Time to give you the NFL Viewing Picks. This season, I’ll give you the network announcing assignments as well as the coverage maps, DirecTV channel assignments, Sirius Satellite Radio channel assignments and anything else I feel is worthy. Here we go.
Fox NFL Sunday – noon
CBS Coverage Map
New York Jets at Miami – Jim Nantz/Phil Simms
Kansas City at New England – Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf
Cincinnati at Baltimore – Kevin Harlan/Rich Gannon
Houston at Pittsburgh – Screamin’ Gus Johnson/Randy Cross
Jacksonville at Tennessee – Ian Eagle/Solomon Wilcots
Fox Coverage Map
St. Louis at Philadelphia – Kenny Albert/Moose Johnston/Tony Siragusa
Tampa Bay at New Orleans – Thom Brennaman/Brian Billick
Seattle at Buffalo – Ron Pitts/Tony Boselli/Charissa Thompson!!!
Detroit at Atlanta – Matt Vasgergian/Jayice Pearson/Nishelle Turner
Fox Coverage Map
Dallas at Cleveland – Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver
Arizona at San Francisco – Sam Rosen/Tim Ryan/Chris Myers
Carolina at San Diego – Dick Stockton/Brian Baldinger/Laura Okmin
Football Night in America – NBC
Chicago at Indianapolis – NBC, Al Michaels/John Madden/Andrea Kremer
NFL Gameday Final – NFL Network
Got the latest press release from Fox Sports officially announcing the announcing teams for the NFL on Fox.
Nice to see Charissa Thompson graduating from the Big Ten Network going to do sideline work on the NFL. By the way, not to pat myself on the back, but I was one of the first blogs to champion Charissa’s work.
Anyway, here’s the release:
FOX SPORTS ANNOUNCES 2008 NFL ON
TroyAikman and Pam Oliver Return as Top Crew for 7th Season
Super Bowl Champion Michael Strahan joins Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson for the 15th Season of FOX NFL SUNDAY,
’s Most-Watched Pregame Show America
Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick and New Sideline Reporters Laura Okmin, Nischelle Turner and Charissa Thompson Join the NFL on FOX Baltimore
— FOX Sports officially announced today its broadcast teams for the upcoming NFL season. Leading the group again are six-time Emmy-Award winning play-by-play announcer Joe Buck, Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman and reporter Pam Oliver, who return as the NFL on New York FOX’s lead broadcast team for the seventh straight season. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports president and executive producer Ed Goren. This season marks Buck’s 15th with FOX Sports and Aikman’s eighth while sideline reporter Pam Oliver returns for her 14th NFL on FOX season. The group calls their first game from on Sept. 7 as the Browns play host to the defending NFC East Champion Dallas Cowboys. For the second consecutive year, former Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston teams with play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert and sideline analyst Tony Siragusa to comprise the NFL on FOX’s solid No. 2 broadcast team. They are in Philadelphia Week 1 as Steven Jackson and the St. Louis Rams take on Donovan McNabb and the Eagles. Cleveland
Each week, the NFL on FOX broadcast day begins with the one-hour FOX NFL SUNDAY (12:00 PM ET),
’s most-watched NFL pregame show. FOX NFL SUNDAY, recipient of four Outstanding Studio Show Emmy Awards, adds reigning Super Bowl champ and future Hall-of-Famer Michael Strahan as a studio analyst. Strahan, the NFL’s all-time single-season sack leader makes his debut on Sunday, Sept. 7 joining co-hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee, analysts Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson, weathercaster Jillian Reynolds, and comic prognosticator Frank Caliendo. Strahan’s addition raises the number of Super Bowl rings on set each week to nine. Former NCAA & Super Bowl winning head coach Barry Switzer & Johnson team together each week for FOX NFL SUNDAY’s “Grumpy Old Coaches” segment. America
FOX Sports also announced the hiring of former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick as a game analyst. Billick, who in only his second season at the helm led the Ravens to victory in Super Bowl XXXV, coincidentally over Strahan’s Giants. He teams in a two-man booth with Thom Brennaman on the eight Sundays the NFL on FOX carries at least seven games, making his debut in Week 1 calling the
Tampa Bayat matchup. Billick also joins Dick Stockton and Brian Baldinger on select Sundays to form a three-man booth. New Orleans
In addition, FOX Sports adds three fresh faces to provide reports from the field as Laura Okmin, Nischelle Turner and Charissa Thompson join the NFL on FOX as sideline reporters. Okmin, who will join Dick Stockton and Brian Baldinger, has been a BCS sideline reporter for the past two seasons, the host of FSN’s “Totally Football” and a feature reporter for FSN’s “Pro Football Preview” the past two years. Nischelle Turner, formerly of KTTV, a FOX affiliate in
will join Matt Vasgersian and JC Pearson while “Best Damn Sports Show Period” co-host and sideline reporter for the BIG TEN NETWORK’s lead broadcast team Charissa Thompson will join Ron Pitts and Tony Boselli. Los Angeles
“I’m really looking forward to seeing our new additions on camera,” said Goren. “Strahan’s chemistry with Terry, Howie, Jimmy and Curt throughout the summer has been tremendous and I’m excited to see it play out on set. With Billick we’ve added an analyst who I believe has as much potential as any I’ve seen in my career while the addition of Okmin, Turner and Thompson provide each of our game crews sideline access. In all, these additions will help continue FOX Sports’ reign as the No.1 NFL Network.”
