As part of a busy Memorial Day Weekend, Fox has soccer, primetime baseball and NASCAR on Saturday and Sunday.
The UEFA Champions League Final will kick things off as an all-German and Bundesliga contest between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund takes place at the venerable Wembley Stadium in London.
Gus Johnson and Warren Barton will call the game live. Rob Stone takes Fox Soccer studio crew to London as he’ll host the pregame, halftime and postgame shows. Eric Wynalda and Brian McBride will join Stone as will U.S. Men’s and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
Fox’s coverage will begin this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. Fox Soccer will have a one-hour pregame before the Fox broadcast sign-on.
Here’s the Fox announcement.
Extensive Pre- and Post-game Coverage Live From London; Brad Friedel Added
Gus Johnson and Warren Barton Call Match from Historic Wembley Stadium
LOS ANGELES – On Saturday, all eyes of the soccer world are on the one game and two remaining teams in the 2013 UEFA Champions League competition, the world’s most-watched elite club soccer competition. German powerhouses Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund square-off at London’s Wembley Stadium for the world’s most coveted club prize, broadcast live on FOX, Saturday, May 25, with broadcast coverage beginning at 2:00 PM ET. FOX Sports’ renowned play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson calls the action, alongside FOX Soccer analyst and former England international Warren Barton, live from London.
In addition, FOX Soccer’s Rob Stone hosts on-site pregame, halftime and post-game coverage with FOX Soccer analysts and former United States National Team players Eric Wynalda and Brian McBride. During his playing days, Wynalda became the first American-born player to compete and receive honors for a top level German club in the Bundesliga. The broadcast team is also joined by U.S. international and Tottenham goalkeeper, Brad Friedel. FOX Soccer’s coverage begins with a one-hour pre-game show at 1:00 PM ET followed by FOX Sports’ over-the-air programming. Coverage features comprehensive news, analysis and an exclusive interview with German legend Jurgen Klinsmann, former Bayern Munich manager and current head coach of the United States Men’s National Team.
The UEFA Champions League post-game show on FOX Soccer airs immediately following FOX’s coverage of the match at approximately 5:00 PM ET, followed by encore presentations of the final match at 8:00 PM ET Saturday night, and at 7:00 PM ET on Sunday, May 26 on FOX Soccer Plus.
“It’s going to be a very exciting game, a great atmosphere and two very offensive teams,” Barton said. “Bayern has the experience and Dortmund is the underdog, but it’s a final; a one-off. All in all, it will be one to remember.”
Completing two of the most stunning victories in UEFA Champions League history, both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are riding significant momentum into London, after knocking out heavily favored Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona in the semifinals.
The Bavarian giants appear in their third final in four years, after a resounding 7-0 aggregate thrashing of Lionel Messi and Barcelona. Dominant, but unable to seal the title since 2001, this German squad is hungry to capitalize on Saturday, following last year’s final defeat in devastating fashion in penalty kicks at their home stadium. Bolstered by midfielders Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller, one of Europe’s most potent attacks is on the cusp of glory yet again.
Local rivals, Dortmund, are considered newcomers to this stage of the tournament, with their last and only appearance in a European final back in 1997, when they walked away with the trophy, and are a force to be reckoned with now. Striker Robert Lewandowski leads his side with 10 goals in the UEFA Champions League, four of those goals coming against Real Madrid in their semifinal victory.
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund faced each other in the Bundesliga earlier this month and battled to a 1-1 draw. A dress rehearsal of sorts perhaps, but with Bayern already crowned the league champions prior to that match, this Saturday’s Champions League Final is set to be the ultimate showpiece.
There you have it.
During the event that introduced US version of Fox Sports 1 to the world (let’s not forget the original Fox Sports 1 in Australia), we learned that the network has been built upon what Fox is calling “7 Sports Pillars,” College Basketball, College Football, MLB, NASCAR, NFL, Soccer and UFC fights.
Let’s go over what each pillar will bring to Fox Sports 1.
While it was not formally announced on Tuesday, we can expect Fox Sports 1 to be the official cable home of the new Big East, those “Catholic 7″ basketball-only schools to be joined by Butler and Xavier from the A-10 and maybe even Creighton from the Missouri Valley. The new Big East will join the Big 12, Conference USA and Pac-12 on Fox Sports 1. Expect to see basketball games in the winter on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Games from C-USA, the Big 12 and Pac-12 will be on Thursday nights as well as triple and quadrupleheaders on Saturdays. In addition, Erin Andrews will host a Saturday morning pregame show on FS1. The Fox Mothership will continue to air college football games on Saturday nights. The 2013 schedule for Fox includes Notre Dame at Stanford as well as the Big Ten Championship and the Cotton Bowl.
In 2014, Fox’s new contract with Major League Baseball kicks in. Fox Sports 1 will air a full schedule of 26 regular season games which will include games from its Fox Sports Net affiliates. Expect to see plenty of the New York Yankees from YES, the Anaheim Angels from Fox Sports West and the Texas Rangers from Fox Sports Southwest. In addition, Fox Sports 1 will carry two League Division Series and a number of League Championship Series. The LCS was the latest development. Fox’s broadcast schedule will reduce from 24 regular season games this year to 12 in 2014. Fox will still carry the All-Star Game, most of the LCS and the entire World Series.
As Speed converts to Fox Sports 1, its NASCAR coverage will carryover to FS1. This will include the entire Camping World Truck Series and the familiar NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane programs from Speed. In 2015, selected Sprint Cup races will move to Fox Sports 1 as will the All-Star race. The Daytona 500 Speedweeks festivities which include the Twin 125′s and the Duel will be aired on FS 1.
While Fox Sports 1 doesn’t have the rights to show games, it will have a daily program, Fox Football Daily which will include the cast of Fox NFL Sunday. The show will air daily at 6 p.m. ET. Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jay Glazer, Gus Johnson, Erin Andrews and Mike Pereira are listed as participants, but as the show evolves, this falls under the category “subject to change.” This show will premiere when Fox Sports 1 launches in August.
It’s expected that Fox will do away with Fox Soccer and convert it to FX2, an all-entertainment channel. With the loss of the English Premier League to NBC, Fox will move the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and CONCACAF events to Fox Sports 1. UEFA Champions League and Europa League will be aired on Tuesday through Thursday afternoons. And when Fox’s contract with FIFA begins in 2015, Fox Sports 1 will air Women’s World Cup games that year and in 2019 and the men in 2018 and 2022. Other soccer leagues that were part of Fox Soccer Plus can be expected to be dispersed to Fox Sports 2 when that channel launches at a later date.
On Fox Sports 1′s launch date in August, a UFC card will be aired. Also, Fox Sports 1 will be the home to UFC programming on Wednesday nights. During Super Bowl XLVIII week, Fox Sports 1 is expected to have a card the night before the Big Game. Super Bowl Saturday normally has a UFC pay per view, but it’s expected to be aired on FS1 in 2014.
The news about Regis Philbin was confirmed on Monday during his appearance on of all places, “The View.” Regis will be host of “Rush Hour” which will have a panel of guests from the media, sports and fandom. This will air at 5 p.m. ET and lead into Fox Football Daily.
At 11 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1 will air Fox Sports Live, the challenger to ESPN’s venerable SportsCenter. According to the Fox Sports executives, the network will invest heavily into a newsgathering operation that will produce a nightly program that will review the day’s events. A morning edition of Fox Sports Live will begin airing in January.
The Fox Sports Net affiliates and local Fox TV stations will be encouraged to contribute reports to Fox Sports Live.
It’s been seen on the Cotton Bowl and on the Daytona 500, the double box that will air commercials and also show live action so viewers don’t miss anything. Reviews on this has been mixed thus far, but I expect this to win fans over during NASCAR coverage.
Fox Sports Go will be an mobile and tablet app that will stream live events from Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1 and the Fox Sports Net affiliates. Subscribers to participating cable and satellite providers will have to authenticate in order to watch the events on their mobile device.
And there in a nutshell is what you’ll see on Fox Sports 1 when it launches on August 17.
This coming into the Fang’s Bites inbox and a little bit of a surprise. First, we began hearing that Gus Johnson was calling MLS games over the past couple of years. And Deadspin has video of one of his games from last year. Privately, I was thinking that Fox could utilize Gus on the World Cup. Then today, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reports that Fox is grooming Johnson to not only call World Cup games, but be THE Voice of the World Cup.
In fact, Gus’ first international soccer assignment will be next Wednesday in a UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Real Madrid and Manchester United on Fox Soccer. This will be the first case of Fox utilizing its own talent instead of relying on the Sky Sports or the International feed for the Champions League.
In addition to the Champions League, Fox will utilize Gus on the English Premier League in this last year of its contract and also on the FA Cup.
For the Champions League game, Fox will team Gus with studio analyst Warren Barton.
For the 2006 World Cup in Germany, ESPN utilized the miscast Dave O’Brien as the main voice and both the network and O’Brien were criticized for his lack of knowledge. Since 2006, ESPN has gone the European route for international soccer and NBC Sports tapped Brit Arlo White for MLS. We’ll see how the soccer community which can be very militant about announcers, embraces Johnson.
Here’s the press release.
Accomplished, Veteran Sportscaster Puts 18-Months of Study into Practice on Feb. 13 Calling Real Madrid-Manchester United
Los Angeles – One of America’s most distinctive and dynamic sportscasters calls his first-ever match for FOX Soccer on Wednesday, Feb. 13 when FOX Sports renowned play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson calls the highly anticipated UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Real Madrid and Manchester United, live from Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu at 2:00 PM ET. The assignment is the first in a series of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League matches Johnson is expected to call, including the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League Finals, May 11 and 25, respectively, on FOX.
Johnson, who has become a household name among sports fans for his memorable calls and signature catchphrases, has spent most of his career covering professional and collegiate sports, including football, basketball, baseball and boxing, among others. Calling soccer, however, is a relatively new undertaking.
“Over the past 20 years Gus has cemented himself as an iconic American sports broadcaster, and we’re thrilled to welcome his style to the world soccer stage,” said David Nathanson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of FOX Soccer. “Gus has spent the last year-and-a-half getting ready to call what is a new sport for him, and I applaud the work, study and time he’s devoted to his preparation. He respects how passionate and knowledgeable the soccer fan is, and while his education continues, he’s ready to lend his classic American voice to the world’s biggest sport.”
Since accepting this new challenge, Johnson has tapped several resources in his effort to learn as much as possible in such a short period of time. He called over a dozen MLS games on radio, mostly those of the San Jose Earthquakes; he has played pick-up soccer games in a park near his Manhattan home; spent several weeks in Europe last season attending games and conversing at length with Sky Sports executives and world-class football play-by-play announcer Martin Tyler. In Madrid, Johnson is partnering with FOX Soccer analyst Warren Barton, who in his playing days appeared in more than 300 Premier League matches. Barton, along with former players Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones have aided Johnson tremendously in his soccer broadcasting education, collaborating with him on numerous practice telecasts under the tutelage of FOX Soccer Executive Producer Jonty Whitehead.
“No doubt that the followers of this sport are among the most passionate, knowledgeable fans in the world, and I’m a newcomer,” said Johnson. “The effort to learn the sport and absorb its nuance has been a humbling experience. While I’ve put a lot of time into my preparation thus far, it’s definitely going to take a lot of reps before I’ve mastered soccer’s rhythm and pace, but I am determined to do so, and with all the support I’m receiving I have no doubt that I will.”
In addition to Johnson’s Feb. 13 assignment in Madrid, he’s scheduled to call another UEFA Champions League match, this one between Arsenal and Bayern Munich, on Feb. 19 with analyst Ray Clemence and a Barclays Premier League game featuring Manchester City and Chelsea on Feb. 24 with Lee Dixon as analyst.
Since joining FOX Sports in 2011 Johnson has been a staple of the network’s college football (Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12, and Conference USA) and NFL productions. This past year, he has been on the call for memorable moments such as Texas A&M’s 41-13 trouncing of Oklahoma in the 77th Cotton Bowl Classic, USC’s high-scoring 62-51 loss to Oregon last November, and Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez’s 76-yard touchdown run in the 2012 Big Ten Championship game.
Let’s see how this works. I hope it will be successful. I know Gus has his detractors, but let’s see how he does next week before rushing to judgment.
As we speed into the last quarter of 2012 and prepare for what’s ahead in 2013, there is one thing that is on the horizon for US sports fans and that is the expected appearance of a new all-sports cable channel. No, it’s not NBC Sports Network, although its trials and tribulations this fall will be the subject of a sports media thoughts post this week.
Sometime over the next two years, Fox Sports will announce that the sometimes all-motorsports, sometimes reality channel SPEED will be converted to an all-sports channel that will air MLB, Big 12 and Pac-12 sports, MMA, some NASCAR and anything else it can its hands on. You’re seeing a little bit of this through Fox’s increased sports programming on FX. Two Saturdays ago, FX had a college football doubleheader followed by a UFC on FX Fight Night.
Imagine that next year on the new SPEED which will in all likelihood be rebranded as Fox Sports 1. Why Fox Sports 1? Because it will be part of a company rebranding of Fox’s other sports channels, Fox Soccer and Fuel as Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 3, respectively. And there is precedence for this. Fox’s Australian channels are called Fox Sports 1, 2 and 3. Each channel serves to carry certain sports and big events like the Olympics or the Australian Open.
For American sports fans, expect the sports properties to line up as follows once the rebranding takes shape:
FOX SPORTS 1 (FORMERLY SPEED)
- College Basketball (Big 12 & Pac-12)
- College Football (Big 12 & Pac-12)
- English Premier League (Survival Sunday)
- Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)
- UEFA Champions League
- World Cup Soccer
FOX SPORTS 2/FOX SPORTS 2 PLUS (FORMERLY FOX SOCCER/FOX SOCCER PLUS)
- English Premier League
- Scottish Premier League
- UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Europa League
- Australian Rules Football
FOX SPORTS 3 (FORMERLY FUEL)
- Extreme Sports
- Australian Rules Football
- Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)
Fox has already signed for 40 MLB games on Fox Sports 1, taking 14 games away from its over the air package and another 13 away from TBS to form the new slate of games on cable. In addition, the new cable channel will air some League Division Series games starting in 2014.
