On Wednesday, 60 Minutes Sports returns for another edition of various stories. Included in this week’s program will be a profile of golf course designer Pete Dye and a rather extensive one on ESPN’s Chris Berman. Now whether or not you like Berman is totally up to you. The man is rather polarizing. Either you like him or you don’t.
CBS News’ Lara Logan takes time from going into dangerous war zones and enters the world of ESPN for this profile. In this preview, Logan appears to be charmed by Berman, tours the huge ESPN Bristol, CT campus and also looks at his bulging wallet which has to be seen to be believed. It’s obvious that Berman does not use a smartphone to store all of his business cards.
The latest edition of 60 Minutes Sports premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m ET/PT on Showtime.
Merry Christmas! Happy to provide you with the nominees for this year’s NFL TV Awards. Last year’s nominees ended up this way.
And later, this was the result for the 2011 season.
Let’s take a look at the nominees in each category.
Best Play-by-Play: Ian Eagle (CBS), Kevin Harlan (CBS), Al Michaels (NBC), Brad Nessler (NFL Network), Mike Tirico (ESPN)
Best Game Analyst: Troy Aikman (Fox), Cris Collinsworth (NBC), Dan Fouts (CBS), Rich Gannon (CBS), Mike Mayock (NFL Network)
Best Sunday NFL Pregame Show: First on the Field (NFL Network), Fox NFL Sunday (Fox), NFL Matchup (ESPN), NFL Today (CBS)
Best Studio Show, Daily or Weekly: Around the League Live (NFL Network), Inside the NFL (Showtime), NFL Live (ESPN), NFL PrimeTime (ESPN), NFL Turning Point (NBC Sports Network)
Best Highlights: Football Night in America (NBC), NFL GameDay Final (NFL Network), NFL PrimeTime (ESPN), The OT (Fox)
Best Studio Host: Rich Eisen (NFL Network), Curt Menefee (Fox), Dan Patrick (NBC/NBC Sports Network), Melissa Stark (NFL Network), Andrew Siciliano (DirecTV), Trey Wingo (ESPN)
Best Studio Analyst: Tony Dungy (NBC), Boomer Esiason (CBS), Marshall Faulk (NFL Network), Rodney Harrison (NBC), Kurt Warner (NFL Network), Steve Young (ESPN)
Most Valuable Network: Fox, ESPN, NBC, NFL Network
Best NFL Insider: John Clayton (ESPN), Jay Glazer (Fox), Peter King (NBC), Jason La Canfora (CBS), Chris Mortensen (ESPN)
Best Sideline Reporter: Alex Flanagan (NFL Network), Jennifer Hale (Fox), Jaime Maggio (Fox), Lisa Salters (ESPN), Michele Tafoya (NBC)
Best Announcing Team: Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts (CBS), Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots (CBS), Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth (NBC), Brad Nessler/Mike Mayock (NFL Network), Mike Tirico/Jon Gruden (ESPN)
Best Game Production: Monday Night Football (ESPN), NFL on CBS (CBS), NFL on Fox (Fox), Sunday Night Football (NBC), Thursday Night Football (NFL Network)
Best Debut: Carolyn Manno on Football Night in America (NBC), First on the Field (NFL Network), Amber Theoharis on NFL Total Access (NFL Network), Hines Ward on Football Night in America (NBC)
Worst Play-by-Play: Chris Berman (ESPN), Thom Brennaman (Fox), Chris Myers (Fox), Ron Pitts (Fox), Dick Stockton (Fox)
Worst Game Analyst: Dan Dierdorf (CBS), Daryl Johnston (Fox), John Lynch (Fox), Mike Martz (Fox)
Worst Studio Host: Chris Berman (ESPN), Chris Rose (NFL Network)
Worst Studio Analyst: Michael Irvin (NFL Network), Eric Mangini (ESPN)
I hope to be doing this for you before each week of the NFL regular season and into the postseason. I’ll give you a few facts and pick a couple of games from each network to watch.
So let’s give you some quick viewing facts for the very first week of the 2012 NFL season in The League Where They Play. For Pay.
Which network has the doubleheader? — Fox. San Francisco at Green Bay is the main game at 4:25 p.m. going to 87% of the country.
What’s up with the 4:25 p.m. ET starts? — The NFL heard your complaints about cutting off the overruns from the 1 p.m. ET games for the start of the late games. Now you should be able to see those fantastic finishes without having the rug being pulled from under.
Blackouts? — Oh yes. In Tampa Bay. Oh, Tampa Bay. Pobre Tampa Bay.
CBS just has games at 1 p.m.? — Yes, it’s the usual U.S. Open coverage, but weather has wreaked havoc on the schedule, so instead of the men’s final, CBS will air the women’s final at 4:30 after the NFL.
Who is this Rob Riggle? — He joins Fox NFL Sunday replacing Frank Caliendo on the comic relief picks segment.
Anybody else new on Fox NFL Sunday? — Yes. Erin Andrews. You may have heard of her. She’ll be on the Fox NFL pregame show every week with a feature. This week, she interviews Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.
How about The NFL Today on CBS? — Yup. Jason La Canfora, former insider on the NFL Network joins the Tiffany Network replacing the GM segment with Charley Casserly.
What happened to Charley Casserly? — Don’t cry for Charley, he’s on the NFL Network now.
Speaking of NFL Network, anything new with them on Sundays? — Where do we begin? They have a new 7 a.m. ET, yes, that’s 7 a.m. ET, pregame show called “First on the Field” hosted by Melissa Stark. Oh, and Chris Rose will be the host of the Sunday night shows, NFL Game Day Highlights and NFL Game Day Final.
Anyone new on the game broadcasts this year? — Mike Martz joins Fox. He’ll be teamed with Ron Pitts. And Heath Evans will work some games with Sam Rosen. CBS is pretty much status quo.
So is Michael Strahan going to be able to last the season being on Fox NFL Sunday and Live with Kelly and Michael? — Good question. Being bi-coastal with Live in New York and Fox NFL Sunday in LA isn’t going to be easy. Granted, this is not rocket science, but there has to be some wear-and-tear flying to-and-fro each week with no days off in between. We’ll see if Michael has some verbal gaffes late in the season.
So what are your Games of the Week? — In Week 1, just about every game is a Game of the Week, but narrowing it down, first on CBS: Indy at Chicago (Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf) as Andrew Luck makes his NFL regular season debut and yes, Buffalo at New York Jets (Marv Albert/Rich Gannon) just to see when the quarterback controversy starts.
On Fox, I’ll go with Philadelphia at Cleveland (Dick Stockton/John Lynch/Jennifer Hale) of the early games because of my Browns and to see how quick a quagmire the team makes. Also, there’s San Francisco at Green Bay (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver) for the late game at 4:25 p.m. as Aaron Rodgers takes on his hometown team.
Anything else I should know? — Let’s see, Fox NFL Sunday has a new set which made its debut under Fox Soccer and Fox College Football. It’ll get its major use on NFL Sundays.
What about NBC? Anything new with the Peacock? — Hines Ward joins NBC and he’ll be at game sites with Bob Costas during Football Night in America and perhaps at halftime. Other than that, FNIA should remain the same. And NBC is not going to tinker with a formula that made Sunday Night Football the top rated primetime series last season, the first for a sports series.
And Monday? What about Monday Night Football? — Can’t forget about Monday. There’s a Week 1 AFC doubleheader with Cincinnati at Baltimore and San Diego at Oakland. MNF will have a two man booth with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden. Ron Jaworski goes to the studio. Lisa Salters roams the sidelines. And yes, there’s Chris Berman calling his first-ever regular season game in Oakland. How many times will he say, “Da Ray-duhs”? We may have to do a drinking game. Twitter may explode with Berman calling the game, but overall, the ratings will still be good for the double dip. And Suzy Kolber will host Monday Night Countdown in place of Berman.
That is your Viewing Guide for NFL Week 1.
Whether you like him or not, it appears that ESPN original Chris Berman will be at the network until late in the decade, almost to his 40th anniversary. It means social media will have Berman to kick around for a long time.
Berman began with ESPN when it was a little cable network on September 7, 1979. On the network’s 33rd birthday, ESPN signs Berman to this extension.
Under the contract, Berman will continue to host Sunday and Monday NFL Countdown and the NFL Draft. He’ll also keep calling the first half of the U.S. Open golf tournament as well as the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby.
And of course on Monday, Berman will call his first NFL game. Here’s the press release.
Chris Berman Signs Multi-Year ESPN Extension
Six-time National Sportscaster of the Year Chris Berman, who joined ESPN in October 1979 – less than a month after the network launched – has signed a new multi-year extension to remain with ESPN. One of the preeminent sports commentators of his generation, Berman will continue as the leading voice and face of ESPN’s National Football League studio coverage as host of Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and Monday Night Football halftime, NFL highlight segments on SportsCenter and the NFL Draft. He will also continue to host the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby and ESPN’s U.S. Open golf coverage.
Berman’s extension will officially begin in 2013. At the conclusion of his new deal, Berman will have worked for ESPN for nearly 40 years.
A fixture on ESPN’s NFL Sundays, Berman is set to begin his 28th year as host of Sunday NFL Countdown (formerly NFL Gameday) this weekend. His tenure pre-dates ESPN’s first NFL television contract and is by far the longest streak ever among all weekly pro football studio show hosts. Also a fan favorite for his signature calls on NFL highlights, Berman earned widespread acclaim as host of the classic NFL PrimeTime from 1987-2005, alongside his longtime on-air partner Tom Jackson. In 2010, Berman received the distinguished Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.
ESPN President John Skipper said:?? “On the day we commemorate our company’s birthday, it’s fitting we extend our relationship with Chris, arguably the most recognizable face and voice in ESPN’s history. Since arriving in Bristol in 1979, Chris’ passion and enthusiasm, and, of course his signature highlights, have long been his trademarks, earning him a special place among fans for more than three decades.”
“For more than three decades, Chris has developed a special relationship with our fans, especially fans of the NFL. He is synonymous with our coverage of the league and other major events, and we’re thrilled he will remain an integral part of ESPN in the years ahead,” added ESPN Executive Vice President, Production John Wildhack.??
Said Berman: “I never could have dreamed that ESPN would be my home as a young man in his 20’s all the way to a not-so-young man in his 60’s. It’s always been a privilege to work alongside thousands of colleagues who love the sports we cover and the people who make them so special. It remains an honor to be welcomed into the homes of sports fans far and wide, and I’m thrilled to be able to continue such a marvelous journey.”
In addition to occupying his familiar host position on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown –Sept. 9 (10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET), Berman will handle NFL play-by-play for the first time in his career on Monday night, Sept. 10, when he calls the San Diego Chargers-Oakland Raiders game (10:15 p.m.) alongside Trent Dilfer as part of ESPN’s season-opening MNF doubleheader.
Let the negative comments begin.
Let’s do a few sports media thoughts and a couple non-sports thoughts. They’re in bullet form, of course.
- Fox did its usual good job in covering the MLB All-Star Game. The production was spot on. Joe Buck was decent. Ken Rosenthal was good in his role. Fox did not shove Erin Andrews down our throats in her Fox debut as she made just a few appearances. Tim McCarver’s analysis still is lacking and there were times when his statements were head scratchers (“Electric stuff is a new baseball term”). Basing it on the pictures and replays, Fox usually steps up and it did so on Tuesday.
However, the postgame ceremonies with All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera were quite awkward as MLB Commissioner Bud Selig looked confused and wooden like he always does and MLB Nerwork’s Matt Vasgersian wasn’t helpful as Cabrera had difficulty speaking English, yet Matt didn’t try to bail him out. He just let Melky struggle. Bad spot by Matt there.
While the game was a blowout early and there was most likely a late tune out factor, the All-Star Game’s ratings will probably be on a par with last year’s all-time record low 6.9 rating.
- On Monday night, ESPN carried the Home Run Derby and while ratings for this year’s event were up compared to 2011, one had to think the numbers increased despite Chris Berman’s presence behind the mic.
While the Derby itself was dull, the highlight of the broadcast was Hall of Fame Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett bringing barbecue ribs to the set and seeing John Kruk demolish them.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Chris Berman’s act is old. ESPN puts him on the U.S. Open and Home Run Derby every year and the complaints about his performance pick up on social media. Every ball that was hit started with either a “WOW!” or an “OH!” How is that a good call? And when Berman tried to get cute with geography by saying one blast was headed to Omaha, Brett chimed in with “Wrong direction,” which made my night.
Berman is not a play-by man and I wish he was taken off the Home Run Derby.
The social media bashing of Berman will rise to new heights next month when he handles his first NFL play-by-play assignment.
- The Big Lead reported on Tuesday that ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball voice Dan Shulman could be in demand when his contract expires later this year.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead wrote that Fox and possibly, NBC would be interested in Shulman’s services. Of course, Shulman can call baseball and basketball, both of which he calls very well. If Fox retains baseball, Shulman could easily supplant Joe Buck as lead voice, call the entire season of Fox Saturday Baseball which Buck does not do, and have a role in the MLB Postseason for the network. He could also call college basketball for either Fox’s cable entities, Big Ten Network or Fox Sports Net.
Should NBC get a piece of the MLB contract, then Shulman again could be the lead voice and also call basketball if NBC gets Big East rights. Of course, NBC could also give Shulman an Olympic sport to call every two years.
And there’s always the option that Dan could remain with ESPN where he calls the League Championship Series and World Series on Radio and call college basketball with a few NBA games thrown in for good measure.
Shulman certainly has some options after the final out is recorded at this year’s World Series.
- After failing to come to an agreement, Viacom pulled 17 networks off DirecTV including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and Spike, among others. No one wins in these disputes. Both sides blame the other. It all comes down to money. Viacom wants more money from DirecTV, but the satellite provider says it doesn’t want to pay it. No matter what, I see a slide in the Viacom Network’s place. This is all unnecessary and avoidable, yet it happens time and time again.
- Is there a better network meteorologist than Ginger Zee of ABC’s Good Morning America and World News? I didn’t think so. She can chase storms for me any time.
And we’re done.
This is going to be the Summer of Chris Berman on ESPN. Next week, he’ll call the annual Home Run Derby in Kansas City and annoy fans with his calls, “That home run landed in Topeka!” or “Back! Back! Back! Back! Gone!!” Then on August 23, Berman will call his first NFL game, a preseason contest to prepare for the big one, September 9, the Monday Night Football opening season doubleheader late game between Oakland and San Diego.
Social networking sites will be burning up all three days. It all begins with the Home Run Derby live from Kauffman Stadium. Boomer will be joined by John Kruk of Baseball Tonight and Nomar Garciaparra. On the field conducting interviews will be Pedro Gomez and Jon Heyman hater Buster Olney (I’ll explain that in a future post).
The Home Run Derby airs Monday, July 9 at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will also have coverage and calling that will be Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton.
Oh, and another thing ESPN is pointing out, Captain Blowhard will be an analyst on the Celebrity Softball Game. Oh, can’t wait to hear his insufferable voice.
Here’s the ESPN press release.
ESPN Radio to Exclusively Broadcast Home Run Derby & 83rd MLB All-Star Game
ESPN will present the 2012 Home Run Derby from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. on Monday, July 9, at 8 p.m. ET. Chris Berman will call the action with analysts John Kruk and Nomar Garciaparra and reporters Buster Olney and Pedro Gomez The Derby will also be available on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN and ESPN3 – available for the first time in both English and Spanish – online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE.
ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night Baseball team Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will describe the action with additional on-site commentary from host Mark Kestecher and reporters John Rooney and Peter Pascarelli. In addition, the team will return the following night for ESPN Radio’s exclusive broadcast of the 83rd MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 10, with coverage beginning at 7 p.m.
Home Run Derby rosters: AL and NL Derby teams.
ESPN’s State Farm Home Run Derby telecast will include:
- a special Derby open, which will celebrate the magic of the home run;
- a distance tracking system, which will also be available on ESPN.com, providing accurate distance readings immediately after the ball lands;
- ESPN Ball Track will include every participant’s Derby at-bat with a virtual spray chart showing the path for each home run;
- tweets from Derby participants, MLB All-Stars, MLB players and other athletes and celebrities;
- mic’d up Derby participants.
SportsCenter & Baseball Tonight will be on site throughout MLB All-Star in Kansas City from a set inside Kauffman Stadium. The 6 p.m. SportsCenter on Monday and Tuesday will present live batting practice reports and previews from the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game. The late-night SportsCenters will provide live post-Derby and post-game analysis and interviews. In addition, ESPN will televise a special Home Run Derby preview show Monday, July 9, at 7 p.m. Baseball Tonight will also preview All-Star action each day and provide post-event recaps with highlights, news and information. ESPN MLB commentators on-site will include hosts Karl Ravech and Steve Berthiaume and analysts Terry Francona, Barry Larkin and John Kruk.
ESPN’s All-Star coverage will begin with the 14th annual Futures Game on Sunday, July 8, at 5 p.m. on ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV and via the WatchESPN app. Steve Berthiaume will provide commentary with analysts Aaron Boone and Rick Sutcliffe and reporters Keith Law and Pedro Gomez. Futures Game rosters: U.S.; World.
All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game: Bill Simmons to Serve as Analyst
ESPN columnist Bill Simmons will serve as analyst during ESPN’s telecast of the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game. It will be available on ESPN, ESPN Mobile TV and WatchESPN immediately following the Derby on Monday. Simmons will join SportsCenter anchor John Anderson, who will host the coverage, and reporter Tim Kurkjian. Legends & Celebrity Softball Game participants will include former Cy Young and current ESPN MLB analyst Rick Sutcliffe. Complete roster.