The 2008 NFL on FOX campaign kicks off Sunday, Sept. 7 (12:00 PM ET) with doubleheader coverage of seven games, highlighted by the Cleveland Browns hosting Terrell Owens and the defending NFC East Champion Dallas Cowboys. Week 1 action on FOX also features an NFC South rivalry when the Buccaneers head to
to battle the Saints as well as the NFL’s leading rusher LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers playing host to the Carolina Panthers. New Orleans
Following are the NFL on FOX announcer pairings for 2008:
TroyAikman, Pam Oliver
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger, Laura Okmin
Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick
Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan,
Matt Vasgersian, JC Pearson, Nischelle Turner
Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli, Charissa Thompson
Stockton, Pitts and Albert have the distinction of being the only members of the group to work NFL on
FOXgames full-time since FOXSports’ inception in 1994. Oliver is in her 14th season, followed by Rosen (13), Baldinger and Buck (11), Aikman and (8), Ryan (7), Glazer and Siragusa (5), Myers and Pearson (4), Vasgersian (3), Boselli (2), Billick, Brennaman, Okmin, Turner and Thompson (1). Johnston
Nice to see Fox increase its sideline reporters for this season. And Fox which at one time paled in comparison to CBS’ lineup has a stronger lineup for the 2008 season.
Let’s give you the links for this back to work Monday.
By the way, I’ve added two new sites to my blogroll. One is called “Lina in Lancaster” and the other is “The Traveling Food Critic“. Both are run by my cousin so I ask that you click on the links, visit both sites and tell her you like her blogs. Neither have anything to do with sports, but because she’s family, I ask that you give her a few clicks to run up her hit count. I thank you and my cousin thanks you. And tell her you came over from Fang’s Bites
Our first media-related link is from David Scott from Boston Sports Media Watch. He has the winners and losers from the whole John Tomase/Spygate affair.
Michael McCarthy of USA Today says he’s sick of Spygate, but he wouldn’t mind seeing Patriots coach Bill Belichick testify in front of Congress. And Mike mentions that Fang’s Bites fave Charissa Thompson of FSN gets more face time on Best Damn Sports Show Period, plus she’s going to be a sideline reporter for the NFL on Fox. More of Charissa is good for the public. And let me say that I was one of the first blogs to jump on the Charissa bandwagon.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says fans who went to the rained Mets-Yankees game on Friday got soaked, literally and figuratively.
Neil Best of Newsday writes that after working for TSN at the World Hockey Championships, Pierre McGuire will return to NBC for the Stanley Cup Finals.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union wonders why networks don’t disclose that they’re showing taped coverage of golf. And Pete says umpires blew a home run call in last night’s Mets-Yankees game and so did ESPN’s Joe Morgan.
From WCBS radio, apparently Sports Director Jared Max noticed that ESPN showed stock footage of the Manhattan skyline during last night’s Mets-Yankees game.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner says NBC rebounded in the Preakness after dropping the ball in the Kentucky Derby. And Jim ‘ in his Watch This! blog.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times also says NBC did well on Saturday in his weekly Shooting From the Lip post in his blog.
From the Eye on Sports Media blog, Christopher Byrne says a horse breeder he talked to won’t watch competitive horse racing.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders if the owners of Big Brown didn’t leave some money on the table for the horse’s breeding rights.