Fox is about to announce a renewal of its NASCAR rights and expect part of its current schedule of 13 races in the early portion of the Sprint Cup calendar to migrate to Fox Sports 1. If Fox keeps the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the races could be split among Fox Sports 1 and 3.
And if Fox manages to hold off Al Jazeera’s expected bid for the US rights to English Premier League games, perhaps Fox Sports 1 could gain a package of early Saturday or Sunday morning matches with the rest going to Fox Sports 2.
There are a lot of possibilities for the Fox Sports channels. It could also be in very good position to gain NBA games when the new set of packages go to bid in 2014. And let us not forget about a potential 8 game Thursday Night NFL package that could cover the first half of the regular beginning in 2014 that Fox would certainly be interested in.
It was thought that NBC was positioning itself to challenge ESPN’s supremacy, but with its acquiring of MLB, NASCAR and college sports plus the World Cup in 2015, Fox just might have leap frogged ahead of the Peacock as ESPN’s main opponent.
Time for some sports media thoughts. These have been percolating in my head all day Monday. It’s fine time to pour them out and have you peruse through them. As always, they’re in bullet form.
- Monday’s announcement from NFL Network regarding its new morning show could be a game changer for sports television. If “NFL AM” is successful, it could lead other sports networks to follow NFL Network’s lead. But if the show fails to catch on, then it will be back to the status quo with repeats of the previous night’s highlights program. With “NFL AM” set to launch on July 30 from 6-10 a.m. ET, one wonders if there will be enough content to fill the time, but as a director once told me when I was working at a Providence TV station, “Have no fear. We’ll find a way to fill the show. I’ve never had a half-hour of black,” meaning he never had to show a blank screen. That will have to be the philosophy of NFL Network for “NFL AM”. Plus with people going to work and school, not everyone will see the entire four hours.
If the show works, I can see other league-owned channels attempting similar ventures. MLB Network’s Quick Pitch airs on a loop on most days from 1 a.m. – noon ET. That’s too long. An MLB Network morning show could work as would a morning NBA program.
But before we get to the point of multiple live morning sports programs, “NFL AM” has to get off the ground successfully. By this time next year, we’ll have an idea whether NFL Network’s “NFL AM” is a success or a failure.
- When I began this site five years ago, Erin Andrews was the darling of the sports blogosphere. Any picture or even a slight mention of her would increase a site’s traffic. There was a reason why she was nicknamed “Erin Pageviews”. Before she re-signed with ESPN in 2010, Erin seemed to be in demand. Her star never shone brighter and it appeared that she could have the pick of any job.
Now cut to 2012 and it appears Erin is no longer the darling of sports bloggers. Others like Michelle Beadle, Jenn Brown, Charissa Thompson and Molly Qerim et.al. have become favorites as well. This isn’t to say that the Internet is ignoring her, TMZ still pays attention even speculating that she had a boob job. And she was referenced twice in the premiere of the new HBO series, “The Newsroom”.
Deadspin which once championed her (and was the first to link to the infamous hotel room video in 2009) came out with an article this month pointing out that Ms. Andrews seemingly has no place to go other than ESPN.
Deadspin reported that Erin is no longer working for Good Morning America and she’s removed the reference to GMA from her Twitter bio.
Does this necessarily mean that Erin has no other place to go than ESPN? If you believe the speculation from Deadspin and The Big Lead, the answer is yes. But does it mean that she hasn’t had any other offers or couldn’t get work if she decided to walk away from Bristol, CT?
She can still attract viewers and page views. The NHL thought Erin had enough star power to invite her to its annual awards show last week and present two trophies. Could a league-owned channel like NHL Network find room for Erin? I’m sure it could if the opportunity was presented. But we have not heard of any offers asides from her present employer.
Overall, I still think Erin can move the meter on the Internet and she’ll continue to so for a while. Just for how long she’ll be at ESPN is anyone’s guess.
- Without any EURO 2012 action until Wednesday’s semifinal game between Spain and Portugal, I went into soccer withdrawals. International soccer is a sport that ESPN continues to excel. Understated coverage with Bob Ley heading the studio and Ian Darke the main play-by-play man, I can easily say this is a Golden Age for soccer on American television. Couple this with having Martin Tyler calling English Premier League games on Fox Soccer and fans have been hearing some of the best announcing of the sport.
Granted, we get hiccups like Fox’s silly dumbing down of the Champions League Final last year, but overall, the coverage on ESPN, Fox Soccer and Gol TV has been good.
With ESPN having just the FIFA World Cup in Brazil left to broadcast, it is setting the bar very high. Fox will have a long ways to go to match ESPN’s coverage and while this year’s Champions League Final was an improvement over 2010, the network will have a big hill to climb to equal or surpass the Alleged Worldwide Leader on soccer.
- Count me as one who loved the premiere of “The Newsroom” on Sunday. I enjoyed Jeff Daniels as the erascible anchor Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer as his idealistic Executive Producer MacKenzie McHale. Yes, in typical Aaron Sorkin fashion, some of the dialogue was overwritten, but I enjoyed the show and I hope it has a long life on HBO. As long as Sorkin doesn’t go overboard on preaching, I think the show will do just fine.
I went longer than I expected on the thoughts. That’s to your benefit.
I was not able to see Fox’s coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea today. I watched it on replay on Fox Soccer.
I was told by many people on Twitter that Fox Sports did not air the traditional Champions League Anthem, choosing to use its traditional NFL on Fox theme that is now used on all sports. If I’m UEFA, I take the rights away immediately and hand them to NBC Sports. I’m kidding, but not airing the Champions League anthem is like ESPN choosing not to air the traditional Monday Night Football “Heavy Action” theme and using the Baseball Tonight theme in its place.
The Champions League Anthem is so synonymous with the event, that using another theme tune is hideous.
Since Fox did not use it, I’ll present the Champions League Anthem in its entirety to you.
And if you want a feature on how this theme came into fruition, you can take a look at this video on the 20th anniversary of the anthem which was written by British composer Tony Britten.
Tomorrow, Fox Sports airs the UEFA Champions League Final live from Munich, Germany. For the first time in CL history, a finalist gets to play in its home stadium as is the case with Bayern Munich.
Both teams got to the final after beating various clubs from leagues all over Europe. Bayern Munich coming over from the powerful Bundesliga in Germany and Chelsea from the English Premier League.
An interesting storyline for tomorrow. Chelsea finished 6th in the EPL this year and normally would not be able to return as the first four teams in the league go to the Champions League the following year. However, if Chelsea can win tomorrow, it will be able to defend its title and the fourth place team, in the EPL, Tottenham Hotspur would not be eligible, so in effect, Tottenham is rooting for Bayern Munich.
Fox will staff the game with Curt Menefee as the event host. Rob Stone will also be on hand as the studio host and he’ll be joined by Fox Soccer analyst Eric Wynalda and current Tottenham goaltender Brad Friedel.
Fox begins its coverage at 2 p.m. ET with the pregame. Then the game hits the air at 2:30 p.m. with various ceremonies. Fox Soccer will have a pregame show as well starting at 1 p.m. and we’ll expect to see analyst Warren Barton to take part in that program.
Calling the match will be Martin Tyler and Gary Neville. Here’s the Fox press release.
Complete Analysis of Bayern Munich & Chelsea FC’s Battle for European Supremacy Begins Saturday at 2:00 PM ET on FOX
FOX Soccer & FOX Deportes Blanket Coverage Leading Up to Kick-Off
Host Rob Stone Sits Down For Exclusive Interview with UEFA President Michel Platini
Stone & Analysts Wynalda, Friedel and Barton Visit Troops in Germany for Pre-Match Feature
New York, NY – Elite European soccer again takes center stage Saturday as FOX Sports presents exclusive live coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final from Munich, Germany. The culmination of Europe’s most prestigious annual club soccer competition features German club Bayern Munich, the first team to play a UEFA Champions League Final in its home stadium, taking on England’s Chelsea FC looking to capture its first European Cup.
FOX Sports’ comprehensive coverage kicks off Saturday, May 19 at 2:00 PM ET. Curt Menefee, FOX Sports’ go-to studio host, is on hand in Germany to welcome viewers to Fussball Arena in Munich before handing-off to FOX Soccer lead studio host Rob Stone. Stone is joined at the pre-match desk by American National Soccer Hall of Famer and out-spoken FOX Soccer analyst Eric Wynalda and current Tottenham Hotspur and former US National Team goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The trio offers complete analysis of the Bayern Munich-Chelsea matchup, what to watch for, each team’s strengths and weaknesses and pick which team they think will take home the trophy. FOX Soccer analyst Warren Barton along with match announcers Martin Tyler and Gary Neville also contribute to pre-match analysis.
The atmosphere in Munich is expected to be electric. Menefee looks to capture that energy in a feature on Munich’s love affair with the beautiful game airing during pre-match coverage. Pre-match coverage also highlights Chelsea’s bumpy road to the UEFA Champions League Final which included firing manager Andre Villas-Boas after only eight months on the job.
FOX Soccer has additional features planned during its UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PREVIEW SHOW Friday, May 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET) and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PRE-GAME SHOW Saturday, May 19 (1:00-2:00 PM ET), including Stone siting down for an exclusive interview with UEFA President Michel Platini. FOX Soccer also airs a post-match show following FOX Sports’ coverage. All shows are hosted by Stone alongside analysts Wynalda, Friedel and Barton.
One of the highlights of FOX’s trip to Germany includes a visit to Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels to spend the day with troops and their families. Stone, Wynalda, Friedel and Barton take an LUH-72 Lakota helicopter to tour the training area and go on a demo ride in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. They also join soldiers in an exhibition soccer game and host a clinic with the boys and girls high school soccer teams.
FOX Deportes, the nation’s leading Spanish-language sports cable network, adds to the comprehensive coverage with a week-long lead-up of programming that includes carrying the Bayern Munich v. Chelsea FC match. Coverage on Saturday, May 19 begins with the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PREVIEW live from Munich at 1:00 PM ET. Match coverage begins at 2:30 PM ET, followed by the post-match celebration at 5:00 PM ET on Lo Mejor de la UCL. At 5:30 PM ET, FOX Deportes airs La Ultima Palabra, a special one-hour postgame show live followed later on by an encore match presentation at 10:30 PM ET. Manning FOX Deportes’ Los Angeles studio are Mauricio Cardenas and Bruno Vain. John Laguna, Christian Bozzo and Daniel Brailovsky are on-site in Munich with reporters Nelson Vignolles and Alejandro Blanco.
That is all.
I’ll do some more linkage for you this evening. You’re owed it. Why not?
Thomas O’Toole from USA Today reports that Laurie Fine, the wife of ex-Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, is suing ESPN for libel saying a report ruined her reputation.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin goes inside the lawsuit and notes that Fine is accusing ESPN of circling the wagons against her.
John Koblin from Deadspin says Fang’s Bites fave Charissa Thompson will replace the outgoing Michelle Beadle on ESPN2′s SportsNation.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with ESPN’s Prince of Darkness John Skipper who fires some shots at NBC Sports Network.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today has NBC’s response to Skipper.
Tom Weir of USA Today says ESPN’s Adam Schefter threw a G*d D*mned reference at Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio and ESPN2. That’s a lot of ESPN references in one sentence.
Mike Ozanian from Forbes says while sports TV advertising spending is up, the return of investment is not necessarily that good.
Andy Fixmer and Edmund Lee of Bloomberg Businessweek report that the networks are putting more sports programming in primetime to avoid DVR timeshifting.
Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable looks at NBCUniversal announcing Olympic coverage plans for three cable networks.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News reports that NBC Sports Network will air a cable TV record amount of Olympic coverage this summer.
Mike notes that ESPN is hoping to double its subscriber numbers for its WatchESPN app.
Meanwhile, Josh Lowensohn of CNET says hold the WatchESPN to Apple TV talk.
Billy Steele of Engadget reviews the new ESPN Radio iPad app.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid notes that Fox Sports West had an interesting “Key to the Game”.
Jim Williams of the Bleacher Report talks with Fox Soccer analysts on this Saturday’s Champions League Final.
Clare Atkinson from the New York Post reports that the networks are jacking up ad rates for the NFL including CBS for Super Bowl XLVII.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette notes that NBC Sports Network will cover the Indy 500 Time Trials this weekend.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union looks at the amount of Olympic coverage on three NBCUniversal cable networks.
Pete says NBC Sports golf reporter Dottie Pepper has co-authored a series of books bringing golf to kids.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says a local cable TV sports reporter is fast becoming a regular on the high school scene.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says a sports radio producer put Icy Hot on his manjunk.
Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald writes that TNT’s Charles Barkley is not a fan of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch can’t believe Mike Francesa’s anti-Twitter stance.
Kent Youngblood at the Minneapolis Star Tribune says the new TV voice of the Minnesota Wild comes with some controversy.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News says the national media is beginning to take notice of the Kings’ playoff run.
Bud Withers of the Seattle Times writes that ESPN has moved the coaching debut of Mike Leach with Washington State to a Thursday night primetime game.
Jeff Morrow of the Tri-City (WA) Herald notes that ESPN Radio has returned to the local area.
Annie Fowler of the Herald says NHL Network will air the Memorial Cup in its entirety.
Ryan Yoder of Awful Announcing is still buzzing over Mike Francesa’s anti-Twitter rant from this week.
Sports Media Watch has some various ratings news and notes.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL on NBC could be moved on Saturday if Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final goes into triple overtime.
Steve says the ratings Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference Final were down from last year.
Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth looks at various local radio ratings for baseball.
And that will be do it for tonight.
Let’s do some Friday megalinks. You’ve been owed some and I haven’t been able to do links for most of the week.
Of course, you have the Weekend Viewing Picks which provide plenty of college sports, soccer, baseball and the NBA and NHL postseason action.
Now let’s do your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today explores Jason La Canfora’s decision to leave NFL Network and bolt to CBS.
Media Rantz looks into the potential departure of Michelle Beadle from ESPN to NBC.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says E! will produce a special on New York Jets QB Tim Tebow.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report hears from a Fox Soccer executive on why the Fox Sports Media Group chose to air so many English Premier League games on the final day of the season.
Michael David Smith at Pro Football Talk writes that despite reports to the contrary, it appears that the New York Jets won’t make another appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer.
