at age 33 prior to a game between the Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 22, 2002. Narrated by Bob Costas, The Life and Death of Darryl Kile looks back at Kile’s All-Star career, his reputation as a great teammate and family man, and how his death impacted the Cardinals’ play throughout the rest of the 2002 season.
The documentary features Kile’s former Houston Astros teammate Jeff Bagwell and former Cardinals teammate Mike Matheny talking about Kile for the first time on-camera since the initial days after his death in 2002. Speaking about Kile’s personality, Bagwell said, “He was a great father, great husband, great guy, [and] cared about people. That’s what I want to be in my life…That’s who I want to be and that’s who Darryl Kile was.”
Other exclusive interviews are featured with former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and general manager Walt Jocketty; Kile’s former Astros teammates Brad Ausmus, Craig Biggio and Phil Nevin; former Colorado Rockies manager Jim Leyland; Kile’s teammate with all three teams, Dave Veres; former Cubs catcher Joe Girardi; former Cardinals broadcaster Joe Buck; San Francisco Giants broadcaster Jon Miller; and St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz, all of whom discuss their reactions to Kile’s death and their memories of Kile as a teammate and family man. In discussing how Kile’s death affected the Cardinals’ play on the field, Jocketty said “One of the ironic things I’ve thought about is when he died, we had 40 wins. We ended up with 97. That’s 57, which is his uniform number. That’s pretty amazing.”
The documentary also includes new interviews with members of the Cardinals staff who were with the team in Chicago on the day Kile died, including Traveling Secretary C.J. Cherre, Resident Security Agent Tony Wagner, and Director of Security Joe Walsh. MLB Network aired an excerpt of the The Life and Death of Darryl Kile on June 22, the ten-year anniversary of his passing, which can you view here.
Kile won 133 games over 12 years in MLB and was named to three National League All-Star teams (1993, 1997 & 2000). Kile started his career with the Astros, where he spent seven seasons (1991-1997), and also threw a no-hitter against the New York Mets on September 8, 1993. Kile went on to play for two years with the Rockies (1998-1999) before playing his final three seasons (2000-2002) for the Cardinals. Following his passing in 2002, St. Louis won the NL Central Division title. Since Kile’s death, no other Cardinals player has worn uniform number 57.
Highlights from the documentary include:
On Kile’s legacy:
To me, he was the kind of person that made people around him better. Yes, everybody wants to win, but you just see very few people that go out of their way to invest in other people and Darryl Kile was one of those.
Tony La Russa:
He’s literally too good to be true. And you had to keep saying, “Was he really as great as we thought he was?” And the answer was yes…I’ll repeat it until the time you take the [microphone] away. He was so perfect it was not to be believed, but believe it.
I hit a home run off him and I remember running around the bases and I remember someone yelling at me, cursing at me, as I’m running around the bases…Then, [Jeff Bagwell] hit, came back later on, and he goes, “Man, did you hear Darryl yelling at you?” I go, “That was him? That was Darryl?”…So, season’s over, it’s like two weeks before Christmas and I get a phone call. It was Darryl. He goes, “Hey, I want to apologize.” [I said], “What are you apologizing for?” He goes, “I want to apologize. I should’ve never cursed at you, yelled at you.”…He goes, “I should’ve never have done that. You treated me so nicely when I was in Houston. It helped me when I was a younger player. You were always there for me.” And that’s the type of person that Darryl was.
On learning of Kile’s death:
I just laid on the ground and cried. It was tough. It’s still tough.
I know that I escaped to a small part of the corner in the trainer’s room. I remember throwing a few things around. I remember looking around the clubhouse at times and seeing people just stuck in a spot.
As you train for this position there is a lot of things you train for but you never train for a player’s death, especially like this.
La Russa on telling the Cardinals players:
The guys knew that there was a serious issue here. When I walked out there, I think at that point, virtually everybody was fearing the worst, and I went out there and confirmed it. Just the magnitude of the sadness, the devastation was beyond normal. Normal would be really, really bad. This was savage, brutal because [of] who he was, all that it meant to the family, our team, losing a friend. It was brutal.
Joe Girardi on making the announcement at Wrigley Field that the game was cancelled:
I remember it was almost like yesterday. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in the game. It was harder than taking my uniform off for the last time.
Girardi on playing the Cardinals the day after Kile died:
I kept saying to myself, “I can’t believe we’re playing this game.” I would watch each player walk up to hit and you could see the devastation and you could see them kind of in a daze. You’re thinking, “Why are we playing this game?” I just thought it was too soon.
La Russa on the Cardinals’ initial struggle after Kile’s death:
Our club was so devastated that they were just doing a little bit more than going through the motions. We went through a period of games where the thing that we pride ourselves on the most – this intense competition – wasn’t important. Just get through it.
On the Cardinals’ play after Kile’s death:
We were motivated. We knew we were good first. Then, we thought too, what a great tribute to Darryl, what a great tribute to him and his family for us to go out and keep playing the game the right way. All of us thought about him frequently…I think all of us dug a little deeper and realized we had a great chance to do something special.
One of the ironic things I’ve thought about is when he died, we had 40 wins. We ended up with 97. That’s 57, which is his uniform number. That’s pretty amazing.
I was certain that this club was going to be rewarded with a World Series appearance. When the Giants beat us in five [in the NLCS], to this day, I was the most disappointed ever…The good thing was, that team made it a point to just dedicate what we were doing…We just played our butts off and ended up making it happen. They were courageous, heroic. It was wonderful. That club made it a commitment to honor Darryl’s memory.