Friend of Fang’s Bites, Maury Brown, writes in the Biz of Hockey blog that the International Ice Hockey Federation has voted the 1980 Miracle on Ice as the top hockey story in the last 100 years. That’s really a no brainer. In his Biz of Baseball blog, Maury has the comments made by TBS’ Skip Carey and Ron Darling in Sunday’s Brewers-Red Sox game.
Dusty Saunders of the Rocky Mountain News says a local sports radio station is ending a simulcast that will leave listeners outside of Denver without access.
Jack Bogacyzk from the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail says the West Virginia-Pittsburgh game will get some national exposure on ABC this Thanksgiving weekend.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says CBS College Sports will be on Cablevision systems come this July.
Crain’s Business Detroit says FSN garnered slightly higher ratings for the Red Wings from last year.
Lots of good stuff on this Monday. I’ll be back later with an update.
Every year, sports media columnist Rudy Martzke of USA Today would hand out his silly “Rudys” to announcers and sports show he felt were the most deserving. I will not call my awards the “Fangies” or something stupid like that. I’m just going to say “Best”, “Worst” or create a category and that’s it. I forgot to do them for MLB after this past season, but I’ll have to remember to do them after next season. I’ll also do this for NFL, NHL and College Basketball, the other sports I follow closely. NBA? I don’t care, but you can do one on your own.
Let’s get started.
The College Gameday Best Pregame Show Award goes to: College Gameday – ESPN. Who else? This has set the standard for pregame shows, both college and pro. I’m a critic of ESPN, but I’m also willing to give it praise when the network does something right and College Gameday is done right. Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit are a well oiled machine. I like the addition of Desmond Howard in small doses and of course, the atmosphere from the college campuses is a bonus. Fox NFL Sunday tried to copy the formula last season when it took its show on the road, but it was a dismal failure. College Gameday basically wins this until it goes off the air. Honorable mention: College Football Today – CBS. Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman do a bang-up job on their show and aren’t afraid to be critical of the BCS.
The Keith Jackson Award for Best Play-by-Play Announcer goes to: Sean McDonough -ESPN. Sean has basically been the announcer-in-exile ever since the Boston Red Sox took him off play-by-play for its broadcasts and for some strange reason, ESPN put him on Friday night games. He deserves to be doing the main games for either ESPN or ABC. I know Sean can’t go back to CBS because President of Sports and News, Sean McManus unceremoniously dumped him after the network hired Dick Enberg in 2000, but really, the guy should be on the main announcing team. Honorable mentions: Ron Franklin – ESPN and Verne Lundquist – CBS.
The Frank Broyles Award for Best Color Analyst: Named after Frank Broyles who did a great job for ABC in the 1980′s, we give this to Gary Danielson – CBS. He’s been one of the best college football analysts ever since ESPN teamed him with Brad Nessler in the 1990′s. Then he was pitted with Brent Musberger, but in 2006, he went to CBS to be teamed with Verne Lundquist on SEC games and this team has clicked very well. Gary has done very well on the SEC and has had the opportunity to call some big games this year including LSU-Arkansas and Georgia-Florida. In both instances, he was on top of trends and did a fantastic job. If CBS ever gets the BCS or the NCAA football tournament if it’s ever created, Danielson would be excellent on the lead team. Honorable mentions: Todd Blackledge – ESPN, Pat Haden – NBC and Charles Davis – Big Ten Network.
Best Overall Announcing Team goes to: Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis – Big Ten Network. They worked together for the first time last season on two NFL games, then the Fiesta Bowl featuring the Boise State upset of Oklahoma, then the BCS Championship Game so their chemistry wasn’t down. But they had a chance to really work together this season and have become a very good team. This season, they didn’t have to be saddled with a third wheel in Barry Alvarez, so they’ll work in an easier and more enjoyable two man booth. They did a fantastic job all season long. Now if the Big Ten Network can sign some more agreements for next season, Thom and Charles will get some more exposure. Honorable mention: Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson – CBS.
The Jim Lampley Award for Best Studio Host goes to: Rece Davis – ESPN. He’s in his element hosting the studio show and handing off to Mark May and Lou Holtz. ESPN does miss Trev Alberts, but Lou isn’t bad. But I digress. Rece also hosts College Football Live for ESPN. He does a tremendous job, especially starting in the morning and being in the Bristol campus sometimes staying until 2 a.m. on College Gameday Final. If Fowler ever leaves College Gameday, Rece could step in quite seamlessly. And for those of you who don’t know, yes, Lamps hosted the College Football studio for ABC in the 1980′s and probably is the best ever. Honorable mentions: Tim Brando – CBS & John Saunders – ESPN/ABC.
