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.
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.
Ok starting the linkage off late again today, but I hope get a full set in before leaving work later.
Sports Business Daily notes some shuffling of personnel with the NFL TV partners.
Preston Bounds of Sports Business Daily talks about Brad Nessler saying his college football schedule with ESPN/ABC won’t be affected by his new gig with NFL Network.
Sports Business Daily discusses the machinations behind the ESPN-owned Longhorn Network.
Michael Hiestand from USA Today has some of the ratings from the weekend.
At Variety, Cynthia Littleton talks about ABC Studios developing a sitcom based on a book written by ESPN Radio morning drive co-host Mike Greenburg.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News notes that ESPN has been honored for its World Cup programming.
Anthony Crupi from Adweek says NBCUniversal’s networks are all over the promotion of the Kentucky Derby.
Wayne Friedman at MediaPost notes that Time Warner saw additional ad revenues in the 1st quarter of this year thanks to the NCAA Tournament.
Wayne says Fox is reporting good ad revenues from the NFL in its fiscal year 2nd quarter.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy has the video of a cameraman getting a little too close to the action before Game 3 of the Vancouver-Nashville game.
Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center notes that sports journalism is greatly lacking in diversity.
Kristi Dosh of the Business of College Sports has an excellent look at the TV contracts for all of the BCS conferences.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times notes that embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is blaming MLB Walking, Talking Conflict of Interest Bud Selig for his financial troubles. Way to help your cause, Frank.
Newsday’s Neil Best says former NFL Network play-by-play man Bob Papa is taking the high road.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that thoroughbred racing from Saratoga Race Course is heading back to national television after a year’s absence.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Time Warner Cable will air some local high school baseball.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes that Matt Millen had a feeling he was going to be blown out of the NFL Network booth.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner feels the big Pac-12 contracts with ESPN and Fox could lead the Big East to a huge windfall.
Barry Horn in the Dallas Morning News says the Mavericks saw their biggest ratings in more than 2 years.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Pawtucket Red Sox and Cincinnati Bearcats voice Dan Hoard will become the voice of the Bengals this season.
John goes into some of the reasons why Brad Johansen will no longer be the voice of the Bengals.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at Mike Mayock becoming the new analyst for NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business notes that WGN will have a special on Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
Paola Boivin from the Arizona Republic takes a look at the Pac-12 media rights agreements and what it means for member schools.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times writes about Brad Nessler coming in to call NFL Network Thursday Night Football.
SportsbyBrooks profiles the US Assistant Attorney General whose looking into the BCS.
Sports Media Watch notes that in Boston this week, the Bruins beat the Celtics in the ratings, but not head-to-head.
SMW says Lakers losses are leading to lofty ratings.
Steve Lepore, the hardest working blogger in the business, says NBC saw a double digit ratings jump last Sunday.
Steve also has the ratings for Night 21 of the NHL Playoffs.
Awful Announcing notes that announcers Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza understandably went a little goofy as the Angels-Red Sox game went form Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.
Keggs ‘n Eggs notes the irony of Urban Meyer’s daughter complaining about him working for ESPN as he was supposed to spend retirement from Florida with his family.
I’ll end the links there. Finally finish these at 9:50 p.m. Thursday. Lots of things to do on the blog.
The upheaval in the NFL Network Thursday Night Football booth has been well documented. Now that Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock are officially the new announcing team, we look at the people NFL Network have assembled over the years. Let’s hope that this team can remain in place through the end of the current NFL TV contract.
2006 – Bryant Gumbel/Cris Collinsworth
2007 – Bryant Gumbel/Cris Collinsworth
2008 – Bob Papa/Cris Collinsworth
2009 – Bob Papa/Matt Millen
2010 – Bob Papa/Matt Millen/Joe Theismann/Alex Flanagan
2011 – Brad Nessler/Mike Mayock/Alex Flanagan (I’ll say Alex returns this year)
So you can see there has been hardly any consistency in the booth with changes coming practically every year but 2006-07. Here’s hoping that this year’s version of Thursday Night Football will work for NFL Network. I’m rooting for Brad and Mike.
With this being Patriots Day in Massachusetts and Maine, it’s time to give some links. It’s a day off for some in Massachusetts and Boston has the Marathon plus the 11 a.m. Red Sox game. Both of which are traditions I have come to enjoy.
Some interesting links today. We start with John Ourand and Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal who report that ESPN and the Big East Conference are talking contract extension a year before renewal talks were to begin.
John and David Broughton of the Sports Business Journal note that the Pittsburgh Penguins are on top of the local NHL TV ratings heap.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy crunches the NHL’s local TV numbers.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column has some interesting sports media notes. One, he talks with NFL Films President Steve Sabol about his treatment for a brain tumor. Steve is touched by the outreach of support from you.
Next, Peter talks with ESPN’s Jon Gruden about several quarterback prospects and yes, there’s even a “this guy” quote.
Also, Peter takes NFL Network to task for making Bob Papa audition for the job he currently has.
And if you would rather see the entire MMQB column on one page instead of clicking through five pages, you can go here.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today speaks with TNT’s Reggie Miller about his former broadcast partner Doug Collins and his own front office aspirations.
Hiestands notes the very good overnight ratings for six of the eight NBA playoff games over the weekend.
Tom Weir of USA Today says Michael Strahan will get his first opportunity to guest host for Regis Philbin tomorrow on “Live with Regis & Kelly”.
USA Today and Tennis Channel have announced a new online feature that will run exclusively on USAToday.com.
ESPN has published the list of announcers and analysts who have endorsement deals. A couple of names noticeably absent are Chris Berman who has deals with Applebees and Nutrisystem and Chris Fowler who has one with Nike.
ESPN Executive Vice President for Production, Norby Williamson wrote the new endorsement guidelines and they were posted on ESPN’s Front Row.
Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter says the NBA Playoffs took ratings away from primetime on Sunday.
Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable advises you to enjoy the NBA while you can before the inevitable lockout occurs in the summer.
Tom Conroy of Media Life Magazine reviews the new “Sports Show with Norm Macdonald”.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell gives us his observations about purposely staying away from Twitter for just under a week.
Darren has estimates of fan attendance at various spring college football games.
Craig Calcaterra from Hardball Talk has a picture of ESPN’s Wendi Nix trying to get some answers from Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington.
