Announced today by the NBC Sports Group, the Tour de France will air primarily on NBC Sports Network and on NBC through 2023. The new agreement begins in 2014 and calls for a ten year contract. Most of the 21 stages will air on NBC Sports Network with some shown live on NBC.
NBC will own all television, digital and mobile rights for the Tour de France. Other events affiliated with the Tour de France including the Paris Marathon and the Dakar Rally will also be aired on NBCUniversal networks.
This year’s Tour de France will air on NBC Sports Network and NBC starting this Saturday at 8 a.m. ET. We have details of the new agreement below.
NBC SPORTS GROUP EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH ASO FOR MULTI-PLATFORM RIGHTS TO TOUR DE FRANCE THROUGH 2023
New Agreement, Beginning in 2014, Includes All U.S. Television, Digital and Mobile Rights to Tour de France Though 2023
NBC Sports Network Continues to be Home of Tour de France
NBC Will Air Live Stages in Each Year Beginning in 2012
New York – June 26, 2012 – The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) and NBC Sports Group today announced a 10-year multi-platform extension that includes exclusive U.S. television, digital and mobile rights for the Tour de France through 2023. As part of the agreement, which begins in 2014, the NBC Sports Group will continue as the exclusive U.S. television home of the Tour de France, with live coverage of every stage, including live coverage on NBC each year.
Additionally, the NBC Sports Group will continue coverage of several other ASO properties, including the Dakar Rally and the Paris Marathon, as well as spring classic cycling events including Paris Nice, Criterium International, Criterium du Dauphine, Paris Roubaix, Fleche Wallonne, Liege Bastogne Liege and the Paris Tours.
“The Tour de France has long been one of the tent pole events on the NBC Sports Network schedule, and now will be an integral part of our NBC broadcast schedule, with live coverage each year,” said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the ASO on all of its properties for another decade.”
“We are very happy to see the Tour de France exposure growing in the United States,” said Yann le Moënner, Managing Director of ASO, organizers of the Tour de France. “Our long term agreement will give us the opportunity to work with the skilled storytellers at NBC to build a beautiful sports story during the next ten years. Beyond the Tour de France, this agreement continues NBC Sports Network’s coverage of all other ASO sporting events such as Paris-Roubaix, Dakar Rally and Paris Marathon, which will benefit from a large exposure on NBC Sports Group platforms.”
As previously announced, NBC Sports Group, the exclusive U.S. television partner of the Tour de France, will surround this year’s race with 295 total hours of coverage and robust digital offerings including:
- 19 of the 21 stages live on NBC Sports Network;
- Two stages (7 and 8) live on NBC; first ever live over the air coverage of the Tour de France;
- An average of more than 13 hours of race action per day, in full HD, throughout the 21-stage competition on NBC Sports Network including a nightly studio show;
- NBC recap shows on July 1 and July 22 for the first and final stages of the epic race.
The nightly studio show, 8-11 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, will feature a combination of race coverage and cycling insight, as well as highlights from some of the most compelling stories throughout the Tour. Each show will include analysis and strategy segments, as well as interviews with the riders at the start and finish lines.
NBC Sports Group’s live coverage of the 99th Tour de France begins on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, at the grand start in Liege, Belgium.
That will do it.
Let’s go for some linkage now.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says ESPN and NFL Network have agreed not to show prospects on the phone spoiling the suspense of the NFL Draft.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated goes behind-the-scenes with ESPN and NFL Network as they prepare for their NFL Draft coverage later this week.
Congrats to Jimmy Traina at SI for 10 years of Hot Clicks. The site has been very good to Fang’s Bites since first linking here in 2008.
Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com says the Big Ten Conference will have a lot of say at the next BCS meetings thanks to its TV network.
In the Sherman Report, Ed Sherman talks with NBC Sports Network programming chief Jon Miller about the channel’s lowly ratings at its outset.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Ronnie Ramos gives praise to MLB’s social media efforts.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says Time Warner Cable has added ESPN and several other sports networks to its mobile and tablet apps.
Sam Laird at Mashable says ESPN is launching a social campaign to determine where the next College GameDay promo will be shot.
Bill Cromwell of Media Life Magazine writes that the NHL’s TV ratings are red hot.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing says it appears that the Atlanta Falcons have turned down HBO to go on Hard Knocks this season.