Best Studio Analyst: We don’t have anyone to name this after, but we give this award to Mark May of ESPN, by default. Spencer Tillman of CBS isn’t bad and Lou Holtz is ok, but I’ll give this to Mark May.
The Jack Arute Award for Best Sideline Reporter goes to: not Jack this year because he was doing NASCAR duties, but Bonnie Bernstein. Assigned to Brad Nessler, Bob Griese and Paul McGuire, Bonnie has sometimes had to fight for airtime, but whenever she’s on, she has solid information and can banter especially with Paul. Happy Hanukkah, Bonnie. Honorable mentions: Erin Andrews – ESPN & Charissa Thompson – Big Ten Network.
Most Valuable Network Award goes to: CBS for its SEC package. The games got consistent ratings every weekend often beating ABC’s 3:30 p.m. regional coverage. The games were certainly more compelling than the others in the same timeslot. Plus, CBS’ production of the games was top-notch. It’s no wonder why the SEC plans to renew its contract with CBS after next season.
Best Overall Coverage Award goes to: Yes, ESPN. The Worldwide Leader has this sport covered from beginning to end starting with College Gameday in the mornings all the way until College Gameday Final late at night. CBS and NBC sign off when their games are done with hardly any time for a postgame show. ESPN goes from 10 a.m. ET Saturday until 2 a.m. Sunday and it works. And the addition of College Football Live during the week has only solidified its position. If you’re a college football fan, ESPN has it covered.
Best Debut of a Network goes to: The Big Ten Network for having the biggest upset in college football history, Appalachian State over Michigan in the Big House. Unfortunately, its dispute with the major cable providers, Comcast, Time Warner, Mediacom and Charter has prevented many across the Midwest from seeing it. But I give you the final moments of the game here.
And the interview of Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore leads me to the following award.
Best Ingénue goes to: Charissa Thompson – Big Ten Network. She did a great job on the sidelines for BTN. The lovely Charissa will be seen on Fox’s BCS coverage during the Sugar Bowl and the BCS Championship Game. She’s been given a bigger role on FSN so expect to see a lot of her in the coming months.
The Phil Stone Award for Worst Play-by-Play: Named after Phil Stone who did a few NFL regional games for NBC back in the 1980′s, Phil was horrible. He yelled and screamed, but never could quite get the feel for the games. He was just plain awful. Phil was a sports anchor for the San Diego NBC affiliate in the 1980′s. Some sports anchors are not suitable for play-by-play and Phil certainly wasn’t. So I give this award to, in a tie Pam Ward – ESPN and Brent Musberger – ABC. I’ve tried to give Pam the benefit of the doubt over the last two years, but I don’t think she’s good at calling a game. I have no problem with women doing play-by-play, but I don’t think Pam’s voice is good enough.
As for Brent, he’s slipped a lot over the years. He’s getting close to Phil Stone in yelling. Brent was very good at one time, but right now, he’s past his prime. Plus he has to travel to NASCAR locations right after games so his concentration has been off. Brent and Pammy share the award.
Worst Sideline Reporter goes to: Lisa Salters – ESPN/ABC. Not impressed by her work at all. Lisa is usually a solid journalist, but sideline reporter is not a role that suits her well.
Most Bizarre Moment goes to: ESPN’s Mike Patrick asking Todd Blackledge about Britney Spears right before Georgia beat Alabama in overtime. Todd was incredulous and asked, “Is she here?” I still shake my head.
Dishonorable mention: Last weekend’s Les Miles controversy when ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit announced on College Gameway announced Miles would leave LSU for Michigan. Then Miles had to call a press conference right before the SEC Championship Game to announce he was staying put at LSU. CBS’ Tracy Wolfson interviewed Miles about his plans and finally, Tim Brando throwing a shot at ESPN. Great stuff.
The Network Disappearing Act Award goes to: NBC for its Notre Dame games. Because Notre Dame had a 3-9 season, the ratings for Notre Dame home games fell into the toilet. Not even the win by Navy, the first in 43 years could save the ratings. But it wasn’t the fault of Pat Haden, one of the better college football analysts and he’s not afraid to be critical of Notre Dame.
Worst Studio Show Award goes to: ABC’s pre-game show. Surprising because it’s produced by ESPN and John Saunders is a very solid host. However, Craig James and Doug Flutie don’t mesh very well. There’s hardly any chemistry between the two. James was very good as the original co-analyst with Lee Corso on College Gameday, but he’s ill-suited in this studio. And it seems disconnected from the Worldwide Leader because the show is produced at ABC’s studios in New York instead of the ESPN headquarters. Plus, the show isn’t even in HD! What’s up with that?