At Deadline, the mysterious Nikki Finke wonders if it’s time to end live sports TV coverage to prevent occasional swear words from slipping through the cracks. It doesn’t happen all of the time and sports fans won’t stand for delays.
Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe says Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown visited the NESN booth today and said other members of Congress are jealous of the Bay State’s sports teams.
From Claire Atkinson of the New York Post, there’s a power struggle between NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol and NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke over the bid for the 2014/2016 Olympics and don’t forget bids are due in a month in a half.
Also from the Post, Phil Mushnick is amazed that an MLB team used common sense.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that Capitals coach used a radio appearance to insult the venerable Madison Square Garden.
Dan says the Capitals’ TV ratings are far outpacing the Wizards’.
Doug Miles of the Tampa Bay Examiner wants to know why NBC dumped coverage of golf on Sunday in favor of the NHL.
Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times reviews the weekend that was on sports television.
The Tennessean notes that ESPN has set the date and time for this year’s Music City Bowl.
In the Houston Chronicle, David Barron says he’s going to be away for a couple of weeks.
Tom Brew of the Indianapolis Star says Chris Denari, the TV voice of the Indiana Pacers, will finally get to call his first NBA Playoff game this week.
At Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman talks with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon about making a move back to the Windy City.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post loved the opening weekend of the NBA Playoffs.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News has the Southern California sports calendar for this week.
Randy Starkman of the Toronto Star does not like Canada’s public funding for CBC when Don Cherry makes fun of concussions.
Raju Mudhar of the Star talks with the new head of CBC Sports.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders if TSN had not paid close scrutiny to an uncalled penalty, would a suspension have followed?
To the Canadian Sports Media Blog where it also tackles the controversial concussion comments by Don Cherry on Saturday.
Over to Steve Lepore at Puck The Media who says NBC did not get the job done by not producing a clear-cut replay during yesterday’s Washington Capitals-New York Rangers game during a goal review.
Steve also looks at the local ratings for this weekend’s NHL on NBC double dip.
Sports Media Watch says TNT’s NBA tripleheader really did well on Sunday.
And this is where we’ll end it for now.
I got up early this morning (not that you care) and it now enables me to do some links for you. Some good stuff out today.
First USA Today’s Mike McCarthy, we learn that Joe Theismann claims he has not been told about any changes to the NFL Network Thursday Night Football booth. Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported earlier this week that Mike Mayock is replacing Theismann and Matt Millen. Thanks to Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser for the link.
Back to Marcus at SportsNewser, he tells us that the Los Angeles Times is explaining why it chose to print the homophobic slur Kobe Bryant used against a referee in an NBA game this week.
CNBC’s Brian Beers has three cities to where the Sacramento Kings should relocate and they don’t include Los Angeles.
Kathleen E. McLaughlin of Global Post says an economic summit in Communist China led officials to ban several TV channels including Golf Channel.
There’s a controversy brewing in Philadelphia over a she said/she said story that was originally posted in the Naked Philadelphian blog where Sarah Madson, the wife of Phillies pitcher Ryan Madson was quoted as saying she hates Phillies fans and they’re rude and she won’t live in the city in the offseason. Deadspin picked up the story and the story boomeranged from there.
But Kyle Scott from the Crossing Broad blog did some investigating and found that the writer of the post, Laura Goldman has a rather checkered past. While Mrs. Madson has not denied the quote, the Phillies issued a statement that Goldman never identified herself as a reporter, nor did she record the conversation with Madson. For her part, Goldman said she did identify herself not just once but several times.
Kyle has written a post for CBS Philadelphia on the whole matter and again, he questions Goldman’s credibility. The whole question on bloggers and ethics is coming up again. I’m not sure about Goldman’s actual credentials based on her rather shady past, but there is a standard to uphold on approaching a potential interviewee. If she did identify herself as a reporter, that’s one thing, but according to people who attended the event, there was no notebook or tape recorder and there is a claim that Goldman cornered Madson and would not let her go. This story is apparently not going away any time soon.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says the NBA’s TV partners are looking forward to high ratings for the postseason.
Mike says Comcast SportsNet Chicago saw record ratings for the Bulls during the regular season.
Mike writes that the NHL on Versus saw increased viewership for the first night of the postseason.
Thomas Umstead of Multichannel writes that NBA.com is going to provide increased coverage for the NBA Playoffs.
Chris Tribbey of Home Media magazine says 3-D TV’s future depends on sports programming.
At SB Nation Boston, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch takes a look at the Bruins and Celtics playoff TV coverage.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times takes a look at MSG Network Knicks analyst Walt Frazier’s extensive wardrobe.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post reports that Bob Papa and Gus Johnson are “neck-and-neck” for the NFL Network Thursday Night Football gig.
The Gaston (NC) Gazette reports that the local Fox Sports Radio affiliate has picked up the rights to the Charlotte 49ers basketball and football broadcasts.
Chris Bahn of Arkansas Sports 360 notes that the University of Arkansas is reaping the benefits of ESPN choosing its spring football game to air today.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News writes that the Fox/Big 12 deal could look frugal down the road and Barry also talks with CBS’ Bill Macatee about his infamous Tiger Woods interview at The Masters last week.
Speaking of that interview, the Golf Channel’s Bradel Chamblee takes Tiger to task for being smug with Macatee.
Nathan Olivarez-Giles of the Los Angeles Times writes extensively on the success of NBA.com’s video streams and how it looks to make a mark in social media.
Nathaniel Popper of the Times reports on the Fed’s crackdown on three online poker websites on Friday.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing says while ESPN reported on the FBI’s shutdown of the poker betting websites, it did not mention the money it took in from each site for advertising.
The Hawaii Reporter says the NBC Sports Group will be covering a rowing and canoeing event at the islands next month.
Sports Media Watch notes the NBA on TNT wrapped up its most viewed regular season.
SMW says the same goes for the NBA on ESPN.
SMW says ABC had its highest-rated and most viewed season for the NBA as well.
Joe Favorito says Vancouver has untapped potential for the NHL and MLS.
And we are now done for the day. If there’s any breaking news, I’ll be here to cover it.
2006 – Bryant Gumbel/Cris Collinsworth
2007 – Bryant Gumbel/Cris Collinsworth
2008 – Bob Papa/Cris Collinsworth
2009 – Bob Papa/Matt Millen
2010 – Bob Papa/Matt Millen/Joe Theismann/Alex Flanagan
2011 – Gus Johnson/Mike Mayock (speculated, not confirmed)
You can see there hasn’t been much consistency for NFL Network and even its production crew has turned over a couple of times in the process. To say NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football has been a work in progress would be an understatement, but it needs some consistency and a team that can be its signature as Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth have been for NBC’s Sunday Night Football in the last two seasons.
