Now that a bad chapter for Boston and America is over, it’s time to look at some of the media coverage. I’ll do it all in bullet form and try to do it all in one sitting.
- First, the good from the week. Local channels in Boston really got the job done. WBZ, WCVB, WHDH and WFXT all provided bang-up coverage and didn’t fall into the trap of pack journalism. They had reporters throughout the area and kept digging for information. Reporters like Kathy Curran and Jack Harper of WCVB, Adam Williams of WHDH, Jim Armstrong, Christina Hager and Joe Shortsleeve of WBZ all provided solid information and showed their experience of being in the local market. WBZ anchor Jack Williams wasn’t afraid to offer an opinion during the coverage calling those responsible for the bombings on Monday, “S.O.B’s” and said as he signed off after a long shift, “Boston will go on. And we’ll get ‘em.” In addition, the stations provided their coverage online to computers, mobiles and tablets, expanding their audience beyond the Boston market. The stations acquitted themselves very well.
- The Boston Globe opened their site from behind the dreaded paywall to all readers and brought forth excellent reporting and writing throughout the week. They did have one hiccup in reporting on Wednesday that a suspect had been arrested, but after that, it recovered and continued to provide tremendous coverage. For an institution that has been maligned over recent management decisions and almost closing a couple of years ago, the Globe stepped up to show that it can report with the best of them. Here’s hoping that the Globe learned a lesson in this new day and age and will adjust with the times. It will bring back the paywall next week, but it probably picked up a lot of new readers as a result.
- Also WBZ Radio, the only newsradio station in town did very well in its reporting. Having listened extensively during the week, the station should win awards for its coverage.
- On Marathon Monday, ESPN’s Bob Ley and Jeremy Schaap anchored the bombing coverage on SportsCenter. Tapping the resources of ABC News and dispatching Steve Levy to Boston, ESPN gave viewers some tremendous coverage. Whenever there’s news that affects the sports world, Bob Ley is the person you want to offer some perspective.
- For network television, CBS and NBC both had extensive coverage. Anchors Scott Pelley and Brian Williams led their networks to understated and restrained coverage throughout. Impressed with both men, Pelley and Williams did not go off-kilter as some network anchors have done in the past. They made appearances in Boston and asked the right questions of their correspondents. In addition, NBC’s Kerry Sanders gave some solid observations while he was in Watertown in the hours after a shootout early Friday morning to the arrest of the suspect later that evening.
- Now to the bad. The cable news stations seemed to be on a one day delay in their reporting. CNN led the charge in reporting a suspect had been arrested on Wednesday. Fox did as well. But it was Megyn Kelly of Fox who began to question whether that was correct and eased Fox News out of that quandary while CNN continued to stay on course. And when a former FBI director shot down John King’s report on CNN, the network then went to debate whether their sources hung them out to dry. It was some of the worst television since ESPN2 allowed Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith to debate full-time. Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show who has been doing numerous takedowns of CNN over the last 12 months, did another one on Wednesday night calling the network, “The Human Centipede of News. “
- MSNBC seemed to be stuck in political debate and the implications of which side would benefit from an arrest. The network should just give up on reporting news and just stay with political debate.
- While social media has some bad sides, it seemed to be quicker on information than the cable networks. Some of it was wrong, but it was quickly corrected. Whether people were listening to the Boston Police Scanner or local reporters using it to offer information or Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino using it to declare the suspect was caught, Twitter was the medium of record. It’s true. The Boston Police Department’s Twitter feed offered up to date information on the Watertown situation to the one tweet declaring an arrest. Who knew a computer scroll would be “must see?”
Overall, the entire week was a lesson in journalism. And who would have thought that cable news, once the bastion of reporting would become the media dinosaur?
Saturday, April 6
Pregame & Studio Shows
The Best of College Basketball 2013 — CBS, 1 p.m.
NCAA March Madness 360 — CBS Sports Network, 1:30 p.m.
NCAA March Madness Fandemonium — CBS, 3 p.m.
CNN All Access at the Final Four — CNN, 3 p.m.
College GameDay live from Atlanta, GA — ESPN, 3 p.m.
Human Highlight Reel — CBS, 3:30 p.m.
The Final Four Show — CBS, 4 p.m.
NCAA March Madness Bracket Breakdown — CBS Sports Network, 11:30 p.m.
Inside March Madness — truTV, 11:30 p.m.
NCAA Division I Championship, Atlanta, GANational Semifinals
Louisville vs. Wichita State — CBS, 6:09 p.m. (Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg/Steve Kerr//Tracy Wolfson)
Michigan vs. Syracuse — CBS, approximately 8:49 p.m. (Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg/Steve Kerr//Tracy Wolfson)
Women’s National Invitation Tournament
Utah at Drexel — CBS Sports Network, 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 7
Pregame & Studio Shows
NCAA March Madness 360 — CBS Sports Network, 11 a.m.
NCAA Division II Championship, Atlanta, GA
Drury vs. Metro State — CBS, 4 p.m. (Tim Brando/Dan Bonner//Lewis Johnson)
NCAA Division III Championship, Atlanta, GA
Amherst vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor — CBS Sports Network, 12:30 p.m.
Pregame & Studio Shows
NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four Special — ESPN, 6 p.m.
NCAA Division I Championship, New Orleans, LA
Cal vs. Louisville — ESPN, 6:30 p.m. (Dave O’Brien/Doris Burke//Rebecca Lobo//Holly Rowe)
UConn vs. Notre Dame — ESPN, 9 p.m. (Dave O’Brien/Doris Burke//Rebecca Lobo/Holly Rowe)
For the second time this year, CNN will have a live sports special. This will be hosted by Rachel Nichols and Reggie Miller on Saturday, live from the Turner Sports studios at CNN Center in Atlanta.
Here’s the blurb from Turner Sports.
Hosted by Rachel Nichols and Reggie Miller, Live One-Hour Special to Air Saturday, April 6, at 3 p.m. ET
CNN and Turner Sports will present CNN All Access at the Final Four, a live one-hour special on Saturday, April 6, at 3 p.m. ET from Turner Studios in Atlanta, the host city of this year’s NCAA Final Four®. Hosted by Turner Sports and CNN reporter Rachel Nichols and Turner Sports’ Reggie Miller, the show will feature special guests and a behind-the-scenes look at the weekend’s games, the personalities and the celebration of collegiate basketball that extends beyond the court.
The hour-long special will also include live shots and footage from a cross-section of the weekend’s festivities from the Georgia Dome, CNN Center and Big Dance concert series, and much more.
And here’s a promo from CNN for you.
That will do it.
I used to pick on the Bleacher Report for its slideshows, faulty reporting and annoying posts. But that changed when the site began to add well-known writers and editors to clean up the place.
When Turner Sports purchased Bleacher Report last year, you knew this was a huge step forward towards legitimacy. Now, we learn that Bleacher Report-branded programming will be seen on CNN starting this weekend. Not only will this be long-form programming, but also daily updates that will be aired on HLN and on CNN.
The first show will be a Bleacher Report Super Bowl special this Saturday, “Kickoff in New Orleans” co-hosted by TNT’s Ernie Johnson, Jr. and newly acquired Rachel Nichols.
Take a look at the announcement.
Turner Sports and CNN to Produce Kickoff Special Live from New Orleans, Host City of Super Bowl XLVII on Saturday, Feb. 2;
Daily Bleacher Report Sports Updates to Debut on CNN and HLN Tuesday, Feb. 5
Turner Sports and CNN will partner to produce Bleacher Report branded sports programming including long-form specials and daily sports updates that will air on CNN and HLN, it was announced today by Lenny Daniels, executive vice president/chief operating officer for Turner Sports, and Ken Jautz, executive vice president, CNN/U.S.
The first of the programming collaborations will be Kickoff in New Orleans: A CNN-Bleacher Report Special, a live one-hour show on CNN to be televised Saturday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m. ET. And, beginning Tuesday, Feb. 5, CNN will air Bleacher Report sports updates daily as cut-in segments throughout morning broadcasts on CNN, as well as throughout the day on HLN. With information on the latest topics affecting sports teams and fans, these 3-4 minute segments will combine CNN newsgathering resources with the unique perspective of Bleacher Report to offer a comprehensive overview of sports news and information.
Originating from New Orleans, the Super Bowl XLVII host city, Kickoff in New Orleans: A CNN-Bleacher Report Special, will include a series of features, interviews and profiles that capture the excitement the marquee event brings to the city. The show will be co-hosted by Ernie Johnson, host of TNT’s Sports Emmy Award-winning Inside the NBA, and Rachel Nichols, the newly-hired veteran sports reporter for CNN and Turner Sports.
Show elements include:
- Guest appearances by NBC Sports analyst Cris Collinsworth and Fox Sports analyst Howie Long, both contributors to Behind the Mic on Bleacher Report, to preview the game.
- Interview with Archie Manning, former NFL quarterback with the New Orleans Saints and father of two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, Peyton and Eli.
- Bleacher Report elements including highlights and notable performances from past Super Bowls, game perspective and more presented by Turner Sports host Jared Greenberg.
- A fan’s guide to New Orleans presented by former New Orleans Saints standout Deuce McAllister and SI swimsuit model Demaris Lewis.
- Interview with nine-year-old pee-wee football star and YouTube sensation Sam Gordon, along with a presentation of her video highlights and telestrated analysis of her play.
- Vignettes featuring New Orleans natives such as Troy Andrews (a.k.a. Trombone Shorty), a renowned trombone and trumpet player.
“Leveraging the strength and expertise of CNN and the unique perspective of Bleacher Report allows us to extend the Turner Sports portfolio through coverage of marquee events such as the Super Bowl and the development of consistent sports programming on CNN/US and HLN,” said Daniels. “This strategic integration of Bleacher Report with the leading brands in our portfolio will continue to drive growth and revenue opportunities for our audiences, advertisers and businesses.”
“Bringing together Bleacher Report and Rachel Nichols in a co-production with Turner Sports is a win-win for CNN viewers,” said Jautz. “We could not ask for better partners as we increase sports coverage on CNN.”
There you have it.