Eriq Gardner at the Hollywood Reporter says a group of fans have filed a class action lawsuit against MLB and its TV partners on the antiquated and silly blackout policy.
Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel says while the Minnesota Vikings will finally get their long-awaited stadium, one state legislator attempted to sneak a bill ending all local NFL blackouts. I think that was a great idea.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable writes the long-anticipated Time Warner Cable Los Angeles Lakers-centric regional sports network will launch in October.
At Adweek, Anthony Crupi writes that Fox has sold out its ad inventory for the UEFA Champions League Final.
Thomas Pardee of Advertising Age says social media is changing the way we watch sports.
In the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times says there are times when the N-word should to be published in full.
Eric Goldschein at SportsGrid says CBC Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean stretched his analogy too far in comparing the 9/11 First Responders to NHL players this week.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group looks at NBC/Golf Channel’s joint production of this week’s Players Championship.
Brandon Costa of SVG explores ESPN’s expanded multiplatform rights for NCAA Championships.
And SVG tells us about the Big East Conference’s in-house production of the league’s Baseball Tournament.
Kristi Dosh at ESPN.com looks into the dollars and cents of the major college sports TV rights contracts.
Patrick Rishe at Forbes says while the ACC signed a rich contract with ESPN, it still doesn’t compare to the Pac-12′s huge megadeal.
My Twitter Trophy Wife, Amanda Rykoff chronicles her day spent at the MLB Fan Cave for espnW.
Paulsen at Sports Media Watch crunches the numbers behind the ratings rise for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and the lower for the NBA Playoffs.
Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing also looks into the ratings for the NBA and NHL Postseasons.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead notes the disturbing arrest of the PA Announcer for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth looks at some of the sports media stories that are irking him this week.
East and Mid-Atlantic
I haven’t been able to address the death of Carl Beane, the Red Sox public address announcer. Carl was a radio reporter in Western Massachusetts and also free-lanced for ESPN Radio, CBS Radio, Fox Sports Radio to report on various NFL and college games. He died this week when he suffered a heart attack and crashed his car. He was 59. It seemed everyone in New England had some connection to Beane. I’ll give you some of the stories that have been written about him this week.
David Scott at ESPN’s Front Row PR blog gets reaction from people at the network who knew him.
Gordon Edes at ESPN Boston says Beane felt he was born to be the Fenway Park public address announcer.
WEEI’s Mike Petraglia writes about his personal connection to Beane.
Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe says the Red Sox paid tribute to Beane at last night’s game by not having anyone do the PA.
Amanda Bruno of the Springfield Republican writes that Beane was a role model and mentor to her.
To other stories now, heading back to the Globe, Chad Finn says the ACC got its huge deal and it will affect member school Boston College in many ways.
Chad says former Red Sox voice Jerry Trupiano is getting some familial help in trying to get the Houston Astros radio gig.
Desmond Connor of the Hartford Courant says the Big East’s interim commissioner is hopeful his conference can cash in on the recent big spending by ESPN and other networks.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir talks with the legendary Vin Scully.
Richard profiles the person behind a fake Walt Frazier Twitter account.
Jack Bell of the Times interviews Fox Sports President Eric Shanks about Sunday’s unprecedented English Premier League coverage.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Times rails over player unions defending their membership for the wrong reasons.
The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with NBC’s Pierre McGuire.
Justin has five questions for TNT’s Kenny Smith.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY says a former local sports reporter is returning to her roots with Time Warner Cable’s Southern California network.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union says technical difficulties plagued a local radio broadcast of the Yankees.
Pete says many of NBC/Golf Channel’s cameras will be focused squarely on one hole at the Players Championship this week.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record explores the new SNY deal to air UConn women’s basketball games.
At the New Jersey Newsroom, Evan Weiner asks if high school football is doomed.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call watched the train wreck of former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens appearing on Dr. Phil this week and being confronted by his multiple baby mommas.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post says MLB Network compared the swings of the late Mickey Mantle and the Nationals’ Bryce Harper.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says a new local sports radio morning host comes with some baggage from his old job.
David says Comcast and ESPN cut a deal this week for subscribers to watch the network online.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman notes that Fox Sports Oklahoma will air specials next week on the state’s two major college football programs.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Reds TV and Radio ratings are up this season.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch explores the Cubs’ Kerry Wood blowing up at the local media this week.
Paul Christian at the Rochester (MN) Post Bulletin looks at NBC’s coverage of The Players Championship.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that a local sports anchor gets to talk news on the radio.
John Maffei of the North County Times says the local media plans to cover Junior Seau’s public memorial today.
Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star notes that outgoing flagship TV station KCAL gave another farewell to the Los Angeles Lakers this week.
Jim looks at the 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass which will get plenty of attention on NBC/Golf Channel at the Players Championship.
Jim provides his weekend viewing picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at Time Warner Cable’s new sports channels.
Tom tries to give Kings fans missing their local TV voices a silver lining.
Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News goes over the latest developments at the Pac-12 Networks.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC’s Ron MacLean had to clarify his 9/11 remarks before Game 6 of the New York Rangers-Washington Capitals series.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has the announcing assignments for both CBC and TSN in the NHL Conference Final round.
And we are done. Enjoy your sports weekend.
Coming next Saturday, Fox Sports and Fox Deportes will air the UEFA Champions League Final live from Munich, Germany.
Bayern Munich from Germany’s Bundesliga and Chelsea from the English Premier League face off in the Final to be played at Bayern’s home field, the first time that’s ever happened in CL history.
Fox Sports will air the match starting at 2 p.m. Curt Menefee will be the event host and set the scene in Munich. Rob Stone will be the on-site studio host and will be joined by Eric Wynalda and Brad Friedel. Martin Tyler and Gary Neville will call the match.
We have the details from Fox Sports.
Bayern Munich & Chelsea FC Square-Off in Munich for World’s Most-Coveted Club Soccer Prize on May 19
Viewership Has Increased 10-Fold in 10 Years
Los Angeles – Only two teams and one game remain in the 2012 UEFA Champions League, the world’s most-watched elite club soccer tournament. On the grandest stage of European soccer, German club Bayern Munich and England’s Chelsea FC face off inside UEFA Fußball Arena Munchen on Saturday, May 19 in Munich, Germany. Bayern has the advantage of being the first team to play a UEFA Champions League Final in its home stadium, while Chelsea is on a quest to capture its first European Cup. For the third consecutive year, FOX Sports is broadcasting this showcase event live, with coverage beginning at 2:00 PM ET.
Live from Munich, FOX Sports’ Curt Menefee serves as event host, with FOX Soccer’s Rob Stone hosting on-site studio coverage. FOX Soccer analyst and American National Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda joins Tottenham goalkeeper and former United States National Team player Brad Friedel for pre-game, halftime and post-match analysis. Legendary Sky Sports play-by-play announcer Martin Tyler calls the match with analysis from former Manchester United defender Gary Neville.
FOX Soccer’s pre-game coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET preceding FOX Sports’ over-the-air programming. FOX Deportes is carrying the match live in Spanish, and FOX Soccer re-airs the match at 8:00 PM ET on Saturday night with FOX Soccer Plus doing the same at 5:00 PM ET on Sunday, May 20.
After a week of lead-up programming, FOX Deportes, the nation’s leading Spanish-language sports cable network, begins its coverage on May 19 at 1 PM ET with UCL Final Preview, live from Munich. Match coverage begins at 2:30 PM ET, followed by the post-match celebration at 5:00 PM ET on Lo Mejor de la UCL. At 5:30 PM ET, FOX Deportes airs La Ultima Palabra, a special one-hour postgame show live followed later on by an encore match presentation at 10:30 PM ET. Manning FOX Deportes’ Los Angeles studio are Mauricio Cardenas and Bruno Vain. John Laguna, Christian Bozzo and Daniel Brailovsky are on-site in Munich with reporters Nelson Vignolles and Alejandro Blanco.
U.S. viewership of the UEFA Champions League Final has exploded in recent years. 2011 was the seventh straight year that English-language viewing increased in the U.S. Over the last 10 years, the audience has increased almost 10-fold, from 264,000 viewers on ESPN in 2002 to 2.6 million on FOX in 2011.
The 2011 Champions League Final is the highest-rated and most watched in U.S. history. FSMG’s coverage on FOX (1.4 HH rating, 2.6 million viewers) and FOX Deportes (0.7 HH rating, 1.6 million viewers) combined to generate a 2.1 household rating and 6 share, drawing an audience of 4.2 million viewers nationally, dwarfing the ratings and audience of 2010 by +75% (1.2) and +91% (2.2 million), respectively. Significantly, the 2011 match on FOX and FOX Deportes also bettered the 2009 match, which featured the same Barcelona and Manchester United clubs, by +62% on rating (2.1 vs. 1.3) and +24% on viewership (4.2 million vs. 2.1 million).
Completing one of the most stunning comebacks in UEFA Champions League history, Chelsea is riding significant momentum into Munich after knocking out reigning champion FC Barcelona. After falling behind 2-0 on the road in its second-leg clash with the Catalans, Chelsea stormed back to secure a 2-2 draw, allowing the Blues to advance to the Final 3-2 on aggregate. Remarkably, Chelsea pulled off this feat down a man, after captain John Terry was red carded in the first half. In order to hoist the famed Champions League trophy, Chelsea will have to defeat Bayern without Terry and suspended teammates Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles. This is Chelsea’s first Final since 2008, when the Blues lost to Manchester United.
Bayern Munich returns home to Bavaria and has the support of is home fans in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. The club already has four European Cups/Champions League titles to its name, having last won the competition in 2001. Managed by Jupp Heynckes, Bayern advances to the tournament’s final stage after defeating Real Madrid on penalties in the second-leg of the semifinals. Bolstered by wingers Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery, the German side has one of the most potent attacks in Europe. Bayern forward Mario Gomez is the second leading scorer in this year’s Champions League (12).
There you have it.
Let’s do some linkage today. Been doing pretty good in providing links this week and I don’t want to stop.
Starting with Michael Hiestand of USA Today, he talks with ESPN bloviator Chris Berman who compares himself to Ted Williams, then tries not to compare himself to Ted Williams, claims he doesn’t pay attention to criticism when he clearly does and then makes no sense about cameras. Yes, I’m showing my anti-Chris Berman bias.
Tom Weir of USA Today’s Game On writes that Jose Canseco’s Twitter account is back up and running. Oh joy.
At The Sherman Report, Ed Sherman looks at some classic anti-Mel Kiper rants from ESPN’s past coverage of the NFL Draft.
Sports Business Daily notes that Los Angeles Lakers nutjob Metta World Peace was a no-show on Conan O’Brien TBS program after his 7 game suspension for elbowing Oklahoma City Thunder forward James Harden.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal writes about Fox’s deal with Golden Boy Promotions that will put live fights on Fuel and Fox Deportes.
Michael Bradley at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says NHL ratings are up significantly for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which seemingly condones violence on the rink.
Tim Baysinger at Broadcasting & Cable notes that ABC’s ratings for the NBA are up 10% over last year despite the lockout that wiped out the first month of the season.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says the Stanley Cup Playoffs are good to the NBC Sports Network.
Multichannel News says Speed has renewed the rights to the 24 Hours of LeMans road race.
Tony Manfred of the Business Insider Sports Page has video of Chelsea’s goal that put them in the UEFA Champions League Final, but the best part was Gary Neville’s on-air orgasm for Sky Sports.
Jim Edwards of the Business Insider Sports Page looks into NBC’s reasons for an almost $1 million price tag for a 30 second ad for its Thanksgiving Night NFL game.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has Mike “Doc” Emrick in the latest edition of his podcast.
Matt has great video of some awkward banter between SportsCenter anchors Steve Weissman and Sage Steele. Poor Sage.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell tells us that Shake Shack could be in more MLB parks around the country.
Leah Michaels of GoLocal Providence says ESPN’s Chris Berman was at his alma mater to honor Brown University’s athletic director.
All Access has Fox Sports Radio’s coverage plans for the NFL Draft.
Steven Beardsley of Stars and Stripes says NFL Network will feature cutaways during the NFL Draft to a battalion of troops based in Germany.
Kevin Paul Dupont in the Boston Globe provides a brief history on the greatest tradition in sports, the hockey handshake at the end of every playoff series.
In the New York Post, Phil Mushnick reports that ESPN Radio is close to deal with the New York Yankees that would put the team on FM after ten years of being on WCBS-AM.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the ratings for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the ESPN and NFL Network made the right call in not spoiling draft picks before they’re announced.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union says we’re still waiting for the start times for the NHL Games 7 on Thursday.
Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal says he listened to the radio on Saturday over waiting for Fox to switch to Philip Humber’s perfect game.
Glenn Guilbeau in the Monroe (LA) News Star has New Orleans Saints interim coach Joe Vitt blasting ESPN for its latest story on the team.
KBTX in College Station, TX says Fox Sports Southwest received record ratings for the Pudge Rodriguez retirement ceremony before Monday’s Yankees-Rangers game.
George M. Thomas in the Akron Beacon Journal tells us that the networks are all over the NFL Draft.
Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune says swimmer Missy Franklin has become of the face of NBC’s Olympic promotional campaign.
Robert Kurson at Chicagoside Sports explains why after 25 years, he no longer listens to sports radio.
Matt Solinsky of the Desert (CA) Sun writes that Time Warner Cable and Fox Sports San Diego continue carriage talks that would put Padres games back on the provider.
Jamie Sturgeon of the Financial Post has CBC vowing in an increasingly expensive world to keep Hockey Night in Canada.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media talks about NBC Sports Group’s ratings for the NHL Playoffs on Monday.
Sports Media Watch explores ABC’s second straight year for record NBA TV ratings.
Joe Favorito looks at how sports brands can tap into National Train Day next month.
And that will put a wrap on the links.
This from the Fox Sports Media Group. A record audience watched last Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League semifinal game between Chelsea and Barcelona. It marked the most watched non-CL Final game eve in the US.
An estimated 592 thousand people watched the game on FX which beats last year’s semi between Real Madrid and Barcelona at 489,000. And on Fox Deportes, another 566,000 watched the Blues beat Barcelona meaning the total amount of viewers reached over 1.1 million on Fox Sports platforms.