ESPN.com & ESPN Baseball Tonight Facebook
- special ESPN.com MLB All-Star page;
- Home Run Derby Tracker - a customized version of GameCast available live during the Derby;
- “Baseball Tonight at the All-Star Game” – a 30-minute show to be live-streamed on ESPN.com Monday at 4 p.m.;
- #yourHRDerby – a week-long page devoted to fan feedback via social media leading up to the Home Run Derby;
- Daily ESPN Baseball Tonight Facebook posts;
- an MLB All-Star roundtable, hosted by Steve Berthiaume;
- Keith Law’s Futures Game breakdown;
- Stats & Info blogs with heat maps and advanced metrics related to the Derby and the All-Star Game;
ESPN Deportes & ESPN Deportes Radio
The 2012 Home Run Derby will be available on ESPN Deportes Monday, July 9, at 8 p.m. with Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfred Alvarez, Candy Maldonado and Guillermo Celis providing commentary. Additionally, ESPN Deportes Radio will broadcast both the Derby and the MLB All-Star Game with Eduardo Ortega, Renato Bermudez and Jose Francisco Rivera calling the action.
ESPN International will offer live coverage of the All-Star Game and Futures Game on its networks serving Latin America (South America, Central America, Mexico, Brazil and the Caribbean), Africa, the Middle East and New Zealand. Coverage of the Derby will be available in these regions, plus Australia. ESPN America, the only European network dedicated to North American sports, will televise the All-Star Game, Futures Game and Home Run Derby to 43 countries.
And we’re done.
And can you believe I’ve been able to do linkage for most of the week? Hasn’t been like that in a long while. Glad I’ve been able to get it done.
Time for your Friday megalinks. As usual, we provide the Weekend Viewing Picks which has plenty of MLB and U.S. Olympic Trials action.
Let’s go to the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand looks at ESPN extending its current deal with the Rose Bowl.
Michael looks at Erin Andrews’ departure from ESPN.
Sports Business Journal has a sampling of what some sports business and sports media figures addressed to the graduating Class of 2012 at the nation’s colleges and universities.
At the Sherman Report, Ed Sherman explores the strange dispute between the Arizona Diamondbacks and TV voice Daron Sutton.
Ed also notes some media bashing of Chris Berman a few months in advance of his Monday Night Football debut.
Stuart Kemp of the Hollywood Reporter writes that the BBC has launched a new Facebook app to allow UK users to watch the Olympics online.
John Eggerton from Broadcasting & Cable says the Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling throwing out the FCC fine against CBS for the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show. Man, that was a long time ago.
Tim Baysinger of B&C says NASCAR Digital Media has hired five executives in advance of the sport’s takeover of its digital rights from Turner Sports next year.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group notes ESPN’s X Games production evolution.
The Nielsen Wire blog ponders the question of whether NBA Draft picks can do well in marketing products.
Deadline reports that ESPN’s ratings for the EURO 2012 semifinals this week are way up from EURO 2008.
One more week of writing, “CNBC’s Darren Rovell”. Today, CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that with less than a month to go until the Olympics, a major ticket dispute has erupted.
Joe Favorito notes how Delta Airlines’ sponsorship of English Premier League team Chelsea shows that the company wants to go outside of the US to gain awareness.
Sports Media Watch has a look at some of NBC’s Olympic assignments for London.
The Big Lead notes that ESPN and Bill Simmons removed a potential offensive part of his NBA Draft diary that is way too long for anyone to read.
Ryan Yoder of Awful Announcing has the winners and losers from Thursday’s night’s NBA Draft coverage on ESPN.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes about a documentary on an Olympic hopeful who is attempting to gain a spot on the US women’s gymnastics team.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette talks with the Voice of the Worcester Tornadoes minor league baseball team.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY talks with WFAN’s Mike Francesa on whether he’ll return to the station when his contract expires in two years.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post is not happy about Chris Berman calling Monday Night Football.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette notes that local sports anchor Andrew Catalon gets another Olympics assignment.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union notes that the NBA Draft’s ratings on ESPN were down from the year before.
Pete looks at 25 years of WFAN.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record analyzes the NBC Olympic assignments.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call talks about the later start time for the NFL national Sunday afternoon game.
Keith has some fun facts about WFAN’s 25th anniversary.
Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com says Philadelphia Union voice JP Dellacamera will be calling Olympic soccer games for NBC.
DCRTV’s Dave Hughes in Press Box says the Baltimore Orioles’ ratings on MASN are up.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has the Nationals’ radio ratings.
Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner speaks with NBC’s Phil Liggett about the Tour de France which kicks off this weekend.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald culls media opinions regarding the Heat’s chances to repeat.
Jimmie E. Gates of the Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger says a lawsuit against ESPN over a 30 for 30 documentary can proceed in state court.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says the Rockets are changing radio stations.
David writes the person who helped launch Houston’s original regional sports network will be part of the team that launches the city’s newest RSN.
Mel Bracht in The Oklahoman says a local sports radio network will be slightly affiliated with the new CBS Sports Radio.
More links later.
UPDATE, 9:20 p.m.: Time for more linkage.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley says Fox has replaced Daron Sutton from this Saturday’s Arizona-Brewers game.
Robert Channick of the Chicago Tribune says WMAQ sports anchor Mike Adamle who’s been on leave from the station is expected to return soon.
Paul Christian in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin goes over the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 series.
John Maffei of the North County Times talks with TBS’ Cal Ripken about the MLB All-Star Game.
Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star rails against the current format of the All-Star Game.
Jim reviews some of this week’s sports media news in his notebook.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times says the NFL has laid down guidelines for the league to return to the nation’s second biggest market.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News isn’t thrilled about NBC pulling tape delayed shenanigans for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Tom has more notes in his blog.
And we are finally done.
Looks like I’m going to be busy today so I’m going to do the linkage a bit early for me at least.
David Bauder of the Associated Press writes that even though he’s no longer NBC Sports Emperor, Dick Ebersol’s presence will still be felt at the London Olympics.
Michael Hiestand at USA Today says NBC will utilize Late Night’s Jimmy Fallon and Shaun White as guest commentators during the Olympics.
Reid Cherner of USA Today writes that ESPN the Magazine has released the roster for its annual “Body” issue.
Alex Sherman of Bloomberg says NBC Sports Network is the key to Comcast turning a profit when NBC’s new Olympic deal begins in 2014.
Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter says NBC is hoping the Olympics will give its struggling Today show a ratings boost.
Scott Roxborough in the Reporter writes that the EURO 2012 semifinal between Spain and Portugal set a ratings record in Europe.
Neil Reynolds of Sky Sports in the UK has New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft lobbying for an NFL franchise in London and increasing the amount of regular season games in the UK from one to two.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable reports NBC expects to lose money on the London Olympics.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says NBCUniversal is pushing people to authenticate in order to watch the Olympics online.
Anthony Crupi at Adweek looks at NBC’s nearly $1 billion take from Olympic ad sales.
Rocco Pendola of The Street wonders if NBC can make a run at ESPN.
Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report notes how polarizing Chris Berman can be.
Eric Goldschein of SportsGrid doesn’t quite understand the vitriol thrown Berman’s way.
Natan Edelsburg at Lost Remote says NBC is making the London Olympics a truly social media experience. That will make Bob Costas so happy to read Twitter and Facebook promos.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says NBC’s going all in online at the Olympics.
Jack Bell at the Times looks at ESPN’s EURO 2012 ratings.
Jerry Barmash of Fishbowl NY notes that the NBA Finals beat Mets-Yankees in New York.
Jerry talks with the first voice ever to be heard on WFAN when it launched 25 years ago.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette says Buffalo Sabres TV voice Rick Jeanneret will do the entire team’s schedule.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says even with a new playoff system, there will still be debates in college football.
In the Washington Examiner, Jim Williams talks with ESPN’s Jay Bilas about tonight’s NBA Draft.
Ron Green, Jr. of the Charlotte Observer also talks with ESPN’s Jay Bilas about the Bobcats’ choices at the Draft.
David Barron in the Houston Chronicle reports that the Rockets have changed flagship radio stations.
W. Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Journal says local native Michelle Beadle has come a long way from covering Professional Bull Riding.
Ryan Sharp at The Oklahoman has proof that the Big 12 pursued Notre Dame to increase its TV value.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman reviews the weekend’s TV ratings.
Paul M. Banks in Chicago Sports Media Watch wonders what will happen to the BCS brand now that a college football playoff is firmly in place.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says Fox Sports San Diego will air November’s Syracuse-San Diego State college basketball game on board the USS Midway.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says the West Coast is getting screwed again with NBC’s coverage of the Olympic Trials.
Sports Media Watch has some ratings news and notes.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the viewership for the NHL Draft and NHL Awards Show was down.
The Brothers Yoder at Awful Announcing have some random sports that ESPN should televise and I totally agree with the number one choice.
And that’s going to do it for the linkage today.
Time for some Wednesday links. Won’t be a full set as I’ll be monitoring NBC’s Olympic conference call.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio discusses Chris Berman heading to the Monday Night Football booth for two games.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing says national nightmare Berman in the booth is not what NFL fans want.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner says it isn’t Berman who we should be worried about.
Matt writes about ESPN replacing Craig James on Thursday Night college football.
Michael Smith in Sports Business Daily writes that the PGA has a new sponsor for its developmental tour.
Scott Foxborough at the Hollywood Reporter notes the huge increase for EURO 2012′s ratings on ESPN from the last event four years ago.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable says MLB Network has upgraded its production control room for its signature MLB Tonight show.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the Sportsman Channel is gaining ground for its HD network.
Patrick Hipes of Deadline notes the TV bidding for the new college football playoff system to begin with the 2014 season will be worth beaucoup bucks.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report talks with the former owner of WFAN and how it was a risk to start an all-sports radio station 25 years ago.
Ed says no matter what you think of him, Don Imus’ move to WFAN helped save the sports radio format and sent it flying to new heights.
Ed says ESPN’s public relations blog fired salvos on behalf of ESPN Radio at CBS and NBC.
Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group says Fox Sports Net has developed an MLB app for second screens.
In GoLocalProv, former WBZ-TV anchor Bob Lobel gives one of the greatest moments in his career when he brought Boston legends Bobby Orr, Larry Bird and Ted Williams together for one show. I watched that when it happened. It was a great show.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY talks with WFAN 20/20 Sports update man John Minko.
Jerry also talks with another WFAN original, Steve Somers who schmoozes S-P-O-R-T-S every night.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union writes about Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer being teamed for two Monday Night Football games.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg says Nationals’ ratings on MASN are way up from last season.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald reviews LeBron James’ appearance on Late Show with David Letterman last night.
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic talks about the strange removal of Daron Sutton from Diamondbacks broadcasts.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com says the Diamondbacks have suspended Sutton for “insubordination” and won’t say anything more.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that the Pac-12 won the most NCAA Championships this academic year.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders if it’s soccer time to shine in Canada and the U.S.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks at CBC and CTV dropping their joint bid for the 2014/16 Olympics.
Sports Media Watch looks into the move to put Chris Berman into the Monday Night Football booth.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead says bitter little hedgehog Danny Sheridan is buying Twitter followers.
Dave Kohl in The Broadcast Booth talks about multiple national sports radio networks.
And that’s going to do it today. Had to cut the links short because today will be quite busy. Leaving the afternoon free for the NBC Olympics announcements.
Since SportsbyBrooks tweeted last week that Chris Berman would call the opening week Monday Night Football late doubleheader game, we’ve been waiting for confirmation. Instead of receiving a press release, ESPN has chosen to confirm this through its public relations website, Front Row.
Over the last few years, Berman has been polarizing. His performances on the U.S. Open and All-Star Home Run Derby have been heavily criticized on social media sites. Now with Berman going to call two games, a preseason game between Arizona and Tennessee on August 23 and then the last game on Week 1 of the 2012 regular season, San Diego-Oakland at 10:15 p.m., Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Sulia and any other site within reach of fans could explode.
Berman will be teamed with Trent Dilfer who has been the analyst for the late Week 1 doubleheader game since 2010, paired with Brad Nessler. But with Nessler on NFL Network for 13 weeks, ESPN has chosen to go with the overbearing Berman for this year. If people thought the Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic experience was bad from 2007 through 2009, they had better be ready for 2012′s edition of the late night train wreck.
So from ESPN Front Row, here’s a listing of the announcers for the Week 1 Monday Night Football late game since the doubleheaders began in 2006.
ESPN’s Season-Opening MNF Doubleheader Commentator Teams (2006-present):
|2006||San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders||Brad Nessler, Ron Jaworski and Dick Vermeil|
|2007||Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers||Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic and Mike Ditka|
|2008||Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders||Greenberg, Golic and Ditka|
|2009||San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders||Greenberg, Golic and Steve Young|
|2010||San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs||Nessler and Trent Dilfer|
|2011||Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos||Nessler and Dilfer|
|2012||San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders||Chris Berman and Dilfer|
If it were up to me, I’d use one of ESPN’s college football primetime teams. Why not have Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews do the late night game? Brent has an NFL background from his days at CBS and also hosted Monday Night Football for a year. Kirk has seen many of the players before. And Brent could give us a betting line reference. It would be so fun.
But as I get back to reality and realize Chris Berman will call the game, I will be watching only for the potential train wreck value. I know my friends at ESPN PR won’t like that, but they have to know how polarizing Berman can be.
UPDATE, 10:18 a.m.: Just as I hit “Publish”, ESPN comes through with the press release. Here it is.
Six-time National Sportscaster of the Year Chris Berman has been the face of ESPN’s NFL coverage for nearly three decades.
The 2012 season will be Berman’s 28th as host of Sunday NFL Countdown. He’s also hosted ESPN’s NFL Draft and Super Bowl week coverage, and he continues to emcee the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s annual enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio.
In fact, Berman himself was inducted into the Hall of Fame as the Pete Rozelle Radio-TV Award recipient in 2010.
But this coming NFL season, Berman will try something he’s never done before … call an NFL game.
He and analyst Trent Dilfer have been assigned to the booth for the San Diego Chargers-Oakland Raiders game as part of ESPN’s season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader on September 10.
Berman will host the three-hour Countdown in Bristol on the opening NFL Sunday. After the show, he’ll fly cross country for this AFC West rivalry game the next night (10:15 p.m. ET). The west coast game will follow the Cincinnati Bengals-Baltimore Ravens opener, which will be called by the regular MNF team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden (7 p.m.).
In preparation for the assignment, Berman and Dilfer will also call the Arizona Cardinals-Tennessee Titans MNF preseason game on Aug. 23 (8 p.m.).
“I have worked with Boom for four years now and I’ve never been around someone who loves the NFL more than him,” said Dilfer. “I firmly believe that his passion and mine for the game of football will translate to the audience.”
That will be it.
Let’s do some links on a rainy Monday in Southern New England.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at NFL Network’s new morning show.
Michael says ESPN has not confirmed whether Chris Berman will call a Monday Night Football game on the opening weekend of the season.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that CBS is about 80% sold for the Super Bowl.
Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal says Pepsi has signed a deal to sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show.
Mike Ozanian of Forbes notes that the Miami Heat is on the verge of getting a huge deal with Fox Sports Florida.
Former ESPN First Take co-host Dana Jacobsen writes in her blog that she was molested as a child. Courageous for her to speak publicly about this.
Scott Roxborough and Stuart Kemp of the Hollywood Reporter note that yesterday’s Italy-England EURO 2012 Quarterfinal game became the highest-rated and most watched game of the tournament in Europe.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News looks at ESPN going all in at Wimbledon.
Rich Thomaselli of Advertising Age wonders now that LeBron James has won a championship, will he reach Michael Jordan levels in marketing?
Staci D. Kramer of paidContent says ESPN’s streaming of the NBA Finals drew a decent audience.
Ed Sherman from the Sherman Report writes that sportswriter Frank Deford will appear on tonight’s Colbert Report.
The Big Lead looks at alleged bias by the HBO Boxing crew from the Manny Pacquaio-Timothy Bradley fight.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing reviews the train wreck that was Charlie Sheen’s guest appearance on Fox Saturday.
Matt analyzes the moves by CBS and NBC to create their own sports radio networks.
Dylan Murphy at SportsGrid says a French soccer player cursed out a reporter after the team’s loss at EURO 2012 last week.
Also from SportsGrid, Dan Fogarty notes that Oprah Winfrey will interview LeBron James and the Miami Heat this weekend which has train wreck potential written all over it.
Evan Weiner at Examiner.com writes that the NFL has a long way to go to get a foothold in Europe.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with some of the people who have worked at WFAN during its past 25 years.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick says college presidents’ pleas to pray for the Jerry Sandusky abuse victims ring hollow. Did Phil want them to go to Jerry Sandusky’s jail cell and shoot him dead?
And Phil goes after his favorite target, WFAN’s Mike Francesa.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY talks with WFAN Operations Manager Mark Chernoff about the nation’s oldest radio station turning 25.
Jerry says a 1010 WINS sports anchor wants to go after those who mispronounce “Wimbledon”.
Bob’s Blitz has the WFAN 25th Anniversary lineup for this Sunday.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says a New York-Penn League minor league baseball team won’t have a radio partner this year.