This is what happens when I’m out of the office, news breaks and I need someone to point me in the right direction. Coming from the great Richard Deitsch at Sports Illustrated, NFL Network has apparently decided to do away with the Joe Theismann/Matt Millen analyst combo and chucked them in favor of one of the best analysts in football, Mike Mayock. I asked NFL Network’s PR department for confirmation, but was given an “NFL Network declines comment” response.
In the meantime, this would be most excellent news if this is true. Mayock has been with NFL Network from its inception as its Draft guru. He has surpassed Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay as the go-to guy for draft information.
And last year, Mayock received good notice for his work on NBC’s Notre Dame football broadcasts forming a very good team with Tom Hammond. In addition, the two worked one of NBC’s NFL Wild Card playoff games in January and again, Mayock received mostly positive reviews for his work.
If this is true, it would mean the end of a failed experiment in using two analysts on Thursday Night Football, a booth that has been retooled, reshaped and reworked since NFL Network got the package in 2006.
And Richard reports that NFL Network is also considering NFL on CBS voice Gus Johnson to replace Bob Papa. Now there was nothing wrong with Papa’s work on Thursday Night Football. He was always prepared and he meshed well with Cris Collinsworth in his first season on TNF, but then was saddled with Matt Millen in 2009 and then Theismann and Millen in 2010. Papa is a very good play-by-play man and deserves another network shot if indeed, NFL Network goes in another direction. I would have liked to have heard Papa and Mayock work together in 2011, but that appears not to be the case.
We’ll continue to monitor what has become a very interesting story.
Thursday Night Football on NFL Network returns this week with a matchup of 6-2 teams, the Atlanta Falcons hosting the Baltimore Ravens. Can’t ask for a better way to premiere an 8 game package of games. However, it also means the debut of motormouth analyst Joe Theismann who never passed the opportunity to talk into a microphone. With he and returning analyst Matt Millen together in the booth, play-by-play man Bob Papa may be lucky to get down and distance in before Theismann takes over.
We have a look at the particulars for NFL Network’s coverage this Thursday.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11 — 8:00 PM ETBALTIMORE RAVENS AT ATLANTA FALCONS ON NFL NETWORKJoe Theismann Debuts on Thursday Night FootballDeion Sanders Sit Down Interview with Baltimore Linebacker Ray Lewis On Thursday Night Kickoff Presented by Sears Pregame Show at 6 PM ET“Your Weekend Starts Here”NOTABLE & QUOTABLE…
- NFL Network and NFL.com add a handful of new members to its Thursday Night Football coverage team. JOE THEISMANN joins play-by-play announcer BOB PAPA and analyst MATT MILLEN in the booth as a game analyst. KURT WARNER is a new analyst on Thursday Night Kickoff Presented by Sears from Los Angeles, along with host FRAN CHARLES and analysts STERLING SHARPE, JAY GLAZER, and JIM MORA.
- “It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to get back where I always wanted to be and (where I) spent so many years in the booth.” – JOE THEISMANN on joining the Thursday Night Football broadcast as a game analyst
- “Now we’re getting to see Joe Flacco open up his game personally, throw the football around a little bit more. I think the emergence of (Atlanta wide receiver) Roddy White in Atlanta has really taken Matt Ryan to another level.” – JOE THEISMANN on the development of quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan
- Thursday Night Kickoff analyst DEION SANDERS sits down for an interview with Baltimore Ravens linebacker RAY LEWIS, the #18 player on The Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players during the pregame show at 6 PM ET on NFL Network.BALTIMORE RAVENS (6-2) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (6-2)
ANNOUNCERS: Bob Papa (play-by-play), Matt Millen and Joe Theismann (game analysts)PREGAME (6:00 PM ET): Thursday Night Kickoff
In Atlanta: Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kara Henderson (on-site reporter); In Los Angeles: Fran Charles, Kurt Warner, Sterling Sharpe, Jay Glazer, Brian Billick, Jason La CanforaPRE-KICK (8:00 PM ET): Pre-Kick Show
Bob Papa, Matt Millen, Joe Theismann, Alex Flanagan, Rich Eisen, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci, Deion SandersHALFTIME: The Halftime ShowRich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kara Henderson
POSTGAME: Postgame ShowRich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kara HendersonNFL Total Access Postgame ShowFran Charles, Jamie Dukes, Rod Woodson
WHERE TO WATCH: DirecTV – Channel 212 (SD/HD), DISH Network – 154 (SD/HD)Verizon – Channel 88 (SD) 588 (HD), AT&T U-Verse – 630 (SD) 1630 (HD)Check your local cable listingsNFL.com LIVE – live “look-ins” at select moments of game
NFL Mobile Live on Verizon WirelessLOCAL OTA SIMULCAST*: Baltimore: NBC Ch. 11 (WBAL)/Atlanta: MyNetwork Ch. 36
Thursday Night FootballNFL Network begins its fifth year airing the Thursday Night Football primetime package. NFL Network presents eight games in the key stretch of the season as teams jockey for playoff berths and seeding.This week, Thursday Night Football travels to Atlanta where the (6-2) Falcons host the (6-2) Ravens at the Georgia Dome in a battle of two of the top teams in the NFL. The matchup marks the first time that third-year quarterbacks JOE FLACCO (Baltimore) and MATT RYAN (Atlanta) will face each other. Both quarterbacks were first-year starters for their teams, and this season each ranks in the top 10 in passing yards.This season marks the debut of new game analyst JOE THEISMANN, who returns to the broadcast booth after a successful stint with ESPN from 1988 – 2006. Alongside Theismann in the booth will be BOB PAPA, who returns for his third year as the play-by-play announcer for NFL Network, and second-year game analyst MATT MILLEN. Additional newcomers include producer ED FEIBISCHOFF and director ARTIE KEMPER.RICH EISEN hosts NFL Network’s Thursday Night Kickoff from the stadium. Eisen, a two-time Sports Emmy nominee in the Studio Host category, is joined by fellow Sports Emmy nominee STEVE MARIUCCI, a former NFL head coach with the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions who also served as Brett Favre’s quarterback coach in Green Bay; MARSHALL FAULK, who won a Super Bowl XXXIV ring with the