As the press release mentions, while Kile’s number 57 was never officially retired by the Cardinals, no one has worn the number since his passing.
Ok, NBC’s press release on its 2012 Olympics hosts and announcers has yet to arrive. Thanks to an alert reader, I was tipped off to NBC Sports Group’s press release website which has the talent bios of its announcers for London. I’m not sure if NBC wants to make that site public, so I won’t link to it for now. But through this website, I’ll be able to piece together the announcing teams for you.
We already know the hosts for NBC and the hosts for Bravo (tennis), CNBC (boxing) and MSNBC. And this week, we learned the hosts for NBC Sports Network.
Ok, let’s list everything I’m able to compile. This is not complete as some sports are missing analysts and one is missing a play-by-play person, but it’s based on what I’ve been able to piece together from NBC’s PR site. I’ll provide reactions to the announcers later.
Randy Moss and Steve Schlanger will call multiple events during the Olympics. There are a couple of analysts who will provide color on multiple sports.
And when NBC finally sends its official press release with the complete announcing teams, I’ll publish that in a separate post.
Here we go.
Today at the Olympics: Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera, Ann Curry, Al Roker
Weekdays/Weekend: Al Michaels, Dan Patrick
Primetime: Bob Costas
Late Night: Mary Carillo
Correspondents: Mary Carillo (primetime), Jimmy Fallon (primetime), Bela Karolyi (primetime) John McEnroe (primetime), Jimmy Roberts (daytime), Ryan Seacrest (primetime), Shaun White (primetime)
NBC Sports Network
Morning: Michelle Beadle
Midday: Willie Geist
Afternoon: Liam McHugh
Olympic Sports Desk Reporters
Dr. Nancy Snyderman
Jim Kozimor (play-by-play)
Steve Kearney (analyst)
Basketball (men’s & women’s)
Chris Carrino (play-by-play)
Bob Fitzgerald (play-by-play)
Dave Strader (play-by-play)
Doug Collins (analyst)
Lisa Leslie (analyst)
Ann Meyers (analyst)
Craig Sager (reporter)
Chris Marlowe (play-by-play)
Kevin Wong (analyst)
Heather Cox (reporter)
Fred Roggin (venue host)
Bob Papa (blow-by-blow)
Teddy Atlas (analyst)
Russ Thaler (reporter)
Randy Moss (play-by-play)
Todd Harris (play-by-play)
Steve Schlanger (play-by-play)
Ted Robinson (play-by-play)
Cynthia Potter (analyst)
Alex Flanagan (reporter)
Tim Ryan (play-by-play)
Melanie Smith Taylor (analyst)
Mike Corey (play-by-play)
Missy Meharg (analyst)
Al Trautwig (play-by-play)
Tim Dagget (analyst)
Elfi Schlegel (analyst)
Andrea Joyce (reporter)
Mike Gorman (play-by-play)
Dawn Allinger Lewis (analyst)
Leo White, Jr. (analyst)
Steve Schlanger (play-by-play)
Rowdy Gaines (analyst)
Randy Moss (play-by-play)
Chris Maddocks (analyst)
Terry Gannon (play-by-play)
Yasmin Farooq (analyst)
Shari Legate (analyst)
Steve Cangialosi (play-by-play)
Glenn Davis (play-by-play)
JP Dellacamera (play-by-play)
Arlo White (play-by-play)
Marcelo Balboa (analyst)
Brandi Chastain (analyst)
Allen Hopkins (analyst)
Cobi Jones (analyst)
Kyle Martino (analyst)
Shep Messing (analyst)
Dan Hicks (play-by-play)
Rowdy Gaines (analyst)
Andrea Kremer (reporter)
Randy Moss (play-by-play)
Heather Olson (analyst)
Ari Wolfe (play-by-play)
Sean O’Neill (analyst)
Pat O’Brien (venue host)
Andrew Catalon (play-by-play)
Brett Haber (play-by-play)
Ted Robinson (play-by-play)
Justin Gimelstob (analyst)
Rennae Stubbs (analyst)
Jon Wertheim (reporter)
Track & Field
Tom Hammond (play-by-play)
Ato Boldon (analyst)
Craig Masback (analyst)
Dwight Stones (analyst)
Tim Hutchings (analyst -Marathon)
Lewis Johnson (reporter)
Al Trautwig (play-by-play)
Tim Dagget (analyst)
Steve Schlanger (play-by-play)
Julie Swail (analyst)
Paul Sunderland (play-by-play)
Kevin Barnett (analyst)
Mike Emrick (play-by-play)
Julie Swail (analyst)
Wolf Wigo (analyst)
Jim Watson (play-by-play)
Randy Moss (play-by-play)
Jason Knapp (play-by-play)
That is your list for now. As stated above, when NBC provides the press release with the complete teams, I’ll put that on the site.
UPDATE, 1:35 a.m.: Through a check of Twitter and hearing from sources, I’ve added NBC MLS voice Arlo White to soccer, and through Drea Avent’s account and in particular, her tweet to me directly, she’ll be a reporter during the Games, in what capacity, we have not been able to confirm just yet. More to follow when it becomes available.