We have the official announcement from Fox Sports Media Group in regards to the ratings for last week’s semifinals first leg.
Chelsea FC vs. FC Barcelona is Most-Watched Champions League Non-Final Ever;
Most-Watched Match Since February Broadcast on FOX
New York — All the ingredients were there: two storied franchises going head-to-head in the penultimate round of the world’s most prestigious annual soccer tournament, playing a tense 1-0 match won by the home team in a memory-filled stadium packed with crazed faithful. So it was on Wednesday, April 18 when England’s Chelsea FC hosted Spain’s FC Barcelona at London’s Stamford Bridge, and over 1.1 million US soccer fans eagerly tuned-in to watch.
FX, FOX Network Group’s popular and fully distributed basic cable network, carried the action that day and attracted an audience of 592,000 viewers according to Nielsen Media Research, a network-record for soccer, and the most watched English-language soccer match on US television since FOX Sports’ Barclay’s Premier League broadcast between Chelsea and Manchester United on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012 (1.377 million). Given available data, it is also believed to be the most-watched UEFA Champions League non-final match ever.
FX’s audience for the April 18 UEFA Champions League semifinal (592,000) was +21% compared to last year’s first semifinal (Real Madrid CF vs. FC Barcelona, 489,000). The first semifinal match on Tuesday, April 17, a 2-1 Bayern Munich win over Real Madrid on FOX Soccer scored 308,000 viewers, up +20% from the network’s first semifinal (FC Schalke 04 vs. Manchester United FC).
Both UEFA Champions League semifinals were also televised in Spanish on FOX Deportes, the nation’s leading Spanish language sports cable network. Tuesday’s semifinal saw FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes combine for 755,000 viewers, +37% compared to the opening Tuesday semifinal in 2011, with a huge 69% increase in the key M18-34 demographic (243K vs. 144K). Wednesday’s semifinal attracted 566,000 viewers on FOX Deportes, and 1.158 million when combined with the FX audience, +3% compared to last year’s combined first Wednesday semifinal. The M18-34 demographic posted significant +33% growth (472K vs. 355K).
The return legs take place in Spain this week, with FC Barcelona hosting Chelsea FC on Tuesday, April 24 (FOX Soccer/2:00 PM ET) and Bayern Munich traveling to Real Madrid’s famed Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday, April 25 (FX/2:00 PM ET). FOX Soccer’s Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and guest analyst Brian McBride preview and break down all of the semifinal action on UEFA Champions League Pregame, presented by Geico live at 2:00 PM ET each match day from FOX Soccer’s state-of-the-art studio at the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles.
These four historic clubs are playing for a spot in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, the game’s marquee club showcase, live from Munich on Saturday, May 19 at 2:00 PM ET on FOX (pregame coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET on FOX Soccer).
Due to the fact that I had to go in and out of the office five times for various errands and meetings during the day, I was not able to provide linkage. And due to the fact that there are some good stories lingering, I don’t want to leave you without some links. So I’ll do a quick set of links now and hopefully will be able to do a full set on Wednesday.
Let’s start with Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated who talks with ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit who sets the record straight about why he moved away from his beloved Columbus to Tennessee.
Matthew Belloni of the Hollywood Reporter says a federal judge has shot down Comcast’s request to block a DirecTV ad campaign on offering “free” NFL games.
Jon Lafayette at Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News says ESPN helped to steer parent company Disney to higher earnings in the 3rd quarter of its fiscal year.
From Mike Reynolds from Multichannel, ESPN saw its highest viewership for an MLB contest dating back to 2007 thanks to Yankees-Red Sox on Sunday.
Mike writes that NFL Network saw its best Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony audience ever since it began airing the event in 2003.
Bill Cromwell at Media Life Magazine writes that media buyers are skeptical that the 2011-12 NBA season will begin on time if it’s played at all.
Writing for Forbes, the SportsBizMiss, the always lovely Kristi Dosh says revenue sharing might be how the NBA solves its labor problems.
Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser says two MLB.com writers were robbed outside the Great American Ball Park after a Cincinnati Reds game.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that Mike Tyson’s autograph is a hotter commodity now than it was when he was in his boxing prime.
Jeré Longman of the New York Times says despite increased attendance and TV ratings for Women’s Professional Soccer since the Women’s World Cup, the league’s future is very much in doubt.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union has the Syracuse football schedule and the networks airing the games.
Ken McMillan in the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record notes that Red Sox fans in the Catskill Mountains have a radio station to listen to their favorite team.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes NASCAR drama is truly reality TV.
Dan Steinberg in the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is expanding its relationship with the Baltimore Ravens. This comes a year after the Ravens severed its relationship with MASN just before last season.
Dan discovers that two DC-area natives co-anchored ESPN’s SportsCenter last weekend.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner also writes about CSN Mid-Atlantic taking in more Ravens programming.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman looks at the local ratings for sports.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says four Brewers originally not scheduled for air will be picked up for TV.
The Cleveland Frowns blog wonders why CBS Radio is bringing in an outsider to be part of its daily lineup for its new FM sports radio station.
Bob writes that a local TV station is teaming up with the local ESPN Radio affiliate to produce a weekly show.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Tiger Woods has lost another sponsor and Ed also wants Tiger’s former caddie to shut up.
David Zahniser of the Los Angeles Times writes that a deal to build an NFL stadium at the Staples Center site received unanimous approval on Tuesday.
Times NFL writer Sam Farmer talks about what the deal approval means.
The Canadian Sports Media blog has some thoughts on what’s been happening in the Great White North.
CSMB notes that TSN is no longer airing the UEFA Champions League.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog wonders if anyone would buy Rogers’ attempt at a sports magazine in this day and age.
Sports Media Watch says Yankees-Red Sox had ratings drawing power during this past weekend.
And SMW notes that three of MLB’s TV partners saw ratings gains for Yanks-Red Sox.
Brian Packey at Awful Announcing refuses to call the hair on top of Bill Simmons’ lip that was seen on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, a porn mustache. Brian may not, but I will. That thing is hideous.
Dave Kohl at his renamed “Broadcast Booth” blog looks at sports radio ratings for various markets.
Ok, that’s going to do it. I found more links than I thought I would and it’s approach 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. I need sleep. Back later today.
Time for some linkage on this very warm Thursday. I hope you all take a moment and say a prayer for the people of Western Massachusetts who head to deal with tornadoes yesterday. Four people are confirmed dead. It was quite devastating to see last night. Let’s hope the area can recover quickly.
To your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Shaquille O’Neal, who retired from the NBA after 19 seasons, would be a logical choice to become an NBA television analyst.
The Sporting News notes that ESPN is looking to hire O’Neal.
The great Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated has a profile on NBC’s NHL voice Mike “Doc” Emrick.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life says thanks to the NBA Playoffs, TNT had the best ratings month in cable TV history.
Andrea Morabito of Broadcasting & Cable says CBS News will not apologize and stands by its 60 Minutes report on cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Michael Malone of B&C says the NBC Sports Group will be all over rugby this weekend.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that ESPN3D plans to air The Championship Wimbledon in the third dimension.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser says NBC Sports gets an EPIC FAIL for airing a promo stating the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the Stanley Cup Final.
Noah Davis of The Business Insider Sports Page notes the national debut of a Wall Street Journal sports columnist.
Noah has the complete roster of writers who will staff Captain Blowhard’s Grantland.
Dan Fogarty in SportsGrid says Captain Blowhard has finally set an official launch date for the pretentiously-titled Grantland site.
Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group talks about 3-D TV stepping up at The Masters.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com says the Pac-12 has made announcements on seven nationally televised games.
Bill Hofhemier at ESPN’s Front Row discusses how ESPN’s award-winning World Cup production team is back together again for the Women’s World Cup.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell notes that Shaquille O’Neal was one of the first athletes to embrace social media.
Darren says Shaq’s retirement video gave an internet start-up a huge boost in more ways than one.
Darren talks with the men who marketed Shaquille O’Neal.
Martin Pave of the Boston Globe profiles the the Emmy Award-winning director of ESPN’s “Fab Five” documentary who has local ties.
Jessica Van Sack of the Boston Herald says fans don’t have to watch TV to follow the NHL.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir feels NBC needs a better way to air the French Open men’s semifinals.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that WFAN’s Mike Francesa is not just doing well without partner Chris Russo, he’s flourishing.
Neil has his entire interview with Francesa in his blog.
Neil talks with ESPN Radio New York’s Michael Kay who one day hopes to beat Francesa in the ratings.
Neil also has the ratings breakdown between WFAN and ESPN Radio New York for afternoon drive.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says tennis great Chris Evert is returning to TV as an analyst for ESPN2′s Wimbledon coverage.
Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer says Rugby 7′s will get network TV exposure this weekend.
John George in the Philadelphia Business Journal says Comcast SportsNet will air a local bike race in HD.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that the UEFA Champions League Final outrated Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in DC.
Dan finds out why ESPN Radio DC slapped a 24 hour waiting period on publishing podcasts.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner explains that DC had the highest ratings for the Champions League finale.
Jim says NBC received the best NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 1 overnight ratings in a dozen years.
Barry Jackson in the Miami Herald says the NBA Finals are drawing viewers both nationally and locally.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel says Magic star Gilbert Arenas has returned to Twitter with often humorous results.
Chuck Goldberg of the Alabama Newspapers notes that Auburn will get early starts for its first three football games of the season.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News notes that Miami outrated Dallas for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with two-time Olympic softball player Michele Smith about the Women’s College World Series which begins on ESPN2 tonight.
Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that Fox Sports Indiana and the Pacers have dropped pregame show host Stacy Paetz effective immediately.
Kevin Kane of the Southside (IN) Times wonders when organizers will lift the local blackout on the Indianapolis 500.
Bob Wolfeley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Suds City topped all markets watching the Indianapolis 500.
At the Iowa City Gazette, Scott Dochterman writes that Fox plans to give the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game the Big Event treatment.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News gets the nitty gritty on why Vin Scully’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was covered and mistreated.
Dian Pucin of the Los Angeles Times instructs West Coast viewers on how to watch tomorrow’s French Open men’s semifinal live.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail explores the media’s handling of the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg story.
At Deadspin, A.J. Daulerio chronicles how ESPN.com’s Grantland site pursued and then later had misgivings about hiring site writer Tommy Craggs.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing tries to make sense of the whole thing.
Sports Media Watch says ABC had the most watched NBA Finals game since 2004.
And that will end the links for today.
From Fox Sports, we learn that the UEFA Champions League Final ratings received a huge bump from 2010, the first year the network aired the game. Overall, the game received a 2.1 rating with a 6 share and an average viewership of 4.2 million viewers. Last year, the final got 1.2 rating with 2.2 million viewers. All this despite the fact that Fox dumbed down its pregame show insulting hardcore soccer fans who wanted to see something similar to ESPN’s understated World Cup coverage last year.
We have the press release.
FC Barcelona-Manchester United Match on FOX Sports & FOX Deportes Dwarfs 2010 Viewership
FOX Sees +64% Spike in Key Young Male Demographic; FOX Deportes Sets Spanish-Language Ratings Records
New York – The 2011 UEFA Champions League Final is the highest-rated and most watched in U.S. history, according to national ratings figures released by Nielsen Media Research.
FOX Sports Media Group’s coverage of the championship match of the world’s most prestigious soccer club tournament combined on FOX and FOX Deportes to generate a 2.1 household rating and 6 share, drawing an audience of 4.2 million viewers nationally, dwarfing the ratings and audience of a year ago by +75% and +91%, respectively. The 2010 UEFA Champions League Final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich, which aired on FOX and Fox Sports en Español (now FOX Deportes), combined for a 1.2 HH rating with an audience of 2.2 million.
The FOX over-the-air broadcast earned a 1.4/4 household rating/share, with an audience of 2.6 million viewers compared to a 1.0 HH rating and 1.6 million viewers a year ago, +40% in rating and +63% in audience. Simultaneously, FOX Deportes notched a 0.7/2 rating in total US homes for this year’s match, with an audience of 1.6 million, +133% in HH rating (0.3) and +167% in audience (600,000).
Significantly, the English-language broadcast of Saturday’s match beat the 2009 Champions League Final which also featured Manchester United and Barcelona by +56% in rating (1.4 vs. 0.9) and +86% in audience (2.6 million vs. 1.4 million). Combined, the 2011 match on FOX and FOX Deportes bettered the 2009 match by +62% on rating (2.1 vs. 1.3) and +24% on viewership (4.2 million vs. 2.1 million).
U.S. viewership of the UEFA Champions League Final has exploded in recent years. This is the seventh straight year that English-language viewing of the Champions League Final has increased in the U.S. Over the last 10 years, viewing has increased almost 10-fold, from 264,000 viewers on ESPN in 2002 to 2.6 million on FOX this year.
Soccer continues to draw an impressively young audience. Saturday’s match earned a 1.8 among Men 18-34 on FOX, which is +29% higher than the HH rating. It’s exceptionally rare for a sports event to be that much stronger among the younger demo than it is overall.
Locally, Washington DC led all markets with a 3.3, followed by Seattle (2.9), New York & Providence (2.8), Los Angeles & Austin (2.7), San Francisco (2.5), Las Vegas & Phoenix (2.3), San Diego & Tampa (2.1), Boston & Hartford (2.0). In terms of year-to-year growth, Seattle led the way (+383%, 2.9 vs. 0.6), followed by Providence (+367%, 2.8 vs. 0.6), Hartford (+300%, 2.0 vs. 0.5), Dayton (+300%, 1.6 vs. 0.4), Orlando (+250%, 1.4 vs. 0.4), Indianapolis (+233%, 1.0 vs. 0.3) and Washington, DC (+200%, 3.3 vs. 1.1) & Greenville (1.2 vs. 0.4).
In terms of the Spanish-language audience, FOX Deportes’ telecast of the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final is the highest-rated ever on Spanish-language television and generated the biggest audience for any event in the history of Spanish-language sports networks. The match attracted 1.5 million Spanish language viewers, a record for any Spanish-language sports cable network in the U.S., up +206% compared to the 2010 Champions League Final, more than tripling the number of Hispanic viewers (490,000) from a year ago. The match pulled a 13.0 coverage area HH rating, the third-highest in the network’s history and up an incredible +152% versus last year’s 5.15 Final. For additional details on the Spanish-language audience, please see the companion press release issued by FOX Deportes.