At Pro Sports Communications, Martine Charles stresses that in a crisis, hiding from the media is the worst thing to do.
Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy wonders if parity in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs could hurt the TV ratings in the long run.
The Connecticut Post says ESPN SportsCenter anchor Sara Walsh will host a business breakfast meeting next month.
Tanzina Vega at the New York Times notes that Jeep has become a USA Basketball sponsor in time for the 2012 Olympics.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post labels Yankees radio voice John Sterling a fraud. Wow.
The New York Post points out that Tennis Channel’s Mayleen Ramey is the new host of SNY’s Beer Money quiz show.
Dr. Doom & Gloom at the New York Daily News says the growing feud between the Giants and Jets is the main reason why Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning was pulled from ESPN Radio NY which is the Jets flagship radio station.
Richard Huff at the Daily News speaks with MLB Network’s Sam Ryan.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union feels Fox’s coverage of Philip Humber’s perfect game on Saturday was flawed.
Greg Connors of the Buffalo News says be prepared for an online Olympic smorgasboard.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that MASN’s Kristina Akra has been doused with Gatorade by the victorious Nationals again. This is three times by my count. In fact, here’s the video of Kristina getting doused with the bucket by Rick Ankiel and Chad Tracy. Good angle from behind the Nats dugout.
Guyism notes the first two Gatorade baths.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN NFL Draft analyst Bill Polian about former Baylor QB Robert Griffin III.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times looks back at the weekend in sports TV.
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel says a local sports anchor who’s been taking heat for his reporting of the Magic’s Dwight Howard story this season responded to criticisms.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle links us to his appearance on NPR over the weekend.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune says a new BCS Championship system will be bandied about this week and get a lot of interest from the networks.
Dan Whitney of the Cherokee (IA) Chronicle Times says thanks to NBC’s blanket coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, he’s a fan of hockey again.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post notes the increasing coverage of the NFL Draft.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your sports calendar for this week.
The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin says the ratings show that Blue Jays fans are being patient with the team.
Sports Media Watch says NBA TV will produce its own playoff telecasts which is a departure from the last few years.
SMW says Fox garnered good overnight numbers for its Saturday Baseball broadcast thanks to Philip Humber’s perfect game and the Yankees stunning comeback against the Red Sox.
And SMW says the NHL on NBC drew very good ratings over the weekend.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says a Western Conference Semifinal featuring Nashville and Phoenix may not be as disastrous as some observers think.
Joe Favorito has his weekly sports business roundup.
A.T. Faust III at AppAdvice says ESPN’s iPad website fails to take advantage of the tablet’s strengths.
Bike World News says Fox Sports Net will pick up the Tour of Utah cycling race again this year.
And that’s going to do us for today.
Coming in July, NBC Sports will take some 12 hours of coverage, 8 of which will be live, of the Tour de France. Now this has been a signature event for Versus, now NBC Sports Network, over the past decade. Now, the NBC mothership will air live coverage of the event for the first time. It takes the place of Wimbledon which NBC lost to ESPN after last year’s tournament.
On July 7 and 8, NBC will air live morning coverage of Stages 7 and 8, both of which will be grueling mountain stages. Traditional Tour de France announcers Phil Liggett and Phil Sherwin will call the stages on NBC.
In addition to the live stages, NBC will taped coverage of Stage 1 on July 1 to kick off the race and then on July 22, it will have taped coverage of the final stage as the cyclists tour Paris to the finish line.
We have the details from NBC.
Two Premier Mountain Stages to Air LIVE on Saturday, July 7, and Sunday July 8
Same-day coverage of first and final stages also added to NBC
NEW YORK – March 7, 2012 – NBC Sports Group, the exclusive rights holder of Tour de France coverage in the U.S., will move eight hours of live Tour de France coverage of two premier mountain stages to NBC from the NBC Sports Network during the weekend of July 7-8. This marks the first time that the Tour de France will be broadcast live on network television.
Same-day coverage of the first stage of cycling’s greatest event on Sunday, July 1 and the final stage on Sunday, July 22, when racers ride up the Champs-Elysees, have also been added to NBC’s lineup.
“We are excited to expose the thrilling competition and unparalleled beauty of the Tour de France to even more viewers by providing 12 hours of additional coverage on our national broadcast platform, including live coverage of two of the premier mountain stages,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network.