Greg Connors of the Buffalo News talks with Jim Rome about his CBS Sports Network show.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner notes that ESPN will be providing a lot of tennis action over the next fortnight.
At Chicago Sports Media Watch, Paul M. Banks talks with Danica Patrick about her transition from IndyCar to NASCAR.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post writes about ESPN’s extensive Wimbledon coverage.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports calendar for this week.
Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union-Tribune says all of San Diego State’s football games will be seen on TV, the question is where?
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail suggests that the NHL expand Hockey Night in Canada to Sundays.
Raju Mudhar with the Toronto Star writes about technology and sports melding together.
At Frontstretch, Amy Henderson writes that TV is actually hurting NASCAR and turning fans off.
Back to Paul M. Banks at the Sports Bank and he has video of ESPN’s Jenn Brown taking batting practice at the College World Series.
MediaRantz reviews WFAN at 25.
MediaRantz says noted Florida sports radio bad boy Dan Sileo could be headed to the new CBS Sports Radio.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says NBC’s shuffle of the NHL Draft wasn’t great, but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
Sports Media Watch says the NBA Finals’ ratings were down from last year.
SMW writes that MLB on Fox took a hit opposite the U.S. Open.
But SMW says this past weekend, MLB on Fox did significantly better.
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo’s The Dagger blog writes that ESPN expects to replace analyst Hubert Davis with Jalen Rose on College GameDay.
Paul Magno at Yahoo says boxing may return to network TV as Oscar de la Hoya tries to bring a fight to CBS.
Kris Hughes at Rant Sports asks if Time Warner Cable could purchase the Longhorn Network from ESPN?
Gaslamp Ball talks with the head of Fox Sports San Diego.
And that will do us for today.
Ok, as we’re all in denial over the Miami Heat winning the NBA Championship, it’s time for a few sports media thoughts. Too many things to go over, but I’ll do my best to cover as many things as I can.
As always, we do them in bullet form. And to drown out the thoughts of LeBron James celebrating, I’m listening to Korn on my iPad at the highest volume.
- Over 24 hours since first learning about Darren Rovell’s decision to leave CNBC for ESPN and I’m still baffled. Now, over all the sports media free agents I’ve mentioned or heard about for 2012, Darren’s name never came up. Darren who started his career at ESPN and left for CNBC in 2006 seemed to be happy with the NBCUniversal, having his own show on NBC Sports Network, his own CNBC site, and occasional appearances on NBC Sports events.
But when the Worldwide Leader comes a’calling, you have to listen. Deadspin reported Thursday that Disney will pay Rovell $500,000 to file reports for both ABC News and ESPN.
I don’t know if he’ll have his own show as he did with NBC Sports Network, I tend to doubt it. But the timing is rather interesting. Just after getting the sports business show that he had been clamoring, Darren leaves.
And as we know, Darren is a prolific tweeter. Will his penchant for Twitter be controlled under ESPN’s social media policy? I’m sure this will all be addressed down the line.
- CBS Radio’s announcement that it was launching a sports radio network came as a surprise. The timing came just ten days after NBC announced it was launching a radio network of its own.
This makes an already crowded radio scene even more so. Considering you have ESPN which has been firmly established since the 1990′s, Fox Sports Radio, Yahoo and even the Sports USA Radio Network, one wonders if there’s enough room for one more national radio net let alone two.
Personally, I love to see more networks because competition can only lead to better programming, however, economic realities tell you that one of these fledgling entities may not make it.
The eyeball test from the outset shows that CBS has the best infrastructure having already established sports stations in several major markets that will be part of CBS Sports Radio. Plus teaming with Cumulus Media’s 67 stations cross the country helps the reach.
As for NBC, it’s just getting back into the radio business after General Electric had sold the Radio Network to Westwood One and its entire radio station group to various owners. It will partner with the former Westwood One now known as Dial Global.
The question is whether this will lead to a bidding war for sports properties. ESPN Radio has the BCS, MLB and the NBA while Dial Global has the NFL, NCAA Championships and The Masters.
Suddenly radio is red hot once again and I like it. And as SportsbyBrooks pointed out, it could lead to more poaching of ESPN talent by CBS and NBC to fill programming slots.
- I was disappointed to learn that Radio Wimbledon will not be handling the worldwide audio play-by-play of the Championships Wimbledon starting next week.
Last October, Wimbledon’s parent, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club accepted a bid from IMG to take over the radio rights to call the matches. The new entity called Live@Wimbledon will be using some, but not all of Radio Wimbledon’s team. Over the years, Radio Wimbledon had been the only link to live tennis when NBC was pulling its tape delay shenanigans. Unfortunately, despite Radio Wimby attracting 2.7 million listeners in 2011, the AELTC decided to take IMG’s money and ruin a very good service for the fortnight.
Radio Wimbledon will be missed.
- As Sports Business Journal reported this week, Fox Sports has begun talks with NASCAR in hopes of extending its current contract. It expires in 2014.
As Fox has been successful in obtaining rights to the FIFA World Cup, Big 12 and Pac-12, the thinking behind many of these acquisitions has been to play keep away from NBC Sports Group. You know that with NASCAR rights in play, NBC Sports would love nothing more than to add inventory to NBCSN.
If Fox is successful, it leaves only TNT’s mid-season Sprint Cup races and ESPN’s Chase for the Cup races being up for grabs. And both Turner and ESPN want to prevent NBC from grabbing their packages.
With MLB, NASCAR, the Big East and the NBA negotiations all unsettled thus far, NBC still has a chance to lure one if not all to its war chest.
- Lastly, the aforementioned SportsbyBrooks tweeted that Chris Berman will call the late game for Monday Night Football’s season opening doubleheader on September 10. And in addition, he’ll call one preseason game as practice. If you thought the venom towards Berman is bad when he calls the U.S. Open or the All-Star Home Run Derby, just wait until he does the NFL. It’s probably best that ESPN public relations stay off social media on the nights Berman calls the NFL.
And that will conclude the thoughts. Enjoy your Friday.
After an outage that ruined things from Sunday through Tuesday and being busy yesterday, my goal to have links every day this week has gone out the window. However, I can get a few links out to you today.
Let’s get to them.
Starting with Ed Sherman from the Sherman Report who talks with ESPN resident Prince of Darkness Vince Doria who not only hates Twitter, but is concerned that the social media site could bring “diminished standards.” No, hiring Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith brings “diminished standards.”
Ed feels ESPN’s hiring of Darren Rovell away from CNBC is a good move for all sides.
Christopher Botta and John Ourand from Sports Business Journal write that despite having ratings downturns for the NHL Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Final, NBC and its sponsors are happy with the results.
Christopher notes that a budding Northwest US MLS rivalry is bringing excellent sponsor activation in the region.
At the Bleacher Report, Dan Levy asks ESPN to respond to the heavy viewer criticism brought forth to the network every time Chris Berman does the U.S. Open.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says the ESPN Family is doing well with EURO 2012.
Peter Kafka at All Things Digital writes that the on-again/off-again Turner purchase of the Bleacher Report seems to be on again. I promise my friends over at Bleacher Report that I won’t publish the Tsunami screengrab like Deadspin does.
Speaking of Deadspin, John Koblin tells us that CNBC’s Darren Rovell, will be getting $500,000 from Disney to work at ESPN and ABC News.
The Big Lead notes that Jalen Rose will be heading to the basketball version of ESPN’s College Gameday.
Simon Dumenico of Advertising Age notes the high amount of Tweets devoted to Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Media Life Magazine notes NBC’s ratings for last weekend’s US Open.
Evan Weiner at Examiner.com says while Roger Clemens was acquitted by a jury of his peers, he still has to get by the Hall of Fame jury known as the Baseball Writers of America.
Lance Venta at Radio Insight reports that with CBS Radio starting a new sports network, ESPN Radio will lose two affiliates in Florida.
To espnW where Amanda Rykoff went to an event which honored women in sports business including Kim Williams, the Chief Operating Officer of NFL Network.
Matt Rudnitsky at SportsGrid says today is D-Day for many Sports Illustrated employees. Godspeed to them.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group looks at how TNT tries to expand the fan experience during its six NASCAR Sprint Cup productions.
Jerry Barmash of FishbowlNY talks with MSG Network’s Walt “Clyde” Frazier about his popularity among Knicks fans.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says SNY’s Gary Cohen will be taking two rare days off this week.
Ken says WFAN will be airing Team USA Olympic basketball games.
And Ken talks about the launch of CBS Sports Radio.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says the Philadelphia Phillies’ troubles have become fodder for the local talk shows.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle notes that the city is about to get its 5th sports radio station thanks to the new CBS Sports Radio.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says Game 4 of the NBA Finals set another local ratings record.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the Reds’ ratings are up and they’re being noticed by Fox Sports.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Brewers analyst Bill Schroeder will work Saturday’s game against the White Sox for a different audience.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch says Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper guest tweeted on the White Sox official account this week.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily has begun a list of the top sports media voices of the landmark Title IX that gave women the opportunity to play sports. His first honoree is sports broadcasting pioneer Donna de Varona. Next is Mary Carillo. She’s followed by Ann Ligouri. Pam Ward is next. Basketball Hall of Famer Ann Meyers Drysdale follows. Read about Jeannine Edwards. Then look at the bio of Christine Brennan. Then there’s Michele Tafoya. Then Jamie Little. Next is Suzy Kolber. And she’s followed by Sally Jenkins. Great stuff by Tom.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail reports that the NHL doesn’t want Maple Leafs rightsholders Rogers and Bell to form a consortium to bid for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and they’ve been told to provide separate bids.
Michael Hill from Dolce Vita magazine profiles CTV Olympic host Brian Williams (not to be confused with NBC’s Brian Williams) about the many Games he has hosted over the years for either CBC or CTV.
Sports Media Watch speculates that NBC could be moving its NHL Game of the Week to Saturday afternoons for the 2012-13 season.
Tony Manfred at the Business Insider Sports Page has a slideshow on ESPN’s Erin Andrews who remains a free agent at this time.
Joe Favorito looks at the NBA possibly shutting the door on its players participating in the Olympics.
And that will do it for us today for the links.
Ok, linkage has been really scarce over the last month and a half and I apologize for that. My schedules have been quite busy and it’s been tough to sit down for the time it takes to gather the links. I hope that changes over the next month or so.
I have some National links for you right now. I’ll follow up with more stuff later.
Here are the Weekend Viewing Picks for you.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with the people at the Poynter Institute who are the ESPN Ombudsman.
Nate Davis at USA Today’s The Huddle has the Miami Dolphins not so enthusiastic about being on Hard Knocks this season.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with ESPN’s Sean McDonough who will undergo brain surgery later this year.
Ira Boudwell of Bloomberg Businessweek says ESPN is getting out of the high school sports business saying it’s not broad enough.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski says this week’s blowout between David Stern and Jim Rome proves that the NBA Commissioner needs to go.
John Ourand of Sports Business Daily says Fox Sports San Diego is launching an ad campaign against Time Warner Cable which has still not picked up the regional sports network.
Good Morning America’s and former ESPN SportsCenter host Robin Roberts says she will beat the rare blood disorder that will require a bone marrow transplant.
Michael O’Connell of the Hollywood Reporter notes that the NBA Finals are pacing ABC to good ratings this week.
At Broadcasting & Cable, Tim Baysinger writes that this week’s Dream Team documentary gave NBA TV its best viewership ever.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says GolTV scored with this week’s soccer international friendly match between Brazil and Argentina.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life reports that NBC will debut two new sitcoms right smack dab in the middle of the Olympics.
Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report looks at the geriatric broadcasting team calling the NBA Finals for ESPN Radio.
Glenn Davis at SportsGrid notes that even after the winning the Stanley Cup this week, the Los Angeles Kings still aren’t getting respect from the local media.
Former Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio returns to his former stomping grounds to do a massive takedown of Jay “The Rat” Mariotti.
Also from Deadspin, John Koblin writes that there doesn’t seem to be a clamoring for Erin Andrews beyond ESPN.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group says NBA TV and NBA Entertainment are appealing to the hardcore basketball fan for their Finals coverage.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead says Sports Illustrated could be laying off part of its staff.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has tweets from people who hated Chris Berman on the U.S. Open yesterday.
Sports Media Watch notes that this year’s Stanley Cup Final did not resonate with viewers.
SMW also has some various ratings news and notes.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that Brooklyn Nets gear is selling very well.
MediaRantz tells us that Sean Salisbury will be getting a new internet radio gig.
UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Time for more linkage here.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe reports that May was a very good month for sports radio station WEEI as it finished ahead of 98.5 The Sports Hub.
At SB Nation, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch writes about golfer David Duval taking a turn in the broadcast tower at the U.S. Open.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette discusses Johnny Miller holding court for NBC at the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco this week.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with ESPN college baseball analyst Kyle Petersen who will be introducing many Long Islanders to the College World Series today.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post goes after the Yankees for pricing out fans from the “Beautiful People” seats at Yankee Stadium.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY notes that SNY will unveil the all-time Mets team at a gala event on Sunday.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says the US Women’s National Soccer Team will be on TV and the web this weekend.
Ken says local Time Warner Cable subscribers will have access to the new Pac-12 Networks this summer.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says NBC Sports Group has announced the 2012 Summer at Saratoga schedule.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union talks with Jim Rome who marks his 16th year in New York’s Capital Region.
Pete says one of harness racing’s famous races changes networks this year.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call profiles a local cable TV sports reporter who is filling a double role this summer.
Keith has more on her in his blog.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald has some NBA Finals Game 2 postgame reaction as well as Jon Barry saying he’s not a Miami Heat Hater.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Fox Sports Houston was well-prepared and staffed for Wednesday’s perfect game thrown against the Astros by Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants.
Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman writes that ESPN on ABC was all over the non-foul call against the Thunder’s Kevin Durant during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
The Oklahoman rounds up what sports reporters are saying on Twitter about the NBA Finals.
John Kiesewetter at the Cincinnati Enquirer says an all-star high school football game will be shown locally this weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that ESPN is dropping its high school sports operation.
Bob criticizes Jim Rome for his questioning of NBA Communist China Sympathizer David Stern.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch says Cubs announcers Len Kasper and Bob Brenly were silent when comedian Jeff Garlin brought up trading Alfonso Soriano.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin notes the rare occurrence of the U.S. Open and the NBA Finals going head-to-head on TV this Father’s Day.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that viewers of Fox Sports Midwest may need a scorecard to tell who’s in the Cardinals TV booth over the next few days.
Dan notes that next week will mark a decade since the passing of Jack Buck and Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile.
Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman says this fall’s Boise State-Southern Mississippi game will get the Fox treatment.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says Utahans are nervous about getting the Pac-12 Networkcomparing it to their experience with the ill-fated the mtn.
John Maffei of the North County Times writes that Fox Sports San Diego has set its sights squarely on Time Warner Cable.
Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says ESPN’s NBA Countdown show seems to work fine without a host.
Jim talks with NBC’s Johnny Miller about the U.S. Open.
Jim has his weekend viewing picks.
Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times says Game 2 of the NBA Finals drew a good overnight number for ABC.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with former Kings voices about the Stanley Cup victory.
Tom has some more in his blog.
The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin blames both Jim Rome and David Stern for their ugly exchange this week.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog says the NBA and NHL Commissioners are taking it on their chins this week.
And that’s going to do 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.
Time to hand out the 5th edition of the Fang’s Bites NFL TV Awards. On Christmas Day, I provided the list of nominees for this year’s edition. Now, with the regular season over, let’s hand out the hardware for the 2011-12 campaign.
Best Play-by-Play: The Nominees are Marv Albert, CBS; Ian Eagle, CBS; Al Michaels, NBC; Brad Nessler, NFL Network; Sam Rosen, Fox; and Mike Tirico, ESPN. The winner is Marv Albert, CBS. After leaving Westwood One Radio in 2010, Marv returned to the NFL almost a year later to the day and made it a triumphant one. Teamed with Rich Gannon, Marv joined an already deep bench at CBS Sports and made its corps even better. Usually assigned to the 4th best game of the day, Marv can make it sound exciting. Already one of the best ever broadcasters in basketball, Marv has shown that he still has it in football as well. Here’s hoping Marv gets some better games next season.
Best Game Analyst: The Nominees are Brian Billick, Fox; Cris Collinsworth, NBC; Dan Fouts, CBS; Mike Mayock, NFL Network; and Phil Simms, CBS. And the winner is Mike Mayock, NFL Network. He won Best Game Analyst in the 2010 College Football TV Awards and now, becomes the first person to win the award in the same category for two different awards. Mayock should have been appointed as the Thursday Night Football analyst after Cris Collinsworth left, but NFL Network went in a bad direction for the previous two seasons. Mike spots trends, is able to first guess rather than second guess and makes what had been a total train wreck in 2009 & 2010, a totally enjoyable listen.
Best Sunday Morning Pre-Game Show: The Nominees are Fox NFL Sunday, Fox; NFL GameDay Morning, NFL Network; and The NFL Today, CBS. This year’s winner is The NFL Today on CBS. Hosted by the great James Brown, the NFL Today may be ratings-challenged in comparison to Fox NFL Sunday, but it’s not due to the quality of the show. Yes, there are silly gimmicks like promotional crossovers for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show or the horrible Halloween abortion fronted by Kris Jenkins, but when the show goes into football with Bill Cowher or breaking down quarterback play with Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason, or having Charley Casserley discuss league issues, it’s very good. And it’s why I’ll name The NFL Today as Best Sunday Morning Pre-Game Show.