FSMG recently extended its contract with the UEFA Champions League through 2015.
There you have it.
If you’ve been visiting the blog throughout the morning, you may have noticed a couple of theme changes and then the return of the current theme. I’ve been trying to make a few cosmetic changes, but I screwed them up so I had to delete the theme and then reinstall it. If you were visiting and saw a different look and got confused, I apologize. Just trying to make the blog look as best as possible. I can assure you I’m done with the cosmetic changes for a while.
Let’s do some links on this Wednesday.
Sean Leahy of USA Today notes that NBC’s Cris Collinsworth is so fearful that the NFL will lose half a season that he took a non-paying high school football coaching position for the fall.
Michael Hiestand looks at the ratings for the Indy 500, primetime baseball and the UEFA Champions League Final.
Lindsay Powers at the Hollywood Reporter writes that Lance Armstrong lawyers are demanding an apology from CBS News’ 60 Minutes stating that the program did shoddy journalism in a segment on his alleged steroid use.
Philiana Ng of the Reporter says NBC has selected its blockbuster hit, “The Voice” to air after Super Bowl XLVI next February.
George Winslow from Broadcasting & Cable says the NBA has launched a Windows phone app.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News reports that ESPN and Tennis Channel have extended their multimedia alliance for the French and Australian Opens starting next year.
Louisa Ada Seltzer of Media Life Magazine writes that having a Canadian team in the NHL Stanley Cup Final won’t help NBC’s ratings.
Last night, ESPN’s Chris Berman called the San Francisco Giants-St. Louis Cardinals game for the Alleged Worldwide Leader and as expected, it turned out to be a disaster. Berman can’t call play-by-play to save his life. Two examples of this EPIC FAIL.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has the video from Bubbaprog/Mocksession of Berman not getting the concept of a walk off win.
Then Glenn Davis at SportsGrid has video of Berman trying to be edgy or most likely, not having a clue about “Tossed Salad”.
Alex Weprin of SportsNewser visited the MLB
Man Fan Cave.
Joe Favorito says the NCAA College World Series is a missed opportunity for college baseball.
My Twitter Trophy Wife Amanda Rykoff has compiled a hockey glossary at espnW just in time for the Stanley Cup Final.
From the upcoming New York Times Sunday Magazine, Jonathan Mahler profiles Captain Blowhard who’s already complaining about Grantland and the site hasn’t officially launched yet. The profile is long so get ready to scroll.
Richard Sandomir of the Times reports that former Montreal Expos and New York Mets Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter has an inoperable brain tumor.
Mike Madden of the Washington City Paper notes that DC NFL team owner and bully Daniel Snyder is taking the next step in his lawsuit against the publication by subpoenaing Washington Post blogger Dan Steinberg for just linking to the City Paper column that led him to sue in court.
Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner reports that ABC received the best NBA Finals overnight rating since 2004.
Jim says the NBC Sports Group gets to keep the Stanley Cup Final all to itself for the next two and a half weeks.
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel writes that a local reporter may have jumped the gun when he reported on an alleged contract extension for the Magic’s Dwight Howard.
Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman says Game 5 of the Dallas-Oklahoma City NBA Western Conference Finals did very well in the local ratings.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the ESPN book has some Wisconsin ties.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business wonders if the Windy City will tune into the Stanley Cup Final.
Scott Dochterman of the Iowa City Gazette notes the rebranding of Big Ten Network.
Chris Foster from the Los Angeles Times speaks with “How I Met Your Mother Star” Cobie Smulders who like her character Robin Scherbatsky is a big Vancouver Canucks fan.
Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun says CBC’s Jim Hughson and Canucks voice John Shorthouse are happy to be calling their native Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final.
Sports Media Watch notes that ESPN2′s coverage of the French Open will be all live starting next year.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media predicts how the Stanley Cup Final will fare on NBC/Versus this year.
That will do it for now.
For some of you, it’s a back to work Tuesday after a three day weekend. Not for me as I was at the office until late on Memorial Day. But you don’t want to read my complaining, you want linkage so I’ll get it to right away.
Anthony Crupi from Adweek says expect LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Dirk Nowitzki to draw viewers to the NBA Finals starting tonight.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine writes about TNT’s record NBA ratings and the potential for a blockbuster NBA Finals for ABC.
Jeff Neff and E.J. Schultz of Advertising Age say NFL advertisers are getting nervous as the lockout is starting to effect grocery in-store displays.
Sergio Non of USA Today says UFC’s Dana White is looking to put more cards on over the air TV.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says soccer-centric Gol TV will air another edition of its signature reality show.
Carolyn Braff of Sports Video Group writes that Versus had to overcome massive mud puddles in order to bring the Tour of California to viewers.
Paul Meehan at ESPN Front Row says the network’s NBA Marketing team is spending a lot of late nights creating TV and radio promos for the Finals.
Over at Mocksession, a very interesting post on how Fox Sports Net and ABC deceived viewers in various ways.
Maggie Hendricks at Yahoo’s Cagewriter blog wishes the media would stop giving MMA fighter Quintin “Rampage” Jackson the time of day. It’s all over this video as Jackson pretends to motorboat reporter Karyn Bryant’s breasts.
The Big Lead goes into why Jackson is such a lightning rod with reporters.
MMA reporter Karyn Bryant who was the subject of Jackson’s attention last weekend tweets that she wasn’t offended.
I’ve now been told I have to run an errand. More later.
Some more links now.
Tripp Mickle and John Ourand from the Sports Business Journal report on the latest on the bidding for the US Olympic TV rights now that NBC’s Dick Ebersol is out of the picture.
Tripp teams with Terry Lefton on a story about sports marketers who plan to stay in Brazil after the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics are finished there.
And Kevin Sullivan of SBJ instructs athletes on how to tweet the right way.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser notes that ESPN/ABC NBA analyst Mark Jackson is a finalist for the Golden State Warriors coaching job.
Cam says the Sports Illustrated story on Jim Tressel caused a Twitter spat among sportswriters.
Brian Lowry of Fox Sports says the NBA’s TV partners should send thanks to LeBron James and the Miami Heat for increased ratings this season.
Gordon Cox of Variety notes that ESPN and the Tribeca Film Festival are teaming up to put three movies on Video on Demand.
Tony Barnhart of CBS Sports talks with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive about the BCS, college football TV contracts and his contract.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell cautions fans who think college football will change with Jim Tressel’s resignation.
Bill Gorman at zap2it’s TVbytheNumbers notes that Fox’s NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 zoomed past all network competition on Sunday.
Newsday’s Neil Best says former Yankees outfielder Paul O’Neill will now double his workload for YES.
Neil says NBC/Versus NHL host Liam McHugh appears to be on a fast track to stardom.
Stan Hochman of the Philadelphia Daily News looks at the ESPN book.
Former ESPN Radio host Mark Madden in the Beaver County Times feels the ESPN book doesn’t cover any new ground. How about bringing up your firing, Mark?
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has his take on DC NFL team owner Dan Snyder making the local media rounds last week.
Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner says ABC expects to garner good ratings with the NBA Finals.
Shannon J. Owens at the Orlando Sentinel wonders why Urban Meyer would leave ESPN for Ohio State, especially at this juncture.
Ben Thomas of the Mobile (AL) Press-Register says a local station is dropping ESPN Radio programming in favor of Sporting News Radio.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says national announcers have to deal with fans who feel they root against their teams.
Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman says ESPN/ABC’s NBA crew denies that it was rooting against Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals.
WLWT-TV in Cincinnati notes that NBC’s Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth has taken a job coaching high school football until the NFL lockout ends.
And at his website, Football Pros Live, Cris explains why he took the job.
The Big Lead says it appears that ESPN2 First Take buffoon Skip Bayless was forced to apologize to Chris Broussard after yelling at him on Monday.
EPL Talk says the UEFA Champions League Final drew a 1.8 overnight rating for Fox, a 64% increase from the year before.
EPL Talk notes that Fox dumbed down its Champions League pregame show.
Sports Media Watch notes that Charles Barkley will be back in Miami for the NBA Finals working the games for NBA TV.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media looks at how Boston and Vancouver have fared in the ratings throughout the NHL Postseason.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin notes that MLB.com is actually allowing some videos to be embedded! Hallelujah!!!
And we’re going to end it there for today.
I’ll provide some Sunday links for you.
You want to see a wild ending? Dan Wheldon wins the Indianapolis 500 after rookie J.R. Hildebrand crashed into the wall at the final turn. Amazing stuff. Thanks to Bubbaprog/Mocksession for the video.
Dan Hart at Bloomberg notes that David Einhorn is on track to take a majority stake in the New York Mets
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that MSG Network will present a mixture of sports and entertainment programming this summer.
Muhammed Rahman at SportsGrid has one video of the Fox UEFA Champions League Final pregame show dumbing down soccer, insulting everyone who watched it.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser says that ESPN Radio DC is now delaying the publishing of its podcasts of its live show by 24 hours. That’s always good to publish old news.
Marcus says yet another team has turned down HBO to appear on Hard Knocks.
The Sporting News says a new ESPN poll shows that LeBron James’ popularity dropped after “The Decision”.
But David C. Wilson, a political science professor at the University of Delaware notes in the Huffington Post that the results might be skewed.
In his baseball notes column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that TBS is making a run at NESN Red Sox voice Don Orsillo (scroll to the bottom).
Cafardo adds on Twitter that TBS would attempt to make Orsillo a full-timer. In addition to Red Sox baseball, Orsillo calls Big East basketball on ESPN Regional television and the Beanpot Tournament for NESN. He has called the MLB League Division Series for TBS since 2007.
Maureen Mullen at Comcast SportsNet New England writes that ESPN has allowed NESN to air tonight’s Red Sox-Tigers game after originally saying no.
Eric R. Danton of the Hartford Courant has a feature on ESPN looking for the right music to use on SportsCenter and its many studio shows.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post decides to set his target on SNY’s Keith Hernandez. Whatever, Phil.
Mark Snyder at the Detroit Free Press notes that Big Ten Network is looking to rebrand and change its logo.
The Detroit Free Press tweets that the Fox Sports Detroit will pick up tonight’s Tigers game vs. the Red Sox.
Neal Rubin of the Detroit News catches up with former ESPN’er Karie Ross who has come back into prominence thanks to the ESPN book.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has his take on the ESPN book.
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune goes over the ESPN tome.
Neal Justin of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reviews the ESPN tome, “Those Guys Have All The Fun…”
Dusty Saunders of the Denver News looks at the growth of sports talk radio in the Mile High City.
Dusty also profiles long-time Denver sports talk show host Irv Brown.
Sports Media Watch says last night’s third in three straight primetime broadcasts for Fox gave its MLB package the highest ratings in three years.
Jason Garnatz at Iowa Tube Talk feels ESPN caved into Red Sox pressure to air tonight’s Red Sox-Tigers makeup game.
Awful Announcing has the video from Bubbaprog/Mocksession of Hawk Harrelson’s typical homer call from yesterday’s Chicago White Sox-Toronto Blue Jays game.
The Big Lead recounts an interesting conversation between Dan LeBatard and ESPN.com’s Ric Bucher regarding Derrick Rose’s performance in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
Steve Michaels of Sox & Dawgs looks at the potential TBS offer to NESN’s Don Orsillo.
And that’s going to do it. This Sunday, especially from 3 – 4:20 p.m. turned out to be a busy sequence for sports media news.
I have the opportunity to do some linkage on this Saturday so let’s take advantage of this.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says Fox has to be happy to have a dream matchup in today’s UEFA Champions League Final.
Sofia M. Fernandez of the Hollywood Reporter writes that the Indianapolis 500 has plenty of celebrity star power this weekend.
Brad Biggs in the National Football Post reports that a non-profit sports fan organization is appealing to the FCC to end all sports blackouts including NFL games.
The Big Lead notes that Captain Blowhard has poached a New York Times writer for his ESPN-backed Grantland site.
Sean Leahy at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that popular Canadian chain Boston Pizza is changing its name for the duration of the Stanley Cup Final.
Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News says Sabres fans are lucky to still have voice Rick Jenneret around for next season.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that frequent Gilbert Arenas critic Tony Kornheiser is quite similar to him in one very particular way.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says like them or not, the Miami Heat are jacking up the NBA’s TV ratings.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has confided to ESPN Radio’s Dr. Jack Ramsey that he feels Rick Carlisle is outcoaching opponents.
Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune says a last minute deal placed the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship on Big Ten Network.
Kristena Hansen in the Arizona Republic notes that a Fox Sports Grill in Scottsdale is changing its name citing poor business.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog wonders if the city could support an all-sports daily newspaper.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that TSN has signed a new six year deal to air the French Open in the Great White North.
Sports Media Watch looks at the ratings for the NBA Conference Finals dating back to 2002.
SMW says NBA TV and TNT analyst Kevin McHale is apparently heading back to coaching.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL Western Conference Final averaged less than a million viewers for the entire series.
Joe Favorito notes that lacrosse is seeing increased interest, but it will still take some time to grow the game.
Bike World News says Fox Sports Net will air the Tour of Utah cycling road race in August.
And that’s where I’ll end it today. I could do some press release posts later.
Time for some megalink action. This is turning out to be a busy day, but let me try to give you as many as I can. This being Memorial Day weekend, there’s plenty of sports action. Primetime viewing is kind of slim, but you can check out my Weekend Viewing Picks for the action.
Let’s get to the links. I’ll do as many as I can. I do have to leave early.
From yesterday’s Sports Business Daily, John Ourand speaks with outgoing NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer who is retiring at the end of the summer.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable also writes about Ken Schanzer’s retirement from NBC Sports.
Multichannel notes that Time Warner Cable will have a presence to promote the Speed 2 channel at the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race in Charlotte this weekend.
USA Today’s Mike McCarthy and Michael Hiestand debate whether LeBron James as a villain is good for the NBA.
Mike McCarthy writes that former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen caused an uproar on ESPN Radio this morning by saying LeBron James could be better than Michael Jordan.
Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center delves into the ESPN book.