“We are extremely happy that the television coverage of the Tour de France is growing year after year in the United States,” said Yann le Moënner, Managing Director of Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.). “This is a great example of how the interest for cycling is increasing, and will improve even more thanks to the updated broadcast schedule. We are extremely happy with our partnership with the NBC Sports Group and look forward to our continued alliance in the coming year.”
“The Tour will finish its first week of competition when Stages 7 and 8 are broadcast live on NBC Sports,” said Phil Liggett. “It is usually by this time that the finger points to a half a dozen riders who feel they can win the race as they battle each other to the head of the overall classification. Stages 7 and 8 will introduce even more viewers to one of the greatest sporting events on earth as it airs nationally on NBC, a giant step forward for cycling coverage. The finishes are new to the race at La Planche des Belles Filles and Porrentruy, and will provide the platform for an excellent weekend of dramatic race action.”
Following is a breakdown of Tour de France coverage that will air on NBC this year:
Sunday, July 1 Stage 1 Liege-Seraing 4-6 p.m. ET Tape
Saturday, July 7 Stage 7 Tomblaine-La Planche des Belles Filles* 8 a.m. – Noon LIVE
Sunday, July 8 Stage 8 Belfort-Porrentruy* 8 a.m. – Noon LIVE
Sunday, July 22 Stage 20 Rambouillet-Paris Champs-Élysées 1-3 p.m. ET Tape
NBC Sports Network will continue to present nearly 14 hours of coverage per day. Additional coverage details regarding NBC Sports Network and NBCSports.com will be released at a later date.
That will do it.
Lots of things to get to today. Couldn’t do the links yesterday. Going to do a big megalink edition for you.
Let’s get cracking, but first, there’s the Weekend Viewing Picks complete with a link to the busy College Basketball Viewing Picks which will be updated throughout the weekend.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with Oscar-winner and ESPN college football analyst Ed Cunningham.
Yesterday, Captain Blowhard, a.k.a Bill Simmons of Grantland interviewed President Obama for his podcast. I haven’t listened to it nor read the transcript as I don’t want to be bothered. Dan Levy of Bleacher Report did and had some problems with it.
Tony Manfred of the Business Insider’s Sports Page lists some writers who were most likely jealous over Simmons’ sitdown with the President.
Sports Business Daily says Captain Blowhard threw a hissy fit this week after Duke refused to issue a credential to one of Grantland’s writers for Saturday’s game against North Carolina.
Tim Baysinger at Broadcasting & Cable writes that NFL Today and Inside the NFL host James Brown will become a special correspondent for CBS News.
Gabriel Beltrone of Adweek writes that Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is pitching Sprint phones.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life says thanks to Super Bowl XLVI, NBC won the February sweeps, marking the third straight year that sports has steered the month.
Ryan Berenz of Channel Guide Magazine writes that NBC Sports Network will be all over a French bicycle race this month.
Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball says while we know MLB will announce expanded Wild Card Playoff games today, we don’t know which network will air them.
Sam Mamudi of Marketwatch.com writes that the competition among mainstream sports websites is very intense.
Pam Modarelli-Hegner at Sports TV Jobs writes about the types of personalities and egos journalists encounter when interviewing athletes.
Awful Announcing’s Matt Yoder writes in Puck Drunk Love about ESPN’s failure to cover the NHL.
In his regular site, Matt says CNBC’s Darren Rovell assigned his baby daughter several social networking accounts on her first day on earth.
Brady Green at AA has video of the Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia’s very funny impression of ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian that aired on Baseball Tonight.
John Daly at the Daly Planet looks at Showtime’s Inside NASCAR program taking the spring and summer off after one episode this week.
Barry Petchesky over at Deadspin notes that ESPN came up with another potentially racist headline for an Asian-American athlete.
Rachel Margolis at ESPN’s Front Row PR blog talks with college basketball analyst Brooke Weisbrod who has a rather interesting day job that keeps her busy during the work week.
Joe Favorito says President Obama is courting sports fans through the Captain Blowhard podcast.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media reviews the new hockey movie, “Goon.”
Sports Media Watch has some of the ratings from last week’s sports action.
SMW says Jeremy Lin is helping to move the ratings needle for ABC and TNT.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Eric Deggans writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says a San Diego sports anchor’s criticism of Danica Patrick shows that sexism still exists in sports.