Well, this is an interesting hire by CNN/Turner Sports. We haven’t seen regular sports coverage on CNN since the demise of the late, great nightly Sports Tonight that was co-anchored by Nick Charles and Fred Hickman. Now comes word that CNN and Turner have hired reporter Rachel Nichols. She’ll be utilized by CNN right away for the Super Bowl. In addition, she’ll anchor a weekend show focusing on sports personalities. CNN says that show will premiere later this year.
For Turner Sports, Rachel will be seen regularly on its NBA and MLB coverage. I imagine that she’ll also be seen on CBS/Turner’s NCAA Tournament coverage as well.
And for CNN, she’ll cover the Olympics, so Rachel will be CNN’s Sports Department.
We have the official joint CNN/Turner Sports announcement.
Nichols Will Anchor New Weekend CNN Sports Program and Report for Turner Sports Across Television and Digital Platforms
CNN and Turner Sports have hired veteran ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols, it was announced today by Jeff Zucker, President, CNN Worldwide, and David Levy, President, Sales, Distribution & Sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Nichols will serve as a sports reporter for CNN and Turner Sports and will anchor a new weekend sports program on CNN/U.S. beginning later this year. Her CNN program will focus on the most interesting stories and personalities in the world of sports. In her role with Turner Sports, Nichols will handle a wide variety of assignments across the division’s vast sports properties including the NBA and Major League Baseball. Additionally, Nichols will cover all major sporting events, including the Olympics for CNN. Her first assignment will be the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
“We’re just thrilled that a sports journalist of Rachel’s stature and expertise will now be a regular part of the CNN lineup,” said Zucker. “Her arrival, beginning next week, is an important step in expanding the range of programming and storytelling on CNN.”
“Rachel is a high profile talent and skilled reporter and we are proud to have her join the Turner Broadcasting family,” said Levy. “Rachel’s broadcast experience covering a wide variety of assignments including breaking news, major sports events, human interest features and investigative pieces will be a perfect fit across Turner Sports’ many properties and platforms.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to join the CNN and Turner Sports family,” said Nichols. “I believe in Jeff’s vision for CNN, and have always admired the great work of Turner Sports and what David has done there. I’m looking forward to getting started at the Super Bowl.”
Prior to joining CNN and Turner Sports, Nichols spent nine years at ESPN, working as a correspondent for SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, NBA Countdown and the network’s newsmagazine show, E:60, as well performing sideline duties on a number of Monday Night Football broadcasts. Earlier in her career, Nichols worked as a reporter for the Washington Post and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
A native of Potomac, Maryland, Nichols received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Overall, a very good hire by Turner Broadcasting.
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: ESPN has issued a statement through spokesman Josh Krulewitz:
Yesterday, former ESPN First Take co-host Dana Jacobsen revealed on her blog that she had been molested by her babysitter when she was a child. It took a lot of courage to speak out and make that public. Dana said it was the interview of one of Jerry Sandusky’s victims that inspired her to come forward. And reading Dana’s journey of those horrific ordeals to her road to recovery is truly inspirational.
After publishing her post, the reaction to Dana’s revelation was very positive. And she went on CNN’s Out Front with Erin Burnett to talk about why she decided to come forward now and what she went through. A very good interview and I hope it inspires other child molestation victims to be able to speak and know that they are not alone.
More stuff is coming up.
Let’s give you some linkage on this Friday. Been a busy day. You deserve some links
The Weekend Viewing Picks provide your sports and entertainment TV watching. And now to your links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy debate whether networks should hire ex-coaches knowing full well they could make news and leave for another job.
ESPN Ombudsman Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute takes the Alleged Worldwide Leader to task for its failure to press the Bernie Fine/Syracuse story and holding a tape for eight years.
Alex Weprin of TVNewser writes that ESPN has hired Bloomberg News sports business reporter Michele Steele.
Over to Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk who has Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid angry at NFL Network for its portrayal of wide receiver DeSean Jackson after last night’s game with Seattle.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News discusses the viewership increase for Thursday Night Football.
Mike writes about the quintet of games that will open the NBA season on Christmas Day.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has an advance clip of a CNN Sunday interview with ESPN Vice President of News Vince Doria speaking about the handling of the Bernie Fine/Syracuse story.
Dan has a very strong promo for the return of the NBA.
Glenn Davis at SportsGrid notes that on the Dan Patrick Show, TNT’s Charles Barkley had some fighting words for notorious sports self-promoter Skip Bayless.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes that mobile truck operators are happy to have the NBA back in action.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says while the NBA Lockout has been settled, there’s still a battle that will continue for several years.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing looks at the machinations behind a longer Thursday Night Football schedule.
East and Mid-Atlantic
At the Boston Globe, Chad Finn looks at how Twitter broke the Bobby Valentine-to-Boston story and he handicaps the race to replace Heidi Watney as NESN Red Sox reporter.
Howard Beck at the New York Times notes that current NBA players are returning slowly but surely to NBA TV which has been stuck showing games from the 1980′s and early 1990′s.
The New York Post’s Claire Atkinson reports that the NFL is looking for big bucks from NBC to renew the rights to Sunday Night Football.
The Post’s Phil Mushnick wants the networks to stop showing touchdown celebrations.
Brett Cyrgalis of the Post has five questions for ESPN NBA analyst Tim Legler.
Newsday’s Neil Best bids adieu to WFAN’s Tracy Burgess who left the Boomer and Carton show today.
Neil looks at ESPN being a stepping stone for coaches who are looking for their next job.
Neil has a quickie review of the ESPN Films documentary on former quarterback Todd Marinovich.
And Neil notes that local football players aren’t making news on social networks, but the old fashioned way… on radio.
Bob’s Blitz has pictures of Tracy Burgess’ last day at WFAN.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Fox is trying to get the word out that it’s back in the college football business.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says Chris Herren, the subject of ESPN Films’ Unguarded documentary, will be in town to talk about his battle with addiction.
In the DC Sports Bog at the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg tells us what happened to local sports radio host John Riggins who’s been missing as of late.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with Fox Sports’ Gus Johnson and Charles Davis about calling back-to-back conference championship games on successive nights.
David Barron in the Houston Chronicle talks with NFL on Fox sideline analyst Tony Siragusa who will be part of the crew calling the Atlanta-Texans game on Sunday.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge who will call the annual Bedlam game.
Mel says Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster are pulling double duty this weekend.
John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Time Warner Cable will be busy with local high school football this weekend.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that the Detroit Lions have received more national media attention whether it’s deserved or not.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley has Fox’s Charles Davis talking about Wisconsin running Montee Ball’s Heisman Trophy chances.
Bob says NASCAR races will be airing on a different Milwaukee radio station next year.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman has his weekly winners and losers.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says it’s going to be a busy weekend for Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster on Fox.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says St. Louis University may be a rising college basketball program, but it hasn’t translated to more national exposure.
John Maffei of the North County Times says local Cox subscribers will be able to see Time Warner Cable’s coverage of the state high school football championships this weekend.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says the Pac-12 Championship won’t be the showcase that Fox had in mind.
Jim says the SEC Championship will have BCS National Championship Game implications like it always does.
Jim has his weekend viewing picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Fox is doing its best to sell a less than stellar Pac-12 Championship Game matchup.
Tom has what didn’t make his column in his blog.
Tom says the new Los Angeles Dodgers radio flagship will hire former manager Kevin Kennedy as a postgame host.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail gleefully points out that Don Cherry’s Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada is drawing lower ratings than in the past.
And that’s going to do it for our linkage tonight.
With another day of wall-to-wall media coverage of the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky story, I’ll provide some links and at the end, some thoughts what has transpired through our computer, TV and mobile screens over the last few days.
First some links.
From the Poynter Institute, ESPN Ombudsmen Jason C. Fry and Kelly McBride are highly critical of the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s early coverage of the scandal.
I wonder if ESPN Front Row issued a podcast with Executive Vice President Norby Williamson explaining the coverage in response to the Ombudsman column.
Through “ESPN.com News Services”, we have a timeline on the Jerry Sandusky case and his alleged child molestations.
In the Beaver County Times back in April, Pittsburgh sports radio talk host Mark Madden penned a column outlining some of the allegations against Sandusky and wondered how the whole thing would play out.
Then today, Madden appeared on Boston station WEEI and unloaded a bombshell saying Sandusky possibly pimped out boys to rich donors to his charity, the Second Mile Foundation. Let us hope that is not true.
Writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times says the Penn State story is causing some serious challenges for sports reporters.
At Outkick The Coverage, Clay Travis has the video of the news conference held by the Penn State Board of Trustees announcing Joe Paterno’s firing and the embarrassing line of questions from student reporters.
Ben Koo from Awful Announcing critiques last night’s coverage from CNN, ESPN and Big Ten Network.
Speaking of CNN, Guyism has the video of British CNN anchor Isha Sesay having a little trouble with the concept of American football during last night’s Anderson Cooper 360°.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman about the channel’s coverage or lack thereof on the Penn State coverage.
Marlen Garcia of USA Today speaks with some public relations professionals on Penn State’s handling of the crisis.
In a related note, Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal and I talked with Gail Sideman of the PR and media firm, PUBLISIDE, for her take on the story.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid has ESPN’s Jay Bilas not mincing his words on the scandal.
To Lost Letterman where it has a video of ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi forgetting where he’s reporting from.
At the Daily Beast, the bombastic Buzz Bissinger goes ballistic on Penn State and Joe Paterno.
Aly Semigran of Entertainment Weekly says an uninformed tweet on Joe Paterno by Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher is causing the actor to stop going on Twitter for now.
Dave Goren, the Executive Director of the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, gives praise to the men and women who have covered this story.
After the Penn State Board of Trustees press conference, students went into State College where light poles were overturned and a satellite TV news van belonging to WTAJ-TV in Altoona, PA was tipped over.
The Big Lead notes that Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski has been strangely silent on the Penn State story as he was authoring a book on Coach Paterno.
And Bob’s Blitz has video of WFAN’s Craig Carton lecturing a Penn State journalism student who called in to defend Coach Paterno.
Now to the coverage this week.
In a story which has blindsided many fans and observers, the media with the exception of a couple of outlets has been playing catch up on a story that has been percolating for a long time. Through the coverage of the Harrisburg Patriot-News and the Daily Collegian, it’s noted that newspapers are far from dead. They just need a story to lead the coverage and the Patriot-News has done just that. The PN’s special section on the Sandusky story led by reporter Sarah Ganim has been stellar and been updated almost hourly. Her interviews with two victims’ mothers and a sister have been extraordinary.