Rams, earned 2000 NFL MVP honors and three Offensive Player of the Year awards (1999-2001) and has been selected to seven Pro Bowls; and DEION SANDERS, a two-time Super Bowl winner who was 1994 Defensive Player of the Year and an eight-time Pro Bowler who holds the NFL record with 18 career return touchdowns. Coverage also includes on-site reports from KARA HENDERSON, who begins her eighth season with NFL Network, and sideline reporter ALEX FLANAGAN, who is in her fifth season with NFL Network, first as a sideline reporter on Thursday Night Football.Additional coverage will be provided from NFL Network studios in Los Angeles with host FRAN CHARLES and analysts KURT WARNER, a two-time NFL MVP and a Super Bowl MVP quarterback; STERLING SHARPE, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a 16-year veteran NFL broadcaster; JAY GLAZER, FOX Sports NFL insider and senior writer for FOXSports.com; and BRIAN BILLICK, former NFL coach with the Baltimore Ravens who won a Super Bowl in 2000. NFL Network insider JASON LA CANFORA will also provide the latest updates.NFL.com LIVE at 8:00 PM ET features live programming including live “look-ins” of Thursday Night Football, game highlights and instant analysis from NFL Network talent. From the NFL Network studios in Los Angeles, PAUL BURMEISTER, JAMIE DUKES, BUCKY BROOKS and MIKE MAYOCK provide expert analysis, commentary and fantasy information with contributions from Faulk, Mariucci and Sanders. Henderson and STEVE WYCHE will provide live reports from the stadium, while Mayock will return for a second season with ‘Instant Playbook’ from the NFL Films studios exclusively for NFL.com/LIVE: Thursday Night Football, which provides instant X & O analysis of key plays right after they happen.Following the game at 12:00 AM ET, NFL Network analyst ROD WOODSON will join Charles and Dukes for a postgame edition of NFL Total Access Live.
And you have the details of NFL Network’s coverage.
Since NFL Network started airing live games in 2006, its broadcast booth has been a bastion of inconsistency. Since Bryant Gumbel left in 2007, there have been changes every year. Let’s take a look at the combinations.
2006 – Bryant Gumbel & Cris Collinsworth
2007 – Bryant Gumbel & Cris Collinsworth
2008 – Bob Papa & Cris Collinsworth
2009 – Bob Papa & Matt Millen
2010 – Bob Papa, Matt Millen & Joe Theismann
It would behoove NFL Network to keep the booth consistent for next season. Even if the Theismann move is unpopular, the changes make the booth look topsy-turvy.
Even though I posted a version of the talent roster last week, NBC Sports sends us this release today so I’ll do them the favor of posting it now.
I’m a bit busy again today so links may not get posted. I’ll do my best to get them up sometime during the day.
Anyway, here’s the NBC press release listing the entire talent roster for the Winter Olympics which as you know starts Friday.
NBC ANNOUNCES TALENT ROSTER FOR VANCOUVER OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES – 53 COMMENTATORS IN ALL
Costas Returns for 9th Olympics, 8th as Primetime Host
Michaels Returns to Olympics After 22 Years, 30 Years After ‘Miracle on Ice’; Carillo Again Anchors Late Night Show
Button and Collinsworth Serve As Olympic Correspondents
NBC Talent Roster Has Won 16 Olympic Medals Including 7 GoldNEW YORK - Feb. 9, 2010 - Bob Costas leads a lineup of 53 NBC Olympic commentators who will broadcast more than 835 hours of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games coverage - the most total hours ever for a Winter Olympics - when the Games commence on Feb. 12. The lineup returns many of the network’s signature Olympic hosts, play-by-play commentators and analysts.
NBC Universal Olympic commentator notes:
- The roster includes 18 Olympians who have won a combined total of 16 Olympic medals (seven Gold, six Silver and three Bronze). Team NBC would have been seventh in the Torino medal count; ahead of Sweden and just behind Norway.
- Bob Costas, a 20-time Emmy Award winner, serves as primetime host for the eighth time and works his ninth overall Olympics for NBC; Al Michaels, who will serve as daytime host, makes his NBC Olympic debut and works his fifth Games overall after a 22-year absence and 30 years removed from his legendary “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” call; Mary Carillo, who serves as both late night host and Olympic correspondent, works her 10th Olympic Games and seventh with NBC; and Cris Collinsworth, also serving as an Olympic correspondent, makes his third Olympic appearance for NBC.
- Olympic correspondent Dick Button has more experience at the Olympics than any NBC commentator, appearing at his 17th Olympic Winter Games and his second for NBC. Button won gold for the U.S. team in men’s figure skating at the 1948 and 1952 Winter Olympics.
- Eight commentators are making their NBC Olympic debut: the aforementioned Michaels; hockey analysts Mike Milbury, Ed Olczyk and Jeremy Roenick; Olympic freestyle gold medalist Jonny Moseley; two-time curling World champion Colleen Jones; Olympic skeleton silver medalist Lea Ann Parsley; and Olympic short track silver medalist and four-time Olympian Andy Gabel.
- The commentator roster includes seven Canadians: Sandra Bezic, Todd Brooker, Don Duguid, Colleen Jones, Tim Ryan, Elfi Schlegel and Tracy Wilson.
- The 53 commentators will cover more than 835 total hours of coverage on six NBCU platforms – NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC and Universal HD, as well as NBCOlympics.com – the most in-depth coverage in history for a Winter Olympics.Following is a rundown of NBC’s Olympic talent:
- The 2010 Vancouver Olympics will be Bob Costas’ ninth for NBC Sports and his eighth as primetime host. After serving as late night host in 1988 from Seoul, Costas has won acclaim and Emmy Awards for his work as primetime host from Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens, Turin and Beijing. Costas, who has the longest tenure of the network’s sports announcers, joined NBC in 1980.
- Al Michaels, one of the most renowned commentators of all-time and whose legendary “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” call at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics 30 years ago stands as the most famous call in sports history, will work his first Olympic broadcast assignment in 22 years. He last covered hockey and hosted the Closing Ceremony at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics for ABC. Michaels will serve as host of NBC’s live weekend and weekday daytime coverage from Vancouver.