Also in the National Sports Journalism Center, Ronnie Ramos laments how social media has watered down traditional sports journalism.
East and Mid-Atlantic
The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan talks with ESPN’s college basketball analyst Doris Burke. High praise and I agree. Doris is one of the best.
Chad Finn of the Globe says despite having his original role reduced, Dale Arnold is remaining at WEEI.
Chad has some advice for rookie ESPN MLB analyst Terry Francona.
Boston Sports Media Watch’s Bruce Allen writing in SB Nation Boston says Bill Simmons has had a meteoric rise to stardom.
Bill Doyle at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette says it was the Worcester Sharks’ radio voice who came up with the idea to have popular New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski spike a puck before a game last month.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks back at the 50th anniversary of one of the major milestones in sports that barely was covered by the media at the time.
Newsday’s Neil Best says two ESPN’ers will speak at their high school alma mater next week.
Neil says the Nets are not drawing well on YES.
Neil notes that CBS Sports Network utilizes a husband & wife team for its college hockey games.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick mocks the bracketologists handicapping the NCAA Tournament field.
The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for NHL on NBC voice Mike Emrick.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY says MSG Network continues to score with Knicks games.
Jerry reports that former WNBC-TV sports anchor Len Berman is back on TV in NYC.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that NBC Sports Network will air the America’s Cup next year.
Pete says YES is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says NBC Sports Network is adding NHL games to its schedule for the playoff drive.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes that a local service provider has snagged the rights to an incoming minor league hockey team.
DCRTV’s Dave Hughes has the latest developments in Baltimore-Washington, DC sports media at Press Box.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes that a local sports anchor is recovering from a stroke he suffered last year.
David has a little more on the story in his blog.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with Fox Sports Oklahoma NBA studio analyst Stephen Howard.
Mel has more here with Stephen Howard.
Mel says NBA TV is marking the 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points in a game.
The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter says a movie script has been written about a deaf mute Reds player who changed the way umpires made calls.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders if another network will join Fox and TBS in airing the MLB Postseason this year.
Bob says ESPN still leads the way in cable subscriber fees, meaning how much cable and satellite providers are required to pay ESPN per subscriber.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.
Ed says a Big Ten Network profile of former Indiana University coach Bob Knight will mostly focus on his achievements and hardly touches on his tumultuous exit.
Paul Christian at the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin notes NBA TV’s documentary on Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says not many Missourians will be able to see local teams in conference tournaments next week.
Dan Caesar of the Salt Lake Tribune writes that BYU is better off an a football independent rather than share money and TV time with other teams when it was part of the Mountain West.
John Maffei at the North County Times says local prep basketball games will be harder to find on local TV this weekend.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says who knew that product placement would be the big winner during Fox’s airing of the Daytona 500.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times says CBS and MSG Network are considering buy the Dodgers in separate bids in order to get their TV rights.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at how the media covered (barely) Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game 50 years ago today.
Tom has some news and notes this week.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star says CBC premieres part two of the movie on Don Cherry’s life this weekend.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail can’t believe how well NHL Trade Deadline coverage does in the ratings.
Bruce says social media has changed sports reporting forever.
And that will do it. Enjoy your weekend.
To signify the increased synergy throughout the NBC Sports Group, Versus will air the Tour de France as usual, but NBC will air the first two stages for the first time. During the last two weekends of the Tour, CBS would air highlights under its Sports Spectacular program. I’m thinking with this announcement, that arrangement is over. Of course, Versus will have daily coverage with as many as 14 hours combined with live morning coverage and expanded primetime highlights.
Liam McHugh who finished his first year as NBC/Versus NHL host will be the front man for the Tour. Legendary cycling announcers Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin will be back to call the Tour for Versus. We have The Group’s press release.