The Daily Collegian is doing what independent student newspapers rarely do. Be on top of a story and not let go. Its reporting of the riots in downtown State College plus use of Twitter was the way to inform readers and get information accurately and quickly.
As far as the television coverage has been concerned, it’s been spotty. ESPN wants to be known as the leader when it comes to breaking news in sports, but it was caught dead to right when the Sandusky story surfaced. At first, people were questioning if ESPN was protecting interests as it did a couple of years ago with the Ben Roethlisberger alleged sexual assault. But as the story ramped up on Monday, ESPN sent reporters to the scene, trying to blanket the Penn State campus. However, ESPN continued to use its analysts like Kirk Herbstreit via the phone to talk about the story.
It also had the memorable scene of PSU alum Matt Millen breaking down on SportsCenter in front of anchor Chris McKendry on Tuesday following the school’s cancellation of a weekly press conference involving Coach Paterno. But ESPN’s constant promotion of that emotional breakdown throughout the day seemed as if the network was trying to exploit that moment and create news.
On Wednesday when the PSU Board of Trustees called a press conference at 10 p.m. ET, ESPN had trouble with its borrowed live truck and had to rely on a phone to get sound to viewers. It was quite bizarre hearing the announcement of the firing via a static phone signal while video of the coach was being played on the screen.
It was CNN that had live pictures and also the start of the student gathering on the Penn State campus, then in downtown State College. As noted earlier, anchor Isha Sesay was a little bewildered about football, however, remember CNN is a news network, not a sports network. Also, Anderson Cooper 360° is aired not only in the US, but around the world on CNN International, so I can give Isha a pass for her lack of knowledge on American sports. But during its coverage of the breaking story, CNN was on top of the press conference, the start of the riots and interviews with local reporters and college football writers until it broke away around midnight to go to political coverage. During the two hours CNN and ESPN simultaneously carried the story, I give the edge to CNN by a wide margin.
In the moments after the Board of Trustees press conference, ESPN chose not to show pictures of the students’ groundswell and instead went to dueling analysts. The story was the growing number of students on campus and then into town, not talking with Matt Millen, Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler and Rece Davis.
Later, ESPN did go to reporters on the ground, but it was handicapped by a lack of live pictures from the scene whether it was in State College or at Joe Paterno’s house where the coach gave statements to the media. ESPN had to depend on footage from outside the Disney family, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, NBC’s regional sports network and KYW, a CBS owned-and-operated station. While ABC Radio’s Aaron Katersky and in-house reporter John Barr were big assets in ESPN’s coverage, Tom Rinaldi and ABC’s Mi Seon Lee were not as both seemed to be stationed at the wrong locations to be effective.
The only demerit in CNN’s coverage was bringing in media opportunist Dr. Phil to discuss the Sandusky case with Anderson Cooper. While Dr. Phil may have said something substantial on the story, it appeared excessive to have him interviewed.
And the Big Ten Network did have coverage on Wednesday, but when it needed to step up big, the channel chose to air a “classic” game instead of the Board of Trustees press conference. Big Ten Network is not a bastion of journalism, but I do expect it to air some press conferences when it had the opportunity.
But the most bizarre moment was at 1 a.m. ET when ESPN was re-airing KYW footage of the Board of Trustees press conference when it switched without warning to NBA Commissioner David Stern announcing the Lockout negotiations would continue into Thursday. No comments from anchors Steve Levy or Stuart Scott, just a sudden switch. You could not make that up.
Overall, the TV coverage has been above average. ESPN which is expected to step up in breaking stories only did so late. Its resources have not been put to good use and lack of live pictures last night were telling. It still has time to make a dent in the coverage, but right now, I’m depending on the old fashioned print outlets to provide the stories.
In hopes of bringing boxing to a wider audience, HBO’s Time Warner corporate cousin, CNN will be replaying the network’s award-winning 24/7 series for the first time. Starting on August 27 at midnight, CNN will show weekly replays off 24/7 Mayweather-Ortiz in advance of the Floyd “Money” Mayweather-Victor Ortiz fight that will be held in Las Vegas on September 17 and aired on HBO pay per view. This marks the first time that 24/7 will be seen on a basic cable platform, having had all previous versions, whether it was boxing, NASCAR or the NHL on HBO.
This is a big deal for boxing as the Mayweather-Ortiz fight will get some wider promotion similar to how Showtime did with the Manny Pacquaio-Sugar Shane Mosley fight using CBS for its “Fight Camp 360°” series.
It is nice to see CNN get back into the sports business for a short bit.
The Boxing Special Airs at Midnight ET/PT on CNN/U.S beginning Saturday, August 27
HBO’s Emmy-Award®-winning reality series ‘24/7’ is coming to CNN, which will air replays of the all-new four-part series 24/7 MAYWEATHER/ORTIZ, beginning Saturday, August 27 at midnight ET/PT.
In the lead-up to the blockbuster HBO Pay-Per-View® telecast on September 17 in Las Vegas when Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz battle for Ortiz’s world welterweight title, CNN will present all four episodes of 24/7 MAYWEATHER/ORTIZ, the all-access, behind-the-scenes pass that allows viewers to step into the lives of the fighters before they step into the ring. Mayweather lives and trains in Las Vegas, NV, while Ortiz is based in his hometown of Ventura, CA.
34-year-old Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) is a celebrated superstar making his fifth appearance on the ‘24/7’ series. Ortiz, 24, (29-2-2, 22 KOs) exploded into the forefront of boxing last April when he captured a world welterweight title. This is his first appearance on ‘24/7.’
Episode one will air on CNN on Saturday, August 27 at midnight ET/PT, following the HBO premiere at 10p ET/PT. Episode two will air on CNN on Saturday, September 3 at 12 midnight ET/PT. Finally, episodes three and four will air back-to-back on CNN on Friday, September 16 at 12 midnight ET/PT, less than 24 hours before the mega-fight in Las Vegas.
In the past four years, HBO’s 24/7 franchise has earned 14 Sports Emmys® for production excellence, making it the most honored sports series on television since its inception. Narrated by Liev Schreiber, the fast-moving, documentary-styled production focuses on the training, commitment and sacrifices that prizefighters make in order to realize their dreams. The turnaround time is among the quickest in television as the series follows the fighters and their teams both at camp and at home as excitement and anxiety builds for the big fight.
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively-syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.
That’s all. I’m out of the office for the rest of the day. I’ll be back with more stuff tonight.
Ok, seeing some good stories on this Friday and it appears that I’m staying in the office today so I can give you a full set and not have to leave for another site. Let’s git ‘er done!
We start as always with the Weekend Viewing Picks which are getting busier with each passing weekend as we get closer to football. And in September, you’ll have College Football Viewing Picks and the NFL Viewing Picks to go along with the weekend picks so you can expect to see those every Friday from September through the end of both football seasons.
Let’s do the linkage.
Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy of USA Today debate whether networks really need to use ex-jocks to be analysts.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News reports that HBO PPV will air the Manny Pacquaio-Juan Manuel Marquez fight with replays of the 24/7 documentary series airing on CNN. Interesting.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel says Comcast is going after DirecTV for what it says is a deceptive ad campaign by the satellite provider for offering “free” NFL games.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine looks at how Kraft used its Macaroni & Cheese brand to help warm up football fans tailgating in cold weather cities.
Jason Fry in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center gives some tips on starting up a digital sports journalism program.
At NFL.com, Adam Rank gives his top six favorite features from NFL Films as founder Ed Sabol goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid is giddy over Stephen Colbert taking over MLB’s Twitter account for all day today.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser has the latest New Era Red Sox-Yankees ad featuring notorious Yankees fan Alec Baldwin and Red Sox fan John Krasinski. This ad called “One Hitter” is the best of the series thus far.
Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group says NASCAR.com is expanding its online RaceView program from Sprint Cup only to three Nationwide Series races.
Sports Media Watch notes that the ratings for the MLS All-Star Game on ESPN2 went up slightly from last year.
Joe Favorito talks about motorsports trying to tap into the New York market.
Barry Janoff of The Big Lead notes that Pepsi is returning to advertise in the Super Bowl by using the winner of Fox’s X Factor contest into NBC’s broadcast.
Brady Green at Awful Announcing reports a story that we’ve been following closely here, that Versus may make a big commitment to college hockey.
AA also introduces its Fan Forum where you get a voice on the blog.
In Sports TV Jobs, ESPN’s Clay Matvick talks about what it takes to be a play-by-play announcer.
Kristi Dosh, the SportsBizMiss, notes how big a business college sports is in the Business of College Sports.
Law professor Roger Groves writes in Forbes that the Pac-12 deal while lucrative, may end up costing college sports in the long run.
East and Mid-Atlantic
To the Lewiston (ME) Sun Journal and Randy Whitehouse who writes that the Maine Sports Network has carved a niche for itself by broadcasting local high school sports and talk shows to a hungry audience.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks about the rebranding of Versus to fit the NBC Sports Group.
At Boston Sports Media Watch, Ryan Hadfield has some local media musings.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about the ailing NFL Films team of Ed and Steve Sabol who are holding on to see Ed finally make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry hasn’t lost any of its luster to ESPN or Fox.
Neil says MSG Network has finalized a deal with Spero Dedes for him to call New York Knicks games on radio.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is filled with hatred for the entire world today.
Marc Berman at the Post says MSG is overlooking a recent DWI arrest in hiring Dedes.
Justin Terranova in the Post has five questions for CBS/TNT golf analyst Ian Baker-Finch.
In the Albany Times Union, Pete Dougherty would like YES to stop airing a certain smoking cessation ad.
Pete says NFL Network has confirmed talks with Time Warner Cable to possibly get carriage for this season.
Pete talks with player agent J.R. Rickert about having to squash inaccurate media reports about his clients.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says NFL Network will have up to six live preseason on its air this month.
Laura Nachman says a Philly sports reporter is teaming up on a new book on the hapless 1972 Phillies.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has hired a new Capitals insider for TV and online appearances.