Best Studio Show, Daily or Weekly: Our nominees in this category are Inside the NFL, Showtime; NFL Live, ESPN; NFL Matchup, ESPN; NFL Total Access, NFL Network; and Playbook, NFL Network. The deserving winner is NFL Matchup, ESPN. This show was in danger of falling by the wayside after the 2009 season, but after getting a sponsor and ownership of the show squared away, the show returned to ESPN’s Sunday morning lineup and fans were the better for it. With Sal Paolantonio hosting and Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge, the show breaks down plays and film like no other.
Best Highlights: The Nominees are NFL GameDay Final, NFL Network; NFL Primetime, ESPN; and SportsCenter 7:30 p.m. Sunday, ESPN. And our winner here is NFL GameDay Final on NFL Network. While the NFL TV partners have to buy access to highlights for a price, NFL Network doesn’t have that problem. It can take what it wants and run clips for however long it desires. NFL GameDay Final’s highlights are a reflection of that. The show has suffered since Rich Eisen left, but the highlights are still the same and game segments can run as long as 4 minutes. If you haven’t watched a game, the best way to find what happened is to watch NFL GameDay Final. One of the best wrap up shows around.
Best Studio Host: The nominees are James Brown, CBS/Showtime; Curt Menefee, Fox; Dan Patrick, NBC; and Andrew Siciliano, DirecTV. Our winner is Dan Patrick, NBC. Dan has been the studio host of NBC’s Football Night in America since 2008. He’s gone from sharing the highlights with his former ESPN co-hort Keith Olbermann to now doing them all himself and he does them very smoothly. In addition, he had to break in two analysts who had little to no experience in TV and has helped guide Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison into two very strongly opinionated personalities. Dan will have a role on NBC’s Olympic coverage this year and based on his performance on Football Night in America over the last few years, he should do very well.
Best Studio Analyst: The nominees are Bill Cowher, CBS; Tony Dungy, NBC; Marshall Faulk, NFL Network; Howie Long, Fox; Steve Mariucci, NFL Network; and Michael Strahan, Fox. And completing the NBC perfecta, we go with Tony Dungy, NBC. Tony doesn’t yell, he doesn’t pound the table and he doesn’t dress outlandishly. All Tony does is give you opinions, provide excellent breakdowns and can show a little humor too. He’s grown to be one of the better studio analysts on TV without having to resort to gimmicks. His weekly appearances on the Dan Patrick Show are also quite enjoyable. Tony Dungy deserves the award this year.
Most Valuable Network: Our nominees for this category are Fox, NBC, and NFL Network. And the winner of the MVN for the 2011-12 season is NFL Network. For greatly improving its Thursday Night Football presentation both in the booth and in its production, plus seeing its best ratings ever for the package, we give the award to NFL Network. The higher ratings had everything to do with the wider distribution for the network, however, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable still remain holdouts. But without the two providers, NFL Network saw its best numbers ever for Thursday Night Football. NFL Network is the surprise winner this year.
Best NFL Insider: The nominees are John Clayton, ESPN; Mike Florio, NBC, Jay Glazer, Fox, Jason La Canfora, NFL Network; and Adam Schefter, ESPN. I’ll go with Adam Schefter of ESPN. While all of the insiders can each claim victories of breaking stories over one another, the one who seems to have been consistent all season has been Adam Schefter. I wanted to go with John Clayton and his ponytail, but I’ll give this to Schefter.
Best Announcing Team: The nominees are Marv Albert/Rich Gannon, CBS; Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts, CBS; Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth, NBC; Jim Nantz/Phil Simms, CBS; Brad Nessler/Mike Mayock, NFL Network; and Sam Rosen/Brian Billick, Fox. And the winner of this award are “The Bird” and “The Beard”, Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts of CBS. They’ve worked together for two seasons and sound as if they’ve been doing it for six. They have great chemistry, good humor and know their roles. They rarely step on each other and make each game quite enjoyable. Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts of CBS are your winners of Best Announcing Team for this season.
Most Improved Presentation: Just two nominees for this category and they are Inside the NFL, Showtime and Thursday Night Football, NFL Network. The winner is Thursday Night Football, NFL Network. This has gone from being one of the worst produced and worst called packages to one of the best. After NFL Network jettisoned Matt Millen and Joe Theismann, Mike Mayock was brought in to replace them. And while Bob Papa was unfairly shown the door, Brad Nessler came in and clicked immediately with Mayock. And the problems that had plagued TNF in the past, late replays, garbled audio and all around bad production have gone as well. Replays are sharp, the picture seems much better than in the past and overall, the games have been quite enjoyable to watch. Thursday Night Football wins the award this season.
Best Game Coverage: The nominees are Monday Night Football, ESPN; NFL on Fox, Fox; Sunday Night Football, NBC; and Thursday Night Football, NFL Network. The winner is the NFL on Fox. Fox Sports’ announcers are a weak bunch, but their production people are among the best in sports. The HD quality is good, the replays are done well, I love when X-Mo is used to slow down a play to the point where I can see single blades of grass fly off the field. Fox does a great job on the NFL and the viewer is the beneficiary.
Rookie of the Year: The nominees are Jaime Maggio, Fox; Chad Pennington, Fox; and NFL Turning Point, Versus/NBC Sports Network. Our winner is Chad Pennington. I’ve been quite impressed with his work with Sam Rosen. Chad majored in Communications at Marshall knowing that he wanted to be in TV after his football career. Deciding to sit this season out to heal injuries, Pennington threw himself into TV with the same dedication of his playing days. He’s come off as well-spoken, well-informed and is becoming a very good analyst.
Best Debut: Only one nominee and I didn’t put this out originally. This goes to NFL Turning Point on Versus/NBC Sports Network. This show uses NFL Films footage plus takes advantage of wiring players for sound. What you have is a high quality show with lots of great football footage. This is not just a highlights show, this brings you inside the game, shows you the plays that turned a game around and explains how it happened. Very well produced by NFL Films.
Best Return to the NFL: Two nominees: Marv Albert, CBS and Melissa Stark, NFL Network. Nice to have both Marv and Melissa back, but Melissa’s return has been a part-time one. Marv’s is full-time so we’ll give this to Marv Albert of CBS Sports.
Best Move: The nominees are the Debut of NFL Turning Point, Versus; NFL Signing Long-Term TV Contracts with CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC; and Replacing Matt Millen and Joe Theismann with Mike Mayock, NFL Network. It has to be the NFL signing long-term TV contracts with all of its partners. The NFL gets about $5 billion per year starting in 2014. All of the networks keep their rights, divide three Super Bowls among CBS, Fox and NBC and ESPN gets into the postseason fray. Plus you’ll be able watch NFL games on your tablet soon. What’s better than that?
From the bests, we now move to the worsts.
Worst Play-by-Play: Our nominees are Thom Brennaman, Fox; Joe Buck, Fox; Bill Macatee, CBS; Ron Pitts, Fox; and Dick Stockton, Fox. This year’s award goes to Dick Stockton of Fox Sports. I hate giving this award to Dick as he’s had a great career calling MLB, NBA, NCAA, NFL and the Olympics, but the slippage over the last three years is too big to ignore. He’s miscalled plays, mixed up players and even forgot what city he’s in. Yes, it happens to everyone, but this is consistently occurring every week. He takes this award by a narrow margin over Thom Brennaman.
Worst Game Analyst: The nominees are Steve Beuerlein, CBS; Randy Cross, CBS; and Jim Mora, Jr., formerly of Fox. We go with Randy Cross. He’s only called a handful of games, but here’s a guy who was once the number two analyst at CBS and NBC, but he’s been exiled to the “F” or “G” games with Don Criqui. I honestly don’t know what he’s seeing on the field anymore.
Worst Studio Host: Your nominees are Chris Berman, ESPN and Stuart Scott, ESPN. And your runaway winner this season is Chris Berman. He used to be a must-see when ESPN started airing the NFL as host of Sunday NFL Countdown and NFL Primetime, but he’s now a mere caricature of himself. The “whoop!” or “He! Could! Go! All! The! Way!” or “Nobody circles the wagons … Like! The Buffalo Bills!” act is very tired. It’s time to bring Trey Wingo or Suzy Kolber or even Stuart Scott to the table to replace him. Chris should be put to pasture now.
Worst Studio Analyst: The nominees are Tedy Bruschi, ESPN; Cris Carter, ESPN; Michael Irvin, NFL Network; Eric Mangini, ESPN; and Shannon Sharpe, CBS. This is my Cleveland Browns bias showing but this goes to Eric
Manmoron Mangini of ESPN. There are those who love the way Mangini breaks down plays on NFL Live and other ESPN studio shows, but I don’t see it. Perhaps I can separate my hatred for Mangini over his coaching of the Browns in 20 years, but right now, I can’t see him doing this for long.
Worst Studio Show: Your nominees are Monday Night Countdown, ESPN; NFL 32, ESPN; Sunday NFL Countdown, ESPN. This is a clean ESPN sweep in this category and we go with NFL 32. This is supposed to be a comprehensive look at all 32 NFL teams with highlights, tweets and snark thrown in. This is an abortion. I hope ESPN goes back to the drawing board and revamps this show. It needs it. The debut of the show looked as if it was thrown together at the last minute. The show hasn’t improved much since.
Worst Move: Original nominees were Bob Costas’ Halftime Commentary on Sunday Night Football, NBC; Removing Rich Eisen from NFL Total Access; and Putting Michael Irvin on Thursday Night Football Pregame, NFL Network. I add one more nominee, ESPN’s rotation of sideline reporters for Monday Night Football. And that is your winner. There was no consistency on the sideline for MNF. This year, it was either Suzy Kolber, Sal Paolantonio, Ed Werder, Rachel Nichols and then the strange cameo of John Sutcliffe (more on that later). While ESPN has de-emphasized the sideline reporter on the NFL coverage the last couple of seasons, it still needs a reporter in case of an injury or a development. It’s best if you have the same person every week. Suzy is good or if not, Sal Pal or even Rachel Nichols. Anyone. Just don’t rotate.
Worst Debut: John Sutcliffe, ESPN. A popular personality on ESPN Deportes and Monday Night Football sideline reporter on that network since 2006, the Mothership brought him over to make his English language debut for the Week 15 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers. The game was between two 10-3 teams and it so happened it was also the night that the lights went out at Candlestick Park. While that event could not be foreseen, it was obvious that being on the big stage for ESPN overwhelmed Sutcliffe. He was nervous, he came off unprepared and ESPN stopped using him after a shaky report just after halftime. ESPN PR people have told me that John is one of the most professional people at ESPN Deportes and I don’t doubt that. But that was the wrong game to make his debut.
And that concludes this year’s NFL TV Awards.
One of the few things on which I could tolerate Chris Berman was NFL Primetime which he hosted from 1987 through 2005. He did the NFL highlights well and he gets to return to his old stomping grounds on Christmas Eve as his Primetime partner, Tom Jackson will co-host a special Saturday night edition on ESPN2 at 8 Eastern time. It will be opposite a special edition of NFL GameDay Final on NFL Network at the same time.
Here’s the ESPN blurb.
Chris Berman and Tom Jackson, the duo who hosted the critically-acclaimed NFL PrimeTime — annually cable television’s highest-rated studio show — every fall Sunday night from 1987-2005, will team up again for a special Christmas Eve presentation of the one-hour highlights and analysis program Saturday, Dec. 24, at 8 p.m., live on ESPN2 (re-aired with updates on ESPN on Sunday, Dec. 25, at 1 a.m.). On Monday, Dec. 26, at 3 p.m., Trey Wingo, Tim Hasselbeck and Merril Hoge, return to host the program on ESPN (re-aired with updates Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 1 a.m.).
I may live tweet this.
Let’s do some Saturday linkage for you today. Since Wednesday, I’ve been trying to trying catch up here.
John Ourand of Sports Business Daily/Sports Business Journal notes that the NFL and Time Warner Cable have ended carriage talks on NFL Network without an agreement.
Phil Swann at TV Predictions says Time Warner Cable failed to get the job done.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch looks at the new Turner Sports documentary on the 1991 and 1992 national champion Duke teams.
Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writes in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center takes ESPN to task for waiting too long to make a decision on the Hank Williams, Jr. mess.
John Eggerton from Multichannel News says the FCC has agreed to allow MSG Network until November to provide HD feeds of its programming to Verizon and AT&T U-Verse.
The big story of Friday was the impromptu interview of Red Sox principal owner John Henry by 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. Apparently, Henry walked into the radio station angry over some things said by hosts Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti in the wake of the now-infamous Boston Globe article on the collapse of the Red Sox. Bruce Allen of Sports Media Watch recaps the interview.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe also listened and has an extensive recap.
Hall of Fame announcer Jack Buck, former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol, NASCAR President Bill France, Jr. and NFL Films President Steve Sabol headline this year’s class for the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has an open letter to NBA Players Association head Billy Hunter on the so-far futile negotiations between the league and the rank and file.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir notes that HBO Sports has a new president replacing Ross Greenburg who stepped down earlier this year.
Richard writes about former Oakland Raiders coach and NFL analyst John Madden mourning the death of his friend, Al Davis.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes that HBO will have a documentary on a New Jersey high school basketball team in search of perfection.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner suggests the Big East go after schools in big TV markets to ensure the league’s survival.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the National League Championship Series is a big hit in the local markets, but not nationally.
Bob says the start time for Game 6 of the NLCS is still up in the air.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that Turner Sports’ Matt Winer has had a homecoming this week in the Gateway City.
Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times says the Anaheim Angels are close to renewing a rights deal with Fox Sports West.
John Maffei of the North County Times is not a fan of Chris Berman calling play-by-play. Who is?
Sports Media Watch has some various ratings news and notes.
That will do it.
I have the ESPN Radio announcing assignments for the entire MLB Postseason from the League Division Series all the way through the World Series.
The announcers assigned to each series will work all the way through to the end.
Here’s the announcing assignments for ESPN Radio starting with the League Division Series.
Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees — Dan Shulman/Orel Hershiser
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers — Gary Cohen/Aaron Boone
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies — Jon Sciambi/Chris Singleton
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks — Dave O’Brien (Games 1 & 2)/Chris Berman (Games 3-5)/Rick Sutcliffe
LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Dan Shulman/Orel Hershiser
Jon Sciambi/Bobby Valentine
Dan Shulman/Orel Hershiser/Bobby Valentine
There are your assignments for the MLB Postseason on ESPN Radio. Why Chris Berman is used on these broadcasts is beyond me. The man can hardly call play-by-play on TV, he’s just awful on radio.
On Tuesday, ESPN held a media conference call with long-time on-air partners Chris Berman & Tom Jackson and newly-hired Jerry Rice. They all talked about the upcoming season and what they expect to occur. If you’ve seen SportsCenter, you can’t escape the features with Chris Berman yelling over the fact that this is his 25th season working with Tom Jackson. They had the potential to be fun to watch, but Berman’s overbearing voice and ego killed any possible enjoyment.
But when Berman does the NFL highlights whether it was on NFL Primetime or currently on Sunday SportsCenter during the season, there’s no one better. Really. I can praise Berman when necessary. But put Berman on any other venue and he’s intolerable.
Anyway, get ready to scroll for a while. Here’s the transcript of that media conference call.
ESPN hosted a media conference call yesterday with the longtime NFL studio duo of host Chris Berman and analyst Tom Jackson – entering their 25th season together on Sunday NFL Countdown this weekend. They were joined by ESPN’s newest analyst, Hall of Fame San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice and senior coordinating producer Seth Markman to preview the 2011 season. Below is a transcript of the call.
BILL HOFHEIMER: “I would like to thank the members of the media for joining us. We’re joined with members of our NFL studio team, including long?time Countdown host and analyst, Chris Berman and Tom Jackson, working together for their 25th season together this fall, and we’re joined by arguably the greatest player in NFL history, certainly at his position, Jerry Rice, one of our newest analysts, who will be part of Audibles and other shows, and finally Seth Markman who oversees all of NFL studio shows. I will turn it over to Seth.”
SETH MARKMAN: “Thank you, Bill. I want to say that we are ready to go and excited about this upcoming season – couldn’t be more proud of the team that we have this year. There’s no more passionate group that you can find about this game, who love this game and love doing what they do every week on every show that we ask them to do.
“For Chris and Tommy, I can’t say enough about what they’ve done over the years, and to be together for 25 years is really unchartered territory in this business where you turn over people so often, and to do it at the level that they’ve done it for as long as they’ve done, it’s just incredible.
“I do want to welcome Jerry. To have the opportunity to work with a player of his caliber, what a great opportunity that came up for us this year, and we’re excited to add him to these shows. Also happy to have Bill Parcels come back to ESPN and some of the other people. We can’t wait to kick this thing off.”
BILL HOFHEIMER: “Thanks, Seth. Chris, a few remarks from you?”
CHRIS BERMAN: “Thanks Bill and Seth. We’re all excited about football, of course, every season, this one being different with the three and a half months of uncertainty, but my goodness, the excitement, you talk to people in every city, what they’re going through in Green Bay and cities like Detroit and Cleveland, hope is legitimate, we think, and on down the line. I mean, it’s football, it’s great, you feel it in the air, it’s awesome.