- Mary Carillo will host NBC’s late-night coverage for the second time, reprising her role from Beijing. Carillo will also serve as an Olympic correspondent in her 10th Olympic games and seventh for NBC.
- Bill Patrick will serve as hockey host in Vancouver, his second appearance as a full-time Olympic host.
- Fred Roggin, the sports director at KNBC-TV, NBC’s owned-and-operated station in Los Angeles, will work as curling host, his sixth Olympic assignment for NBC. Roggin hosted CNBC and MSNBC’s curling coverage from Turin.OLYMPIC CORRESPONDENTS:
- Cris Collinsworth: A 10-time Emmy Award winner and currently the analyst for NBC “Sunday Night Football,” Collinsworth will serve as an Olympic correspondent, providing on-the-scene reports throughout Vancouver. This will be his third Olympic assignment and first Winter Games. He joined NBC’s Olympic coverage at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics proving his versatility as a commentator and receiving critical praise while working as a reporter for track & field. In 2008, he provided on-the-scene reports throughout the Beijing Summer Games.
- Dick Button: Two-time Olympic gold medalist and Emmy Award-winner Button will serve as Olympic correspondent in Vancouver, his second Olympic assignment with NBC. Vancouver will mark the 17th Olympic Winter Games he has attended in some capacity, including winning gold for Team USA in men’s figure skating in 1948 and 1952. Button made his television debut during CBS’s coverage of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley. In 1962, he moved to ABC Sports where he served for more than 40 years as a figure skating analyst. He joined NBC for the 2006 Turin Olympics.SPORTS DESK REPORTERS:
- Lester Holt, weekend anchor of “NBC Nightly News” and co-anchor of NBC’s weekend edition of “Today,” returns for his fourth Olympic assignment. Emmy Award-winner Jimmy Roberts will work his sixth Olympic Games. NBC News’ Peter Alexander returns for his second Olympic Games. Alex Flanagan, NBC Sports’ sideline reporter for Notre Dame home football games, returns for her second Olympic assignment, along with three-time Olympian, Dwight Stones, who will serve on NBC’s team for his ninth Olympic Games and 10th overall.SPORT BY SPORT:
- ALPINE SKIING: Play-by-play commentator Tim Ryan returns to NBC for his ninth Olympics and his sixth Games serving in this role. Also returning is Todd Brooker, a three-time World Cup downhill champion who previously worked as an analyst for both the Torino and Salt Lake City Games. Returning to NBC for the first time since Salt Lake in 2002 is 1984 Olympic giant slalom silver medalist Christin Cooper, who will serve as an analyst. Former U.S. Ski team downhill racer Steve Porino again serves as an on-course reporter, his third Olympic assignment with NBC.
- BIATHLON/CROSS COUNTRY: Al Trautwig, a sportscasting veteran for over two decades, returns to NBC for his eighth Olympic assignment and 13th Olympics overall as the play-by-play commentator. Working alongside Trautwig in his second Olympic broadcast assignment is former U.S. Biathlon team member Chad Salmela.
- BOBSLED/LUGE/SKELETON: Returning to NBC for his eighth Olympic assignment, Bob Papa will serve as the bobsled/luge/skeleton play-by-play commentator. Lewis Johnson, reporting from his sixth Olympic Games, will work alongside Papa as a reporter in all three disciplines. Serving as analysts are: former U.S. National Bobsled team member John Morgan (bobsled); three-time Olympian Duncan Kennedy (luge); and Olympic silver medalist Lea Ann Parsley (skeleton).
- CURLING: In his sixth Olympic assignment with NBC, Fred Roggin, sports anchor at KNBC-TV, NBC’s owned-and-operated station in Los Angeles, and winner of 28 regional Emmy awards, will serve as host. Andrew Catalon, a sports anchor from NBC’s affiliate in Albany, N.Y., returns as a play-by-play commentator in his second Olympic assignment and first winter Games. Serving as analysts are two-time world champions and native Canadians Don Duguid and Colleen Jones. Reprising her role as curling reporter, Elfi Schlegel, who is also from Canada, returns for her 10th Olympics.
- FIGURE SKATING: Tom Hammond, working his ninth Olympics, will serve as figure skating play-by-play commentator. Scott Hamilton, Olympic gold medalist, member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame, and one of the most recognized male figure skating stars in the world, will serve as an analyst. Working alongside Hamilton are analysts Sandra Bezic, a former Olympian and Canadian pairs champion, and Tracy Wilson, who was part of the first Canadian ice dance team to earn an Olympic medal in 1988. Andrea Joyce, who returns for her sixth Olympic assignment with NBC, will serve as a reporter.
- FREESTYLE SKIING: In his second Olympic assignment with NBC, Todd Harris, will serve as the play-by-play commentator for freestyle skiing. Joining Harris in his Olympic broadcasting debut is Olympic moguls gold medalist Jonny Moseley, who will serve as an analyst. In her second Olympic appearance and her first time covering freestyle skiing, Tina Dixon, a former professional snowboarder, will provide reporting. Harris and Moseley will also handle ski cross duties.
- HOCKEY: Veteran broadcaster Bill Patrick will host all hockey coverage in Vancouver, his second Olympic broadcast assignment with NBC. Mike “Doc” Emrick (sixth Olympics and third with NBC) and Kenny Albert (third Olympics, all with NBC) will serve as play-by-commentators for both men’s and women’s hockey. Analyst Ed Olczyk (first Olympics), inside-the-glass reporter Pierre McGuire (second Olympics) and studio analyst Mike Milbury (first Olympics) will reprise their NHL on NBC “Game of the Week” roles in Vancouver. Joe Micheletti (game analyst), making his sixth Olympic appearance, and former NHL all-star Jeremy Roenick (studio analyst), making his Olympic broadcasting debut, will bolster the men’s hockey roster. Micheletti will also serve as a reporter for both men’s and women’s hockey. Olympic gold medalist Cammi Granato returns to NBC for her second Olympic appearance as women’s hockey studio analyst. Reprising her role from Turin, AJ Mleczko will serve as women’s hockey analyst.
- SHORT TRACK: Ted Robinson, working his seventh Olympic Games and his sixth with NBC, returns as play-by-play commentator for short track speed skating. Making his NBC broadcasting debut is Olympic silver medalist and four-time Olympian Andy Gabel, who will work alongside Robinson as an analyst. Andrea Joyce will serve as a reporter.