Since this month’s “Costas Tonight” program was taped in advance for airing this evening, NBC Sports Network has provided us with the quotage from the program. This includes some quotes from NBC tennis analyst John McEnroe, HBO’s Bill Maher, and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio who appeared in place of the originally scheduled Jonathan Quick of the Stanley Cup Champions Los Angeles Kings.
Always nice to tap someone in the NBC Sports family to make an emergency appearance in case of a last-minute cancellation.
Here’s the quotage from tonight’s “Costas Tonight” on NBC Sports Network. It’ll air at 9 p.m. ET following the 2012 NHL Awards.
Tonight’s Show Includes Interviews with John McEnroe, Bill Maher and Mike Florio, Costas’ Essay on the Roger Clemens Case
60-Minute Interview Show Taped Last Night from Studio 8G at 30 Rock
“I was told by inside people, and I am going to mention names, my old friends, Linda Rambis and Jeanie Buss, who have an in with Phil (Jackson), that he supposedly wanted the job. Now, why didn’t they ask?” – John McEnroe to Costas on Phil Jackson coaching the Knicks
“I’m watching the playoffs and it’s a little North Korean, Bob, you know that everyone in the crowd is wearing the same color jersey.” – Bill Maher to Costas on watching the NBA Finals
NEW YORK – June 20, 2012 – Tennis legend John McEnroe, Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio joined Bob Costas, a 23-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and one of America’s preeminent interviewers, on the latest edition of Costas Tonight, a 60-minute interview program taped last night that premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
- McEnroe discusses his relationship with Jimmy Connors, his love of the Knicks and how today’s players are unlike when he played the game.
- Maher talks about the color-coordinated fans at the NBA Finals, his minority stake in the Mets and his childhood love of baseball cards.
- Florio gives his take on the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal.
- Costas ends the show with an essay on the Roger Clemens case.
Below are highlights from the taping of last night’s Costas Tonight:
MCENROE ON PHIL JACKSON AND KNICKS SITUATION:
McEnroe: “I sort of went into a depression because Phil Jackson, apparently, wasn’t even asked (to coach the Knicks). I was like, how could he not be asked?”
Costas: “But then he said that even if he was asked he would have said no because he thinks that the Knicks are too disjointed and clumsy.”
McEnroe: “Well, that’s what he has said apparently, but I still would have like to have him asked. I was told by inside people, and I am going to mention names, my old friends, Linda Rambis and Jeanie Buss, who have an in with Phil, that he supposedly wanted the job. Now, why didn’t they ask?”
Costas: “If that’s the case, he was probably offended that he wasn’t asked by the team that he is connected to, the team for which he played.”
McEnroe: “I mean, isn’t it the ultimate no brainer, I mean, to ask?”
MCENROE ON JIMMY CONNORS:
McEnroe: “We really didn’t like each other for the most part, and I think people liked that in a way. I mean the Yankees and the Red Sox, they hate each other, and that’s wonderful to the fan…it brought out the best and the worst in us when we played against each other, particularly me.”
Costas: “If you disliked, truly disliked, some of your main rivals, you reconciled with most of them, right, but not with Connors?”
McEnroe: “No, we respect each other. We may not like each other a whole lot. I doubt we will be having a lot of dinners, but certainly we respect. I respect Jimmy Connors. I am not going to speak for him, but he made me a better player. He made me try a lot harder. I think his twin is Pete Rose. He was the same guy.”
Costas: “Same haircut.”
McEnroe: Same haircut. Same just annoying, in your face type of style that actually drove you so insane that it was like I am going to do anything, I am going to go 120 percent instead of 100 percent just so I am going to beat this guy. But, he fed off that, so we both loved it ultimately. I know that we respect each other.”
* * *
MAHER ON COLOR-COORDINATED SHIRTS AT THE NBA FINALS:
Costas: “We’re going to let you write some new rules here for sports, as you do in one way or another each Friday night on HBO. I know, if you could, you would ban the wearing of color-coordinated t-shirts by every fan at NBA games.”
Maher: “I’ve noticed this trend. You see it now because, I mean, I’m watching the playoffs and it’s a little North Korean, Bob, you know that everyone in the crowd is wearing the same color jersey. And now I noticed they do it in two-tone and in one section you’re wearing blue and in the next section they’re all wearing white. Can’t we just come and watch the game? Do we really have to leave our individuality at the door when we’re just going to a sporting event? It’s ridiculous.”
MAHER ON HIS OWNERSHIP STAKE IN THE METS:
Costas: “Now I know you’re not discussing exactly how large a piece you have, but obviously it’s not a controlling interest. So you get a nice parking space, probably clubhouse privileges, free food, but you don’t get to sit in the room when Sandy Alderson decides how much he’s going to pay David Wright, have I got that correct?”
Maher: “I put a call into him the other day, I said, ‘start the runners.’ And I think you’ll see that happening.”
Costas: “Regardless of the situation, just start the runners?”
Maher: “Absolutely. I’m the opposite of Billy Beane. I’m playing big ball.”
* * *
FLORIO WITH COSTAS ON EVIDENCE FOR MORE SUSPENSIONS:
Costas: “Isn’t it entirely possible that the league has even more damning evidence that might implicate other players, maybe not to the extent that they feel Vilma and the rest whom they’ve already suspended are implicated, but enough to bring their names in? And the Players Association ought to be concerned about that. If they force the league’s hand here, it will get worse for the players rather than better?”
Florio: “That’s a great point because, when this initially came up, the league said there were 22-27 players who participated in the alleged bounty program. And even now we’ve seen more names get dragged into this who previously weren’t part of it.”