“To welcome Jerry Rice, finally I’m going to know what Joe and Steve – Joe Montana and Steve Young felt like, finally I get to throw one and it’s going to get caught! For Tommy, the only thing I would say is who would have guessed in 1987 after a stellar 14?year career – people forget how good of a linebacker Tom was for the Broncos. When we got together in ’87, which was Jerry’s breakout year. Jerry was always very good but he was to the moon at that time, and for us to be together in this business as a team for 25 years, I know Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon were together 31 years.
“It continues to be more fun every year, and we can complete each other’s sentences, which is dangerous at times, and he makes me smile every time I see him and hear him. So make me smile, Tom, I’m thrilled for year No. 25, I didn’t know we were that old.”
TOM JACKSON: “Boom, I’m elated that we have football. It did cross my mind that if we had this first weekend somehow without the National Football League, how disastrous in many ways it would have been, so I’m grateful to the powers that be that worked it out. I’m looking forward to another season. I know people will ask often this year what’s the key to our success? Boom just told you, we are friends. In many ways after a quarter century, we are a family.
“It has been the extraordinary experience of my life, working for ESPN. Teaming with Boom, I am looking forward to this season, maybe more than any other that I’ve had so far with ESPN. I guess I want to say to Jerry Rice – Jerry, I grew up in Cleveland, and I was always a believer that Jim Brown was, in fact, as my dad took me to games, the greatest football player to ever play, and the only thing I can say to you is that you have, time and again, made me second guess that! (Laughter.)
“I am certainly glad to have you on board and it’s going to be a fun ride. Boom, I love you, don’t have to tell you that, but if people are looking for a reason why it works, that’s the reason it works.”
JERRY RICE: “Boom and Tom, you guys have been together over 25 years. I want to congratulate you on that, but I’m happy to be part of a “team” again, joining ESPN. Believe me, every little move that Boom and also Tom is going to make, I’m going to be right on their tails, because I know that these guys, they know everything about the game, and, you know, how to break everything down. I’m hoping to really be insightful for the fans, give ‘em an inside look, my thinking, my approach to the game.
“Hopefully that can help them with their knowledge about the game, but the main thing for me is “team” and it was all about teamwork when I played the game, and it’s going to be about team work with joining ESPN.”
HOFHEIMER: “Thank you, Jerry. We’ll open it up to media questions.”
Q. For Tom and Jerry, I wondered what you thought about the Dolphins and if you see any possibility of them rising even to second in this division.
JACKSON: “I think there are a lot of question marks with them, and I’m going to point out two we all know: It’s a quarterback?driven league, so no matter how you play defense or run the ball, even if you have one of those ?? my wide receivers tell me you have to have “one of the guys” Brandon Marshall exemplifies that, but this season is about Chad Henne and coach. I think the coach has to loosen his grip on the offense, be more imaginative and his quarterback has to play better. For them to be projected as the possibility of second place in that division, I don’t see it happening.
“No one knows what can happen over the course of a season, but if you’re going to overtake the Jets and the New England Patriots, then you’re going to get improvement at those two levels that I talked about.”
RICE: “I think exactly what Tom said. Brandon Marshall, he’s ready to take his game to a different level, but it’s going to come down to the quarterback and being able to run the football. This team has to work together as a cohesive group and if they do that, if they’re able to elevate their game just a little bit more; they have a chance.
“You’ve got to go out there every week, you’ve got to compete and you’ve got to try to win football games.”
Q. With all the question marks about Peyton Manning, do you think the Colts are going to make the playoffs this year? And there has been debate during the preseason about Tim Tebow, can he be a starter in the league?
JACKSON: “Well, I’ll take them in reverse. Tim Tebow, if he’s going to be a starter in this league, it’s going to be a long?term project. I’ve talked to people who get a chance to watch him practice and watch him work. He is certainly as competitive as anybody that you’re going to meet. He has character. He has the will. But in this league, you have to be able to throw the ball from the pocket, and that is the thing that you hear consistently from people who get a chance to watch him play and who, in fact, are in charge of whether he’s going to play or not. I think that there is an inordinate amount of pressure brought to him because he is Tim Tebow and because of where he was drafted.
“If he was a fourth or fifth?round pick, he would maybe get the time that he needs to develop. When you make the money that he makes and you were drafted in the first round, expectations go up. So I think in answer to that, we will not know for a while. I knew that he was actually, in terms of his performance level, he is actually the third guy in terms of the quarterbacking with the Denver Broncos – Orton, Brady, then Tim Tebow. So he starts in a hole, he has a chance to dig out. If all of those intangibles have anything to do with playing the game, then I think he will be successful but it will be somewhere down the road.
“In terms of Peyton Manning, I’m one of those skeptics right now. When you can’t practice in this league and you have the resume that Peyton Manning has, I think this is much more serious than the Colts are stating, and although Peyton has said very little … I would ask you to think of all of the guys over the years that have had neck surgery of any kind where they had to cut open your neck, an invasive surgery, and they came back and played professional football.
“I think that’s what Peyton is up against right now.”
RICE: “I think with Tebow, what they asked of him at Florida he was more of a guy that was going to drop back and run the football. That’s not going to happen in the NFL. So just like what Tom said, he’s going to have to be able to stand back there in the pocket and throw the football. I honestly think right now he’s playing catch?up football.
“Maybe down the road I can see him as a starting quarterback, but right now with his experience right now, I don’t see him as a starter.
“I think with Peyton Manning … there is something a little bit more serious going on here, because I know Peyton Manning and what type of competitor that this guy is. If he can get out there on that football field, he would be out there. So he keeps saying that it’s going to be maybe a couple of weeks, who knows. I think it’s more serious than we know. I think we have to wait and see how it’s going to play out.”
JACKSON: “Let me interrupt one more time because I think the question was asked, would they make the playoffs? No.”
BERMAN: “If it comes back, Tom?”
JACKSON: “I don’t want to oversimplify, no.”
BERMAN: “Let’s say he misses four games and let’s say he plays the fifth game to make it mathematically easier, so they go 1?3, I’m not even looking at the schedule, that’s not even important. So now how precise and how good do you have to be in those 12 games, 9?3, 10?2, to make it with that kind of false start, if you will, by the Colts which you got to anticipate they’re certainly not going to be as good without him, how could they be?
“So it becomes math. If 10 wins is enough, and he plays 12 games, does he have to win 8 or 9? I don’t know. We’re all just guessing on the amount of games he might miss, 3, 4, 8. When they got Kerry Collins, they knew this was more than one game, I think.
“As for Tebow, nobody will work harder than him, when you ask, and I think there has been a mean spiritedness, meanness, toward him. I think he’s a guy that you can root for, personally I am rooting for him, but can he be a starter – did they make the wrong move on going with Orton over Tebow? Of course, not. John Fox has forgotten more football than I’ll ever know, not to mention John Elway. But do I think Tebow can be a starter down the road, in the next year or two? Yes, I do, and I’m rooting for him.”
Q. I have the tale of two cities here, I cover Baltimore and Washington – Your thoughts on the Ravens and the Redskins, this year?
BERMAN: “Let me jump on the Ravens and then I’ll get out of the way. Pittsburgh with Roethlisberger, that’s a team they haven’t beaten, doesn’t mean they won’t this Sunday. I’ve just outlined the problems, they know them, you know them. How long do we get Ray Lewis and Ed Reed playing at the level they did last year, though Ed was hurt a lot last year, and when he was playing well he was awesome, as was Ray. And it’s Flacco’s fourth year, and John Harbaugh is an underrated coach. Can they get to the Super Bowl? Maybe. Will they? Maybe. Sunday, we will get an answer. That’s like “old time” football, Baltimore and Pittsburgh at 1:00 p.m. ET on a Sunday, that’s the old days, it’s great!
“But I think they could easily represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, okay? And I think they think that, too. As for Washington, you heard the sigh. They started off well last year, which was a head scratcher with the way they ended. They’re probably going to be a little better than we think, but in the end, I don’t know that they get out of the basement in the division. The division is pretty good. Dallas can be better and the Giants are always all right, and Philly, we know what they are and even at 8?8 they could be last. Go ahead, fellas.”
Q. I’m sure they would take 8?8 right now.
BERMAN: “They would and they might get that, Jim, but it might be last in that division anyway. Rex Grossman, not Sonny Jurgensen anyway.”
JACKSON: “My feelings about the Ravens are a little different. I think Chris is on target with the Redskins. The Ravens – I always question them on a little bit of identity. This is not the first nor the last time I’m going to say it. You are either a tremendous running team. And the defense, as long as Ray’s play is up to the standard that it is, and he drives the rest of that unit, they’re always going to play pretty outstanding defense.
“Coach Harbaugh is an outstanding coach in this league, but there are times when it looks like they’re struggling to figure out whether they want to be the power running team that allows the quarterback to develop through play action off of that or whether with the acquisitions they’ve made at wide receiver they want to be that “slinging” New England Patriots?type, Indy?type football team. When those roads cross, is really when they have a problem.
“Now, you have to win your division. If you want to get to the Super Bowl, you can get there as Green Bay did, you can go on the road, win games, but for them, I think it’s about beating the Pittsburgh Steelers when Ben Roethlisberger is playing, which they have yet to do with Flacco, and somehow playing some of those games at home. Because I think that the exercise for them getting to the playoffs is so brutal that it takes its toll and going on the road is a bit too much for them.
“For the Washington Redskins, Coach Shanahan, as soon as he is able to establish the run game, I think we will see massive improvements with that football team. Last year was an aberration in terms of the way he likes to coach and I thought it was all due to personnel, but ending up 30th in the league running the football is not where the Washington Redskins can be if the coach is successful with his system. But I will say this: He got the drama out of the building, he’s absolutely in charge and, I hear, dedicated this year to making this team 8?8 would be good, competitive again.”
RICE: “I think with Mike Shanahan, if anybody can do it, he can, and he got that bad blood out of the locker room, and now they can just play football.
“Joe Flacco has a new toy now with Lee Evans, and Boldin, he has two great receivers. With Lee Evans, he’s going to bring a dimension to the game where he’s able to stretch the field and give him that deep threat. Running the ball, they’re going to have to be able to run the ball; they’re going to have to pound it. They have to beat Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh knocked them out of the playoff two of the three times that they’ve been in the playoffs.
“So they’ve got to win their division but I think it’s going to go with Joe Flacco and the way he plays. Of course the defense got better this year so it should be quite interesting.”
Q. I will start with Tom for obvious reasons, the Texans last year didn’t work out, your pick. But their outlook may be more sunny this year. This is their fifth year, they have yet to make the playoffs, just your thoughts on this year, and what it’s going to take for them to make the playoffs.
JACKSON: “I think offensively they’re so productive and Aaron Foster, if he has the kind of year that he had last year … if he can have a similar year to what he had, their offense is as productive as any in the league.
“… they get a healthy, good, solid running game, I might pick ‘em again, I’m stubborn. I think they’ve got a chance to be really, really good, and they’re certainly going to feel the sense of urgency after what’s happened to them thus far over the course of this football team’s history.”
RICE: “I want to talk about André Johnson here. He’s probably hands down one of the top receivers in the game, but this guy ?? he’s been under the radar just a little bit because of other receivers winning football games, being on winning teams.
“Now this is an opportunity for him to shine and I think with Houston, what they can accomplish this year, if they have a good team, a good scheme, one of the best receivers in the league and I really think they have a legitimate shot to win their division and really go far into the playoffs.”
Q. I’ve got a question for Jerry. You played with the 49ers, when they went from Montana to Young, to Garcia. Has it bothered you to see the way they’ve struggled since Garcia left and with Harbaugh’s arrival does it give you hope that they might turn things around?
RICE: “Yeah, it has. With Alex Smith this is his ninth offensive coordinator in seven years. It’s going to be part of a process for him. It’s unfortunate because I really felt Alex would go somewhere else. He wouldn’t have all this pressure on him right now, because if he doesn’t live up to what is expected of him, he’s going to get booed here and if he had gone somewhere else he could have started over.
“But it’s going to be up to Jim Harbaugh to really help get this guy’s confidence up because Jim played the position. Also I feel like they feel like they have a relationship, but it’s going to be other players to factor in, Braylon Edwards coming from the Jets, I think he’s going to add a dimension to the game that’s going to help Alex to build confidence, because Alex is not the type of quarterback that’s going to elevate other players’ game. It’s going to be other players having to elevate his game.
“I think with Braylon and Crabtree, if they can get along in the locker room, because you got two guys with really big heads and they’re going to have to work together as a cohesive group of receivers, to get this job done. With the signing of Frank Gore, that’s going to help the running game and I think with Jim Harbaugh, that’s what he’s going to want to do, run the ball and get the ball out of Alex’s hands as quickly as possible with the quick passes and all of that.
“Defensively, Patrick Willis is the key back there and he’s got to hold things intact but it’s going to boil down to Alex Smith. If he can win football games I feel like they have a chance of winning the west.”
Q. For Tom and Jerry, are you guys surprised Rex Grossman is getting another shot and is the criticism warranted?
JACKSON: “He turns the ball over too much. It’s weird because Rex obviously has some skills when it comes to throwing the football. I think he’s a smart kid, he seems to really understand what he wants to do when he’s out there taking snaps, but when you watch a guy over a period of seven, eight, nine years, do the exact same thing, I think it becomes hard to take.
“Now I always have to remind myself that he took the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl and he was the exact same quarterback. Jerry said something very interesting because it’s a great comment. A quarterback who doesn’t necessarily lift the play of guys around him, but needs to be supported by that cast around him to lift his play, I kinda put Rex Grossman in that same category and I think as we discussed this during the preseason, Boom, we went through the whole thing of John Beck, the unknown, versus Rex Grossman, the known, and how would Coach Shanahan make that pick and he ended up with Rex Grossman but I think the plan has to be to have a tremendous running game, ask everybody else to lift their play and somehow get Rex Grossman to change his DNA, basically, from a guy who just drops the ball ?? and I’m as concerned with the dropping of the ball as I am throwing it to other people. He just turns the ball over too much to win games.
“I think the criticism has been warranted and I think that Mike must think he can turn that around.”
RICE: “I think with Rex Grossman, exactly what Tom said, his DNA, he turns the ball over a lot. At the quarterback, I want to see a guy with emotions and if he makes a mistake I would like to see him react to the mistake and that was something I didn’t see with him when he was in Chicago. And if anybody can do this, and I firmly believe in Mike Shanahan, he’s an exceptional coach but it’s going to boil down to this guy making good decisions on the football field and I would love to see emotion from this guy.
“The worst thing is to see a quarterback on the side lines completely has this look on his face of “I don’t care” and that’s what I saw from him and hopefully he can just turn it around.”
Q. I wanted to ask you guys what receivers in the National Football League and what receiving corps, groups of receivers, on particular teams do you have the most regard for – most respect? I’m curious to see if Tom and Chris’s versions of that answer would be the same as Jerry’s.
JACKSON: “Versus the line backing core? I like the guys that are more innocuous. I’m going to say the Green Bay Packers, because they work so well as a unit … What strikes me is the team. The fact that they don’t have to work out, I’m one, he’s two, I’m three ?? I like that.
“The New England Patriots, I’m going to include their tight ends, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Ochocinco, who will be good under the coaching of Bill Belichick. I don’t think it’s a matter of the guy who is the most talented because André Johnson may be the most gifted and talented receiver in the NFL, but he needs supporting cast as well. I’m drawing on those two groups right there, they’re two pretty good teams with good receiving corps. But I think they are made all the better, New England Patriots and Green Bay, because of the way that they do things.”
RICE: “I would have to agree with Tom with New England and Green Bay, with Brooks and Jennings, what they are able to do on the football field. They know what a receiving core is all about. It’s not about “me, me, me” it’s about the team and I think that’s why they have so much success on the football field.
“I think what Julio Jones is going to bring to White in Atlanta with Matt Ryan calling the signals, he’s going to add a dimension where you will not be able to double White anymore and I’m looking for big numbers there. And the possibility of Braylon Edwards and Michael crabtree, if they can live in the locker room together and if it doesn’t become an individual thing, where it’s a team concept I feel like they can put up great numbers, also.”
BERMAN: “I think in this day and age, the last 20, 25 years, more so, and part of it is west coast, but part of it isn’t, is when you have a tight end that is ?? well you want ‘em to block some but is such a receiving threat underneath that he makes the other receivers so much better. Jerry made the comment and Tom alluded to it that the quarterback makes the receivers around him great. Certainly, Peyton Manning makes his receivers great, and Reggie ?? Tom mentioned the New England Patriots tight ends.
“… Philly is interesting but I wouldn’t call them the same group yet as far as production but as far as athletic ability you have to look at Jackson and Maclin and right on down the line as, boy, I would like to buy my ticket and watch these guys play.
“That will be interesting to bear out but Green Bay is at the head of any list and Aaron and Mike McCarthy not so much underrated play-callers, but years in the league he was under rated, we can’t under rate him anymore, can we now?”
Q. This is for anybody, just two teams kind of people are talking about the Jets and the Cowboys, wondering what you think the key to the Jets would be if they finally get over the hump from being a contender to actually making the Super Bowl, the key points with them, and also the Cowboys as far as getting back to being a playoff team, what would be the keys to them?
BERMAN: “Well on the Jets, look, two championship games in two years with Rex, pretty good. I don’t worry about Sanchez as much as others do in New York. “Worry” is that the right word? And with Holmes, they have ?? and with Plaxico Burress ?? that’s a receiving core we didn’t mention in the previous question, because I think Keller is good and the line is good … This is a team that made the Final Four the last two years, so could they do it again? Absolutely.