NBC SPORTS GROUP GIVES CYCLING FANS 360-DEGREE ACCESS TO THE GREATEST CYCLING EVENT OF THE YEAR – 98TH ANNUAL TOUR DE FRANCE
Multi-platform Coverage Available On-Air, Online at NBCSports.com and Through Mobile Apps
For the First Time Ever, NBC Sports will Air Stages 1-2 on July 2 & 3; VERSUS to Average 14 Hours of Coverage Each Day
“This year’s race is built for the climbing specialists. Everyone is expecting a battle for a third straight year between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck, but there is every indication that this will not be the case. This has the makings of a vintage Tour.” – NBC Sports Group’s Phil Liggett
New York (June 27, 2011)— NBC Sports Group, the exclusive television home of the Tour de France in the U.S., will begin its coverage of the most grueling event in all of sports on VERSUS on Saturday, July 2, at 8 a.m. ET, live at the grand start from the Passage du Gois in France. Additionally, for the first time ever, NBC Sports will broadcast coverage of the opening two stages on July 2 at 2 p.m. ET and July 3 at 3 p.m. ET, respectively. VERSUS will air an average of 14 hours of race action per day in full HD throughout the 21-stage competition that covers more than 2,000 miles, including live coverage every morning of competition at 8 a.m. ET.
VERSUS’ production continues to evolve, and this year’s daily coverage will have a new look and feel to the race action. The most notable changes will be to the enhanced primetime show each night from 8-11 p.m. ET, which will feature a combination of race coverage and cycling insight as well as highlights from some of the compelling stories throughout the Tour. Each show will include interviews with the riders at the start and finish lines, analysis and strategy segments as well as other content designed for cycling fans and those who are new to the sport. Additionally, the network will collaborate with Gripped Films, producers of the critically acclaimed Tour de France documentary “Chasing Legends,” for daily, behind-the-scenes footage from the team that wins each day’s stage, to the night before they start in the next day’s competition.
The network will also give viewers the best coverage with bonus features such as: cameras on many of the team’s buses, including Garmin-Cervelo, HTC-Highroad, RadioShack, and Leopard Trek; a pointer feature which will easily identify and focus on one rider in the 195-plus peloton; exclusive, in-depth profiles and features on teams and riders; and advanced on-screen statistics/biometrics to illustrate the intensity at which the riders are competing; among others.
Legendary announcers Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the undisputed voices of cycling, will once again call all the race action for both the live and nightly shows, with Robbie Ventura and Craig Hummer contributing as field reporters. New host Liam McHugh and analyst Bob Roll will contribute to the pre-race coverage and helm the primetime studio show each night with contributing analyst Todd Gogulski. Gogulski, a former professional cyclist, has covered various cycling events, including the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España and the World Road Championships for Universal Sports since 2009.
Tour de France All Access: VERSUS will surround its on-air coverage with Tour de France All Access, unprecedented cycling content on many different platforms, including tourdefrance.nbcsports.com for the first time since NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com combined forces to create a single, robust destination for sports fans. The network will offer users both a free and premium-subscription product which gives fans a multi-platform, all-encompassing viewing experience to the greatest cycling event of the year. Tour de France All Access offers live streaming video of every stage in full HD, with the ability to pause, rewind and slow-mo the image. While watching live coverage online, viewers will also have access to a live GPS tracking map, to follow the riders’ progress or to see an enhanced interactive map for each stage. Also, subscribers can personalize their Tour experience by choosing their favorite riders and teams to track throughout the Tour. Additionally, all the features of the NBCSports.com online experience will be mirrored in the Tour de France All Access apps for the iPhone, and for the first time this year, on iPad and Android devices.
There are also many free elements available to cycling fans at NBCSports.com and through the mobile apps, which are listed below.
Before the Tour:
- Stage-by-stage descriptions and previews, featuring historical stage information, technical information and interesting travelogue vignettes
- Breakdown of top contenders
- Historical top 10 lists
- Look back at the best of the 2010 Tour de France
Once the Tour begins:
- Recaps and highlights of the day’s big events and story lines
- Expert predictions for each stage
- Route previews
- Interviews with the top riders
- Video highlights of each stage
- Live stage results
- Detailed standings, including overall and classifications
- Rider profiles by country and team
- Course and stage maps, elevation profiles and stage descriptions
- Live news stream during every stage
- Photo slideshows
- Tour de France Twitter stream, which will showcase the top race authorities, including riders, analysts, officials and fans
Additional Features and Elements (more information available at tourdefrance.nbcsports.com):
- Le Tour Challenge: Users can ride their bikes on any given day of the Tour de France to see how they compare to the pros and other cyclists from around the world. They can create a team, join a team, or ride solo, and enter to win great prizes.
- Fantasy Cycling Challenge: A traditional fantasy game where users select their own team of cyclists and compete with others for daily prizes and grand prize trip to the 2012 Tour de France.