Fox Sports notes that this week, Ken Rosenthal’s bowtie will honor our troops during this Memorial Day Weekend.
The Big Lead interviews New York Times NFL beat writer Judy Battista and talks about how she covers the lockout.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid notes that Nike tried to put the screws on TNT’s Charles Barkley to be nicer to LeBron James.
SportsbyBrooks says ESPN management told its hosts what to ask James Andrew Miller about the book he co-authored on the Alleged Worldwide Leader.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has a review of “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN”.
Alyson Shontell of the Business Insider Sports Page says former Versus host Jenn Sterger is now working for an internet TV startup company.
Sports Media Watch says the NHL on Versus saw a ratings high for Boston-Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
SMW notes that the NBA Finals gets its earliest start in 25 years.
And SMW says the NHL Stanley Cup Final avoided conflicting with the NBA Finals.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs has some complaints on broadcasters not providing the starting lineups when they’re supposed to.
Len Berman has his Top 5 stories of the day.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Mark Blaudshun of the Boston Globe reports that the Big East Conference has rejected ESPN’s “Best offer” to continue their 32 year relationship.
Chad Finn of the Globe says Bruins fans are finally getting the media coverage they’ve been yearning for.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette notes that the local minor league baseball team gets a new media distribution to fans and it’s not what you might think.
Fred Contrada at the Springfield (MA) Republican reports that ESPN.com writer Howard Bryant has been sentenced to probation stemming from a domestic assault case back in February.
New York Magazine talks with YES analyst David Cone about his use of advanced statistics on Yankees games.
Phil Mushnick from the New York Post wants to know what Mets owner Fred Wilpon knew about Ponzi scheme scumbag Bernie Madoff and when did he know it.
The Post has five questions for Fox Soccer Channel analyst Eric Wynalda about Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says soccer continues to try to gain a foothold in the American psyche.
DCRTV’s Dave Hughes has his latest Baltimore-DC media roundup in Press Box.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg finds an interesting Tony Kornheiser-John Feinstein tidbit from the ESPN tome.
Dan also recaps a couple of interviews DC NFL team owner Daniel Snyder conducted on Thursday.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks about the retirement of NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer a week after his boss, Dick Ebersol resigned.
Jim speaks with Fox Sports’ Curt Menefee about hosting the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson goes over some of the more interesting tidbits from the ESPN book.
Greg Augman of the St. Petersburg Times writes about ESPN’s Desmond Howard blasting black college athletes for a sense of entitlement.
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel laments the probable end of the long-term relationship between Florida State University and Sun Sports.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Texas Rangers TV voice John Rhadigan was replaced Thursday and will return to hosting the pregame show on Fox Sports Southwest.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has his take on the ESPN book that has had the sports media talking.
In the Daily Oklahoman, Mel Bracht talks with ousted Rangers voice John Rhadigan.
Mel notes the local ratings for the series-clinching Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals.
Mel despite losing the series, the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook impressed ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy.
Cincinnati Enquirer media writer John Kiesewetter says local sports talk show host Andy Furman is on the fast track for a possible new national gig.
John has a few more things on Furman in his blog.
The Waiting For Next Year blog loves Cleveland Browns voice Jim Donovan as do I.
Michael Zuidema at the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says ESPN/ABC is hoping some extra pomp and circumstance at the Centennial Indy 500 will draw viewers this year.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the Indianapolis 500 just ain’t what it used to be.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his usual winners and losers today.
Ed explains what Tiger Woods’ agent split from powerful IMG means for Tiger.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that ESPN/ABC is hopeful that the Indy 500 can finally beat NASCAR outright for the first time in over five years.
Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star talks with ESPN/ABC IndyCar analyst Scott Goodyear about Danica Patrick’s impact on this year’s Indy 500.
Jim reflects on Dick Ebersol’s tenure as Chairman of NBC Sports.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Jim Rome’s hiring in inaugural days of ESPN2 almost caused one network exec to quit.
Tom explains how ESPN/ABC will attempt to keep the Indianapolis 500 relevant with viewers.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail looks at how Gary Bettman decided to buck ESPN.
That’s going to do it. Finished it all in one shot!
That’s right, Gus Johnson will be officially introduced to viewers as a member of the Fox Sports team, but he won’t be calling the game. He’ll be involved in a pregame feature with him doing calls of soccer if he were calling soccer. It’s also a way of introducing himself to a different audience as well.
Fox’s coverage will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time from the famed Wembley Stadium in London with Fox NFL Sunday’s Curt Menefee hosting along with Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Brad Friedel. Calling the final between Barcelona and Manchester United will be Martin Tyler and Alan Smith. Fox Soccer Channel will have its own pregame show featuring the Fox mothership crew at 1 p.m. Then the game begins at 2:45 p.m.
We have your press release from Fox Sports right here.
FOX SPORTS NOTES, QUOTES & ANECDOTES
FOX Sports Invades Wembley for Dream Championship: Barcelona – Manchester United UEFA Champions League Final – Saturday at 2:00 PM ET on FOX
FOX SPORTS INVADES WEMBLEY FOR BARCELONA – MANCHESTER UNITED CLASSIC: UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL SATURDAY – On Saturday, May 28 FOX Sports presents the pinnacle of European club soccer as Barcelona takes on Manchester United in the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final. FOX Sports, for the second consecutive year, is the exclusive over-the-air broadcast home for the UEFA Champions League Final, and live HD coverage kicks off at 2:00 PM ET.
Curt Menefee, FOX NFL SUNDAY co-host, anchors pregame, halftime and postgame coverage for FOX Sports live from Wembley. Menefee is joined by FOX Soccer analysts Eric Wynalda, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the second-leading goal scorer in U.S. soccer history and retired English national team and Newcastle United player Warren Barton. Aston Villa goalkeeper and former U.S. international player Brad Friedel joins the panel in London as guest analyst. Martin Tyler (play-by-play) and Alan Smith (expert analyst) call the action from legendary Wembley Stadium.
PREGAME FEATURES – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 2:00 PM ET
Landon Donovan, USA’s all-time leader in World Cup games played and goals scored, breaks down what makes Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, generally regarded as the world’s best player, such a dominating force.
FOX NFL SUNDAY analyst Michael Strahan, who grew up in Europe watching soccer, talks about what makes the two sports that are close to his heart – soccer and American football – so special.
Gus Johnson, the newest addition to FOX Sports’ broadcasting roster, introduces his unique style to fans in a fun segment that illustrates what soccer’s most exciting moments would sound like if Johnson were behind the mike for them.
Analysts break down the exciting matchup, pick their keys to victory and take a look back at the top goals and moments from the Champions League this season.
PRESS CALL TRANSCRIPT & REPLAY
During Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League Final on FOX preview press call, FOX Sports Media Group Co-President and Co-COO Eric Shanks, pregame host Curt Menefee and analyst and American National Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda previewed the matchup and the popularity of soccer in the US.
Wynalda on whether or not Messi needs to win a World Cup in order to cement his place in history: “Nobody has any control, outside of their coach, of FIFA and the World Cup. That’s what I would call forced friendship. You have to be born in that country or of that nationality to compete together. When you’re dealing with UEFA Champions League, you’re dealing with the strongest, richest clubs with the biggest wallets who spend the money to get the best players on the planet on the field at the same time. That’s why UEFA Champions League soccer is so much better than a World Cup. I think Messi has already proven to be the best ever but that certainly would cap things off if somebody could figure how to get those Argentines to get along. That’s always been the issue.”
Menefee on how broadcasting a game of this importance compares to other broadcasting highlights: “I’ve been fortunate in my career to be in this position. You look at the last 12 months, I got to do the Champions League final last year as the host from Madrid, then the Super Bowl this year which was the largest watched program in American history, and now you get an event that probably, at least worldwide, will have more viewers than the Super Bowl did. To be able to be here in person is what I’m looking forward to as much as anything else. The atmosphere and electricity that we’re going to try and capture on FOX is going to be unlike anything anybody has done in television back home.”
Wynalda on the coaching matchup between Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson and Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola: “Barcelona has a possession driven game. They like to keep the ball and force the issue quite a bit. They force open those spaces, as opposed to waiting for them to open. Sir Alex always gets the right formula and this matchup serves United well. His style is all about the one-on-one battles, whereas Pep Guardiola will make it much more of a team sport. That may play to the advantage of Manchester United who have two very experienced defenders in Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidi? who can use that experience to get a toe in or a little nudge that will make it difficult for the likes of Lionel Messi.”
Wynalda on Barcelona’s play-acting and diving on the field: “I think diving is something that has become quite embarrassing for the sport. For as beautiful the soccer they can play, the culprits are the Sergio Busquets, Pedro and Daniel Alves. It’s a disgrace and it needs to stop. My hope is that UEFA will start fining these players after the game is over. It’s not part of the game to try and fool everybody that you have a broken leg, go off on a stretcher, come back and celebrate goal as if you were a 15-year-old kid.”
Shanks on the growth of soccer in the US: “All of the pieces are there for continued growth. Both internationally and domestically, we as a broadcaster want to work with the leagues as much as we can to help continue to grow. We have two 24-hour soccer channels and an online business. As a company, we’re very much behind it and here in the U.S., we want to do everything possible to help the sport grow both bringing in the best international soccer and helping have a strong domestic product. International soccer is the spectacle and I think it has the widest appeal, but having a team in your hometown that you want to see, that you want to get behind, and create some rivalries domestically is important long-term.”
Time for the mid-week links. Lots of stuff to get to.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at the ratings from some of the events held this past weekend.
Michael says networks may have to scramble to fill holes if the NFL lockout extends into October and November.
Brian Lowry at Fox Sports wonders if teams should be looking at the broadcast booth for their next coaches.
Andy Lewis of the Hollywood Reporter reviews the new book on ESPN co-authored by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales.
Jason Gay at the Wall Street Journal also reviews the tome.
Sam Schechner of the Journal has some of Dick Ebersol’s departing thoughts as he prepares to leave NBC Sports.
Erin Griffith from Adweek says Lance Armstrong’s brand and Livestrong organization are being hurt by the latest doping allegations.
Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser notes HBO had decent viewership for its boxing card last Saturday.
Mohammed Rahman of SportsGrid has the Tosh.0 video from last night which teamed two sports blogosphere icons, Screamin’ Gus Johnson and Brian Collins of “Boom Goes the Dynamite” fame.
Some sad news from CNBC. Original anchor Mark Haines, host of Squawk Box and Squawk on the Street died suddenly on Tuesday. He leaves behind his wife, Cindy and a son and a daughter. He was well known in the financial world and well loved by viewers. I remember him when he co-anchored the news on WPRI-TV in Providence in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s. He was very good.
CNBC has an entire section of memories from co-workers and viewers.
Darren Rovell shares his memories of Mark Haines.
Jason Dachman at Sports Video Group writes that Sony will extend its sponsorship of ESPN 3D.
Jerry Barmash of Fishbowl NY says for the first time, ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike beat WFAN’s Boomer & Carton in younger male demos, but WFAN turned the tables in the important categories.
David Hinckley of the New York Daily News also writes about the ESPN Radio/WFAN ratings.
Richard Sandomir in the New York Times notes that the Mets finances are very shaky.
Evan Weiner in the New Jersey Newsroom blames Ronald Reagan for much of the sports labor and business troubles of today.
In the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg finds that Tony Kornheiser still cannot forgive a former colleague for his review of Monday Night Football.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says outgoing NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol would make for a good replacement for MLB Walking, Talking Conflict of Interest Bud Selig.
Bob wonders if the Green Bay Packers wouldn’t mind being on HBO’s Hard Knocks.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business says Turner Sports sets the standard for NBA coverage.
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Windy City continues to watch the Bulls in the NBA postseason.
Phil also has a story on Dick Ebersol leaving NBC Sports.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says a SoCal-based radio duo will get a tryout in Portland.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL Eastern Conference Final is performing solidly for Versus.
Steve writes that Boston is shining brightly in the NHL ratings universe.
SportsbyBrooks says a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter is now looking into the machinations with Jim Tressel and the Ohio State football program.
The Big Lead puts together its sports announcing dream teams.
And I’ll end here for now, but I’m not close to being done with the linkage. I have to leave the office so I’ll post more later.
UPDATE: 8:20 p.m. – Here are some more links.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today writes that ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose has pleaded guilty to DUI charges stemming from an arrest in Michigan back in March.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today has Fox Sports President Eric Shanks saying the network would go live from the Olympics in 2014 and 2016.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that TNT saw received an audience of just under 10 million for Game 4 of the Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel says ESPN is changing satellite distribution system to affiliates.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek says with Vancouver in the NHL Stanley Cup Final, NBC desperately needs Boston to advance to help its ratings.
Dennis Dodd at CBSSports.com says the Pac-12 Conference is looking at an additional $1 billion in revenue over a 7-10 year period from a league-owned channel.
Reuters reports that actor Russell Crowe is attempting to bring Australia’s National Rugby League to the United States through Fox Sports.
Alex Weprin of SportsNewser says Fox Sports Net has purchased a weekly baseball series to be hosted by former NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid has the audio of Dan Patrick telling “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World of ESPN” co-author Jim Miller about his abusive relationship with ESPN management.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette says the local Time Warner Cable system will air the AHL Calder Cup Final.
Robert Cox of the New Rochelle (NY) Talk of the Sound says ESPN took over a local high school to shoot a high school prom theme for the ESPY’s.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner notes the viewership for TNT from Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
Ron Higgns of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that the Liberty Bowl is moving from ESPN to ABC and expanding its reach to a bigger audience in the process.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has CBS golf analyst Gary McCord picking his favorites for the upcoming Byron Nelson Championship.
Bob has Fox Soccer Channel host Eric Wynalda singing the praises of Lionel Messi of Barcelona in advance of this Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final.
Scott D. Pierce from the Salt Lake Tribune notes that despite a down year, the Utah Jazz are constantly on TV while the minor league baseball Salt Lake Bees aren’t able to get on TV.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times says the Pac-12 could move football games to Sundays or even Monday nights if the NFL lockout goes into the fall.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog reports that CTV/TSN have snagged the rights to Skate Canada events from CBC.
Sports Media Watch says the final round of the PGA Tour’s Colonial Invitational saw a big jump for CBS.