At the Washington Examiner, Jim Williams says the rebrand from Versus to NBC Sports Network is more than just a name change.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle talks Texans with NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes that Cox has released its local high school football schedule.
Mel says Tulsa native Bob Carpenter may be looking for a new gig after MASN did not pick up his option to call Washington Nationals games.
Josh Weir in the Canton (OH) Repository profiles NFL Films founder Ed Sabol as he enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
Josh writes that Ed’s relationship with the late NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle changed the fate of the league and NFL Films.
Josh says Ed’s hiring of the late John Facenda as the voice of NFL Films added a mystique to the NFL.
Josh says Ed’s successor at NFL Films, his son Steve, has been ailing almost as much as Ed has.
And Josh writes that before Ed was a filmmaker, he was a very good swimmer at Ohio State.
Over to the Akron Beacon Journal, Jason Lloyd goes behind the scenes with CBS Sports as it airs this weekend’s coverage of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says a former Bengals radio pregame host is returning to his position this season.
John has a little more on the story in his blog.
John says Fox Sports Ohio picks up an additional Cincinnati Reds game later this month.
Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press says ESPN will make next month’s Michigan-Notre Dame game into a big primetime affair.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says Versus will air a documentary on MLB’s first openly gay player next week.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the Green Bay Packers’ weekend scrimmage will be picked up on TV both locally and nationally.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin says eight years after its creation, NFL Network finally gets picked up by Charter Communications.
In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dan Caesar writes the NFL Network-Charter agreement was a compromise on where the channel would be placed.
Dan says the St. Louis Cardinals were kicked off Fox’s national MLB schedule to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a rare spotlight.
John Maffei in the North County Times says the NFL’s TV partners are hopeful viewers will watch preseason football.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Ed Sabol is worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Tom wonders if Ed was actually a candidate to succeed the late Pete Rozelle as NFL Commish.
Ed looks at the sports media’s connection to this year’s class of 2011 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Tom says ESPN has invented a quarterback rating statistic and wants everyone to know about it.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail talks about a new reality series in which a former CFL’er is trying to make Canada’s bobsledding team.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks at CBC and Rogers Sportsnet teaming up to air two tennis tournaments this month.
And the Canadian Sports Media Blog lists the Gemini Award nominees in the sports categories. The Geminis are Canada’s version of the Emmys.
That will conclude the links today.
I’m at work again, but I’m trying to cope by flicking on the Watch ESPN for the Women’s World Cup game against Brazil. I’ll give you what linkage I can find today.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today says Turner Sports has reportedly hired Shaquille O’Neal for its NBA coverage. Still no official comment from Turner.
John Eggerton of Multichannel News reports on an FCC Enforcement Bureau recommendation to an administrative law judge about carriage for Tennis Channel.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel recaps YES’ special postgame show on Yankees shortshop Derek Jeter after he achieved baseball immortality on Saturday.
Mike writes that YES saw a ratings season high for the Jeter 3,000th hit game.
From Advertising Age, Brian Steinberg asks if Wimbledon is willing to put its matches all under one TV roof, will other sporting events follow its lead?
Yahoo Sports’ Michael Silver talks with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen about how the channel is handling the lockout.
Stephen Douglas at The Big Lead wonders if the LPGA should be selling sex to help market its stars.
Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser says Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has issued a statement about berating a caller with a gay slur late last month.
Marcus points out that CNN is no longer into sports.
Jesse Sawyer from the Avon (CT) Patch notes that ESPN’s Kenny Mayne will be hosting a football skills clinic this week. Before ESPN, Kenny was the starting quarterback at UNLV. The story also reveals that Kenny is moving back to Seattle, WA where he lived before hitting it big with ESPN.
Newsday’s Neil Best has the transcripts of both the radio and TV calls of the Jeter 3,000th hit.
Neil talks about a new era of TV coming into Wimbledon for next year.
George Vescey of the New York Times says the best way to view the Tour de France is from your TV.
Karen Crouse of the Times talks with an LPGA Tour rookie Ryan O’Toole who prepared for life on the tour through Golf Channel’s Big Break reality show.
Brent Briggeman of the Colorado Springs Gazette also spoke with O’Toole about her time on Big Break.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says ESPN2 will have the replay of today’s dramatic USA-Brazil Women’s World Cup game which had a lot of twists and turns.
Adam Sichko of the Albany (NY) Business Review notes that a local company will help produce live horse racing from nearby Saratoga for NBC.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks about Showtime getting into the sports reality TV realm with the new MLB TV series, “The Franchise”.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with ESPN’s Nomar Garciaparra about the Home Run Derby.
From the Dallas Morning News, Barry Horn discusses the Longhorn Network making some on-air hires.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle tries to reassure readers about the availability of the Longhorn Network.
Kevin Benz at Culture Map Houston wonders if ESPN is making the Longhorn Network all about ESPN instead of University of Texas sports.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Bengals talks with ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden about the NFL lockout.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says TBS and MLB Network analyst John Smoltz still has a dream to be a professional golfer.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks with Fox’s Joe Buck about his recovery from an ailment that affected his voice. And many of you have either tweeted or e-mailed me about this and have noticed how he has sounded since the Super Bowl. Dan’s story pretty much explains what happened.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Joe Buck didn’t mince words when it came to the Dodgers ownership debacle.
That’s going to do it for today.
Just learned of the passing of original CNN Sports Tonight co-anchor Nick Charles. CNN reported on Nick’s death this morning. Nick and Fred Hickman were on the first night CNN signed on back on June 1, 1980. He remained with CNN until 2001. Among his co-anchors on CNN Sports Tonight including Hickman were Jim Huber, Dan Patrick, Dan Hicks, Hannah Storm and so many others.
Upon leaving CNN, he began a distinguished career calling boxing for Showtime, particularly ShoBox: The Next Generation and continued until he learned he had stage 4 bladder cancer in 2009. After undergoing chemotherapy, Nick returned to Showtime in early 2010, however, the cancer became more aggressive and he left Showtime for good. He did come back to the air one more time in March of this year, calling fights for HBO’s Boxing After Dark. It was his goodbye to the fans who were such a big part of his life.
Throughout this treatment, Nick handled cancer with dignity. He thought the disease was in remission in 2010, but when the cancer returned, he went through more treatments, but after realizing the cancer had taken its toll, he stopped them.
Charles began recording messages for his young daughter to be played after his death.
Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski wrote a very poignant story on Charles earlier this year chronicling his embrace of life and his attempts to make every day special before passing.
Charles’s former colleague Jim Huber has reacted to his passing.
Here’s a story from Dr. Sanjay Gupta with Nick Charles.
Here are some of Nick’s former CNN colleagues including Keith Olbermann, Dan Hicks, Fred Hickman, Jim Huber and Vince Cellini discussing his passions and his legacy.
It’s truly a sad day. Charles was truly a pioneer in cable sports helping to establish one of the early cable sports rivalries with ESPN and forming one of the best anchor teams with Fred Hickman.
He will be missed.
Again, I’ve been all over the place and can’t really blog like I want to, but I do what I can. Some links while I’m free and not committed to anything.
The Pac 12 media deals with ESPN and Fox will be made official later this week, but we do know some details. First, it’s a $3 billion deal over a span of 12 years meaning the Conference will get $250 million a year to distribute to its member schools. Second, both ESPN and Fox will air primetime games on over the air TV. Third, it increases the amount of games shown on television.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says one part of the new TV world for the conference will be a new Pac 12 Network that will be fully owned and operated by the league.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News writes that NBC/Comcast was shut out of obtaining any rights at least on the cable and network deals.
Jon also has some details from the new deal.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says the new TV contract will give the University of Utah much more money than it would have made in the Mountain West Conference.
George Schroeder of the Eugene (OR) Register-Guard writes that Pac 12 schools will start to see a financial windfall thanks to increased revenue from the new TV contract.
Jon Weisman of Variety says the new contract is now the most lucrative in college sports.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the Pac 12 contract proves that sports is the engine that drives TV ratings.
To other stories now.
Brian Lowry of Fox Sports says small market teams are doing their best to play with the big boys.
Eriq Gardner from the Hollywood Reporter says Miami Heat star Chris Bosh is suing the mother of his child and the producer of the VH1 reality show, “Basketball Wives” for infringing on his “life rights” and using his “mark” illegally.
Tim Baysinger at Broadcasting & Cable discusses the Sports Emmy Awards which were handed out on Monday.
Tim also looks at Fox Soccer Channel rebranding its MLS coverage.
The Nielsen Wire blog notes that the number of TV’s have dropped since its last survey.
R. Thomas Umstead from Multichannel News says the Manny Pacquaio-Shane Mosley fight will be made available online for the same pay per view TV price.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel writes TNT saw a record audience for the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Current’s Keith Olbermann writing in his MLB.com blog takes ESPN.com’s Fantasy Baseball to task for not updating its stats quick enough and throws some shots at the Mothership in the process. Thanks to The Big Lead for the link.
The Big Lead notes that noted FoxSports.com basketball writer Drew Goodman could be headed to CBSSports.com.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid says NBA fans get angry when Ernie Johnson, Jr. takes a day off from Inside the NBA.
At ESPN’s Front Row, Sheldon Spencer profiles the network’s Senior Coordinating Producer of the NFL Draft who got his baptism-by-fire this past weekend.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Dave Kindred looks at new media and how the rules of covering established events apply to it.
To Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union who notes a local reporter gets a minor league baseball announcing gig.
In the New Jersey Newsroom, Evan Weiner notes that sports leagues, sports organizations team owners and athletes don’t have their priorities straight.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that a trio of CNN reporters were watching or attending Game 2 of the Tampa Bay Lightning-Capitals series when they were notified to get to work to report on the Osama bin Laden story.
Cindy Boren from the Post’s Early Lead blog says Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall tweeted about Osama bin Laden’s death and 9/11.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the Capitals are back in action tonight with an early start on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.
Iliana Limon of the Orlando Sentinel has Conference USA rejecting ESPN’s argument that it ventured into a media rights agreement.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that NBC’s Cris Collinsworth has now won an even dozen Sports Emmy Awards.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says viewership for the NFL Draft was down from last year.
Diane Pucin from the Los Angeles Times talks with ESPN’s Dan Shulman about him addressing the Osama bin Laden story on Sunday Night Baseball.