- Race for the Podium Watch & Win Sweepstakes: During each stage, VERSUS viewers are given an on-air code word that they can use for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 Tour de France and Cervelo Bikes.
Social Media: Fans can also keep up with the Tour de France through VERSUS’ social media platforms throughout the race. Content will include:
- Behind the Scenes: Through the VERSUS Cycling Facebook page and @VSCycling on Twitter, fans receive exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, interviews and video.
- Commentator Tweets: VERSUS commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen will provide Twitter content throughout race.
- Fan Questions: Fans will have the opportunity to ask questions to VERSUS commentators, including Bob Roll in the “Ask Bobke” segment, via Facebook and Twitter.
- News: Fans can follow VERSUS Cycling Facebook and VSCycling Twitter accounts to receive the most up to date reports and stories from around the cycling world.
Working on the linkage. It should be up later this morning.
Time for some linkage on this very warm Thursday. I hope you all take a moment and say a prayer for the people of Western Massachusetts who head to deal with tornadoes yesterday. Four people are confirmed dead. It was quite devastating to see last night. Let’s hope the area can recover quickly.
To your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Shaquille O’Neal, who retired from the NBA after 19 seasons, would be a logical choice to become an NBA television analyst.
The Sporting News notes that ESPN is looking to hire O’Neal.
The great Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated has a profile on NBC’s NHL voice Mike “Doc” Emrick.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life says thanks to the NBA Playoffs, TNT had the best ratings month in cable TV history.
Andrea Morabito of Broadcasting & Cable says CBS News will not apologize and stands by its 60 Minutes report on cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Michael Malone of B&C says the NBC Sports Group will be all over rugby this weekend.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that ESPN3D plans to air The Championship Wimbledon in the third dimension.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser says NBC Sports gets an EPIC FAIL for airing a promo stating the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the Stanley Cup Final.
Noah Davis of The Business Insider Sports Page notes the national debut of a Wall Street Journal sports columnist.
Noah has the complete roster of writers who will staff Captain Blowhard’s Grantland.
Dan Fogarty in SportsGrid says Captain Blowhard has finally set an official launch date for the pretentiously-titled Grantland site.
Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group talks about 3-D TV stepping up at The Masters.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com says the Pac-12 has made announcements on seven nationally televised games.
Bill Hofhemier at ESPN’s Front Row discusses how ESPN’s award-winning World Cup production team is back together again for the Women’s World Cup.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell notes that Shaquille O’Neal was one of the first athletes to embrace social media.
Darren says Shaq’s retirement video gave an internet start-up a huge boost in more ways than one.
Darren talks with the men who marketed Shaquille O’Neal.
Martin Pave of the Boston Globe profiles the the Emmy Award-winning director of ESPN’s “Fab Five” documentary who has local ties.
Jessica Van Sack of the Boston Herald says fans don’t have to watch TV to follow the NHL.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir feels NBC needs a better way to air the French Open men’s semifinals.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that WFAN’s Mike Francesa is not just doing well without partner Chris Russo, he’s flourishing.
Neil has his entire interview with Francesa in his blog.
Neil talks with ESPN Radio New York’s Michael Kay who one day hopes to beat Francesa in the ratings.
Neil also has the ratings breakdown between WFAN and ESPN Radio New York for afternoon drive.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says tennis great Chris Evert is returning to TV as an analyst for ESPN2′s Wimbledon coverage.
Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer says Rugby 7′s will get network TV exposure this weekend.
John George in the Philadelphia Business Journal says Comcast SportsNet will air a local bike race in HD.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that the UEFA Champions League Final outrated Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in DC.
Dan finds out why ESPN Radio DC slapped a 24 hour waiting period on publishing podcasts.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner explains that DC had the highest ratings for the Champions League finale.
Jim says NBC received the best NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 1 overnight ratings in a dozen years.
Barry Jackson in the Miami Herald says the NBA Finals are drawing viewers both nationally and locally.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel says Magic star Gilbert Arenas has returned to Twitter with often humorous results.
Chuck Goldberg of the Alabama Newspapers notes that Auburn will get early starts for its first three football games of the season.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News notes that Miami outrated Dallas for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with two-time Olympic softball player Michele Smith about the Women’s College World Series which begins on ESPN2 tonight.
Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that Fox Sports Indiana and the Pacers have dropped pregame show host Stacy Paetz effective immediately.