SMW Sunday’s NASCAR on Fox race saw a huge ratings increase.
Joe Favorito asks if Newark, NJ could become a sports capital.
I’ll end it there. You’re up to date on links.
I had this in a press release post on the UEFA Champions League Final, but in case you didn’t see it, I’ll provide the studio and game announcing crews for Fox for this Saturday’s game between Barcelona and Manchester United. It will go on the air at 2 p.m. on Fox.
Pregame, Halftime and Postgame – Curt Menefee (host). Eric Wynalda and Brad Friedel (analysts)
Game Announcers – Martin Tyler (play-by-play). Alan Smith and Christopher Sullivan (analysts)
UEFA Champions League Pregame live from Wembley Stadium, London, England – Fox Soccer Channel, 1 p.m.
UEFA Champions League Pregame live from Wembley Stadium, London, England – Fox, 2 p.m.
UEFA Champions League Final, Barcelona vs. Manchester United – Fox, 2:45 p.m.
UEFA Champions League Final Replay – Fox Soccer Channel, 8 p.m.
There you have it. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.
Starting tonight, Fox Soccer Channel kicks off Champions Week with matches from the two finalists, Barcelona and Manchester United. Here’s the press release.
Relive the Road to the Final Through Key Matches and Highlights of the 2010-11 Champions League Campaign
Los Angeles (May 20, 2011) – FOX Soccer builds excitement for the May 28 UEFA Champions League Final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United to a crescendo with “Champions Week,” a week-long programming celebration that kicks-off Monday, May 23 and concludes Sunday, May 29.
Highlighting Champions Week are several rebroadcasts of 2010-11 UEFA Champions League matches involving either Barcelona or Manchester United from the group stage through the semifinals. Featured matches include Barcelona’s “El Clasico” semifinal legs with Real Madrid on Monday, May 23 (first leg) and Wednesday, May 25 (second leg) at 11 p.m. ET and Manchester United’s crucial go-ahead quarterfinal match vs. Chelsea on Friday, May 27 at 5 p.m. ET.
Champions Week continues when FOX Soccer, America’s premier soccer-only network, offers a special one-hour Champions League Final preview show from London’s Wembley Stadium on Friday, May 27 at 8 p.m. ET. FOX NFL SUNDAY co-host and international soccer fan Curt Menefee anchors the coverage, joined by FOX Soccer analysts Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Christopher Sullivan. Aston Villa goalkeeper and former U.S. international Brad Friedel joins the FOX Sports panel in London as a guest analyst.
On May 28, Champions League Final game day, Menefee and company bring viewers pregame, halftime and postgame analysis live and in HD from Wembley, beginning with a 1-hour pregame on FOX Soccer at 1:00 p.m ET that precedes FOX Sports’ over-the-air coverage from 2:00 p.m. on. FOX Sports, for the second consecutive year, is the exclusive broadcast home for the UEFA Champions League Final, while FOX Deportes carries the match in the U.S. in Spanish.
For those who missed or want to relive what is surely going to be one of the most memorable Champions League Final games ever, FOX Soccer’s Champions Week culminates on Sunday, May 29 with a match rebroadcast also available on FOX Soccer Plus and in Spanish on FOX Deportes. For a complete list of “Champions Week” programming, visit www.foxsoccer.com/tvschedule.
Champions Week Highlights on FOX Soccer:
Monday, May 23, 11:00 p.m. ET FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
Wednesday, May 24, 5:00 p.m. ET FC Barcelona vs. Arsenal FC
Friday, May 27, 3:00 p.m. ET Manchester United vs. Chelsea FC
Friday, May 27, 8:00 p.m. ET UEFA Champions League Final Preview Show
There you have it.
On Saturday, May 28, Fox Sports will air the final of the UEFA Champions League for the 2nd consecutive year. This year, the final will be held in London at the great venue, Wembley Stadium. At that location, Manchester United from the English Premier League will take on Barcelona of La Liga in Spain. And with two of the world’s most popular soccer teams squaring off, fans will be able to see two of the world’s best teams on one stage.
Fox Soccer Channel will air a one hour preview on Friday, May 27. Then a one hour pregame show at 1 p.m. Eastern time the following day. Then Fox starts its coverage at 2:30 p.m. East. Curt Menefee will host and Eric Wynalda will also be on hand with a whole slew of analysts at Wembley. Familiar soccer voice Martin Tyler and Alan Smith will call the action. We have full details below.
FOX Sports, FOX Deportes & FOX Soccer Blanket World-Class 2011 UEFA Champions League Final, Live on Saturday, May 28
New York & Los Angeles – FC Barcelona, who many argue is the best soccer club in the world, and Manchester United FC, perhaps the world’s most popular and valuable soccer franchise, meet on Saturday, May 28 at London’s legendary Wembley Stadium in the prestigious 2011 UEFA Champions League Final, and FOX Sports Media Group networks carry all the action in the U.S.
FOX Sports, for the second consecutive year, is the exclusive over-the-air broadcast home for the UEFA Champions League Final, while FOX Deportes, the nation’s leading Hispanic sports network, delivers its exclusive live coverage in Spanish. Pregame coverage begins at 2:00 PM ET on FOX Sports, with the FOX Deportes’ pregame show beginning at 1:00 PM ET. FOX Soccer, America’s premier soccer-only network, carries a special one-hour game-day pregame at 1:00 PM ET, as well as a one-hour match preview on Friday, May 27 at 8:00 PM ET. Match coverage on May 28 kicks-off at 2:45 PM ET on both FOX Sports and FOX Deportes.
Last year, the Champions League Final became one of the few international soccer championships to receive broadcast television exposure in the U.S. The match between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan attracted 1.6 million viewers on FOX, +14% compared to the 2009 match between Manchester United and Barcelona on ESPN (1.4 million), and 2.2 million when combined with FOX Deportes, +6% compared to 2009’s combined audience on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (2.07 million).
Curt Menefee, FOX NFL SUNDAY co-host and a fan of world-class soccer for years, anchors pregame, halftime and postgame coverage for FOX Sports and FOX Soccer’s coverage as well, live from Wembley. Menefee is joined by FOX Soccer analysts Eric Wynalda, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the second-leading goal scorer in U.S. soccer history; retired English national team and Newcastle United player Warren Barton; and retired U.S. national team player Christopher Sullivan. Aston Villa goalkeeper and former U.S. international player Brad Friedel joins the panel in London as guest analyst. Martin Tyler (play by play) and Alan Smith (analyst) call the action.
Alejandro Blanco and Daniel Brailovsky host pregame, halftime and post-game match analysis for FOX Deportes, while Raul Orvañanos, Luis Omar Tapia, Eduardo Biscayart, and Gustavo Mendoza call the match for FSMG’s Spanish-language network.
The match features, arguably, the two best soccer teams in the world and a pair of three-time European champions. Barcelona and Manchester United have combined to win 38 titles in their respective domestic leagues. The teams last met on this stage in the 2009 Champions League Final in Rome, when Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0.
Spanish La Liga leader FC Barcelona, which features seven players from the starting 11 that led Spain to 2010 World Cup glory, is making its seventh appearance in the UEFA Champions League Final. Barcelona advanced on the strength of its fast-paced offensive attack that recorded a Champions League-best 27 goals this term. Lionel Messi, who won FIFA’s World Player of the Year award the past two years, leads Champions League play with 11 goals this year.
Barclays Premier League leader Manchester United is in its third Champions League Final in the last four years, and its fifth overall. Guided by famed manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United sports the best defensive record in the Champions League, conceding only four goals in 12 matches. Leading the attack is forward Wayne Rooney, who scored vital goals in the Red Devils’ Champions League quarterfinal tie against Chelsea and semifinal tie against Schalke 04.
US viewership for both legs of the 2011 UEFA Champions League semifinals showed significant growth on FOX Sports Media Group networks compared to a year ago. Both legs combined on FOX Soccer, FX and FOX Deportes totaled almost 3 million viewers (2.95 million), +75% compared to a year ago (1.69 million) on FOX Soccer, FSN and Fox Sports En Español.
And because I can, here’s the UEFA Champions League theme song with I find very intriguing. Sing it with me now, “The Champ-EEE-Onnnnns!”
Nice. I hope the song is now stuck in your head just as it is in mine.
Let’s do some linkage on this Tuesday. News broke last evening about Gus Johnson leaving CBS and possibly going to Fox. We’ll be following this story today and anything else that breaks.
Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk examines the move by CBS to allow Gus to walk away.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today bids adieu to Gus.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today takes a look at the ratings from the weekend including those of the Kentucky Derby.
Bruce Horovitz of USA Today notes that energy drink Red Bull is expanding into the lifestyle magazine market.
Wayne Friedman of MediaPost examines the extensive rebranding of Comcast’s sports networks under the guidance of NBC Sports.
Also at MediaPost, Gavin O’Malley has a story on ESPN consolidating its print and digital media operations.
Jason Fry at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center tells aspiring journalists not to heed Rick Reilly’s advice and not be afraid to write for free.
Daniel Libit of the Columbia Journalism Review looks at the unique blogging arrangement between former Chicago Tribune NBA beat writer Sam Smith and the Chicago Bulls.
Todd Spangler from Broadcasting & Cable writes that ESPN has launched its Watch ESPN app for Android phones and tablets.
Anthony Crupi at AdWeek wonders if the Los Angeles Lakers’ exit from the NBA Playoffs will mean lower ratings for ESPN/ABC and TNT.
To Yahoo’s Puck Daddy and Greg Wyshynski who writes about a controversy brewing after an NHL player agent anti-gay marriage tweets on his business account following Sean Avery’s vocal support of the issue.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser notes that the Kentucky Derby’s overnight ratings were down slightly from last year.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has an extensive look at the horse that sired Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group writes about the new man who will head Turner Sports’ digital golf group.
To TV NewsCheck to look at a new urban TV network that hopes to serve the African American community with news, sports and other programming.
Richard Sandomir at the New York Times reveals that the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was an FBI informant on more than one occasion.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has your first look at the NBA Western Conference Finals schedule.
Dan Gross at the Philadelphia Daily News notes that the Comcast SportsNet regional networks will be rebranded under NBC Sports soon.
The Charlotte Observer says ESPN’s E:60 will profile a family who recently moved to the area to be closer to a minor league hockey team and better medical care.
Garry Smits with the Florida Times-Union recaps last night’s World Golf Hall of Fame ceremonies which posthumously inducted the late CBS producer Frank Chirkinian.
Tom Jones from the St. Petersburg Times notes that a popular local sports radio host could be leaving the #1 station in the market.
W. Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Times writes about a new reality show on Fox Sports Southwest that will focus on Texas-San Antonio’s effort to launch a new college football program.
Rob Hernandez of the Capital (WI) Times talks with a former local sports anchor will appear on Oprah to show off a huge transformation.
Chris Vetter of the Eau Claire (WI) Leader-Telegram wonders why there’s hardly any interest in the NBA in the local area.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business says there should be no doubt about the legacy of Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
In the Daily Dunklin (MO) Democrat, ESPN video editor Dustin Sullivan gives some greetings to his hometown.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News gives TNT’s Charles Barkley the final say on the Lakers’ ignominious exit from the NBA Playoffs.
James Day in the Salem (OR) Statesman-Journal says Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott followed through on his promise to get a lucrative TV deal for the league.
At Awful Announcing, Ben Koo suggests that Gus Johnson may have had to make the move away from CBS now out of necessity.
Matt Sarzyniak of Matt’s College Sports and Matt’s College Sports Media Blog looks one more time at the Pac-12 media deals and a look ahead to this season.
Kat Hasenauer of SportsGirlKat says hockey agent firm Uptown Sports taking an anti-gay marriage stance is bad for business.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog reviews the UEFA Champions League coverage in Canada.
Sports Media Watch says TNT saw good numbers for Monday night’s NBA Playoff doubleheader.
SMW notes ESPN/ABC scored well for the weekend NBA games.
And my good Twitter friend, Stephanie Gordon at Not Your Typical Girl says sports organizations forget that women are sports fans too.
We will end it there.
Over the next two weeks, Fox Sports platforms will have exclusive coverage of the UEFA Champions League semifinals. Fox Soccer Channel will air one semifinal leg while FX joins in to cover the other. The two channels will alternate matchups. Coverage begins April 26 and continues the following week. It marks the first time that FX will air the Champions League. And Fox brings in Curt Menefee to host the semifinals for the UEFA Champions League pregame show. You may remember he hosted the Champions League Final when it aired on Fox last year.
This marks FX’s return to sports since it aired MLB and NASCAR in the early to mid-aughts.
EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIFINALS ON FX and FOX SOCCER APRIL 26-27; MAY 4-5 – Three of the world’s most prestigious clubs and a tournament Cinderella clash in the Champions League semifinals, televised exclusively on FX and FOX Soccer Channel. For the first time ever FX, Fox Network Group’s popular basic cable network delivered to 99 million US homes, carries one game from each semifinal with the other two games appearing on FOX Soccer.
Date Teams Channel First Leg: Tuesday, April 26 FC Schalke 04 vs. Manchester United Live at 2:30 ET on FOX Soccer First Leg: Wednesday, April 27 Real Madrid vs.FC Barcelona Live at 2:30 ET on FX Second Leg: Tuesday, May 3 Barcelona vs.Real Madrid Live at 2:30 ET on FOX Soccer Second Leg: Wednesday, May 4 Manchester United vs. FC Schalke 04 Live at 2:30 ET on FX
FOX NFL SUNDAY host Curt Menefee and FOX Soccer’s Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Christopher Sullivan preview and analyze Champions League semifinal action on UEFA Champions League Pregame, live at 2:00 PM ET each matchday from FOX Soccer’s brand-new, state-of-the-art studio set at the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles. FOX Sports, for the second straight year, broadcasts the UEFA Champions League Final, Saturday, May 28 with pre-match coverage beginning at 2:00 PM ET, live from London.