Sports Media Watch says NASCAR on Fox’s overnight ratings were flat compared to last year.
SMW notes that the opening game of Celtics-Heat scored for ABC on Sunday.
SMW says the series clinching win for the Memphis Grizzlies over the San Antonio Spurs did not resonate with viewers as much as last year’s comparable game.
And SMW writes that the Mavericks-Lakers opener on Monday did very well for TNT.
Ed De Rosa of the Thoroughbred Times says NBC is tapping Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli for this year’s Kentucky Derby broadcast.
Puck The Media’s Steve Lepore is happy to see Mike Emrick win the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Play-by-Play.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog feels TSN Radio should avoided politics on Election Day.
Cork Gaines at the Business Insider’s Sports Page wonders if sports leagues can survive Detroit’s declining population.
And that will conclude the links for today.
I left the conference early today so I’ll do a few quick links for you. Just glad I left before the traffic got bad. Here are some links.
Pete Barlas of Investor’s Business Daily has a look at Turner Sports taking over March Madness on Demand from CBS Sports which had been running the NCAA Tournament streaming site since 203.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with two Poynter Institute officials on their partnership with ESPN to be the network’s Ombudsman.
Richard also has his February Media Power List. One of these days, I’ll make it there. Just joking, Richard.
Also from SI, Joe Posnanski has a very poignant profile of former CNN Sports Tonight anchor and Showtime boxing voice Nick Charles who is facing death head on. Thanks to Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser for the link.
Nat Ives from Advertising Age says the NFL’s TV partners could still come out smelling like roses even if they had to pay the league their full rights fees in a lockout.
The St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says ESPN has several ethical hurdles to climb in the wake of recent incidents.
Wishing a Happy Birthday to Southeastern New England Media Mogul Keith Thibault both personally and to his blog, Sports Media Journal which turns 4 today. Keith is still a young guy. Just graduated from college so wish him a hearty congratulations at his Twitter page.
And Keith continues his series of what’s right and wrong with sports media with a look at television sports newscasts.
The lovely Lacey Rose at Hollywood Reporter says CBS/Turner Sports have tapped the group, Kings of Leon, to be the official band of this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that ESPN has hired from within for its coordinating producer of global soccer position.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine speaks with a TV researcher on finding who wins and who loses in case of an NFL lockout.
I’ll add some more linkage later. I’ll let you know when this is updated.
George Winslow from Broadcasting & Cable writes that the official March Madness on Demand app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod will be available next week.
Anthony Crupi from Mediaweek says if there’s an NFL lockout, the networks could stand to lose billions of dollars in advertisting.
Mike Shields of Mediaweek notes that advertising for March Madness on Demand is almost sold out.
I’ll add some links to the ones I provided earlier today. Let’s do this while the BCS National Championship Game is on.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says ESPN will commemorate Martin Luther King’s Birthday with a live, Town Hall Meeting.
Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek notes that Fox and NBC scored in the ratings for the NFL Wild Card playoffs.
Michael Dunaway of Paste magazine talks with the Executive Producer of ESPN Films and the 30 for 30 series.
Radio Ink magazine reports that the Dan Patrick Show has renewed its syndication agreement with Premiere Radio Networks at the same time the show has re-upped with DirecTV.
Noah Davis at SportsNewser says NHL Network US has hired an ESPN veteran to be its Executive Producer.
At the Albany Times Union, Pete Dougherty notes Fox’s ratings for the the NFC Wild Card playoff game.
David Zurawik at the Baltimore Sun says CBS did not get the job done during the Ravens-Chiefs Wild Card playoff game.
The Baltimore Sports Report speaks with the lovely Jen Royle of MASN.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with the new MASN Nationals analyst.
Aaron Knox of the Tampa Bay Tribune says ESPN is not apologizing for putting the BCS on cable.
To the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Ray Buck who writes that Fox had a unique opportunity for a dress rehearsal for Super Bowl XLV with last Friday’s Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium.
W. Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Journal tells us that the Spurs top the local NBA ratings across the country.
David Burger in the Salt Lake Tribune writes that country star Kenny Chesney is producing his second football-centric documentary for ESPN.
In the Los Angeles Times, David Kronke says The Onion is skewering both ESPN and CNN in two new shows.
Sports Media Watch says CBS got a huge rating for Baltimore-Kansas City on Sunday.
SMW notes that the Packers-Eagles game was the most viewed Wild Card playoff contest ever.
Chris Byrne at the Eye on Sports Media has the national and local honorees for the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.
And that’s going to finish us for the night.
Just received this press release from MLB Network that states the channel will be the only sports TV network that will simulcast the George Clooney-led fundraiser for Haitian Earthquake relief. Hope For Haiti will be aired across the nation and around the world on Friday starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the networks listed below.
NOW: A GLOBAL BENEFIT FOR EARTHQUAKE RELIEF” ADDS NEW MUSICAL PERFORMANCES AND CELEBRITY PARTICIPANTS TO SUPERSTAR LINEUP HAITI
Beyoncé to Perform in
New York City
Haitian Artist Emeline Michel in
Participants to include President Bill Clinton, Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt, Chris Rock, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington,
, Jon Stewart, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Will Smith with Muhammad Ali, and More Than One Hundred of the Biggest Names in Film, Television, and Music Halle Berry
Now” to Begin Accepting Donations via Online, Phone, Text and Mail at 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT on Friday, January 22 HaitiMusic Performances Available for Pre-Order Exclusively on iTunesNEW YORK, NY; LOS ANGELES, CA; and LONDON, (JANUARY 21, 2010) – “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief,” today announced the addition of new musical artists and celebrity participants to its lineup. “Hope for ENGLAND Now” will air on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and 7:00 p.m. CT HaitiNewly added performers Beyoncé in London, Madonna in New York City, and Haitian artist Emeline Michel in Los Angeles will join the previously announced lineup: Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Sting in New York City; Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and a group performance by Keith Urban, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow in Los Angeles; and Coldplay, and a group performance by Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z, and Rihanna in London.In addition to musical performances, Wyclef Jean in New York City, George Clooney in Los Angeles, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper reporting from Haiti, “Hope for Haiti Now” will feature President Bill Clinton, Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt, Chris Rock, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jon Stewart, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Will Smith with Muhammad Ali, and more than one hundred of the biggest names in film, television, and music.“Hope for Now” will begin accepting donations at 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT on Friday, January 22 via the following methods: Haiti• Online: www.hopeforhaitinow.org• Phone: 877-99-HAITI• Text: Text “GIVE” to 50555• Mail: Hope For Now Fund, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Haiti 1201 West 5th Street, Suite T-700, , Los Angeles CA 90017Music performances from “Hope for Haiti Now” will be available for purchase and download on the iTunes® Store. Beginning on Friday, iTunes customers will be able to exclusively pre-order both the “Hope for Haiti Now” full performance album ($7.99) and the full two-hour video telecast ($1.99). Pre-orders will be delivered in the days following the telethon. Individual audio performances will also be available for purchase and download for $.99 cents each in the days following the telethon. Apple, the record labels and the artists will donate their share of the proceeds to relief funds managed by “Hope for Haiti Now” charities. Haiti“Hope for Haiti Now” performances will also be available for purchase on AmazonMP3 and Rhapsody, with distribution provided by INgrooves. Proceeds from those purchases will also benefit relief funds managed by “Hope for Haiti Now” charities. Haiti“Hope for Haiti Now,” will benefit Oxfam , Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, Yele Haiti Foundation, and the newly formed Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation. Proceeds from “Hope for Haiti Now” will be split among each organization’s individual funds for America earthquake relief. With the exception of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, each partner organization was selected for its history of operation and collaboration within the NGO community in Haiti . Haiti“Hope for Haiti Now” will air across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, CMT, PBS, TNT, Showtime, COMEDY CENTRAL, Bravo, E! Entertainment, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, G4, CENTRIC, Current TV, Fuse, MLB Network, EPIX, Palladia, SoapNet, Style, Discovery Health, Planet Green, CNN en Español, HBO Latino, and Canadian networks including CBC Television, CTV, Global Television, and MuchMusic. The event will be live streamed online globally across sites including YouTube, Hulu, MySpace, Fancast, AOL, MSN.com, Yahoo, Bing.com, BET.com, CNN.com, MTV.com, VH1.com, and Rhapsody and on mobile via Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and FloTV. “Hope for Haiti Now” will also air internationally on BET International, CNN International, National Geographic, and MTV Networks International, which is available in 640 million homes worldwide. “Hope for Haiti Now” will be available non-exclusively to all terrestrial radio stations around the globe and SIRIUS XM Radio as a one time only radio broadcast via the MTV Radio Network and Westwood One.Based on production needs and venue sizes, all “Hope for Haiti Now” studio locations will be closed to the media. Photos, pool video footage and talent interviews from “Hope for Haiti Now” will be serviced to news outlets immediately following the event.“Hope for Haiti Now” is produced by Joel Gallen and Tenth Planet Productions, in collaboration with Viacom’s MTV Networks and George Clooney.
It’s safe to say that Hope for Haiti Now will be the lone Primetime Viewing Pick from 8-10 p.m. tomorrow.
I’ll provide some press releases while I can.
Here’s the interview CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta conducted with Lance Armstrong. This interview aired on today’s edition of American Morning.
In an interview that aired on today’s American Morning, CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke exclusively with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, just after he took third place at the Tour de France this weekend. Armstrong spoke candidly about the challenges he faced after a four year break, drug tests, his critics and why he has committed to race in 2010.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Today has been a remarkable 22 days for Lance Armstrong right here in
. Tour de France started in France , ended right here in Monaco . Fans, cancer survivors from all over the world really cheering on the seven-time Tour de France winner. Paris
Now I set on the board of Lance Armstrong, and I can tell you, after a four-year hiatus it was a big decision for him. I caught up with him just a few hours after he took third place at the Tour de France to talk about some of the challenges, to talk about some of the criticisms that have been waged against him, and how he responds to those and to simply ask him why he decided to get involved in all of this again.
GUPTA (on camera): Coming in first, is that something you thought about? I mean, did you care? You write it’s not about the bike. But do you care if you come in first or not?
LANCE ARMSTRONG, THIRD PLACE AT TOUR DE FRANCE: Well, I wanted to come in first. But sometimes in sports there’s somebody that’s better.