“As for Dallas, I mean, all eyes are on Tony Romo, although, you know, they couldn’t run ?? how good is Felix Jones and with Wade Philips, except for last year they had a very good defense the year before but now with the other Ryan, the twin brother, Rob, where does that put DeMarcus ?? he’s already been great. Yes, Dallas, they can certainly contend this year, they’re under the radar this year, not many years when Dallas is under the radar, agree, guys?”
JACKSON: “I agree, Boom. I think you covered a lot of the stuff on the field. I think for the Jets I’m going to go on the periphery. You’ve got a young quarterback, a coach, defensive minded who believes in running the football and they’re going to pressure the other team into mistakes. You don’t have to score 30, 28 points a game in order to win.
“But you can’t win your division, so you’re always on the road playing football in the playoffs. How about if the New York Jets got a chance to play in front of ?? and I played ‘em in their stadium with those frenetic fans, what if they got a chance to play there to get a chance to move forward.
“Again, don’t want to oversimplify, good football team been in the last two championships, find a way to play those games at home. You’re putting too much pressure on yourself by going on the road ?? obviously they beat New England Patriots but the teams in the AFC trying to win three weeks in a row.
“For the Dallas Cowboys, Austin, Bryant, Whitten, so Tony Romo is blessed with one of those receiving corps. Now it’s a matter of him focusing on the task at hand. Last year obviously he got hurt. Focusing on the task at hand and making that the only task at hand.
“I don’t know what Romo’s day?to?day life is like. I do know that it doesn’t scream of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, I’m eating, sleeping, absorbing nothing but the National Football League for the time I’m playing and that’s all I do. Let’s see how that works.”
RICE: “Tom, I think you hit it on the nose, it’s going to be Tony Romo, if he’s going to raise the bar and play to his potential. With Bryant and Miles, you’ve got a good offense and a good defense intact, but it’s going to boil down to Tony Romo stepping his game up.
“When you talk about the Jets and Mark Sanchez, you’ve got Holmes, he signed a big contract, Mason coming on board, and Burress. If this guy can come back and be the old Plaxico that can make the incredible catches, the big body down field that can position himself to make the catch and Mark Sanchez is going to orchestrate this offense and he’s going to do a fantastic job, L.T. carrying the rock, then on defense, of course, Revis, and the shutdown corner, that should be exciting. They have to win their division and Rex Ryan can do all the predicting he wants to do but it’s going to be up to this team to win their division. If they should do that then hopefully they can move forward.”
Q. Hey guys. Just following the NFL this off?season, I had this memory of the days when the NFL wouldn’t let people do their touchdown dances in the end zone because it was too expressive of their personalities, against the “team” aspect of the game. This year the players are tweeting all kinds of things, lashing out at fantasy football fans, even the owners are starting rumors about quarterbacks on Twitter. Teams, like the NFL, have come so far in the engagement of fans. It’s almost like you feel like you know these players now. I’m wondering if you could give me your thoughts on that, how things have changed over the years. What’s been striking to you as you’ve watched this happen?
RICE: “Chris Johnson from Tennessee lashed out at some of the fans on Twitter. He said something about ‘I don’t care what you guys think about me and my quest to get money and bling bling bling’ then this guy signs a contract for $53 million, $30 million guaranteed. That’s pretty much what this is all about right now. The communication and stuff like that, you got Facebook, so many other things where you can communicate with people, but I thought that really was funny for him to lash out like that and then he gets a contract for $53 million and $30 million guaranteed.”
Q. It seems to be working, though, doesn’t it?
BERMAN: “That’s a good question. I’m thinking about it because that’s not one of the norms. Look, again, let’s go back a quarter century, which I know seems like ancient history, but to me and Tommy it’s not …
“You used to not be able to change your teams so much … unless there was a new draft pick ?? if you were bad the year before you were going to be mediocre this year, so the fans knew their players on the teams even though they wore the helmets and the pads, they knew who No. 80 was on their team.
“Now a quarter or a third of the roster is a turnover. So getting to know players in other ways is a good thing for the NFL because the fans who buy their season tickets and show up week one, they don’t know a third of their team except they follow them and et cetera ?? so some of that is good. Some of it is a sign of the times and what is “acceptable” but the NFL has to make sure that it stays ?? and I don’t know if the right word is “police” but when you talk about Twitter and all of that, it’s not all classy and the NFL is walking the line of still being “classy” but letting people know the players during a time when the turnover is high. So, it’s good but the players have to be careful that they’re not so well known that they’re known for other things and not playing football.
“I don’t know if I danced around it but ?? some of it is a sign of the times and a lot of it is, but they have to be careful because there is a “class” level you have to worry about.”
RICE: “Boomer, don’t you think with Twitter and stuff like that, players talk about what they’re going to do to each other, you know, leading up to that week and stuff like that. I know you stand that you’ve got to be able to police this and stuff like that, but I feel ?? and the reason why I made that statement about Chris Johnson is because the fans are entitled to their opinion, and for him to respond back the way he did, and then for the Tennessee Titans to turn around and pay him a lucrative contract like that, you know, I found that a little weird … That goes to show you that there are so many lines of communication now, just like what Boomer said, you’re going to have to be careful because there are going to be battles that will be started over the Internet and just from guys tweeting and from Facebook, et cetera.
Q. I want to get your opinion on the NFC west and is Kolb a difference maker for Arizona?
BERMAN: “Could be. He’s pretty good. He’s a coach’s son. He’s got Larry Fitzgerald and it’s a division with 9?7 can win it as Arizona did at that mark and went to the Super Bowl. Needless to say the door is open in that division.”
RICE: “Yes, it is! That door is wide open in that division, so I’m excited to see who is going to step forward to walk in that door. I think with Kolb coming over and Larry Fitzgerald, he’s all happy about that and I think Larry had a real quiet year last year. I think with Kolb coming over that’s going to elevate his name. And Larry cut a deal for $20 million, I’m sure he’s expected to put big numbers on the field.”
JACKSON: “If, in fact, the quarterback position plays as projected, if Kolb does what he’s supposed to do, coach is pretty smart out there, he’s knowledgeable what he wants to do if he’s got a quarterback who can do it and not to oversimplify but they’ve got a good running game, offensive line is certainly capable. And that division is so “average” I would think that Kolb would be the difference. You win nine games you probably win that division.”
Q. ESPN’s first Monday Night Football game of the year is Dolphins/Patriots, what do you think the Dolphins have to do to pull off the upset?
BERMAN: “Whatever they’ve got in the oven for Reggie Bush, this would be a good time to take it out. Not that he’s the answer every week, but you do have one advantage. New England Patriots is already preparing for their 2014 schedule, by the way, nobody has seen Haynesworth play in?season football, but Reggie Bush, no one has really seen that! You’re going to have to score. And that’s what I would take ?? right, Tom? What I was impressed with last year was they played hard most of the time.”
JACKSON: “I think you hit the key, Boom. Offensively, I think that they have the ability if Henne plays well … But what New England is right now is the best scoring team in the National Football League on a year?in, year?out basis. They put up more points than you and they win games. Now I’m going to say something that is going to stick. When Tom Brady is standing tall in the pocket and not getting hit, the New England Patriots will win and they will win almost every single game they play. And if he’s getting knocked down and being hit to the ground, then the New England Patriots are a different football team.
“So I’m going to put it on Cameron Wake and Chowder and all those guys up front if Miami wants to pull the upset against New England – it’s a simple matter of knocking Tom Brady down and knocking him down allot. If you do that, everything about New England’s offense changes.”
RICE: Tom, you hit it on the nose. I have nothing to say against that because I think you have to knock Tom Brady down. If you let that pretty boy stand up and he’s going to be able to deliver the football he’s going to be able to find all those receivers and he’s going to be unstoppable. It’s up to that defense of Miami to get around and put pressure on him and tap him to let him know we’re going to hit you the entire game!
HOFHEIMER: All right, I want to thank the media for joining us as well as Chris, T.J., Jerry, Seth, I want to apologize to the media, we ran out of time. There will be an audio replay of the call as well as a transcript that we will send later today. We will kick things off this weekend with the season?opening edition of Sunday NFL countdown this weekend, thank for joining.
And that concludes this over 6,700 word post.
Got bogged down with a bunch of paperwork so I can’t do a full set of links. I’ll do my best to give you what I can plus catch up with any press release posts. To be honest, I really haven’t seen any releases come in today, but I’ll do some posting for you tonight during the All-Star Game.
Steve Gardner of USA Today spends some time with ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst John Kruk.
Great story from the Wall Street Journal’s Reed Albergotti and Cameron McWhirter on how Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium has become a huge tax burden for the city and its residents.
A couple of things from Awful Announcing. First, it has the video of ESPN’s Bobby Valentine saying “fagged out” on Baseball Tonight and then backtracking.
Then Matt Yoder from AA has angry tweets targeted at Chris Berman’s performance at the Home Run Derby.
The Big Lead also found people who just could not stand Berman’s play-by-play and frankly, I could not either.
Crossing Broad had the patience to live blog the Home Run Derby.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin notes that ESPN photoshopped Hope Solo’s nipple out of a shot. Don’t go crazy, guys, it’s not what you think.
Tom Scocca of Deadspin fires a shot at Captain Blowhard’s Deadspin site for some questionable quotes in an article written by noted plagiarist Mike Barnicle.
At the Business of College Sports, Kristi Dosh explains why the NCAA doesn’t go after a school’s bowl or TV money when it imposes sanctions.
The Lost Lettermen explore the lawsuit filed by ESPN against Ohio State for the school’s failure to release records pertaining to the NCAA’s investigation into the Jim Tressel era.
Elizabeth Haldane at ESPN Front Row talks with Women’s World Cup analyst Julie Foudy about the people she follows on Twitter.
Sports Media Watch says the NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at the Kentucky Speedway received solid numbers on TNT.
SportsbyBrooks looks at the new book by former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach who claims ESPN was part of a conspiracy to force him out from the school.
And that will tie you over for links for now.
If it’s Father’s Day weekend, it means U.S. Open golf. And it also means ESPN is all over it. It also means we get to hear Chris Berman’s irritating play-by-play for the first two rounds, “Eh, ah, uh, let’s send it to Roger “Chocolate” Maltbie!” I can’t wait for the social media reaction to Berman next week. It’s going to be rather ugly.
Anyway, ESPN will have extensive coverage of the first two rounds of the U.S. Open at the fabled Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MA. ESPN’s coverage will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 7 p.m., with a two hour break from 3 – 5 p.m. when NBC steps in.
In addition to TV, ESPN Radio will have live coverage all four days and of course, ESPN’s coverage will be seen online at ESPN3.com. We have the particulars of the coverage for you.
ESPN’s 30th Year at U.S. Open Includes 44 Hours of Golf on TV, Unique Live Coverage Across Radio, Multimedia Platforms
ESPN celebrates its 30th year of coverage of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., June 14-20 with 44 hours of programming on television as well as expansive analysis, news and information on radio, online and mobile devices.
ESPN and ESPN3.com will air seven hours of live coverage of each of the first two rounds of the tournament on Thursday and Friday, June 16-17, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. ET. An edited encore presentation will air on ESPN in prime time each night from 8-11 p.m. and re-air overnight. ESPN also will air edited highlights from Saturday and Sunday’s third and final round action in the overnight hours.
ESPN’s flagship news and information program, SportsCenter, will originate from the tournament site with special SportsCenter at the U.S. Open programs for six consecutive days beginning Tuesday, June 14, as well as extensive reports throughout the day.
Chris Berman, who has covered the U.S. Open for ESPN every year since 1986, will host the live telecasts on Thursday and Friday as well as the weekend highlight programs. ESPN’s U.S. Open team for the Thursday and Friday telecasts also includes two-time U.S. Open champions Curtis Strange (hole announcer) and Andy North (on-course reporter). Mike Tirico will call the action on the 18th hole during the middle portions of the broadcast days, joined for analysis by 1993 PGA champion Paul Azinger, while other hole announcers will be Scott Van Pelt, Terry Gannon and Sean McDonough. Joining North as on-course reporter will be Bill Kratzert. NBC will again produce the telecasts, with announcer contributions from analyst Roger Maltbie, who will join Berman at the 18th hole at the beginning and end of each day.
Among features that will be presented during ESPN’s coverage of the U.S. Open:
- A profile of Dustin Johnson, who led last year’s U.S. Open headed into the final day but finished eighth after a disaster of a start.
- A Father’s Day feature with Ernie Els.
- ESPN Sport Science on “The Rough” at the U.S. Open.
- ESPN The Magazine’s Rick Reilly with an essay on Tiger Woods.
ESPN began televising the first and second rounds of the U.S. Open in 1982. The tournament has been in the ESPN/ABC family of networks since 1966.
SportsCenter at the U.S. Open
One-hour SportsCenter at the U.S. Open programs air Tuesday and Wednesday, June 14-15, at 2 p.m. on ESPN and Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 16-19, at 11 p.m. on ESPN2. There also are programs on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m., both on ESPN. Scott Van Pelt will host the programs with analyst Andy North and reporter Tom Rinaldi. SportsCenter also will have reports from the U.S. Open in the morning hours prior to the beginning of live play with hosts John Anderson and Mike Tirico, analysts Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger and ESPN The Magazine’s Rick Reilly.
The U.S. Open on ESPN Online
In addition to television coverage, there will be extensive U.S. Open offerings for fans online across ESPN.com, espnW.com, ESPN3.com and ESPNnetworks.com.
- Columns/articles by national columnist Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig and ESPN The Magazine’s Rick Reilly.
- “Digital Drive,” an exclusive ESPN.com program hosted by Rick Reilly, will be produced each day Tuesday-Sunday of the tournament.
- Extensive video content, including highlights, analysis, clips from SportsCenter and press conferences each day during tournament week.
- ESPN.com GolfCast application featuring live scoring and CoverItLive analysis daily with ESPN’s golf team.
- A golf-themed fantasy game – the second installment of the ESPN Best Ball Challenge
- Streaming of coverage from ESPN Radio.
ESPN’s first dedicated content and digital business designed to serve, inform and inspire female athletes and fans, espnW.com will be on location at the U.S. Open with veteran golf writer Mick Elliott and espnW contributor Melissa Jacobs. In addition to daily reports, planned items include:
- A signature of espnW – Top 5 storylines to watch from the U.S. Open.
- Can you be a top golfer and still have fun? Many pros look really stressed out while they play, while others, such as Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, still find a way to have fun and win too.
- Where do fans stand on Tiger Woods, given his fall personally and professionally? Is he still their favorite golfer, even though he’s not currently winning?
- For Father’s Day, players talk about their memories of their dads and how many played a big role in developing their love of golf in their childhoods.
In addition to the simulcast of ESPN’s live coverage of the first two rounds of the U.S. Open, ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network, will offer several unique views for golf fans. Viewers can watch action on the 10th and 18th holes at Congressional Country Club on ESPN3.com from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. during the first two rounds, and they also will be able to follow a featured group. Jim Kelly and John Anderson will host the feature group coverage with analyst Tom Weiskopf and reporter Mark Donaldson. In addition, ESPN3.com will offer a Spanish-language telecast.
All U.S. Open programming on ESPN and ESPN2 will also be available on computers, smartphones and tablets through ESPNnetworks.com and the free WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
The U.S. Open on ESPN Radio
ESPN Radio’s second straight broadcast of the U.S. Open tees off Wednesday, June 15, with a one-hour preview special at 7 p.m. leading to the network’s 24 live hours of tournament play Thursday-Sunday. Commentators contributing to ESPN Radio’s live coverage from Congressional include Doug Bell, Bill Kratzert, Sean McDonough, Dennis Paulson, Bill Rosinski, Curtis Strange and Bob Wischusen. Chuck Wilson will host U.S. Open studio programming. ESPN Radio’s coverage will be distributed in eight of the top 10 markets, and 43 of the top 50 markets.
ESPN Radio will air live coverage of tournament play from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, June 16-17, with a midnight airing of SportsCenter Tonight’s U.S. Open Special. Coverage airs from 2-8 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, with 11 p.m. airings of SportsCenter Tonight’s U.S. Open Special. ESPN Radio will broadcast complete 18-hole coverage of each weekend day’s final group.
ESPN Radio’s U.S. Open coverage also will be available on satellite radio (ESPNXtra, Sirius XM channel 85) and play-by-play and studio content will be simulcast on ESPNRadio.com.
For golf fans on location at Congressional, ESPN Radio will have signals for fans to listen to audio from 4-7 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday via special earpieces that will be distributed on site. The audio will be from ESPN Radio’s broadcast from 4-5 p.m. and from the ESPN telecast from 5-7 p.m.
Additional coverage of the U.S. Open on ESPN platforms:
Coverage of the U.S. Open on ESPN platforms will reach some 133 countries and more than 218 million international households, with coverage in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Mandarin and Cantonese. Latin America will also feature live coverage and exclusive feeds (Hole 18 and the second Feature Group of the day) via ESPN Play (broadband).
ESPN the Magazine
In the issue that hit newsstands June 2, ESPN the Magazine has a Play department page on five players with “something to prove” at the year’s U.S. Open – Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, KJ Choi, Dustin Johnson and Lee Westwood.
ESPNEWS will offer all the latest U.S. Open news beginning Tuesday, June 14, with interviews, pre- and post-round news conferences and analysis.
ESPN Classic will feature 27 consecutive hours of classic U.S. Open golf films leading into live coverage of the first round of the U.S. Open on ESPN. The U.S. Open Golf Marathon begins Wednesday, June 15, at 7 a.m. and runs through Thursday, June 16, at 10 a.m.