We’ve had videobombs before, but nothing quite like this. As NBC’s Bob Costas was getting ready to interview U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, some alien dressed in British colors blocks the camera and does a strange bird call. Luckily, Simpson had a good answer and took it in stride. Costas looked mildly perturbed.
In case you were watching the NBA Finals, Sunday Night Baseball, the College World Series or something else, then here’s your first look at this very strange videobomb.
In a change from his last few shows which have focused on one subject or one sport, the monthly NBC Sports Network program Costas Tonight will have a few guests that won’t be tied to a particular theme.
Among Bob Costas’ guests will be New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, New York Rangers coach John Tortorella and the trainer of Triple Crown hopeful Doug O’Neill. Actually, I do notice a theme. All three interview subjects involve sports that are aired on NBC Sports. Ryan of the NFL’s Jets (NBC’s Sunday Night Football), Tortorella of the NHL’s Rangers (NHL on NBC) and O’Neill (Triple Crown on NBC). While it may be a stretch, you can hold onto that if you watch the show.
The show is scheduled for 11 p.m. ET or following NBC Sports Network’s coverage of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings.
Here’s the press release.
BOB COSTAS TO INTERVIEW REX RYAN, JOHN TORTORELLA AND I’LL HAVE ANOTHER TRAINER DOUG O’NEILL ON THE NEXT “COSTAS TONIGHT”
“Costas Tonight” Airs Monday Night on NBC Sports Network following Game 3 of Stanley Cup Final
60-Minute Interview Show to Originate from Studio 8G at 30 Rock
NEW YORK –– New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan, New York Rangers Coach John Tortorella and I’ll Have Another’s trainer Doug O’Neill are scheduled to join Bob Costas, a 23-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and one of America’s preeminent interviewers, on the latest edition of Costas Tonight, a 60-minute interview program, to air on Monday, June 4 immediately following Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on the NBC Sports Network.
Costas will discuss the Jets off-season with Ryan, including the addition of back-up quarterback Tim Tebow and how Ryan sees Tebow’s role with the team in 2012. Costas will also discuss other NFL topics with Ryan, one of the most colorful coaches in the NFL, including the “bounty” story of this off-season and the tragic suicide of Junior Seau.
In addition, Costas will speak with John Tortorella about the New York Rangers and the 2012 NHL Season.
Costas will then sit down one-on-one with Doug O’Neill, the colorful and controversial trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another as he prepares for the Belmont and the elusive Triple Crown. O’Neill is currently facing a 45-day ban from horse racing for allegedly giving one of his horses an illegal performance-enhancing mixture. His suspension, which he can appeal, will begin no sooner than July 1.
Re-Air Dates (All times ET):
Tuesday June 5, 8:30 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Wednesday June 6, 7 a.m.
Thursday June 7, 2 a.m.
Friday June 8, 7 a.m., 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Thursday June 14, 11 p.m.
Sunday June 17, 9:30 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Costas Tonight builds on Costas’ long and storied career as an interviewer from Later with Bob Costas and Costas Coast-to-Coast to his acclaimed HBO programs, On the Record and CostasNOW. Costas Tonight originates from Studio 8G at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York.
There you have it.
Ok, maybe that’s being facetious, but NBCUniversal between its cable, over the air and online platforms will offer over 5,500 hours of coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, or known to the International Olympic Committee as the XXX Olympic Summer Games.
For NBC, it’s the seventh consecutive Summer Olympics dating back to 1988 in Seoul, Republic of Korea and the seventh consecutive Olympiad it will broadcast Winter or Summer since 2000 in Sydney. It seems to be forgotten that CBS aired all three Winter Olympiads in the 1990′s.
The 5,535 combined hours to be offered this year surpass the number from the Communist China Games of 2008 which totaled 3,600. Here’s a breakdown of what the platforms of NBCUniversal will offer.
- NBC will air a record 272½ hours including daytime coverage beginning at 10 a.m. ET on weekdays, as early as 5 a.m. on weekends. Expect to see the glamor events that traditionally do well on NBC like Gymnastics, Swimming & Diving, Track & Field (a.k.a. Athletics) and Beach Volleyball. Hosts will be Bob Costas (primetime), Mary Carillo (late night), Al Michaels (daytime) and Dan Patrick (weekend & daytime).
- Bravo will carry 56 hours of tennis from the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon. Pat “You are so f&*kin’ hot!” O’Brien hosts.
- CNBC will provide 73 hours of men’s and women’s boxing coverage from the preliminary fights to the medal round. Fred Roggin is the host.
- MSNBC will offer 155½ hours of coverage with Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman as the host.
- NBC Sports Network will get the bulk of the cable coverage airing a total of 292½ hours focusing on basketball, soccer and other U.S. team sports. Hosts have not been announced, but expect to see NHL on NBC’s Liam McHugh and Bill Patrick to be part of the coverage.
- NBCOlympics.com will stream every event including medal rounds totaling 3,500 hours. Events to be aired on NBC in primetime will be archived after they air on the network.
- Telemundo will provide 173 hours focusing on boxing, swimming and soccer.
- NBC will also provide specialty channels on basketball and soccer to cable and satellite providers. And there will also be coverage in 3-D.
Got that? There will be a test later. Here’s the 2,555-word press release that adds to my 367-word wraparound.