And one other note from Fox Soccer Channel, it will air two MLS games this weekend:
TWICE THE ACTION ON FOX SOCCER THIS WEEKEND – FOX Soccer doubles its Major League Soccer coverage this weekend with games on Friday and Saturday nights. Friday’s game (9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT) features the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids hosting the Seattle Sounders. The Rapids’ captain, former U.S. International Pablo Mastroeni, is expected to return from a calf injury that sidelined him for the last two games. Seattle, unbeaten in its last four games, is gaining confidence with Fredy Montero up top and Steve Zakuani in the midfield marshaling the attack. J.P. Dellacamera has the play-by-play, with former MLS standout Kyle Martino handling analysis and Brian Dunseth contributing sideline reports. On Saturday, April 23 (10:30 PM ET/7:30 PM PT) the action moves to the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA where the Galaxy makes its 2011 MLS debut on FOX Soccer by welcoming the expansion Portland Timbers. Galaxy, currently in a first-place tie with Real Salt Lake atop the Western Conference, get midfielders David Beckham and Juninho, back from suspension and U.S. captain Landon Donovan back from injury. Mark Rogondino provides the play-by-play, with Kyle Martino bringing the analysis and Allen Hopkins handling sideline reports. Former U.S. National Team and MLS players Eric Wynalda and Christopher Sullivan team up for the pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage. For the latest MLS news, information and FOX Soccer’s 2011 telecast schedule, visit: http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/mls.
That’s all for your soccer notes today.
UPDATE, 10:10 a.m.: Fox Soccer has sent some more information on its UEFA Champions League coverage. Fox is branding the coverage on FX as “Fox Soccer on FX” continuing the traditions of “ESPN on ABC” and “Golf Channel on NBC”. And Fox will unveil a new set for the studio coverage. Take a look.
“FOX Soccer on FX”and FOX Soccer Broadcasts, Hosted by Curt Menefee, Debut New Champions League Studio Set at FOX Network Center
Los Angeles (April 21, 2011)–As UEFA Champions League, the preeminent competition in world club soccer, nears its thrilling climax, FOX Soccer ramps up its coverage with exclusive live high-definition telecasts of the semifinals beginning next week. For the first time ever FX, Fox Network Group’s popular basic cable network delivered to 99 million US homes, brings viewers “FOX Soccer on FX,”for one game in each semifinal with the other two games appearing on FOX Soccer.
FOX NFL SUNDAY host Curt Menefee and FOX Soccer’s Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Christopher Sullivan preview and analyze Champions League semifinal action on UEFA Champions League Pregame, presented by Geico, live at 2 p.m. ET each matchday from FOX Soccer’s brand-new, state-of-the-art studio set at the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles.
There you have it.
The second leg quarterfinal matches in the UEFA Champions League will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday. Over the next two days, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Sports Net will have the games including the return match between English Premier League blood rivals Manchester United and Chelsea. Last week, Manchester United defeated Chelsea, 1-0. Now the two rivals meet again as Chelsea hopes to remain alive for the semifinal round.
Here’s the schedule for the next two days.
DECISIVE 2011 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTERFINAL MATCHES TO AIR LIVE ON FOX SOCCER, FOX SOCCER PLUS AND FSN APRIL 12-13
Manchester United-Chelsea Second Leg Quarterfinal in High Definition
Los Angeles, CA (April 8, 2011) –FOX Soccer Channel, FOX Sports Net (FSN) and FOX Soccer Plus will air live, high-definition coverage of the 2010-11 UEFA Champions League quarterfinals’ dramatic second-leg matches with four exclusive, English-language telecasts on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 12-13, at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The Champions League quarterfinals marquee is headlined by the April 12 matchup between Manchester United and Chelsea, England’s best 21st century rivalry. Real Madrid travels to Tottenham on April 13 after winning its home leg, 4-0. Barcelona visits Shakhtar Donetsk on April 12,following a 5-1 victory. Reigning European and Serie A champion Inter Milan faces a massive uphill struggle to avoid elimination on April 13 when it visits Schalke 04 after losing 5-2 in the San Siro.
English Premier League leader Manchester United, which defeated Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final on penalty kicks, used a Wayne Rooney goal to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 2002. The Red Devils will take its 1 –nil lead home to Old Trafford, where they haven’t lost since April 3, 2010 –when Chelsea beat United, 2-1.
Nine-time European champ Real Madrid, guided by Jose Mourinho, is 90 minutes from its first Champions League semifinal since 2003. First-time quarterfinalist Tottenham facing a four goal deficit has only lost twice at home this season, and not since Sept. 21.
La Liga leader and Champions League favorite Barcelona lived up to that billing after Andres Iniesta scored 95 seconds in to the match against tournament Cinderella Shakhtar Donetsk, making its first foray into the Champions League quarterfinals.
Schalke 04 is primed to pull off the shock of the quarterfinals against Inter Milan and reach its first Champions League semifinal. Schalke rebounded from Dejan Stankovic’s astonishing goal from midfield 25 seconds into the first leg with a four goal barrage including Raul’s 70th Champions League goal.
WHAT: Live, exclusive, English-language coverage of the second leg of the UEFA
Champions League quarterfinals in high definition on April 12-13.
Quarterfinals coverage resumes with UEFA Champions League Pregame
on FOX Soccer Channel, presented by Geico live at 2 p.m. ET on April
12. Each pregame show features a breakdown of the day’s upcoming action
from host Eric Wynalda and analysts Warren Barton and Christopher
Sullivan. The 30-minute pregame show is simulcast on FSN on Tuesday
matchday and on FOX Soccer Plus on Wednesday.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 12 –2:30 p.m. ET
Manchester United FC (ENG) vs. Chelsea FC (ENG) Live on FSC
FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) vs. FC Barcelona (ESP) Live on FSN
Wednesday, April 13 –2:30 p.m. ET
Tottenham Hotspur (ENG) vs. Real Madrid CF (ESP) Live on FSC
FC Schalke 04 (GER) vs. FC Internazionale Milano (ITA) Live on FSP
**For a complete telecast schedule, visit championsonfox.com
WHERE: FOX Family of Networks, including FOX Soccer Channel, FOX Sports Net and FOX Soccer Plus
And that’s all.
It’s been a while since we’ve had Champions League action and it returns in a big way on Tuesday. The Round of 16 starts and Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Sports Net will carry the games. Reverse matches will be held the following month. We have the schedule of games for you. Take a look.
Los Angeles, CA (February 10, 2010) – FOX Soccer Channel, FOX Sports Net (FSN) and FOX Soccer Plus feature blanket coverage of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg, with eight live and exclusive English-language match telecasts in high-definition from February 15 through 23.
Knockout stage coverage from the world’s most prestigious club soccer competition resumes with UEFA Champions League Pregame on FOX Soccer Channel, live at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 15. Featuring a breakdown of the day’s up-coming action from host Eric Wynalda and expert analysts Warren Barton and Christopher Sullivan, the 30-minute pregame show will be simulcast on FSN each Tuesday matchday and on FOX Soccer Plus each Wednesday matchday for the remainder of the tournament.
Round of 16 first leg match action heats up FOX Soccer Channel’s coverage with Tottenham, having enjoyed a thrilling Champions League run so far, travelling to San Siro to take on Seria A’s league-leading AC Milan. Also on February 15, FSN offers fans a showdown between Valencia and Schalke from Estadio Mestala, with both clubs relishing a trip to the quarter-finals.
Coverage continues Wednesday, February 16 on FOX Soccer Channel with arguably the most highly anticipated match of the round, as Arsenal pay the price for finishing second in their qualifying group with a visit from 2009 Champions FC Barcelona in a re-match of their 2010 quarter-final meeting which the Catalan club won 6-3 on aggregate to eliminate the Gunners. Meanwhile, FOX Soccer Plus brings viewers Claudio Rainieri’s Roma hosting surprise group winners Shakhtar Donetsk.
Live UEFA Champions League coverage picks up on Tuesday, February 22 as FSN features superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldoand Real Madrid seeking revenge as they travel to France to face Lyon, who eliminated the Galacticos in last year’s competition. The same day, FOX Soccer Channel offers fans Chelsea and newly acquired striker Fernando Torres travelling to Denmark to take on Danish Superliga leaders Copenhagen.
The Round of 16 action concludes Wednesday, February 23 with two matches, including FOX Soccer Channel’s coverage of Marseille vs. Manchester United from Stade Vélodrome, and FOX Soccer Plus’s telecast of Inter Milan hosting Bayern Munich, a replay of last year’s UEFA Champions League Final.
For a complete telecast schedule visit championsonfox.com
WHAT: Live and exclusive English-language coverage of UEFA Champions
League Round of 16 first leg matches in high-definition
WHEN: Tuesday, February 15 – 2:30 p.m. ET
AC Milan (ITA) vs. Tottenham Hotspur FC (ENG)
Live on FOX Soccer Channel
Valencia CF (ESP) vs. FC Shalke 04 (GER)
Live on FSN
(Coverage begins with UEFA Champions League Pregame at 2 p.m. ET)
Wednesday, February 16 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Arsenal FC (ENG) vs. FC Barcelona (ESP)
Live on FOX Soccer Channel
AS Roma (ITA) vs. FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Live on FOX Soccer Plus
(Coverage begins with UEFA Champions League Pregame at 2 p.m. ET)
Tuesday, February 22 – 2:30 p.m. ET
FC København (DEN) vs. Chelsea FC (ENG)
Live on FOX Soccer Channel
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) vs. Real Madrid (ESP)
Live on FSN
(Coverage begins with UEFA Champions League Pregame at 2 p.m. ET)
Wednesday, February 23 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Olympique de Marseille (FRA) vs. Manchester United FC (ENG)
Live on FOX Soccer Channel
FC Internazionale Milano (ITA) vs. FC Bayern München (GER)
Live on FOX Soccer Plus
(Coverage begins with UEFA Champions League Pregame at 2 p.m. ET)
**For a complete telecast schedule, visit championsonfox.com
WHERE: FOX Family of Networks, including FOX Soccer Channel, FOX Sports Net and FOX Soccer Plus
There you have it.
This just in from the fine people at Fox Sports, the empire known as the Fox Sports Media Group has renewed its rights agreement with UEFA for the Champions League. This is a European soccer competition which involves the major soccer leagues throughout the continent. It makes for some really fun action pitting teams from the English Premier League against La Liga or Bundesliga. It all culminates in the Final during the Spring.
The agreement allows for more matches on Fox Sports Net. The semifinals will be seen on FX with the finals on Fox Sports. It also gives Fox streaming and mobile rights. Starting in 2012-13, you’ll be able to watch matches on your mobile phone so this is much more than the current deal which expires right after the 2011-12 season. We have your press release.
Europe’s Storied Club Soccer Competition Continues on Multiple PlatformsFinals on FOX Sports, Semifinal Matches Now Include FX andLive Telecasts on FSN Nearly DoubleLos Angeles (December 14, 2010) – FOX Sports Media Group today announced that it has renewed its exclusive media rights in the United States and Caribbean to the UEFA Champions League, the world’s most prestigious annual club soccer competition, for three additional seasons from 2012/13 through 2014/15.The agreement with UEFA – the governing body of soccer in Europe – ensures comprehensive coverage of the tournament on multiple FSMG properties including FOX Sports, FOX Soccer Channel, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports Net (FSN) and FX, as well as online video streaming service FOXsoccer.tv throughout the first half of this decade. FOX is currently in the second of a three-season partnership with UEFA through 2011/12, delivering for the first time ever all 146 UEFA Champions League matches from the Play-off Round onward to U.S. viewers.“The foundation of FOX Sports’ success has always been to showcase the best sports events possible,” said David Hill, FOX Sports Media Group Chairman and CEO. “Our enhanced commitment to the UEFA Champions League for three additional seasons means that the FOX Sports Media Group remain America’s home for the absolute best in international club soccer.”“In 2009, FOX made an unprecedented commitment to bring the UEFA Champions League to the widest possible U.S. audience, and with this renewal agreement we have raised the amount of coverage to even greater heights,” said David Nathanson, General Manager of Fox Soccer. “We are elated to continue our partnership with UEFA and serve as the home of their flagship property through at least 2015.”Under the renewal, FOX Sports has committed to broadcasting the UEFA Champions League Final live to over 115 million households nationwide. Last season, FOX staged the first-ever network television broadcast of a European club soccer match when it showcased the UEFA Champions League Final, live and in high-definition, from Madrid.In addition, two of the four semifinal matches will air on FX, FOX’s flagship general entertainment cable network available in over 98 million homes nationwide.FSN reaches nearly 85 million homes nationwide through its owned and affiliated regional sports networks and is nearly doubling its UEFA Champions League coverage. FSN will televise 28 live contests on Tuesday and Wednesday matchdays. Currently, FSN only covers Tuesday broadcast windows.As the primary broadcast outlet for the UEFA Champions League in the U.S., FOX Soccer Channel continues to deliver 110 live and delayed UEFA Champions League matches per season to its nearly 40 million subscribers, who also enjoy extensive coverage from England’s Barclays Premier League and Italy’s Serie A among other elite competitions.FOX Soccer Plus carries 94 live and delayed match telecasts annually, and like FOX Soccer Channel, each UEFA Champions League matchday features 8-10 hour blocks of uninterrupted coverage.Meanwhile, FOX Deportes continues to televise 110 live and delayed match telecasts per season. An additional 250 hours of UEFA Champions League encore coverage per season is planned by the nation’s leader in Spanish-language sports media.
The 2012/13-2014/15 media rights extend to the Internet via premium broadband portal FOXsoccer.tv, as well mobile devices through Fox Soccer’s iPhone app. FOXsoccer.com and FOXdeportes.com continue to offer exclusive video highlights of all matches plus live, interactive Match Trax featuring in-game stats, commentary and more. As a result, fans across the U.S. will have an extensive array of coverage choices for this unparalleled club soccer competition.“Ever since the first deal for the current 2009-2012 rights cycle, FOX Sports have impressed us with their commitment to prioritise the UEFA Champions League in their scheduling,” said Guy Laurent Epstein, Head of Media Rights for UEFA. “Showing the Final on FOX’s over-the-air affiliates marks a huge turning point in the American psyche towards football, continuing in this vein for the 2012-15 rights cycle reflects FOX’s ongoing dedication to the best of European football.”
So ESPN which had had the rights through the 2008-09 season, continues to be shut out of the Champions league through mid-decade.
And just because I can, I give you the catchy theme tune of the UEFA Champions League. Sing it with me now, “The Champ-ee-ons!!!!”
Ok, back to work.