ESPN on Demand
Available in more than 38 million households, ESPN on Demand will offer viewers the opportunity to watch some classic U.S. Open tournaments from the past, including Tiger Woods’ victories in 2000, 2002 and 2008, Jack Nicklaus’ last win in 1980 and Payne Stewart’s 1991 and 1999 wins.
Live mobile video simulcasts of ESPN’s first- and second-round telecasts on June 16-17 and SportsCenter at the U.S. Open preview shows prior to the third and final rounds.
The four-screen U.S. Open Mix will air on DirecTV (channels 701-705) for all four days of the championship. Channel 1 will carry the live ESPN or NBC television coverage, while Channels 2 and 3 will cover Featured Groups 1 and 2, respectively (players in both groups to be determined). Channel 4 will cover the 10th and 18th holes.
ESPN’s live coverage of the second round of the U.S. Open on Friday, June 17, will be simulcast live on the ABC SuperSign in New York City’s Time Square from 5-7 p.m.
U.S. Open – Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, MA
Day/Date Program Start End Network Tue., June 14 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open 2 p.m. 3 p.m. ESPN Wed., June 15 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open 2 p.m. 3 p.m. ESPN Thu., June 16 First Round (Part 1) 10 a.m. 3 p.m. ESPN, ESPN3.com Thu., June 16 First Round (Part 2) 5 p.m. 7 p.m. ESPN, ESPN3.com Thu., June 16 Best of the U.S. Open 8 p.m. 11 p.m. ESPN Thu., June 16 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open 11 p.m. Mid. ESPN2 Fri., June 17 Best of the U.S. Open 1 a.m. 4 a.m. ESPN2 Fri., June 17 Second Round (Part 1) 10 a.m. 3 p.m. ESPN, ESPN3.com Fri., June 17 Second Round (Part 2) 5 p.m. 7 p.m. ESPN, ESPN3.com Fri., June 17 Best of the U.S. Open 8 p.m. 11 p.m. ESPN Fri., June 17 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open 11 p.m. Mid. ESPN2 Sat., June 18 Best of the U.S. Open 3 a.m. 6 a.m. ESPN Sat., June 18 SportsCenter pres. by IBM at the U.S. Open 1 p.m. 2 p.m. ESPN Sat., June 18 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open 11 p.m. Mid. ESPN2 Sun., June 19 Best of the U.S. Open 3 a.m. 6 a.m. ESPN Sun., June 19 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open 12:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. ESPN Sun., June 19 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open 11 p.m. Mid. ESPN2 Mon., June 20 Best of the U.S. Open 1 a.m. 5 a.m. ESPN2
(44 hours of programming, including re-airs of SportsCenter specials)
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.
The last couple of days have killed me going to New York on Friday for business then having to go to work on Saturday preventing me from really reacting to the Dick Ebersol resignation. I will do a Sunday thoughts column today and also start answering the mailbag. Good questions from all of you. If you want to squeeze question in, you can send it to email@example.com and I do have some swag for you.
But let’s do some linkage first.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News talks about Tennis Channel and ESPN2 beginning their two weeks of French Open coverage today.
Mike says thanks to free previews, Tennis Channel’s audience will expand for the French Open.
Jessica E. Vascellero and Sam Schechner of the Wall Street Journal write that NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol clashed with Comcast corporate officials over money.
Marisa Guthrie at the Hollywood Reporter explains why Dick Ebersol chose to resign.
Brent Lang at The Wrap wonders what Ebersol’s next move will be.
Michael Malone of Broadcasting & Cable says NBC local affiliates really appreciated Dick Ebersol’s support of the broadcast stations.
Jon Lafayette of B&C notes that upfront ads have been selling fast and furious for the NFL despite the uncertainty over its season.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek writes that automakers are buying up the available Super Bowl XLVI spots making NBC quite happy.
USA Today’s Mike McCarthy reports that ESPN has reupped analyst Cris Carter for Sunday NFL Countdown.
Steve Jones of USA Today reviews the 2nd volume of the ESPN Films 30 for 30 DVD gift set.
Rick Chandler of NBCSports.com reviews the whole Chris Berman “You’re with me, Leather” incident that the Swami tried to deny in the new ESPN book.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at the new ESPN book and recounts some of his experiences at the Alleged Worldwide Leader.
Chris Ariens of SportsNewser notes that CNN’s John King (a URI alumnus and a guy with whom I attended journalism classes) caught David Ortiz’s 300th career home run at Fenway Park.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe previews tonight’s MLB Network airing of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
William S. Paxton of the Stamford (CT) Advocate catches up with Chris Berman to talk about the NFL.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says Dick Ebersol won’t have a chance to redeem himself from the heavy financial losses from the 2010 Olympics.
At the New York Post, Phil Mushnick says taped Olympics and XFL brought down Ebersol’s legacy. Leave it to the Gloomster to find something negative.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that the new book on ESPN has definitely struck a chord.
Greg Connors at the Buffalo News talks with Tennis Channel’s Mary Carillo.
In the Philadelphia Inquirer, John Gonzalez speaks with ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi about replacing Josh Elliot on the daily morning SportsCenters. You’ll have to mute the autoplay video that starts as soon as the page loads. Just a warning.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com talks about the spike in TV ratings for the Baltimore Orioles.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with Mary Carillo about her move to Tennis Channel.
Jodi Belgard at the Alexandria (LA) Town Talk profiles a local student who got an internship with ESPN.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman notes that ESPN’s NBA analysts were critical of the Oklahoma City Thunder last night.
Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune has Dick Ebersol saying that he expects NBC/Comcast to put forth a very strong bid for the 2014/16 Olympics.
Bryce Miller in the Des Moines (IA) Register talks with ESPN/ABC NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty.
Bryce also profiles the technician from Iowa who’s working ESPN on ABC’s production of today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
Trevor Hughes of The Coloradoan recaps Denver News columnist Woody Paige’s honoring by Colorado State University about his piece last year about the suicide of a Broncos player and his brush with killing himself.
Dick Harmon from the Deseret (UT) News writes about BYUtv preparing to add more sports coverage to its agenda.
John Maffei at the North County Times reports that the San Diego Padres and Fox Sports are about to come together on a two decade, nine figure deal.
Michael Oliveira of the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC is no longer bullish on 3-D TV.
EPL Talk says ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel have improved their English Premier League coverage, but still have a ways to go.
Sports Media Watch says the ratings Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals on ESPN were up from last year.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the ratings for Game 3 of the NHL Eastern Conference Final on Versus.
Ian Bethune of Sox & Dawgs has the video of NESN’s Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy cracking up on the air again.
And that will do it.
Time for the Monday linkage. I hope you had a good Easter if you observed the holiday. If not, I hope the weekend was relaxing for you. Let’s go over the linkage for today.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball analysts like the idea of expanded MLB playoffs.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today reviews ESPN’s upcoming documentary on Steve Bartman and what he’s had to endure since becoming the scapegoat for the Chicago Cubs failure in 2003.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says NFL Network is going all out for the NFL Draft.
Jason Fry at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says like it or not, ESPN isthe standard bearer for most things sports media.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek notes that NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebserol could very well pull a successful Olympics bid out of his hat.
David Goetzl at MediaPost says ESPN should be given credit for admitting it’s wrong.
At ESPN Front Row, Dan Quinn looks at how the Alleged Worldwide Leader keeps the ABC’s Wide World of Sports flame.
The always lovely Kristi Dosh of The Business of College Sports tells us why an antitrust suit against the BCS won’t necessarily bring a playoff to college football.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says a year supply of 7Up is not a worthy prize for hitting a half court shot.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick was apparently in a bad mood when he wrote today’s mishmash of a column.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with executives from NBA TV and the NHL Network about their postseason coverage.
Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times looks at the weekend that was in sports television.
Steve Svekis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has Bill Parcells discussing his Miami Dolphins drafts in anticipation of his ESPN special on Tuesday.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman reviews ESPN’s broadcast of the Thunder-Spurs game over the weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says TNT’s Charles Barkley is apologizing again.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says Game 6 of Vancouver-Blackhawks on Sunday set yet another ratings record for Comcast SportsNet.
Ed tells Bulls and Blackhawks fans to get their remotes ready for Tuesday.
Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at ESPN’s Baseball Tonight paying a visit to the Gateway City.
Dan Caesar of the Post-Dispatch says ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball announcers had trouble getting to the city due to the violent storms in St. Louis over the weekend.
At the Denver Post, Dusty Saunders explores the humble beginnings of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage with Bob Ley.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News goes over this week’s sports calendar for Southern California.
Raju Mudhar from the Toronto Star says this month’s crackdown on online sites is forcing ESPN, TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and The Score to rethink their poker programming.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says 2012′s NHL Playoff starting times could be staggered like the NCAA Tournament to gain more US TV viewership.
The Sports Media Watch has the weekend overnight ratings for the NBA Playoffs on TNT.
At Puck The Media, Steve Lepore wonders if the Winter Classic saved the NHL on network TV.
Jim Weber at the Lost Letterman site says if you think the NFL likes seeing the Draft in primetime, then we may be in store for a lot more in the future.
Joe Favorito says the team concept does not work for every sport.
Emmett Jones of the Sports Business Digest says the NFL stands to lose $2 BILLION in revenue if it lost the entire 2011 season.
Ryan Yoder of Awful Announcing has the video of the usually solid Versus’ Dave Strader calling the wrong winner during Saturday’s Canadiens-Bruins game.
At Tribal Football, Andrew Slevison talks about ESPN2′s MLS ratings from last week.
Bob’s Blitz correctly calls for Colin Cowherd’s resignation from ESPN based on his sitcom deal working for CBS that is now in violation of the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s endorsement guidelines.
And that will do it for now.
When you combine the Sports Emmy Award nominations for ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN.com, the sports behemoth has a massive 52 nods. It doesn’t mean that they’ll win them all, but that’s a very big number. In case you’re wondering, ESPN has 22 nominations, ABC with 13, ESPN2 has 9, and both ESPN Deportes and ESPN.com with 1.
Some of the notable nominations include Chris Berman and Scott Van Pelt for Outstanding Studio Host, Tom Jackson and Kirk Herbstreit for Outstanding Studio Analyst, Jon “This Guy” Gruden in the Outstanding Game Analyst category, last year’s World Cup, Monday Night Football, College GameDay, E:60, The Two Escobars, among others.
Let’s take a look at this long press release which has every of the ESPN family of networks and platforms 52 nominations.
ESPN, Inc. – Industry Leading 52 Sports Emmy Nominations
FIFA World Cup – Most-Honored Entrant; E:60 & NFL Also Lead the Way;
First Nomination for ESPNU; Debut of ESPN 3D Cited for Technical Achievement
ESPN, Inc. earned 52 Sports Emmy Award nominations, the most of any submitting company for the 10th time in 11 years, it was announced today by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The winners will be announced Monday, May 2.
ESPN’s nominations were led by 12 for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, more than the number earned by any other single production effort from any entrant. Fittingly, as the largest commitment to a single event in ESPN’s 31-year history, it also earned the most nominations for any single entity ever for ESPN. The nominations ranged from Outstanding Live Special for the final on ABC to ESPN Content Development’s I Scored A Goal in Edited Special to a variety of technical categories, including Technical Team Studio, Camerawork, Graphics and Music (two).
NFL programming garnered five nominations: Chris Berman (Studio Host), Tom Jackson (Studio Analyst, won in 2009), Monday Night Football (Live Series), Jon Gruden (Event Analyst, second nomination in his two years on MNF), and “ESPN NFL Unmasked” (a behind-the-scenes player profile regularly on Sunday NFL Countdown, in Production Design/Art Direction).
ESPN’s two critically acclaimed news magazine programs focusing on issues and personalities in sports combined for 10 nominations. E:60 totaled six (Edited Series, Journalism, three in Long Feature and Short Fetaure) while Outside the Lines earned four (Documentary, two for Long Feature and Short Feature).
NBA content drew four nominations. The NBA Finals on ABC were cited in Live Special, Jeff Van Gundy earned a second straight nomination in Event Analyst; and the NBA Draft received two nominations (Open/Tease and Production Design/Art Direction).
ESPN Content Development also received four nominations. In addition to I Scored a Goal, two “30 for 30” films were cited — “June 17, 1994” in Documentary and Editing and “The Two Escobars” in Documentary for its premiere on ESPN Deportes.
Among ESPN commentators, in addition to Berman, Jackson, Gruden and Van Gundy; Kirk Herbstreit, the 2010 winner, was again nominated in Studio Analyst; Orel Hershiser was a first-time nominee in Event Analyst; and another first-timer, Scott Van Pelt in Studio Host.
Other notable nominees:
- Three nominations combined in the two categories for Promotional Announcements: “30 for 30” and The Open Championship in Episodic Promos, and “Is it Monday Yet?” in Institutional Promos.
- Two nominations for Technical Achievement: ESPN 3D (debuted June 2010) and “Enhanced Visual Accompaniment,” a virtual studio technology used in a variety of ways, including Center Circle (soccer), Ultimate Uplink (NBA), and Virtual Pitch (MLB).
- ESPNU’s first nomination, for College Football Whiparound in Graphic Design
- The Breeders’ Cup World Championship in Live Special
- ESPN College Football in Live Series
- College GameDay in Weekly Studio Show (won in 2008 and 2010)
Overall, ESPN has won 135 Sports Emmy Awards in 23 years of eligibility. ABC Sports won 160 from 1980 – 2008.
ESPN’s nominations by category (all are ESPN, except as noted):
Breeders Cup World Championship
2010 FIFA World Cup (ABC)
The NBA Finals (ABC)
Monday Night Football
Live Event Turnaround
World Series of Poker Final Table
Outstanding Playoff Coverage
2010 FIFA World Cup
I Scored a Goal (ABC)
June 17, 1994
Outside the Lines: Robben Island: A Greater Goal (ESPN2)
The Two Escobars (ESPN Deportes)
Pardon the Interruption
E:60 – Children of Bhopal (ESPN2)
E:60 – A League of her Own (ABC)
Outside the Lines: Santa Anita, A Dark History
E:60 – Josiah’s Time (ESPN2)
E:60 – Survival 1 (ESPN2)
E:60 — Unbreakable
Outside the Lines – Asian Carp
Outside the Lines – The Power of Dylan
2010 FIFA World Cup (ABC)
New Approaches – Short Format
Sport Science (ESPN.com)
Scott Van Pelt
Jeff Van Gundy (ABC)
Technical Team Remote
Winter X Games 14 (ESPN/ESPN2)
Technical Team Studio
2010 FIFA World Cup (ESPN/ABC)
2010 FIFA World Cup (ESPN/ABC)
2010 Scripps Howard Spelling Bee (ABC)
June 17, 1994
2010 FIFA World Cup (ESPN/ABC)
2010 FIFA World Cup: Day One Tease (ESPN/ABC)
2010 FIFA World Cup: U2 7 Soweto Gospel Choir (ESPN/ESPN2/ABC)
2010 FIFA World Cup
ESPNU College Football Whiparound (ESPNU)
2010 FIFA World Cup (ESPN/ESPN2/ABC)
“ESPN NFL Unmasked”
ESPN 3D (ESPN 3D)
“Enhanced Visual Accompaniment”
Promo – Institutional
“Is it Monday Yet”
Promo – Episodic
ESPN Films: “30 for 30”
The Open Championship
The Sports Emmy Nominations are out. Just released by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The awards will be handed on May 2 at Lincoln Center in New York. Our list of nominees is below.
Best Play-by-play has the usual suspects, last year’s winner Jim Nantz, Al Michaels, Joe Buck, even Bob Costas, but it’s nice to see Verne Lundquist nominated. Jon Gruden is an addition to the Game Analyst category. And you’ll see the usual suspects in the Studio Analyst category.
Breakdown of nominations will follow in a separate post.