Worst Debut by a Network Award goes to: Versus. It signed a contract with FSN to pick up ten Big 12 and Pac 10 games from TBS. However, like the Big Ten Network, it suffers from a lack of carriage. It had the big upset of Stanford over USC, but most of the country only saw the highlights and that’s too bad. And its coverage of the games was next to horrible. And Rod Thulin of Versus even got the game winning touchdown wrong. Listen as he calls the touchdown for USC.
And there you have it. Let me know what you think, if you agree, if you disagree. I certainly would like to hear from you.
Let’s give you some more links today.
More reason to hate ESPN. They plan a huge New Year’s Eve special complete with motorcycle jumps, truck flips, fiery explosions, musical acts and plenty of hype. This will run for three hours so ESPN can mark the New Year on both coasts. I can’t make this up.
Dave Del Grande of the Oakland Tribune writes that Bay Area TV stations are preparing their slate of legal analysts for Barry Bonds coverage next month.
Buffalo Business First reports that Western New York has a regional sports network to finally call its own since the demise of the Empire Sports Network.
Neil Best of Newsday posted in his blog that WFAN’s Craig Carton made an anti-Newark, NJ remark during the Boomer and Carton in the Morning Show today. This is the second anti-Newark remark in a month after ESPN’s Barry Melrose had to apologize for making one on ESPN.com.
Larry Dobrow writes in Advertising Age magazine that ESPN SportsCenter is no longer “Must See TV”. I agree.
Darren Rovell of CNBC writes that the stronger Canadian dollar is helping the Toronto Blue Jays’ bottom line.
Peter Schwartz of Forbes magazine looks at the Top 20 Most Valuable College Football Teams and included on that list is Notre Dame for its contract with NBC. You can look at the rankings through this slideshow.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says New York Jets fans are among the lowest of the low. It comes in the wake of the New York Times story I linked to last night in which the Jets fans conduct their own halftime show in Gate D of the Giants Stadium concourse.
Ted Hearn of Multichannel News reports that Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is appealing to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin not to get involved in the NFL Network vs. cable dispute. And Linda Haugsted of Multichannel News writes that the NFL Network has the support of two North Carolina legislators in attempts to get the channel on cable systems in the Tobacco State. Fortune magazine talks with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts about the NFL Network among other topics.
In the wake of the Writers strike and the news writers at CBS calling to strike, there’s actually some good news out of Hollywood. Dave McNary of Variety reports that the Directors Guild of America has come to an agreement with the networks for news, sports and other operations.
The NFL says there will be no change in the Sunday Night Football game for Week 13, December 2, but there will be one change for the Fox doubleheader game:
The final Week 13 NFL schedule was announced today with the originally scheduled
CBS Sports’ Charley Casserly explains why Dallas and Detroit get the traditional Thanksgiving Day games.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post notices the migration of reporters leaving the print world for TV.
Rick Bird of the Cincinnati Post says a local TV station will air a series of interviews with the late Red pitcher and announcer Joe Nuxhall starting next Monday.
Elliot Harris of the Chicago Sun-Times would like to nominate the Big Ten Network’s and FSN’s Charissa Thompson to be in Playboy’s Sexiest Sportscaster poll (scroll down).
William Houston in the Toronto Globe and Mail laments the absence of big market teams in the CFL Grey Cup which will be CBC’s last for at least the next five years.
There you have it. Plenty of links for today. Primetime Viewing Picks coming up.
In doing a Google Image Search for FSN/Big Ten Network reporter Charissa Thompson, I find another Charissa Thompson (warning, some images NSFW).
Now, Charissa Thompson of FSN/BTN is doing a bang up job on the sidelines on the Big Ten Network. She’s on the “A” announcing team with Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis and was there when Appalachian State upset Michigan earlier this year. She also co-hosted FSN’s Baseball Report. Now if you haven’t seen Charissa (and probably many of you haven’t because of BTN’s dispute with practically every cable company), here’s her picture courtesy of Tom Hoffarth from the LA Daily News’ Farther Off the Wall blog:
And from Hoffarth’s media notes blog entry, he notes:
Thompson, best known in the FSN world as a Rocky Mountain regional reporter, can’t be found, by the way, with a simple Google search. There’s a model/porn star with the same name who isn’t wearing TV sports-reporter attire, unless Lisa Guerrero has changed her name.