- SKI JUMPING: In his fourth Olympic assignment, Matt Vasgersian reprises his role from Torino as ski jumping play-by-play commentator. Working alongside Vasgersian is four-time national champion Jeff Hastings, who will serve as an analyst for his seventh Olympics and third with NBC.
- SNOWBOARDING: Pat Parnell will serve as lead play-by-play commentator for snowboarding, a role he served in Torino as well. World champion and former U.S. Olympian Todd Richards returns as an analyst in his second Olympic broadcast assignment. Tina Dixon will serve as a reporter.
- SPEED SKATING: Dan Hicks, host of NBC Sports’ Emmy Award-winning golf coverage, will serve as the lead play-by-play commentator for speed skating, his eighth Olympic assignment for NBC. Olympic gold medalist Dan Jansen, serving as an analyst, returns for his fourth Olympic assignment. This is the duo’s third Olympic speed skating assignment as a broadcast team. In her second Olympic appearance, Andrea Kremer will provide reporting.UNIVERSAL SPORTS AT THE VANCOUVER GAMES:As previously announced, Universal Sports will present Universal Sports at the Vancouver Games, delivering five hours of live daily news and information as well as continuous news and results updates throughout the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Universal Sports’ talent roster for Universal Sports at the Vancouver Games includes a cast of celebrated Olympians, renowned commentators, Olympic insiders and veteran journalists.
Veteran sports host and anchor Terry Gannon will host Vancouver Olympic News Center daily at 10 a.m. ET from the Olympic Broadcast Center in Vancouver and will be joined by sports journalist/anchor Lindsay Soto. Gannon will also host The Vancouver Figure Skating Hour daily at 2 p.m. ET.
Emmy Award-winning NBC Sports reporter and host Jimmy Roberts will anchor Meet the Olympic Press, a daily roundtable discussion featuring veteran Olympic reporters including, among others, NBCOlympics.com’s Alan Abrahamson, Phil Hersh of the Chicago Tribune, Vicki Michaelis of USA Today, and John Powers from the Boston Globe. Reporter Stacey Dales will be in and around Vancouver with updates, and Olympic swimming gold medalist and television personality Summer Sanders will do the same from Whistler.
Universal Sports’ roster of expert analysts includes Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi and Olympic silver medalists Paul Wylie and Peter Carruthers on figure skating; Gold medalist Picabo Street and two-time Olympian Jeremy Bloom on skiing; NBC Sports action sports analyst Kenan Harkin on snowboarding; and former U.S. Nordic Combined Team Coach Tom Steitz on the Nordic sports. These insiders will examine the personalities behind the athletes, describe the pressures of Olympic competition and explain how storylines are impacted by training technology, state-of-the-art equipment and weather conditions.
In addition, Craig Hummer, a member of NBC’s broadcast team for the past three Olympic Games, will serve as the anchor of Universal Sports’ daily show, based at Universal Sports’ facilities outside of Los Angeles.
Play-by-Play: Tim Ryan
Analysts: Todd Brooker and Christin Cooper
Reporter: Steve Porino
Play-by-Play: Al Trautwig
Analyst: Chad Salmela
BOBSLED:Play-by-Play: Bob Papa
Analyst: John Morgan
Reporter: Lewis Johnson
Host: Fred Roggin
Play-by-Play: Andrew Catalon
Analysts: Don Duguid and Colleen Jones
Reporter: Elfi Schlegel
Play-by-Play: Tom Hammond
Analysts: Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic and Tracy Wilson
Reporter: Andrea Joyce
Play-by-Play: Todd Harris
Analyst: Jonny Moseley
Reporter: Tina Dixon
Host: Bill Patrick
Play-by-Play: Mike Emrick and Kenny Albert
Game Analysts: Ed Olczyk and Joe Micheletti
Studio Analysts: Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick
Reporters: Pierre McGuire, Joe Micheletti and Mike Milbury
Host: Bill Patrick
Play-by-Play: Mike Emrick and Kenny Albert
Game Analyst: AJ Mleczko
Studio Analysts: Cammi Granato
Reporter: Joe Micheletti
Play-by-play: Bob Papa
Analyst: Duncan Kennedy
Reporter: Lewis Johnson
Play-by-Play: Ted Robinson
Analyst: Andy Gabel
Reporter: Andrea Joyce
Play-by-Play: Bob Papa
Analyst: Lea Ann Parsley
Reporter: Lewis Johnson
Play-by-Play: Matt Vasgersian
Analyst: Jeff Hastings
SNOWBOARDING:Play-by-Play: Pat Parnell
Analyst: Todd Richards
Reporter: Tina Dixon
Play-by-Play: Dan Hicks
Analyst: Dan Jansen
Reporter: Andrea Kremer
SPORTS DESK REPORTERS:Peter Alexander
UNIVERSAL SPORTS:Vancouver Olympic News Center Hosts: Terry Gannon and Lindsay Soto
Vancouver Figure Skating Hour Host: Terry Gannon
Figure Skating Analysts: Kristi Yamaguchi, Paul Wylie, and Peter Carruthers
Meet the Olympic Press Host: Jimmy Roberts
Meet the Olympic Press Panelists: Alan Abrahamson - NBCOlympics.com, Brian Cazeneuve - Sports Illustrated, Helene Elliott - Los Angeles Times, Tracee Hamilton - Washington Post, Phil Hersh - Chicago Tribune, Vicki Michaelis - USA Today, John Powers - Boston Globe, Amy Shipley - Washington Post
Skiing Analysts: Picabo Street and Jeremy Bloom
Snowboarding Analyst: Kenan Harkin
Nordic Sport Analyst: Tom Steitz
Reporters: Stacey Dales and Summer Sanders
Universal Sports Host (Westlake Village, Calif.): Craig Hummer
Nice to see Fang’s Bites faves Stacey Dales, Lindsay Soto and Summer Sanders getting some work at the Olympics. Too bad they won’t be widely seen as they’ll be on Universal Sports, not the main networks of NBC. Oh well.
Anyway, thanks to the NBC Sports PR Department for sending this release.
I think there’s someone over at the NFL Network who really likes me because I have just received quotage from the Raiders-Chargers game and the broadcast finished about 10 minutes from when I started this post. Not bad at all. This is the fastest I’ve received NFL broadcast quotage. Color me impressed.
Because many of you don’t have the NFL Network, this is what you missed.