Outstanding LIVE SPORTS SPECIAL
2010 FIFA World Cup: Final Match – Spain vs Netherlands – ABC
2010 Tour de France – Versus
Golf on CBS: The MastersCBS
NBA Finals on ABC – ABC
The Breeders’ Cup World Championship: The 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic – ESPN
The Ryder Cup – NBC/USA
Outstanding LIVE SPORTS SERIES
ESPN College Football – ESPN
ESPN Monday Night Football – ESPN
NASCAR on FOX and SPEED – FOX/SPEED
NBC Sunday Night Football – NBC
NFL on FOX – FOX
Outstanding LIVE EVENT TURNAROUND
Inside the Headsets:The 26th All?Star Challenge – SPEED/NASCAR Media Group
Sound FX: Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets – NFL Network/NFL Films
The 2010 World Series of Poker Final Table – ESPN
Tour de France on CBS – CBS
XXI Olympic Winter Games - NBC
Outstanding PLAYOFF COVERAGE
2010 FIFA World Cup – ESPN
MLB Postseason on TBS – TBS
NBA Playoffs on TNT – TNT
NCAA Basketball on CBS: The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – CBS
NFL on FOX: NFC Championship Game – FOX
Outstanding EDITED SPORTS SPECIAL
24/7: Mayweather?Mosley – HBO
24/7: Penguins?Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic – HBO Bill Parcells: Reflections on a Life in Football – NFL Network/NFL Films
I Scored a Goal – ABC
Red Bull Young Jaws – Fuel/Red Bull Media House
Outstanding SPORTS DOCUMENTARY
June 17th, 1994 – ESPN
Lombardi – HBO
Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals – HBO
Robben Island: A Greater Goal – ESPN2
The Two Escobars – ESPN Deportes
Outstanding EDITED SPORTS SERIES/Anthology
Big Ten Basketball 2010: The Journey – Big Ten Network
E:60 – ESPN2
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets -HBO/NFL Films
NCAA on CBS: Championships of the NCAA – CBS
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel – HBO
Outstanding STUDIO SHOW ? WEEKLY
College Gameday – ESPN
Football Night in America – NBC
Inside the NBA on TNT – TNT
MLB Network’s Studio 42 with Bob Costas – MLB Network
NFL GameDay Morning – NFL Network
Outstanding STUDIO SHOW ? DAILY
Inside the NBA on TNT – TNT
MLB Postseason on TBS – TBS
MLB Tonight – MLB Network
Pardon the Interruption – ESPN/Rydholm Projects
SportsCenter – ESPN
Outstanding SPORTS JOURNALISM
E:60: Children of Bhopal – ESPN2
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel:Fallen Star – HBO
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: The Missing Link – HBO
Vanguard: Soccer’s Lost Boys – Current TV
Outstanding SHORT FEATURE
E:60: A League of Her Own – ABC
Inside the NFL: The Drew Swank Story – Showtime
NFL on CBS: Honoring Flight 93 – CBS
NFL on CBS ? Super Bowl XLIV: Wynton Marsalis ? ’43 Years’ – CBS
Outside the Lines: Santa Anita: A Dark History – ESPN
Outstanding LONG FEATURE
E:60: Josiah’s Time – ESPN2
E:60: Survival 1 – ESPN2
E:60: Unbreakable – ESPN2
Outside the Lines:Asian Carp – ESPN
Outside the Lines: The Power of Dylan – ESPN
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Leading Man – HBO
Outstanding OPEN / TEASE
2010 FIFA World Cup – ABC
2010 NBA Draft – ESPN
Lombardi – HBO
NBA Playoffs on TNT: Jamie vs Justin – TNT
XXI Olympic Winter Games:Discovery – NBC
Outstanding NEW APPROACHES SPORTS EVENT COVERAGE
CBS NCAA March Madness On Demand IPhone App – CBS Interactive
MLB.com At Bat 2010 -MLBAM
NFL Sunday Ticket Experience on DIRECTV – DIRECTV
NFL.com Live: 2010 Scouting Combine – NFL.com
XXI Olympic Winter Games: Beyond the Broadcast – NBCOlympics.com
Outstanding NEW APPROACHES SPORTS PROGRAMMING
24/7:Mayweather?Mosley Face Off with Max Kellerman – HBO
Sunday Night Football Extra – NBCSports.com
The Science of Sports – NBCSports.com
Outstanding NEW APPROACHES ? SPORTS PROGRAMMING ? SHORT FORMAT
Sport Science – ESPN.com
The NFL Season: A Biography – NFL.com/NFL Network
XXI Olympic Winter Games – NBCOlympics.com
Outstanding Sports Personality ? STUDIO HOST
Chris Berman – ESPN
James Brown – CBS/Showtime
Bob Costas – NBC/MLB Network
Ernie Johnson – TNT
Dan Patrick – NBC /DirecTV
Scott Van Pelt – ESPN
Outstanding Sports Personality ? PLAY?BY?PLAY
Joe Buck – FOX
Bob Costas – MLB Network
Mike Emrick – NBC
Verne Lundquist – CBS
Al Michaels – NBC
Jim Nantz – CBS
Outstanding Sports Personality ? STUDIO ANALYST
Charles Barkley – TNT
Kirk Herbstreit – ESPN
Tom Jackson – ESPN
Howie Long – FOX
Harold Reynolds – MLB Network
Outstanding Sports Personality ? SPORTS EVENT ANALYST
Cris Collinsworth – NBC
Jon Gruden – ESPN
Orel Hershiser – ESPN
Phil Simms – CBS
Jeff Van Gundy – ABC
Outstanding TECHNICAL TEAM REMOTE
Golf on CBS – CBS
NASCAR on FOX – FOX
NFL on CBS ? Super Bowl XLIV – CBS
Winter X Games 14 – ESPN / ESPN2
Outstanding TECHNICAL TEAM STUDIO
2010 FIFA World Cup – ESPN/ABC
MLB Tonight – MLB Network
XXI Olympic Winter Games – NBC
Outstanding CAMERA WORK
2010 FIFA World Cup – ESPN/ABC
24/7: Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona – HBO
First Ascent: Fly or Die – Travel Channel/Sender Films
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets – HBO/NFL Films
NFL Films Presents: Shots of the Year - NFL Network/NFL Films
XXI Olympic Winter Games: Discovery -NBC
2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee – ABC
24/7: Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona – HBO
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets – HBO/NFL Films
Inside the NFL: Sounds of the Year – Showtime/NFL Films
June 17th, 1994 – ESPN
The Dick Schaap WRITING AWARD
2010 FIFA World Cup – ESPN/ABC
24/7: Mayweather?Mosley – HBO
24/7: Penguins?Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic – HBO
Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals – HBO
XXI Olympic Winter Games: Discovery – NBC
Outstanding MUSIC COMPOSITION / DIRECTION / LYRICS
2010 FIFA World Cup: Day One Tease – ESPN/ABC
2010 FIFA World Cup: U2 & Soweto Gospel Choir – ESPN/ESPN2/ABC
Lombardi – HBO
Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals – HBO
NFL on CBS ? Super Bowl XLIV: Run This Town – CBS
NFL on CBS ? Super Bowl XLIV: Wynton Marsalis ? ’43 Years’ – CBS
Outstanding Live Event AUDIO / SOUND
MLB on FOX – FOX
NASCAR on FOX – FOX
NFL on FOX – FOX
Outstanding Post Produced AUDIO / SOUND
24/7: Penguins?Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic – HBO
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets – HBO
Inside the NFL: Sounds of the Year – Showtime/NFL Films
NFL on CBS ? Super Bowl XLIV: Run This Town – CBS
XXI Olympic Winter Games: Remember the Titans – NBC
Outstanding GRAPHIC DESIGN
2010 FIFA World Cup – ESPN
ESPNU College Football Whiparound – ESPNU
MLB Network Studio Graphics – MLB Network
NBC Sunday Night Football – NBC
Sport Science – ESPN/Base Productions
XXI Olympic Winter Games – NBC
Outstanding PRODUCTION DESIGN / ART DIRECTION
2010 FIFA World Cup – ESPN/ESPN2/ABC
2010 NBA Draft – ESPN
ESPN NFL Unmasked – ESPN
NFL on CBS ? Super Bowl XLIV: Run This Town – CBS
The George Wensel TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Ballpark Cam – MLB Network
Enhanced Visual Accompaniment – ESPN
ESPN3D – ESPN
US Open Tennis Championships: 3D at US Open Tennis Championships – CBS
Outstanding SPORTS PROMOTIONAL ANNOUNCEMENT? INSTITUTIONAL
Is It Monday Yet?: Monday Action, An Exit Away, Stone’s Throw – ESPN/Wieden & Kennedy
MLB All?Star Game: Sand – FOX/The Mill
NBC Sports Championship Season – NBC
NHL Winter Classic: Classic Rivalry; Classic Spectacle – NBC
XXI Olympic Winter Games: One Day; Dream It, Win it; One Dream – NBC
Outstanding SPORTS PROMOTIONAL ANNOUNCEMENT ? EPISODIC
ESPN Films ? 30 for 30 ‘What if I told You…?’: Winning Time, The Two Escobars, Pony Express – ESPN
NFL ‘It’s Good to Have a Ring’: Booth; Airport; Pool Party – FOX/SMuggler
The Open Championship: Perception – ESPN
XXI Olympic Winter Games: One Day; Olympic Showdown; Dancing Stars – NBC
And those are your nominations for the 32nd Annual Sports Emmy Awards. More stuff on this coming up throughout the day.
Ok, let’s do the links that I started earlier today. I’ll finish them up.
Let’s do it.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse feels ESPN did not do Arizona Cardinals QB Derek Anderson any favors by showing him laughing on the sideline.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that the Patriots blowout of the Jets hurt the ratings of Monday Night Football.
Kristi Dosh of Forbes asks if ESPN is alienating female sports fans by creating a site attempting to attract casual ones.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says Colts radio voice Bob Lamey is apologizing profusely to quarterback Peyton Manning for trashing him during what he thought was an off-air break.
Steve Aschburner of NBA.com talks with the NBA’s longest tenured broadcast team, Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn of the Boston Celtics.
Tom Lorenzo has WNBA star Lisa Leslie blaming ESPN for failing to cover the league properly.
At Pro Golf Talk, Friend of Fang’s Bites Ryan Ballangee talks with a candidate for Golf Channel’s next on-air instructor.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times talks with former CBS and Fox NFL announcer Pat Summerall about his new book on Vince Lomardi and Tom Landry.
Dustin Long of the Virginian-Pilot looks at the ratings for the 17 NASCAR races carried on ESPN.
Woody Womack of the Naples (FL) Daily News has ESPN’s Chris Berman happy to be back playing golf after undergoing hip surgery in August. I had no idea he had surgery.
Jeff Wolf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal says the National Finals Rodeo is leaving the ESPN family of networks for a lesser viewed network.
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle says ESPN and MLB are attempting to move the Giants 2011 season opener from Dodger Stadium to AT&T Park to accommodate TV.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the public memorial for late Mariners voice Dave Niehaus will be aired live on TV and radio.
Ian Walker of the Vancouver Sun writes about CBC’s first 3-D production of Hockey Night in Canada.
Ian looks at the technology CBC will deploy for this Saturday.
Canada’s Broadcaster magazine says TSN has hired a new studio host for its NHL coverage.
John Daly at the Daly Planet suggests ESPN build a studio at the new NASCAR Hall of Fame to attract visitors.
Joe Favorito says teams should be marketing more toward the senior market.
And that will do it.
With this being the first NFL Sunday of the season, let’s do some linkage.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News notes that with a new NFL season starting, NFL Network’s RedZone has quadrupled its affiliate base from last season.
Mike writes that America is truly a football nation.
The Associated Press reports that CBS NFL Today analyst Shannon Sharpe is the subject of a temporary restraining order
Chris Berman tells Business Week’s Diane Brady how he almost left ESPN.
A few links to Pro Football Talk today. First, Mike Florio says record ratings for the NFL season opener should be a warning sign to the Players Association.
Michael David Smith of PFT notes that the New York Giants won’t be doing Hard Knocks next season or any season.
Michael has video of Dan Hampton apologizing for comments he made on last week’s edition of Pro Football Weekly.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse notes that Fox Sports will go all HD for the NFL meaning you’ll see it in letterbox format if you still have an old school standard def set.
Wayne Friedman of Mediapost suggests it’s time to abolish the silly NFL blackout rules.
Dr. Gloom and Doom of the New York Post isn’t thrilled about a new NFL season on TV.
Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News says Giants coach Tom Coughlin will be under a heavier media spotlight this season.
Neil Best sighting! Neil Best sighting! From Newsday, we have the best of Neil Best’s blogging from the week. One of these days, we’ll get more from Neil through that dreaded paywall.
Puck The Media’s Steve Lepore writes in SB Nation NY that the Giants will reign supreme in the New York area despite increased buzz on the Jets.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that the Australian Open will remain in the ESPN fold for a while.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says the New York Football Giants have bumped the Mets off WFAN today.
Greg Connors of the Buffalo News handicaps the NFL on TV this season.
At the Washington Examiner, Jim Williams says the Baltimore Ravens will have a home for its live postgame show … on the web.
Jim goes behind the scenes with NBC’s Sunday Night Football crew.
Alan Binder of the Tuscaloosa (AL) News looks at the huge crowd that turned up Saturday for ESPN’s College Gameday.
Barry Horn talks with Al Michaels about his 25th season in calling primetime football.
I haven’t linked to Jerry Garcia at the San Antonio Express-News in ages. Here’s a story from Jerry about 3-D TV.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says ESPN on ABC’s Sean McDonough and Matt Millen did their homework on the Sooners.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has one NFL TV analyst feeling the marriage of Bears QB Jay Cutler and offensive coordinator Mike Martz is a bad fit.
Chad Cripe of the Idaho Statesman says ESPN College Gameday analyst Lee Corso caused an uproar yesterday when he said the show would be visiting Boise in two weeks. ESPN spokesman Mike Humes tweeted me that the site is in consideration.
By the way, Mike announced that this week’s College Gameday will originate from Auburn.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at Mike Florio expanding his Pro Football Talk empire.
Matt James of the Fresno Bee says HDTV is beginning to lure people away from the stadium.
Sports Media Watch has its Weekend Ratings Predictions.
SMW has a few news and notes.
Chris Bryne of Eye on Sports Media was puzzled over a Fox Sports Net college football production.
Robert follows that up with Sainz tweeting about her experience.
That will do it for us today. Expect NFL pregame quotage later.
Well, the morning of NFL regular season opener is like Christmas. You’ve been waiting all night to unwrap the presents and you’re high in anticipation. And when the kickoff occurs, it’s like getting that toy or game you’ve been wanting for months. It’s like that with the NFL. The Super Bowl ends, then there’s the anticipation for the season to begin. The waiting is over and the games begin for real tonight.
And the NFL has made the season opener a very good matchup involving the Super Bowl defending champions which is a very good thing. Tonight’s Minnesota Vikings-New Orleans Saints game should do quite well in the ratings. So let’s go to the linkage which has a lot of NFL slants which is understandable.
The great Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated provides all of the pregame and game announcing crews for all of the NFL TV partners.
Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand says NBC and DirecTV have teamed up to produce Sunday Night Football promos sponsored by NFL Sunday Ticket.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says new Fox Sports NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira will be on TV to help fans understand the league’s regulations.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the NFL will provide a delayed webcast for markets where local games have been blacked out.
The Nielsen Wire blog notes the Dallas Cowboys are still America’s most popular NFL team.
Georg Szalai in the Hollywood Reporter says while an NFL lockout looms next season, the league’s TV partners won’t lose much financially even though they’ll still be paying rights fees if games aren’t played.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse writes local blackouts blot the record of NFL Commish Roger Goodell.
Milton says Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Joe Montana told Dan Patrick that the movie Rudy was not very accurate. I’ve always doubted the validity of some of the events in that overrated movie.
Noah Davis of SportsNewser recaps a CBS Sports NFL Today conference call from Wednesday.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel News says despite high interest from consumers, not many people are running out to buy 3-D TV sets. The price is too high and the glasses are a hindrance.
Todd says ESPN will showcase its 3-D programming next week to help sell more TV sets.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at Mr. America, Tim Tebow, creating his own social networking empire. I think we have a new glossary term, but Tim Tebow is not in the sports media.
Darren writes about a $300 pair of athletic shoes.
Andrea Kremer of NBC Sports writes for the Today show that women can get into football too.
Maggie Hendricks of Yahoo’s Cagewriter blog says Mixed Martial Arts fans have trouble seeing some events on TV.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe notes that CBS’ NFL “A” announcing team spends plenty of time calling Patriots games.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says HBO’s Hard Knocks helped to transform the attitude surrounding the New York Jets.
John Martin of the Times wonders if 3-D TV can be used as a training tool for tennis players.
Neil Best sighting! Neil Best sighting! Newsday’s Neil Best also looks at the season finale of Hard Knocks.
To Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says MSG+ has hired Butch Goring to replace Billy Jaffe on Islanders game broadcasts.
The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg in the DC Sports Bog writes that all regular season Capitals and Wizards games will be aired in HD on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times tells Tampa Bay Bucs fans how they can watch Sunday’s blacked out game.
The Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman talks with Bucs’ cornerback Ronde Barber who remembers the last time the team was blacked out on TV locally.
Shannon Owens of the Orlando Sentinel says a local man beat the Inside the NFL crew to win a visit to the show’s set and NFL Films headquarters in New Jersey.
Dave Walker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes that former Saints coach Jim Mora, Sr. will join a local NBC affiliate’s pregame show in anticipation of today’s season opener.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has the weekly football shows and appearances on local radio for the season.
Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman recaps the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson’s appearance on the Dan Patrick Show.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Bearcats’ home opener on Saturday will be seen on local over the air TV.
John talks with Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham who’s starting his 25th season in the broadcast booth.
John has more with Dave in his blog.
John says Fox Sports Ohio may not show the entire pregame ceremony honoring Pete Rose on Sunday.
John Fay of the Enquirer says former Reds announcer George Grande will return to Fox Sports Ohio this month to call 7 games.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business talks with the editor of the latest SB Nation local site.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says Vikings-Saints is true primetime drama.
Over to Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who writes that NFL TV analysts like the progress of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the NFL games on TV in SoCal this week.
Tom says today is the 45th anniversary of Sandy Koufax’s perfect game for the Dodgers against the Chicago Cubs.
Sports Media Watch notes that the PGA Tour’s Deutsche Bank Championship sank in the ratings from last year.
SMW says Labor Day Weekend didn’t bring viewers to the U.S. Open on CBS.
SMW has various ratings news and notes.
SMW says ESPN saw a slight increase for last Sunday’s NASCAR race.
For some reason, Chris Berman is sporting a porn mustache.
Joe Favorito notes that Mercedes Benz is getting high brand activation in New York City.
Plenty of linkage on this Thursday. Enjoy the NFL season opener.