And I was that guy for seven years. And I never understood what it felt like to get second or third. I’m 38 now. And you race guys that are 24 or 25 or 26, and they’re fast, they’re strong. They have acceleration.
They have all of the things that you had at that age. And you get third. That’s what the great thing about the Tour is that the best man always wins.
GUPTA: How was this race different for you in terms of how you trained, what you ate? Were there differences compared to five years ago?
ARMSTRONG: Well, I used a lot of the same training, the same idea with diet. I mean, the only difference, I guess, is that I’m now 38 years old. So a 38-year-old man does not wake up every day like a 28-year-old. But I can’t even complain. I mean, I think I rode well.
GUPTA: Why come back after four years? What inspired this?
ARMSTRONG: Obviously, I have to have a love for the bike. I have to have a love for the Tour. Otherwise, this is too hard. It’s just way too damn hard to go out and do this. But my passion for fighting cancer and fighting it not just in
or the Texas but around the world. United States
GUPTA: When you look at you the man, Lance, and the issue of cancer, do you think that people separate that? I mean, do they understand why you’re riding and why you came back?
ARMSTRONG: Yes, I think so. You know, these days it’s easy to get feedback. When people have a comment or have an issue, they let you know. And most of them are regarding cancer. So that tells me that the people understand. They’ve been affected either themselves or a loved one and they understand it. And then they say keep going. You know, pedal hard for them tomorrow. Pedal hard for my mom or my neighbor or my co-worker.
GUPTA: One of the things you mention — you talked a lot about during the whole tour was surprise test for doping. They just come and surprise you.
ARMSTRONG: They’re not surprises any more.
GUPTA: Not surprising — 40, I think over 40 tests.
ARMSTRONG: They’re 50 — they’re 50 now.
GUPTA: What do you say to the critics? What do you say to the skeptics now at the end of the tour?
ARMSTRONG: Look, I’ve done this a long time. And I’ve been at the highest level now since 1992 until 2009. I’ve been tested more than anybody else. If I can take four years off and come back at the age of 38 with more controls than anybody else on planet Earth and get third in the hardest sporting event in the world, I think we’ve answered the questions.
In what has become a cliched and hackneyed feature not just on ESPN, but on any media outlet, ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen will be reporting from 20 training camps in a span of 24 days.
Mort Goes to Camp: July 31- Aug. 23
Live Reports from 20 NFL Training Camps in 24 Days
Senior NFL Analyst Chris Mortensen to Take Three-Week Road Trip
Senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen will take a three-week road trip to cover 20 NFL team training camps in 24 days, July 31 – Aug. 23. Mortensen will travel by bus across the country and provide news and information updates from around the league daily on SportsCenter, NFL Live and other ESPN platforms.
“This trip will give me the chance to see the country and many of the teams in the league up close, said Mortensen. “I look forward to visiting with coaches, players and the front-office staff of the teams, and interacting with many passionate football fans as they get ready for the new season.”
“Mort Goes to Camp” coverage will include daily appearances on SportsCenter and NFL Live, as well as Monday Night Countdown (before ESPN’s Monday Night Football preseason games on Aug. 13 and 17); reports on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning (simulcast on ESPN2); blog items, video, interactive maps and daily post cards on ESPN.com; and regular updates on Twitter (@mortreport).
Mortensen’s tour will span some 6,400 miles, beginning with a visit to the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on July 31. The tour will conclude Aug. 23 in Miami, which will host Super Bowl XLIV in February.
“Mort Goes to Camp” Schedule:
7/31 Dallas/Arlington, TX
8/1 Dallas Cowboys (San Antonio, TX)
8/2 New Orleans Saints (Metairie, LA)
8/3 Travel to Minnesota via Hattiesburg, MS
8/4 Minnesota Vikings (Mankato, MN)
8/5 Green Bay Packers (Green Bay, WI)
8/6 Chicago Bears (Bourbonnais, IL)
8/7 Indianapolis Colts (Terre Haute, IN)
8/8 Detroit Lions (Allen Park, MI)
8/9 Cleveland Browns (Berea, Ohio)
8/10 Pittsburgh Steelers (Latrobe, PA)
8/11 Philadelphia Eagles (Bethlehem, PA)
8/12 N.Y. Jets (Hempstead, NY)
8/13 ESPN (Bristol, CT)
8/14 N.Y. Giants (Albany, NY)
8/15 New England Patriots (Foxboro, MA)
8/16 Baltimore Ravens (Westminster, MD)
8/17 Washington Redskins (Ashburn, VA)
8/18 Tennessee Titans (Nashville, TN)
8/19 Atlanta Falcons (Flowery Branch, GA)
8/20 Jacksonville Jaguars (Jacksonville, FL)
8/21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Tampa, FL)
8/22 Miami Dolphins (Davie FL)
8/23 Miami, FL
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from Pocono on ESPN
ESPN will have live, flag-to-flag coverage in high definition as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competes for 500 miles at the “Tricky Triangle,” Pocono Raceway in Long Pond,
, on Sunday, Aug. 2. The telecast is presented by Old Spice and begins with NASCAR Countdown at 1:00 p.m. ET. The race’s green flag is at 2:18 p.m. Pa.
The final 17 races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will air on the ESPN Networks, with the first six on ESPN and the final 11 on ABC, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
ESPN’s coverage from Pocono includes a live telecast of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, July 31, at 3:27 p.m., and telecasts of two practice sessions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars on the 2.5-mile track, all on ESPN2. The first practice session airs Saturday, Aug. 1, at 10 a.m., while final practice airs at 11:30 a.m.
Dr. Jerry Punch will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, in the ESPN pit studio.
Also this week, ESPN Classic will air highlights of the 1988 Budweiser 400 from Riverside International Raceway on Monday, Aug. 3, at 6 p.m. The event was the final NASCAR race ever run at the famed
road course and was won by Rusty Wallace. California
NASCAR Nationwide Series Makes
Iowa Debut Speedway
ESPN continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend as the series races for the first time ever at Iowa Speedway in
. The live, flag-to-flag telecast airs on ESPN on Saturday, Aug. 1, at 4 p.m. ET. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Newton, Iowa
Also on Saturday, live coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying airs at 1 p.m. on ESPN2, while coverage of final practice airs Friday, July 31, at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.
Marty Reid will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie. Reporting from the pits will be Jack Arute, Mike Massaro and Rick DeBruhl.
ESPN Pit Reporters on NASCAR Now Roundtable
The four reporters who work the pits in ESPN’s coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on Monday, Aug. 3, at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Joining host Allen Bestwick will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch.
Mike Massaro slides into the host role for half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now airing Tuesday and Wednesday of this week at 5 p.m., and then Nicole Manske hosts episodes airing Thursday at 6 p.m. and Friday at 7 p.m.
Manske also hosts the one-hour weekend edition that airs Sunday, Aug. 2, at 10 a.m. with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. The weekend wrap-up edition airs at 10 p.m. Marty Smith will report from Pocono for both programs. .
NASCAR Now is hosted by Massaro, Bestwick and Manske and originates from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Conn. Contributors include NASCAR Insiders Marty Smith and Angelique Chengelis, analysts Ray Evernham, Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Boris Said, Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie, and ESPN.com reporters Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton. The NASCAR on ESPN team event coverage team of Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Dr. Jerry Punch, Andy Petree, Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Spake and Vince Welch also make frequent contributions to NASCAR Now.
NHRA Lucas Oil Series Action Monday on ESPN Classic
ESPN Classic airs two hours of drag racing action featuring the NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Series on Monday, Aug. 3, beginning at 11 a.m. ET.
The first hour includes highlights from racing at Route 66 Raceway in
A second hour airing at noon presents action from Joliet, Ill. Englishtown, N.J.
These are the tournaments that Golf Channel will air this week. GOLF CHANNEL TOURNAMENT COVERAGE July 27 – August 2, 2009 Buick Open Dates: 7/30 – 8/2 Venue: Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, Grand Airtimes (Eastern): Thursday 3 – 6 p.m. (Live)/8:30 – 11:30 p.m. (Replay)/2 – 5 a.m. (Replay) Friday 3 – 6 p.m. (Live)/8:30 – 11:30 p.m. (Replay) Saturday 1 – 2 p.m. (Live)/9:30 – 11:30 p.m. (Replay) Sunday 1 – 2:30 p.m. (Live)/9:30 – 11:30 p.m. (Replay) GOLF CHANNEL On-Air Talent: Rich Lerner (Play by Play) Frank Nobilo (Analyst) Peter Oosterhuis (Tower) Gary McCord (Tower) Mark Lye (On Course) Scott Walker (Interviews) Broadcast Notes: Golf Central will recap the news and storylines from all of the tours, preview the Buick Open and deliver news and insight. Thursday – Sunday, Golf Central will broadcast live from Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, delivering all of the comprehensive wrap-around news coverage of the 2009 Buick Open in addition to the latest news from the Ricoh Women’s British Open and all golf’s major tours… Hosted by Kraig Kann and Brandel Chamblee on-site from Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, Golf Central Pre Game will prepare viewers for all of the action on the various golf tours with news, interviews and analysis. Saturday and Sunday, Golf Central Pre Game will air from 12:30 – 1 p.m. ET prior to GOLF CHANNEL’s lead-in coverage, and return for a second show from 2:30 – 3 p.m., preparing viewers for CBS Sports’ weekend action. Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational Dates: 7/30 – 8/2 Venue: The Airtimes (Eastern): Thursday 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Replay)/12:30 – 2:30 a.m. (Replay) Friday 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Replay)/Midnight – 2 a.m. (Replay) Saturday 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. (Replay)/Midnight – 2 a.m. (Replay) Sunday 7 – 9:30 p.m. (Replay)/Midnight – 2 a.m. (Replay) GOLF CHANNEL On-Air Talent: Jerry Foltz (Play by Play) Curt Byrum (Analyst) Kay Cockerill (Tower) Phil Parkin (On Course) Stephanie Sparks (On Course) Dates: 7/30 – 8/2 Venue: Prosper Golf Resort, Airtimes (Eastern): Thursday 9 a.m. – Noon (Live) Friday 9 a.m. – Noon (Live) Saturday 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. (Live) Sunday 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. (Live)
HBO Sports will air a new documentary this week on the 1983 Jr. Middleweight fight between Billy Collins, Jr. and Luis Resto. Look for my review of the doc before the airing.