Quotes from Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers
Dec. 4, 2008 on NFL Network
FINAL – CHARGERS 34, RAIDERS 7
“In many ways, Darren Sproles looks like the L.T. of old.”
– Cris Collinsworth on Chargers RB Darren Sproles
“If you’re running game isn’t going well, what do you do? Dial up the Oakland Raiders and run the football.”
– Cris Collinsworth
“You have to understand that what has worked for the San Diego Chargers this season is Philip Rivers and the passing game. So it’s very difficult on the head coach to keep feeding the ball to the running game when it hasn’t been working.”
– Cris Collinsworth on the Chargers’ offense
Most touchdowns vs. one team among active players:
LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) OAK 22
LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) DEN 16
Hines Ward (PIT) CIN 14
Marvin Harrison (IND) NE 14
End of 1st Quarter: Chargers 10, Raiders 0
“Chargers fans have to be sitting here saying, ‘where has this been all season?’”
– Cris Collinsworth on the Chargers’ early success in the running game
“Shaun Phillips has tried to take over the role that Shawne Merriman has had for so long and it simply has not worked out for this team. When you take a superstar off of your defense, others begin to look average and that has happened to the Chargers this year.”
– Cris Collinsworth on the absence of Chargers LB Shawne Merriman
“The Christmas season is coming and there is a lot of coal in the stockings of (CB) Chris Johnson and the Raiders right now.”
– Bob Papa on the Raiders 24-0 early deficit
“Zach Miller has become JaMarcus Russell’s main downfield threat.”
– Cris Collinsworth on Raiders TE Zach Miller
“Jamal Williams is a guy that the Chargers have asked to play even more plays. It’s not very often in this league that you see a nose tackle that plays 50 plays, but a week ago (versus the Falcons), on the 50th play, he was getting stronger than he was earlier in the game.”
– Cris Collinsworth on Chargers NT Jamal Williams
“JaMarcus Russell is the franchise. You cannot have him going off on a cart. You have to spend some money on those tackles.”
– Cris Collinsworth on the Raiders acquiring better line protection for QB JaMarcus Russell
Halftime: Chargers 27, Raiders 7
“He’s honest with himself. He knows that he still has it. As a running back, you have that conversation with yourself. I had it with myself and I was honest – I knew it was gone, but watch this guy with the very same eyes I watched myself when I felt I was done and he still has it.”
– Marshall Faulk on Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson
“Somewhat ironic that the first game shot in 3-D is somewhat one dimensional.”
– Rich Eisen
“This is a team in San Diego that typically wins all of them when it comes to the month of December. They have been so good closing down the stretch.”
– Cris Collinsworth on the Chargers
“The only thing left for the Raiders to do is go out and hire as a head coach the absolute best quarterback developer that they can find and turn it around.”
– Cris Collinsworth on the Raiders
End of 3rd Quarter: Chargers 27, Raiders 7
“I like those two guys, I really do, the more tape I watch on Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison. They don’t care what the record is. They’re a little like Justin Fargas – they’re going to give you everything they have on every snap and if you build your foundation around those two guys, you’re going to be fine.”
– Cris Collinsworth on Raiders LBs Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison
“We haven’t needed a win this bad in a long time. It’s good to get it at home, our fans have been great. They’re here at 4-8, pulling for us. It’s good to win a game at home where we’ve been so good in the past. You never know what can happen now. We’ve got three weeks to go and we’re going to play them out.”
– Chargers QB Philip Rivers on the win with NFL Network’s Adam Schefter postgame
“One thing we can’t do is control what Denver does, but with three games left, the odds are against us, but you never know. Crazier things have happened. We’re going to fight like crazy to win these next two and see if that game (Dec. 28 vs. Denver) means something.”
– Philip Rivers on the Chargers playoff chances (postgame)
NFL TOTAL ACCESS ON LOCATION PREGAME SHOW
Host: Rich Eisen Analysts: Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci, Deion Sanders, Warren Sapp
“The Chargers have to be honest with themselves. This team is being taken out of the hands of #21 and put in the hands of #17.”
– Marshall Faulk on the Chargers
“I don’t think that Norv (Turner) ever had this team. This was Marty’s (Schottenheimer) team with an identity of a power running game that came out and was tougher (than other teams). That’s not what this team is.”
– Warren Sapp on the struggles of the San Diego Chargers
“Follow the money, like the IRS. Let’s follow the paper trail. When it goes bad, let’s follow the money and that’s where you point the blame.”
– Deion Sanders on holding the players accountable for the struggles in San Diego
“Two years ago, there was a guy here that was a points machine. The Chargers were like a team with a great closer in baseball. All you had to do was get to the 20-yard line and they were going to score.”
– Rich Eisen on the difference in coaching styles between Marty Schottenheimer and Norv Turner
“If any team can handle being without their star wide receiver, it’s the New York Giants.”
– Steve Mariucci on the New York Giants losing Plaxico Burress for the remainder of the season
“I don’t think the Giants are definitely turning their backs on Plaxico Burress. I would leave the possibly of (Burress) playing another game for the New York Giants in the future if he can get through some of these (legal) hurdles.”
– Bob Papa on Burress and his future with the New York Giants
“He has to self-evaluate. That’s the one thing he has to do. He has to look at himself and say, ‘how can I make myself a better person before I can become a better player for this team?’”
– Warren Sapp on Burress
Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk on Dolphins VP of Football Operations Bill Parcells:
“You have to admit that the guy knows how to shop for groceries.” – Faulk
“Yeah, but he leaves before the meal is done.” – Sanders
“He’s doesn’t call the plays, he doesn’t call the defense and he didn’t invent the ‘wildcat,’ but what he’s provided this team is structure.”
– Steve Mariucci on Parcells
“Was the aberration the year before when they made it to the playoffs and they almost knock off the Patriots and make it to the Super Bowl or was the aberration this season with all the injuries? I think this group, as a whole probably deserves a tie-breaker, with next season being the tie-breaker. If it doesn’t work out next year, I think the whole lot is gone. Norv Turner, A.J. Smith – I think (the Chargers) will start all over again.”
– Cris Collinsworth on whether this season or last season’s success was the aberration under Norv Turner
“In life, especially in sports, everything has a life cycle. Al Davis’ life cycle for running this team is up and he hasn’t recognized that yet. His ideas of who he thinks is best for the team are wrong. He’s not in the modern day game.”