“A lot of people have pointed that out to me, even my father,” Thompson told a Rocky Mountain News reporter recently. “If I could change my name, I would.”
When I do a Google Image Search, I don’t find the picture that I posted above, but something like this (may not be Safe for Work):
And Charissa Thompson is not only attractive (far more than Erin Andrews), she can do just as good of a job as Erin Andrews. She’s stuck on the FSN Baseball Report (which is a terrible show) and doing sideline coverage for the Big 10 Network which works with FSN. I guarantee you if Thompson gets a bigger gig (like on ESPN or something), she’ll probably overtake Erin Andrews as Queen of the College Football Sideline Reporting.
I do agree that Charissa is a star in the making, but it’ll be tough to overtake Erin at this point. Anyway, this is my excuse to post pictures on this lazy Saturday afternoon.
Two great ALDS games last night, both ended in dramatic fashion. TBS was on top of it all with its pictures and stats. Decent job and with all the early round games on TBS, there’s some nice harmony for the studio to make switches and show updates. Good job by Turner Sports.
Let’s get to some links today.
Starting with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dan Caesar writes that baseball fans wanting to find the LDS on the radio are shortchanged due to weak signals.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells is good and actually shows a sense of humor on the ESPN set.
Over to the San Antonio Express-News where Jerry Garcia asks sports readers to take a moment out of their viewing to watch “Friday Night Lights” on NBC.
Completing our Texas Trifecta, Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram catches up with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski.
Also from the Star-Telegram, Wendell Barnhouse writes about former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer and politico James Carville teaming up for a college football show on XM Satellite Radio (I kid you not).
For Dish Network subscribers frustrated you can’t get TBS HD, Steven Musil of CNET.com reports that the satellite provider finally added it last night. Phil Swann of TV Predictions.com confirms this.
Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune writes that Cubs fans turned off their TV’s right about the time the Diamondbacks took control of Game 2 resulting in a lower rating than Game 1. Dusty Saunders in the Rocky Mountain News says TBS gets a mixed grade for its coverage of the Phillies-Rockies series, offering praise to NESN’s Don Orsillo. Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner writes in his Watch This! blog that Cal Ripken got off to a slow start in the TBS studio, but is progressing nicely. Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says through the first six games of the LDS, ratings have been the highest on TBS in five years. I’ve been waiting for this editorial, the Reading (PA) Eagle says the late starting times for the Phillies-Rockies games this weekend shows that MLB doesn’t care about Phildelphia fans. Most people aren’t working this holiday weekend so it’s ok. I would have a beef if the games were on late on weeknights.
Good article in today’s New York Times Business Section by Joe Nocera looking at the battle of the cable companies vs. the NFL Network and Big Ten Network and why both channels are trying to avoid the dreaded sports tier.
Steve Kroner of the San Francisco Chronicle previews ESPN’s Outside the Lines documentary on Jim Jones, Jr. I’m definitely going to try and catch this on Sunday. Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg (FL) Times has a sneak peek as well.
We reported on this earlier, but the Hollywood Reporter picks up the story that Yahoo Sports beat ESPN.com in August for most visited sports website.
Some notes from the Sports Media Watch blog. First, I’ve never seen a TV rating of 0.0, but Versus came pretty damn close last week for the NHL Opener in London. The second story is on Fox garnering the lowest ratings for its MLB regular season package since NBC had it in 1987. And we get Paulsen’s ratings predictions for this holiday weekend.
I was so engrossed with the Red Sox game last night that I didn’t make a post Friday night and wanted to include the following links:
Neil Best of Newsday… we interrupt this blog entry to say we love Charissa Thompson, sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network. Bangs in her eyes. We’re officially smitten….. Ok, back to your links. Neil Best of Newsday says Cablevision in New York has added the NHL Center Ice package. For those of you hoping to see Mixed Martial Arts on HBO, you can forget about that now, Neil reported first that talks between UFC and HBO broke down and both sides have walked away from the table.
Dan Rafael of ESPN.com has more on the UFC/HBO non-deal.
Sports Business reporter extraordinaire Darren Rovell reports on his CNBC blog that despite a guilty plea, Nike will not seek to get its endorsement money back from sprinter Marion Jones who admitted to taking steroids before the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
That’s a lot of links for a Saturday. I’ll be out tonight so I’ll give NFL Picks later.