GOLF CHANNEL TOURNAMENT COVERAGE
July 27 – August 2, 2009
Dates: 7/30 – 8/2
Venue: Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, Grand
Thursday 3 – 6 p.m. (Live)/8:30 – 11:30 p.m. (Replay)/2 – 5 a.m. (Replay)
Friday 3 – 6 p.m. (Live)/8:30 – 11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 1 – 2 p.m. (Live)/9:30 – 11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1 – 2:30 p.m. (Live)/9:30 – 11:30 p.m. (Replay)
GOLF CHANNEL On-Air Talent:
Rich Lerner (Play by Play)
Frank Nobilo (Analyst)
Peter Oosterhuis (Tower)
Gary McCord (Tower)
Mark Lye (On Course)
Scott Walker (Interviews)
Broadcast Notes: Golf Central will recap the news and storylines from all of the tours, preview the Buick Open and deliver news and insight. Thursday – Sunday, Golf Central will broadcast live from Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, delivering all of the comprehensive wrap-around news coverage of the 2009 Buick Open in addition to the latest news from the Ricoh Women’s British Open and all golf’s major tours… Hosted by Kraig Kann and Brandel Chamblee on-site from Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, Golf Central Pre Game will prepare viewers for all of the action on the various golf tours with news, interviews and analysis. Saturday and Sunday, Golf Central Pre Game will air from 12:30 – 1 p.m. ET prior to GOLF CHANNEL’s lead-in coverage, and return for a second show from 2:30 – 3 p.m., preparing viewers for CBS Sports’ weekend action.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational
Dates: 7/30 – 8/2
Thursday 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Replay)/12:30 – 2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Replay)/Midnight – 2 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. (Replay)/Midnight – 2 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 7 – 9:30 p.m. (Replay)/Midnight – 2 a.m. (Replay)
GOLF CHANNEL On-Air Talent:
Jerry Foltz (Play by Play)
Curt Byrum (Analyst)
Kay Cockerill (Tower)
Phil Parkin (On Course)
Stephanie Sparks (On Course)
Dates: 7/30 – 8/2
Venue: Prosper Golf Resort,
Thursday 9 a.m. – Noon (Live)
Friday 9 a.m. – Noon (Live)
Saturday 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. (Live)
HBO Sports will air a new documentary this week on the 1983 Jr. Middleweight fight between Billy Collins, Jr. and Luis Resto. Look for my review of the doc before the airing.
HBO SPORTS DOCUMENTARY “ASSAULT IN THE RING” REVISITS THE ILL-FATED 1983 JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT FIGHT BETWEEN BILLY COLLINS JR. AND LUIS RESTO WHEN IT DEBUTS AUG. 1 ON HBO
HBO Sports presents ASSAULT IN THE RING, a documentary about the ill-fated junior middleweight bout between Billy Collins Jr. and Luis Resto and its subsequent effect on both boxers. Debuting SATURDAY, AUG. 1 (10:00-11:30 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO, the special explores the events that profoundly impacted the
sports landscape and the world of boxing, and changed the lives of two athletes. New York
“This film will revisit one of boxing’s saddest days,” says Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports. “But it’s a compelling story that we feel needs to be told, because so many lives were changed forever on that night at
. This is an in-depth, comprehensive examination of that tragic event.” Madison Square Garden
“There were so many unanswered questions surrounding what really happened and who, if anybody, was responsible. What we discovered was much worse than had ever been imagined,” says director and producer Eric Drath. “However, what we ultimately found was a story that went far beyond fact-finding; what unfolded before our cameras is a story of redemption.”
ASSAULT IN THE RING revisits a boxing scandal considered one of the sport’s darkest hours, and traces a man’s despairing journey following his alleged involvement in a criminal plot. The documentary examines new evidence about this boxing match turned 30-minute assault, and reveals much more about the pre-fight activities of Luis Resto, his trainer Panama Lewis and the athletic commission representatives.
On June 16, 1983, undefeated prizefighter Billy Collins Jr. set out to fulfill every boxer’s dream of fighting in the world’s most famous arena –
. Collins’ opponent, Luis Resto of the Madison Square Garden Bronx, moving up from welterweight, had his own dream of rising to the occasion in front of hometown fans. But what began as a match that native Collins was favored to win changed both athletes’ lives – ending Collins’ career dreams and landing Resto in prison. Nashville
Resto seemingly reached a fighter’s ultimate goal by upsetting Collins, but his post-fight victory celebration was short-lived when it was discovered that the padding had been illegally removed from Resto’s gloves by his trainer, Panama Lewis, before the fight. Resto was subsequently incarcerated and banned from the sport, while the brutally beaten Collins went into a tragic downward spiral. Resto gives his account of the story in the documentary.
Lewis, whose official career as a trainer came to an end that night, was also subsequently banned, and speaks for the first time in ASSAULT IN THE RING about the events of the fight and their impact. Others interviewed include: former New York State Athletic Commission chairmen Jack Prenderville, Randy Gordon and Ron Scott Stevens; members of the prosecution, defense and jury from the 1985 trial in New York, including former New York prosecutors John Bicks and Thomas Moore; attorneys Robert Beecher and Mickey Joseph; referee Tony Perez; New York State forensic scientist Charles Pampa; former New York City police detective James Rodriguez; Luis Resto’s sisters, Marta Resto and Susan Lopez; Luis Resto’s sons, Brian and Luis Jr.; and Billy Collins Jr.’s former wife, Andrea.
HBO Sports presents a Live Star Entertainment Production; director and producer, Eric Drath; for HBO: executive producers, Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; executive producer, Barry Murphy; supervising producer for HBO, Joe Lavine; writers, Aaron Cohen and Eric Drath.
CNBC will air a documentary this week in Ultimate Fighting.
CNBC’S “ULTIMATE FIGHTING: FISTFUL OF DOLLARS” will premiere on Wednesday, July 29th at 10PM and 1AM ET.
The documentary will re-air on Friday, July 31st at 1AM and Sunday, August 2nd at 10PM ET.
It’s a hit business like no other. And CNBC is ready for a rematch.
Ultimate Fighting Championship, the premiere name in the sport of mixed martial arts.
CNBC takes a new look inside the biggest brand in brawling with “Ultimate Fighting: Fistful of Dollars,” a fresh take on CNBC’s original Emmy-nominated documentary from 2007.
Correspondent Scott Wapner travels to Germany for the UFC’s first-ever event in mainland Europe, and goes inside the Octagon with Dana White, the controversial front man, as well as billionaire backers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta. Wapner also profiles a stable of skilled fighters who have helped the league grow from a dying franchise to a global sensation in less than a decade.
It’s not just the sport’s growing legion of fans who’ve taken notice, but Madison Avenue, too. In 2007, marquee brands were reluctant to advertise with a league that had a no-holds-barred reputation. Despite continued controversy, the UFC has gone mainstream, and Fortune 500 companies like Budweiser and Harley-Davidson are big-time backers.
The sport is becoming so popular and profitable that billionaires Mark Cuban and Donald Trump are throwing their hats into the ring. Their league, Affliction, promises top fighters and revenues to match, but Dana White tells Wapner that it’s just another in a long list of competitors he’s ready to take to the mat.
CNBC takes a look at the range of promotions, endorsements and movie deals tied to the sport, as well as at TapouT, the successful apparel company created by three hardcore fans who turned their passion for mixed martial arts into a $100 million dollar business.
It’s a mix of muscle and mayhem that is making money hand over fist.
“Ultimate Fighting: Fistful of Dollars” premieres Wednesday, July 29.
That’s going to do it for now.
I’ll give you some Sunday links now that I’ve finished my work for the day.
Tom Perrotta of the Wall Street Journal live blogged the French Open men’s final and also had some comments on NBC’s broadcast.
Newsday’s Neil Best celebrates his 5,000th blog post. Neil has a bit more on yesterday’s big story that the Yankees and Cablevision will stream games live into the New York market.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times also has more on the Yankees’ plans to stream games online.
Bob Raissman feels NBC’s Tiki Barber is the forgotten man on Football Night in America.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post takes Versus to task for delaying its NHL Stanley Cup Game 3 postgame show by 30 minutes (scroll to the bottom).
Dave Weekley of the Charleston (WV) Gazette says he’s getting into the habit of turning on the MLB Network.
Daryl Maxie of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution chronicles the Atlanta Hall of Fame induction ceremonies which included Braves announcers Pete Van Wieren and the late Skip Caray.
Jim O’Donnell of the Chicago Sun-Times profiles CNN Headline News morning sports anchor Rafer Weigel who is following in his late dad’s footsteps.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes that several Comcast SportsNet Chicago personalities took to the links.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says local ratings for Game 1 of the NBA Finals are down locally (scroll down).
Sean Keeler of the Des Moines Register writes that Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz will be featured on ESPN’s College Football Live when it rolls through the Hawkeye State later this week.
Artie Gigantino of the San Francisco Examiner writes that the NBA Finals should have plenty of intrigue for viewers.
The Honolulu Advertiser looks at ESPN’s Neil Everett Hawaiian ties.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals won Saturday night’s ratings for NBC, but will most likely be the lowest rated game of the series.
The Sports Media Watch has its weekend ratings predictions.
The Orbitcast blog says Derek Jeter will be interviewed by Cal Ripken on Sirius XM tomorrow.
Sox & Dawgs has the great video of Red Sox outfielders Mark Kotsay and Rocco Baldelli playing scissors, paper, rock today.
MASN says Orioles announcers Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez won regional Emmy Awards last night.
The PGA of America has signed a broadcast rights agreement for the PGA Championship and Senior PGA Championship in Japan.
Ok, that’s going to do it. I might be back later tonight with another post. Keep your RSS feeds refreshed and check on Twitter for updates.
It comes on Veterans Day where we salute those who have served and the fine men and women who are currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts around the world. I thank you for all you have done to keep us safe from harm and to continue to keep the world safe for democracy. We cannot understate our appreciation.