Record 5,535 Hours across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com, Two Specialty Channels & 3D
NBC to Broadcast 272.5 Hours, Most-Ever for an Olympic Broadcast Network
NEW YORK – May 23, 2012 – NBCUniversal will provide 5,535 hours of coverage for the 2012 London Olympics across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com, two specialty channels, and the first-ever 3D platform, an unprecedented level that surpasses the coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics by nearly 2,000 hours. It was also announced today that NBC will broadcast 272.5 hours of coverage, the most ever for an Olympic broadcast network, largely attributable to an increase in daytime coverage.
“We are only able to provide this level of coverage to U.S. viewers because of the unmatched array of NBCUniversal assets,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “Whether on television or online, on broadcast or cable, in English or in Spanish, NBCUniversal has the London Olympics covered, providing the American viewer with more choices than ever to watch the Games.”
Following are highlights of NBCUniversal’s coverage of the 2012 London Olympics (some of the following information has been previously announced):
· NBCUniversal is presenting its 13th Olympic Games and seventh consecutive, both the most by any U.S. media company. ABC is second with 10 and four (twice), respectively.
o London will be NBCUniversal’s seventh consecutive Summer Games, having presented each one since Seoul in 1988.
· The 5,535 hours of Olympic coverage are the most ever and surpass Beijing’s coverage (3,600 hours) by nearly 2,000 hours.
o The 5,535 hours more than double the total amount of coverage of every Summer Games combined prior to Beijing (2,562 hours from 1960 Rome on CBS to 2004 Athens on NBC).
o The 5,535 hours are the equivalent of 231 days of coverage.
o NBCUniversal will average 291 hours of coverage per day over London’s 19 days (including two days of soccer competition prior to the Opening Ceremony).
· The networks of NBCU will provide coverage of all 32 sports and all 302 medal competitions.
· NBC will broadcast 272.5 hours of London Olympic coverage over 17 days, the most extensive coverage ever provided by an Olympic broadcast network, and nearly 50 hours more than the 225 hours for Beijing in 2008.
o Daytime coverage has increased significantly for London. Coverage will begin on most weekdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT, immediately following NBC News’ TODAY, which is originating from London.
o On weekends, NBC’s daytime coverage will begin as early as 5 a.m. ET/PT.
· NBC Sports Network will serve as the home to U.S. team sports, with 292.5 hours of total coverage from 2012 London Olympics this summer, including 257.5 hours of original programming – an average of more than 14 hours per day – the most-ever for an Olympic cable network.
· MSNBC will carry 155.5 hours of a wide variety of long-form Olympic programming over 19 days.
· CNBC will serve as the home of Olympic boxing this summer, including the debut of women’s boxing. The channel will televise 73 hours of boxing coverage over 16 days — from elimination bouts to the men’s and women’s finals.
· Bravo will act as the home of Olympic tennis this summer, televising 56 hours of long-form tennis coverage from July 28-August 3.
· NBCOlympics.com will live stream every event and sport for the first time ever. In all, the site will live stream more than 3,500 total programming hours, including the awarding of all 302 medals.
o NBCOlympics.com will live stream NBCU cable channels NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo, which will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers.
o Two apps – one focused on live streaming, one on short-form highlights, schedules, results, columns, and more – will be available for mobile and tablet users. The vast majority of content will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers.
· NBCUniversal announced the most extensive Spanish-language Olympic coverage in the company’s history, offering more than 173 hours of the upcoming London 2012 Olympics on Telemundo, “The U.S. Home of the Olympic Games in Spanish.”
o The 173 hours of Spanish-language coverage by Telemundo nearly equals the total coverage broadcast by NBC for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (176.5).
· Specialty channels for basketball and soccer are available to cable, satellite and telco providers, and will total 770 hours of coverage.
· Panasonic Corporation of North America and the NBC Sports Group announced in January that they will partner to make the London 2012 Olympic Games available in 3D to all U.S. distributors who carry Olympic coverage on cable, satellite and telco — nearly 100 percent of the multichannel industry.
o The effort will produce 242 hours of coverage and mark the first time that the Olympic Games will be distributed in the U.S. in 3D.
NBC will broadcast 272.5 hours of London Olympic coverage over 17 days this summer, the most extensive coverage ever provided by an Olympic broadcast network, and nearly 50 hours more than the 225 hours for Beijing in 2008. Swimming — including Michael Phelps’ quest to become the most decorated Olympian ever — track and field, gymnastics, diving, and beach volleyball, among other sports, will serve as the centerpieces of NBC’s coverage, which begins with the Opening Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, July 27.
Olympic coverage on NBC will again be divided into three day parts: daytime, primetime and late night. NBC’s primetime program, featuring the traditional, award-winning Olympic storytelling coverage that viewers have come to expect, will air 8-11:30 p.m. or Midnight ET/PT on most nights.
Daytime coverage has increased significantly for London. Coverage will begin on most weekdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT, immediately following TODAY, which is originating from London. On weekends, NBC’s daytime coverage will begin as early as 5 a.m. ET/PT. A one-hour late night show will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the primetime program. Primetime will be replayed following the late-night show.
It was announced in April that Bob Costas, a 22-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, returns as the primetime host for NBC’s coverage. For Costas, London marks his 10th Olympic broadcast assignment and his ninth as the primetime host (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Salt Lake City, 2002, Athens 2004, Turin 2006, Communist China 2008, Vancouver 2010).