– Marshall Faulk on Raiders owner Al Davis
Adam Schefter Reports:
Whether or not the Raiders ultimately retain interim head coach Tom Cable has not officially been determined, but there are signs indicating he could be in trouble at the end of the season. Oakland officials already have begun compiling a list of prospective head-coaching candidates it would like to interview shortly after this season wraps up Dec. 28 at Tampa Bay in what was supposed to be the Kiffin Bowl. The Raiders are being tight lipped about who is on the list and insist that their focus is squarely on finishing this season strong and giving Cable the support he deserves. But it has not stopped this franchise from wisely begin to chart its future. And when the Raiders begin interviewing head-coaching candidates, expect them to be on the offensive side of the football. Including Cable, the last 11 head coaches the Raiders have hired have offensive backgrounds. In fact, the last defensive head coach that Raiders owner Al Davis hired was none other than John Madden.
Minnesota’s DT Kevin Williams and Pat Williams might be able to stave off their suspensions in time for Sunday’s game against Detroit. But it could cost them later on. If the Williams’ lose their legal battle with the NFL, they will be required to sit out four games – even if those four games include playoff games. So if this legal case drags on into next week, or possibly longer, and if a ruling comes down against the Williams’ this month, then Minnesota would be hit ultra hard. It could lose their tackle tandem for the postseason. But the Williams’ feel as if they have no choice but to protest their suspensions, even if it costs them post-season time. The Williams’ reputation and wallet each could take a significant hit – and the players are prepared to fight it. Even it means missing a playoff game.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger left practice early on Wednesday, but was back at practice on Thursday and went through the entire practice. Head coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger will start Sunday vs. the Dallas Cowboys. However, S Troy Polamalu has missed the two straight days of practice due to a calf injury.
Faulk sit down with Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson:
“I don’t feel like I’m getting old. Obviously, I am older in my eighth season, but I don’t feel like I can’t get the job done anymore.”
– Tomlinson on his age and productivity
“I have always felt like no matter how many touches I get, I should always be able to get the job done.”
– Tomlinson on his productivity
“There are a lot of things that I can say are wrong with this team, but I don’t think we’re as bad as people think we are. But whenever you lose eight games with the type of talent we have, then that’s when the questions start, ‘what’s wrong with the Chargers?’”
– Tomlinson on what is wrong with the Chargers
“You can’t just blame it on Norv (Turner). That’s the easy thing to do. At some point it has to be on the players also. Everyone has a part in it, but a lot of times the players can make the bad stuff go away by getting the job done on the field and winning games. For us, we haven’t been able to get the job done.”
– Tomlinson on where the blame lies in the Chargers’ struggles
“For me, I don’t even go there because to me, that’s what losers do. Losers find a way to say ‘would Marty be better?’ Then in your mind, you may start to think that and it affects the way you feel about the current coaching staff, meaning Norv. That affects you if you’re thinking about another coach being here. Marty is not coming back.”
– Tomlinson on if head coach Norv Turner is to blame for the Chargers’ struggles
“I don’t know, I can’t answer that question. I can’t sit here and tell you honestly what the identity is. We’re still searching for it.”
– Tomlinson on the identity of the San Diego Chargers
That’s your extensive quotage from the NFL Network.
Now that I’ve had some sashimi for dinner and totally satisfied, it’s time for me to give you some linkage this Tuesday night.
Be prepared for an NSFW link, but that comes at the end of the post. Let’s do some regular sports media linkage now.
Awful Announcing says Turner Sports plans to pay tribute to the late Skip Caray on TNT, TBS and Peachtree TV over the next seven days.
John Donovan of Sports Illustrated pays tribute to Skip.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says while New York Football Giants voice Bob Papa is in Communist China calling Olympic boxing for NBC, Nets voice Chris Carrino will pinch hit in his place.
Eric Fisher and Tripp Mickle of the Sports Business Daily/Sports Business Journal write that NBC expects that cycling, equestrian and wrestling to perform well in the online portion of its Olympics coverage.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine talks with a programming expert on NBC’s chances to win the ratings with the Olympics. Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life writes that global ad spending on the Games is up compared with four years ago.
Jeff Lee of the Canwest News Service says CBC’s Olympic feeds won’t be made available to Canada’s Olympic House as the Communist Chinese goverment has pulled the plug.
Access Hollywood Executive Producer Rob Silverstein is blogging about his visit to the Olympics in Communist China for TV Week.
Jonathan Zimmerman writing an Op-ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle suggests Americans boycott watching the Olympics.
The Kansas City Star’s Jeffrey Flanagan says the NFL Hall of Fame Game outrated the Royals on Sunday.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Tigers are heating up the ratings for FSN despite the team’s struggles.
Larry Barrett of Multichannel News says the Mets have hit a ratings home run for SNY. Larry writes that Monday night’s loss to Texas was the highest rated Yankees game of the year on YES.
Ian R. Rapoport of the Birmingham (AL) News reports ESPN’s College Gameday show will be live in Atlanta, site of the Alabama-Clemson game on August 30.
Seth Emerson of The State says FSN South has reached an agreement with ISP Sports to show University of South Carolina sports on SportSouth.
ESPN Regional Television has announced the field for the 2008 Anaheim Classic, a Thanksgiving holiday college basketball tournament.
Ira Teinowitz of TV Week writes that more than 100 college coaches are urging the NCAA to ban alcohol advertisting during college sports broadcasts.
W. Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Journal reports that Fox Sports Radio launches a new fantasy football show featuring a former San Antonio sports radio program director as host.
DirecTV will offer four dedicated channels to the PGA Championship starting this Thursday.
Jeff Richgels of the Capital (WI) Times says ESPN will air the World Series of Poker Europe for the first time this year.
And now your NSFW link. The US TV networks have rejected an ad for Calvin Klein’s Secret Obsession fragrance because it’s too racy. Any time I can link to an ad with a nekkid Eva Mendes, I’m going to take that opportunity. Click on “experience the uncensored tv commercial” and you’ll be all set.
That is all.
According to Neil Best of Newsday, Giants play-by-play man Bob Papa will be the man to replace Bryant Gumbel in the NFL Network booth for Thursday and Saturday night football games. Gumbel took himself off play-by-play earlier this year.
This is a good move if it proves to be true. Papa has been calling the Giants on radio since 1995.
Gumbel did play-by-play for the first two seasons of NFL Network games and came under heavy criticism for his inexperience in calling games.