Now let’s get to your links.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with former ABC Monday Night Football voice Frank Gifford who has written a book on what the NFL has termed, “The Greatest Game Ever”, the 1958 Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants. Neil has a little more about his column in his blog.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir writes about NBC moving its digital line of scrimmage marker to try to prove its point that Eli Manning did not go beyond it thus avoiding a penalty during a key stretch during Sunday night’s Giants-Eagles game.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman enjoyed listening to Al Michaels and John Madden debate whether Manning crossed the line of scrimmage.
One aside. I love watching Betty Nguyen on CNN. She’s in Atlanta today anchoring CNN Newsroom while Heidi Collins is on the USS Intrepid in New York.
Keith Groller of the Allentown Morning Call says not even John Madden could agree with Eagles coach Andy Reid’s decisions.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says fans of every NFL team feel the national media does not respect them.
David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News says ESPN2 will pick up the Phillies season opening game on April 5.
Doug Moe of the Wisconsin State Journal profiles a pair of free-lancers who do work for ESPN on various projects.
Robbi Pickeral of the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer writes that North Carolina fans will have a dilemma on Saturday as the football and basketball teams will be playing at about the same time.
Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press says NASCAR fans are still baffled as to why ABC cut off the last 34 laps of the race in Phoenix to go to America’s Funniest Home Videos.
The Birmingham (AL) News rips ABC for its NASCAR cutaway.
David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel says this proves that NASCAR is not a big player in sports.
Rich Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal previews an E:60 story on a local boy who plays sports on one leg.
The Daily Toreador, Texas Tech’s student newspaper, has the police report for the week. Scroll down to November 8 and you’ll see that ESPN is reporting that various items including a banner and microphones were stolen from the Tech-Oklahoma State game.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail has various hockey analysts lobbying for a shorter regular season and looks at the ratings for the first CFL Saturday playoff games.
Here we go. The very first webisode of ESPN.com’s “Mayne Street” starring Kenny Mayne with a special guest appearance from Scott Van Pelt.
Ok, it’s nothing special, but seeing Scott Van Pelt blow up? That’s funny.
I have to post some breaking news. I’ll cut this a bit short. I’ll have more later.
Thanks to Pollster.com, you can put your mouse over any state on its Election 2008 and check to see which network has made a projection. CNN is noticeably late on each state including Pennsylvania, Alabama, Arkansas and West Virginia. It has been the last network to make a projection, although as I write this, it finally puts Alabama into the McCain column.
Jessica Yellin is appearing on the CNN Election set as a hologram. It’s very strange. She’s talking to Wolf Blitzer and Jessica is quite choppy as she makes her mannerisms talking to Wolfey.
I know this is CNN’s Super Bowl as it would be for Fox News and MSNBC, but it’s ok to have a reporter to talk outside from the scene. It’s not necessary to have a hologram.
She mentioned it was like she was Princess Leia in Star Wars. Yes, true. Carrie Fisher looked better. Help me, Obi Wan. You’re our only hope. Please. Stop the madness.
I’ll give you a few late night links before heading to bed. I watched Manny Ramirez’s first at-bat on FSN Prime Ticket and listening to Vin Scully is like enjoying the best red wine out of your cellar. The man is 80 years old and about to turn 81 and he still has it.
Let’s give you some links.
Paul J. Gough of the Hollywood Reporter has NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol saying his division will not shy away from covering breaking news at the Olympics. We’ll see.
Newsday’s Neil Best breaks some news that Cablevision will not be carrying the 2,200 internet hours that NBC will carry live from the Olympics in Communist China, saying it’s too expensive.
Linda Moss of Multichannel News says CNN and sister publication, Sports Illustrated will team up to cover the Olympics.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel writes that ESPN is getting ready for its new live SportsCenter morning block which premieres later this month.
The Sports Media Watch has the weekend ratings predictions.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the New York Giants’ exhibition opener has been relegated to the local NBC affiliate’s digital channel and won’t be seen on the main channel.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette writes that golfer Laura Diaz is still angry at NBC/Golf Channel analyst Dottie Pepper for comments she made at last year’s Solheim Cup.
The Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record’s Ken McMillan says the explosion of Little League Baseball games on TV continues as MSG Network and NESN will co-produce games next week.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is airing a special on Washington Redskins Hall of Fame wide receiver Art Monk this weekend.
Bruce Allen of the Boston Sports Media Watch has a look at Charley Pierce calling out the Boston media for its behavior during the Manny Ramirez debacle.
Awful Announcing finds that another writer has gotten into trouble for plagiarism.
Maury Brown from the Biz of Baseball looks at Hazel Mae, formerly of NESN, and Harold Reynolds, formerly of ESPN, as being possible hires at the new MLB Network.
That’s it until tomorrow.
Let’s give you a few links before we close out the office for the day.
First, ESPN has announced its announcing team for MLS and Euro 2008. The new main announcing team will be J.P. Dellacamera and John Harkes. The previous main team of Dave O’Brien and Eric Wynalda has been split up. Wynalda is going to be in the studio. Dave will be focusing mainly on Boston Red Sox games, working 150 games on the radio. Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has reaction to the move in his Farther Off the Wall blog. And Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune blogs about the decision to move Wynalda out of the booth.
Hoffarth has the TV lineup in Los Angeles in case you don’t want to watch the Super Bowl.
Dan Lamonthe of The Republican (MA) blogs that ESPN went to visit Gisele Bundschen’s family in Brazil to talk about her boyfriend, Patriots QB Tom Brady.
Newsday’s Jim Baumbach is pleasantly surprised at the media access for this Super Bowl week.
Frank Dolson of the Philadelphia Inquirer looks at Super Bowl I, broadcast by both CBS and NBC on January 16, 1967.
Ken McMillan of the Times Herald-Record (NY) has some Super Bowl TV trivia for you.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley has comments from Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy and WR Donald Driver from ESPN Radio.
Ian O’Connor of Foxsports.com talks with NBC’s Tiki Barber who says he doesn’t deserve to be shut out by his former New York Giants teammates.
I’ve got to listen to 1050 ESPN Radio in New York. So Hood.com talked with Christina Stoffo who does the traffic on Michael Kay’s show. She’s done some modeling on the side as you can see. She can describe rubbernecking for me … oh, never mind.
ESPN’s Dick Vitale talks to Ryan Fagan of the Sporting News about his return to courtside next week.
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune writes that Rafer Weigel, the son of the late Chicago TV sports anchor Tim Weigel, will join CNN Headline News’ Morning Express with Robin Meade as a sports anchor for that program. By the way, I love Robin Meade.
Lorne Rubenstein of the Toronto Globe and Mail asks how much is too much when it comes to televising Tiger Woods.
Julianne Smolinski of TV Week writes about ESPN’s foray into HD in Australia.
This has nothing to do with the sports media, but I’m posting it anyway. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post has a profile on former tennis star Andrea Jaeger who will be inducted into the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame this week for her work as a humanitarian in running the Silver Lining Ranch in Aspen and the Little Star Foundation for helping kids with cancer and those in poverty. I remember thinking Andrea was a spoiled brat when she was played tennis in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s and recalled she suddenly disappeared after suffering an injury. I then saw her a couple of years ago on HBO’s Real Sports as she was running the ranch and was touched by her caring. And then I saw an update in which she became a Dominican nun. Here’s a person who has done so much and deserves all of the accolades.
That will do it for now.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Video of the Week and this wins hands down.
This occurred on CNN yesterday. Gerri Willis was talking about the stock market, then mentioned running off to an island with Kyra Phillips. Then co-anchor Don Lemon chimed in and Kyra who’s a bit of a loose cannon had to go with the “reverse Oreo” reference. You may remember two years ago that Kyra’s mic was on while she was in the bathroom during a speech by President Bush.
Well, Kyra who talked about her sister-in-law being a control freak back then, talks here about the Reverse Oreo. There’s something about Kyra and we like it.
Check for an update later.
Well, I keep finding stuff and I need to pass them along to you, my loyal visitors.
From Canada, there’s a shakeup for the venerable Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. The legendary Bob Cole has been signed to a two year contract, but will have a reduced role. He’ll no longer be the lead play-by-play man and his last season will likely be the 2008-09 season. Cole’s long time partner, Harry Neale has been signed to a one year deal and his role will also be reduced. Expect Jim Hughson who was signed in 2005 to replace Chris Cuthbert to be the new voice of HNIC. And the Executive Producer Joel Darling has been moved to a new role in CBC Sports. William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail has the exclusive story.
From the Victoria Times-Colonist (I love the names of these merged newspapers from across North America, the Post-Intelligencer, the Journal-Sentinel, the Post-Gazette, the Times-Dispatch, the Times Picayune, the Star-Tribune, but it also shows that a lot of papers had to combine to survive, a sad sign of the times), CBC garnered pretty decent ratings for the FIFA U-20 World Cup that concluded this past weekend. And Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says CBC analyst Craig Forrest was on a personal crusade against diving during the tournament.
You may have seen the lovely Campbell Brown’s last Weekend Today appearance on NBC Sunday. She’s going to CNN on September 1. I throw this in here because I like Campbell. Back to sports.
Dusty Saunders of the Rocky Mountain News of Denver says NBC had a crew of 11 to talk about “Football Night in America” which re-premieres in September. Does Dick Ebersol need that many for a network promotion?
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times has his review of the sporting weekend including the work of Paul Azinger and Nick Faldo on ABC during the Open Championsihp.
Jane Levere of the New York Times writes about a clever ad campaign involving Serena Williams and Roger Federer for the US Open Series.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Bob Wolfey says the ratings for Brewers games on FSN Wisconsin and WITI-TV continue to sizzle.
ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel will air the the last three days of the Acura Classic concurrently, meaning they’ll alternate coverage during that time.
MASN continues to pick up programming during the fall and winter months when they won’t have the Orioles or Nationals. The RSN has signed a contract with the Big South Conference to show both selected football and basketball games.
The owners of Dish Network, Echostar, have filed a petition with the Federal Communications C Commission, seeking to have the Big Ten Network declared a Regional Sports Network so it can negotiate a reasonable price to pick up the channel. According to the petition, Echostar says BTN is trying to position itself as a national network.
Versus has announced it’s adding the BYU/Utah game to its 19 game college football schedule.
You got more links than I thought you would in this update. Back on Tuesday.