Al Michaels, who hosted daytime coverage at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, and Dan Patrick, making his Olympic hosting debut, will host NBC’s weekday and weekend daytime coverage, and Mary Carillo will once again host the NBC late night show.
Additionally, top TV broadcaster Ryan Seacrest, tennis legend John McEnroe, famed gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi, and Carillo, broadcasting her 11th Olympic Games, will serve as Olympic correspondents during primetime coverage on NBC.
The majority of the following information about NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, NBCOlympics.com and Telemundo, has been previously announced:
NBC SPORTS NETWORK
NBC Sports Network will serve as the home to U.S. team sports, with 292.5 hours of total coverage from 2012 London Olympics this summer, including 257.5 hours of original programming – an average of more than 14 hours per day – the most-ever for an Olympic cable network. Coverage will begin on Wednesday, July 25, at 11:30 a.m. ET, two days before the Opening Ceremony, when Team USA takes on France in women’s soccer, live from Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland.
NBC Sports Network coverage, originating from Olympic Park in London, will air up to 20 medal rounds and 22 Olympic sports, including Team USA basketball, women’s soccer and field hockey.
NBC Sports Network, distributed in nearly 80 million homes – an increase of three million homes in the last year – will also carry soccer qualifying on Thursday, July 26. There will be no coverage on July 27 as there are no events scheduled on the same day as the Opening Ceremony. Coverage will conclude on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, August 12, the final day of competition. On most days, coverage will air from 4 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET, which covers the live Olympic day in London.
MSNBC, NBCUniversal’s 24/7 cable news channel that is fully distributed in roughly 100 million homes, will carry 155.5 hours of a wide variety of long-form Olympic programming over 19 days. The channel will air up to 18 medal rounds and 20 Olympic sports, from badminton to basketball to soccer to wrestling.
NBCUniversal’s 2012 London Olympic coverage begins on MSNBC on Wednesday, July 25 – two days before the Opening Ceremony — when Great Britain faces New Zealand in women’s soccer, the first official competition of the Games, live from Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT.
The channel will also carry soccer qualifying on Thursday, July 26, but there will be no coverage on July 27 as there are no events scheduled on the same day as the Opening Ceremony. Coverage will conclude on MSNBC on August 12, the final day of competition.
On most weekdays, coverage will air from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET. There will be longer programming windows on Saturdays and Sundays.
Longtime Golf Channel commentator Kelly Tilghman will serve as MSNBC’s Olympic host, with London being her first-ever Olympic assignment. MSNBC has aired Olympic coverage for every Summer Games since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
CNBC — NBCUniversal’s fully distributed cable business channel — will serve as the home of Olympic boxing this summer, including the debut of women’s boxing. The channel will televise 73 hours of boxing coverage over 16 days — every day from July 28-August 12 — from elimination bouts to the men’s and women’s finals. Same-day coverage will air from 5-8 p.m. ET during the week, with six hours of live coverage airing each day on the weekends. This marks the fourth consecutive Summer Games that CNBC has featured Olympic boxing.
Fred Roggin, the longtime lead sports anchor at NBC’s owned-and-operated station in Los Angeles, KNBC, will reprise his Beijing role as Olympic boxing host. This will be his seventh Olympics working for NBC and fourth working on Olympic boxing in some capacity.
Bravo, NBCUniversal’s fully distributed lifestyle cable channel, will act as the home of Olympic tennis this summer. The channel will televise 56 hours of long-form tennis coverage over seven days, from July 28-August 3. Live coverage will air from early morning until mid-afternoon (ET) on most days.
Pat O’Brien, a veteran of five Olympic Games as a commentator, will serve as host. London will be O’Brien’s fourth Olympics for NBC and sixth overall. He last worked for NBCUniversal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, the same year Bravo last carried Olympic competition.
NBCOlympics.com will live stream every event and sport for the first time ever. In all, the site will live stream more than 3,500 total programming hours, including the awarding of all 302 medals. By comparison, NBCOlympics.com live streamed 25 sports and 2,200 hours for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The site will also feature rewinds of all event coverage, a steady stream of athlete profiles, event highlights, a tour of London as the host city, and more.
NBCOlympics.com will live stream the Olympic content that airs on the four NBCU cable channels — NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo. In addition, two apps – one focused on live streaming, one on short-form highlights, schedules, results, columns, and more – will be available for mobile and tablets users. The vast majority of content will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers.
In another first, NBCOlympics.com will provide multiple concurrent streams for select sports, such as gymnastics (each apparatus), track and field (each event), and tennis (up to five courts). For example, during a session of track and field, instead of viewing only a single feed that moves from event to event, a user can choose to watch a stream dedicated to a specific event, such as the long jump or javelin.
NBCUniversal announced the most extensive Spanish-language Olympic coverage in the company’s history, offering more than 173 hours of the upcoming London 2012 Olympics on Telemundo, “The U.S. Home of the Olympic Games in Spanish.” Telemundo’s comprehensive coverage will feature marquee disciplines such as boxing, swimming, basketball and soccer, which will be a major broadcast highlight.
Telemundo will deliver a complete 360° Olympic experience across its multiple platforms including its broadcast network, www.NBCOLYMPICS.COM.com/TELEMUNDO and its cable network mun2, which will offer a daily half-hour special featuring behind-the-scenes from the Games. Also, for the first time in the network’s history, Telemundo will offer live streaming of broadcast coverage together with exclusive digital-only content of Olympic events, news, announcements and information via www.NBCOLYMPICS.COM/TELEMUNDO, totaling more than 200 hours of digital content.
Deportes Telemundo’s Olympic team, headed by internationally acclaimed sportscaster Andrés Cantor, will include Jessi Losada, Mónica Noguera, Sammy Sadovnik, Edgar Lopez, René Giraldo, Karim Mendiburu, Kaziro Aoyama, Oscar Guzmán, Leti Coo and Verónica Contreras, as well as several former Olympic champions.
Coverage will be live from both London and the network’s studios, bringing the stories of Hispanics participating in the Olympics and the main events both on the field and around the Games to the homes of millions of U.S. Hispanic viewers. With soccer being one of the biggest passion points for U.S. Hispanics, the Olympics’ soccer tournament will represent a major focus of Telemundo’s broadcast, as already-qualified Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain and Honduras vie for the gold.
Features and storytelling will be a centerpiece of Telemundo’s Olympic programming, detailing the journey of Hispanic athletes on their quest for Olympic glory. Some of the top Hispanic hopefuls include Mexican diver and 2009 world champion Paola Espinosa, Cuban American multi-medal threat gymnast Daniel Leyva, Mexican American female boxer Marlén Esparza and Argentine NBA basketball player Manu Ginobili.
Specialty channels for basketball and soccer are available to cable, satellite and telco providers, and will total 770 hours of coverage. More information about these channels will be released soon.
Panasonic Corporation of North America and the NBC Sports Group announced in January that they will partner to make the London 2012 Olympic Games available in 3D to all U.S. distributors who carry Olympic coverage on cable, satellite and telco — nearly 100 percent of the multichannel industry. The effort will produce 242 hours of coverage and mark the first time that the Olympic Games will be distributed in the U.S. in 3D. Panasonic is NBC’s exclusive Flat-Panel HDTV and Blu-ray Disc Player advertiser for the London Olympic Games.
Last year, Panasonic Corporation, a long time Official Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Audio and Visual Equipment category, announced it would partner with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) to make the London 2012 Olympic Games the first ever 3D Olympic Games.
The 3D broadcasts, which will be produced by OBS and shown on next-day delay, will span multiple competitions throughout the London 2012 Olympic Games, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, gymnastics, diving and swimming. OBS will produce more than 200 hours of 3D coverage during the London 2012 Olympic Games by utilizing Panasonic’s state-of-art 3D production technologies including the AG-3DP1, a P2HD professional fully-integrated twin-lens Full HD 3D camera recorder. Cable, satellite, and telco providers who receive the Olympics package may distribute the 3D broadcast via the Comcast Media Center.
That is all.
Let’s do some sports media thoughts for you on this back to work Monday. As usual, they’re in bullet form.
- Last week’s news that TBS would pick up the new single elimination MLB Wild Card Playoff games for this year and next was not a surprise. TBS has pleased MLB with its postseason coverage since 2007, gaining all of the League Division Series and one League Championship Series, sharing that round with Fox. Not only would TBS pay an extra $10 million for the new playoff games on top of its current fee, but it would also give two LDS games to MLB Network. Now that was a surprise.
It gives MLB Network its first foothold into postseason games after increasing the amount of regular season game telecasts steadily over the network’s first four years of existence. As Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reported on Friday, MLB Network will have Bob Costas and Matt Vasgersian call the LDS games with yet to be named analysts (expect to see Jim Kaat and Mitch Wiiliams or even John Smoltz). It’s a big move for MLB Network. Just as with TBS’ postseason package, the games will be exclusive with no local simulcasts. However, it does give MLB Network some leverage with cable and satellite providers to spread its reach beyond the current 69 million households.
- Also last week, NBC Sports Group announced coverage plans for NBC Sports Network, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. With each NBCUniversal channel assigned to certain carry certain sports, it will be a virtual feast for viewers to see the athletes compete. Add this to the live streaming that will be provided on NBCOlympics.com, fans should not miss anything from London this summer.
Now the hosting assignments give us some interesting food for thought. Fred Roggin hosting boxing on CNBC shows consistency from 2008. I was quite surprised about the return of Pat O’Brien to the Olympics. While he really hasn’t been on the national radar since losing his job at Entertainment Tonight and The Insider due to his personal problems, it hasn’t stopped him from working at Fox Sports Radio and making regular appearances on Fox News Channel. I’ll be happy to see Pat make his puns and illiteration attempts from the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon during Olympic tennis.
And I’ll be interested to see how Kelly Tilghman does on MSNBC as she’ll be hosting events there. Kelly has been host and done play-by-play for Golf Channel. I hadn’t seen her as an Olympic host and while she’s been polarizing to golf fans during her stint on GC, I think she’s been pretty decent as a studio host and interviewer, although she sometimes has her strange moments.
We’ll be waiting to see who else will be hosting on NBC Sports Network and on NBC in London.
- And who would have thunk that Al Jazeera, the network known for ruffling feathers in the Middle East could be a player for soccer rights? It’s been steadily obtaining rights to soccer in the Middle East and is about to start networks in France and in the United States. Al Jazeera has the US rights to Spain’s La Liga, France’s La Ligue, and Italy’s Serie A. These had been previously on Gol TV as well as Fox Soccer. Some games were sublicensed to ESPN throughout the years. Now with Al Jazeera obtaining the games, it will create two networks called beIN Sport as Multichannel News’ Mike Reynolds reports. The whole issue is if beIN Sport’s channels, one in English, the other in Spanish can gain wide distribution. If Al Jazeera gets the English Premier League US rights over Fox Soccer and ESPN, then expect plenty of cable and satellite carriage pickups before the summer is out.
That’s going to do it.
Overlooked this press release from Major League Baseball on last night’s Sports Emmys.
MLB Network won three Sports Emmys including Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host for Bob Costas sharing that award with NBC and two more for MLB Tonight.
MLB Productions shared the Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthology Emmy with Showtime for The Franchise: A Season with the San Francisco Giants.
And MLB is crowing about Fox’s four wins for its MLB on Fox series including one for Outstanding Live Sports Special for the 2011 World Series and Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-by-play for Joe Buck.
Overall, MLB Network takes home three Sports Emmys and MLB Productions gets another. Here’s the MLB press release.
MLB Tonight, The Franchise and the World Series All Recognized as MLB Network,
MLB Productions and FOX Sports Take Home Eight Emmys for Baseball Coverage
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences last night recognized a wide range of baseball coverage at the 33rd Annual Sports Emmy Awards, as MLB Network, MLB Productions and FOX Sports took home a combined eight awards for their work in 2011.
MLB Network won three awards, with MLB Tonight, MLB Network’s signature nightly studio show, winning its second consecutive award for Outstanding Studio Show – Daily, as well as the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Technical Team Studio for the second time. Bob Costas won his 23rd Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host for his work with both MLB Network and NBC. Since its launch in January 2009, MLB Network has received 28 Sports Emmy Award nominations and nine Sports Emmy Awards.
Major League Baseball Productions earned the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Edited Sports Series /Anthology for The Franchise: A Season with the San Francisco Giants on Showtime. MLB Productions has now earned 88 national and local Sports Emmy nominations and won 24 Sports Emmy Awards since 2000. Season two of The Franchise, featuring the Miami Marlins, will premiere in July on Showtime.
FOX Sports won four Sports Emmys for its baseball coverage, including Outstanding Live Sports Special for the thrilling seven-game 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. In addition, MLB on FOX won two awards for FOX Saturday Baseball, including Outstanding Technical Team Remote and Outstanding Live Event Audio/Sound, while Joe Buck won the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Play-by-Play Personality, his seventh career Sports Emmy Award.
That will do it. Now, I promise this is the last Sports Emmy Award post.
The NBC Sports Group was the big winner at the 33rd Annual Sports Emmy Awards in New York last night winning nine statues including some big awards like Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host (Bob Costas, who else?), Outstanding Sports Personality – Event Analyst (Cris Collinsworth), Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Reporter (Michele Tafoya), Outstanding Live Sports Series (Sunday Night Football), Outstanding Playoff Coverage (NFL Wild Card Saturday) as well as the very last Emmy for Versus (now NBC Sports Network).
I’ll have some thoughts on the Emmys later, but for now, let’s provide the press releases from the networks in rapid fire form. The NBC Sports Group press release is first.
Sunday Night Football Wins Fourth Consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Series
Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya Honored
NEW YORK – April 30, 2012 – The NBC Sports Group won nine Sports Emmy Awards, the most of any sports media company for the second straight year; Sunday Night Football won its fourth consecutive award for Outstanding Live Sports Series; and Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya were all honored in their respective categories at the 33rd Annual Sports Emmy Awards, presented Monday night by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
MARK LAZARUS, NBC SPORTS GROUP CHAIRMAN: “It’s always an honor to be recognized by your peers. Last night’s results speak to the quality of the work we were able to produce as a team in the very first year of the NBC Sports Group. We want to extend our congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and nominees.”
Formed in January, 2011, the NBC Sports Group consists of NBC Sports, NBC Sports Network (rebranded from VERSUS in January 2012), Golf Channel, 11 Comcast Regional Sports Networks, and their respective digital assets.
NBC Sports’ NFL coverage was honored with a total of six Emmy Awards in the following categories:
- Outstanding Live Sports Series for Sunday Night Football;
- Outstanding Playoff Coverage for Wild Card Saturday;
- Outstanding Production Design/Art Direction for Sunday Night Football open with Faith Hill;
- Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host, Bob Costas;
- Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Event Analyst, Cris Collinsworth
- Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Reporter, Michele Tafoya.
Other wins for the NBC Sports Group included:
- Outstanding Sports Promotional Announcement – Episodic for 2011 Stanley Cup Final on NBC;
- The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award for America’s Cup Highlight Show on VERSUS (now NBC Sports Network);
- Outstanding Camerawork for the 2011 Ironman World Championships on NBC.
For the fourth consecutive year, NBC Sports won Outstanding Live Sports Series for Sunday Night Football. NBC Sports has now won the award in five of the last six years, also winning in 2007 for its NASCAR coverage.
Bob Costas was awarded his 23rd career Emmy and fourth consecutive for Outstanding Sports Personality-Studio Host. Costas hosts Football Night in America, NBC Sports’ acclaimed NFL studio show. He won the Emmy in the same category last year for his work on Football Night and at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.
Cris Collinsworth was awarded his fourth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality-Sports Event Analyst. It was Collinsworth’s 13th career Emmy, which includes wins in 2007 and 2008 in the Studio Analyst category for work on Football Night in America.
Michele Tafoya, sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football, won the inaugural award in the category of Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Reporter.
That is all.