Kevin Kane of the Southside (IN) Times wonders when organizers will lift the local blackout on the Indianapolis 500.
Bob Wolfeley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Suds City topped all markets watching the Indianapolis 500.
At the Iowa City Gazette, Scott Dochterman writes that Fox plans to give the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game the Big Event treatment.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News gets the nitty gritty on why Vin Scully’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was covered and mistreated.
Dian Pucin of the Los Angeles Times instructs West Coast viewers on how to watch tomorrow’s French Open men’s semifinal live.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail explores the media’s handling of the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg story.
At Deadspin, A.J. Daulerio chronicles how ESPN.com’s Grantland site pursued and then later had misgivings about hiring site writer Tommy Craggs.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing tries to make sense of the whole thing.
Sports Media Watch says ABC had the most watched NBA Finals game since 2004.
And that will end the links for today.
I have the opportunity to do some linkage on this Saturday so let’s take advantage of this.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says Fox has to be happy to have a dream matchup in today’s UEFA Champions League Final.
Sofia M. Fernandez of the Hollywood Reporter writes that the Indianapolis 500 has plenty of celebrity star power this weekend.
Brad Biggs in the National Football Post reports that a non-profit sports fan organization is appealing to the FCC to end all sports blackouts including NFL games.
The Big Lead notes that Captain Blowhard has poached a New York Times writer for his ESPN-backed Grantland site.
Sean Leahy at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that popular Canadian chain Boston Pizza is changing its name for the duration of the Stanley Cup Final.
Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News says Sabres fans are lucky to still have voice Rick Jenneret around for next season.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that frequent Gilbert Arenas critic Tony Kornheiser is quite similar to him in one very particular way.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says like them or not, the Miami Heat are jacking up the NBA’s TV ratings.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has confided to ESPN Radio’s Dr. Jack Ramsey that he feels Rick Carlisle is outcoaching opponents.
Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune says a last minute deal placed the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship on Big Ten Network.
Kristena Hansen in the Arizona Republic notes that a Fox Sports Grill in Scottsdale is changing its name citing poor business.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog wonders if the city could support an all-sports daily newspaper.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that TSN has signed a new six year deal to air the French Open in the Great White North.
Sports Media Watch looks at the ratings for the NBA Conference Finals dating back to 2002.
SMW says NBA TV and TNT analyst Kevin McHale is apparently heading back to coaching.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL Western Conference Final averaged less than a million viewers for the entire series.
Joe Favorito notes that lacrosse is seeing increased interest, but it will still take some time to grow the game.
Bike World News says Fox Sports Net will air the Tour of Utah cycling road race in August.
And that’s where I’ll end it today. I could do some press release posts later.
Starting on Sunday, Versus gets back into cycling with coverage of the Tour of California. The weeklong event covers the Golden State and will be called by the illustrious Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. Versus will have live coverage and also showcase highlights during each of the 8 nights of competition. We have details from Versus on the Tour of California.
VERSUS TO AIR EXTENSIVE LIVE DAILY COVERAGE OF TOUR OF CALIFORNIA – AMERICA’S PREMIER CYCLING EVENT – MAY 15-22
NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 11, 2011)—VERSUS will once again provide live daily coverage of the Tour of California road race, the premier U.S.-based cycling event featuring some of the world’s top professional cyclists, starting this Sunday at 5 p.m. ET. The network will provide live HD coverage of each stage of the Tour, from May 15-22, including the first-ever mountain top stage finish with the ascent up Mt. Baldy during Stage 7 on Sat., May 21, at 7 p.m. ET. Additionally, the network will air highlights of the stages each night during the eight-day competition.
VERSUS will give viewers unprecedented access to the competition with in-depth profiles on the race’s top riders, including American cyclist and three-time Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer, two-time Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck, three-time Tour of California runner-up Dave Zabriskie and Green Jersey winner at the Tour de France Thor Hushovd. The network will also create unique, animated cycling segments to provide viewers with a better understanding of the sport’s terminology and flow of the race. Other enhancements include a pointer feature which will easily identify and focus on specific riders in the 140-plus peloton.
Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the undisputed voices of cycling, will be on site in California to provide commentary and insight for each day of the network’s coverage with Bob Roll returning as the in-race reporter.
NBCSports.com will be the premier destination for cycling fans throughout the entire competition with expert predictions from Phil, Paul and Bob along with daily standings and results, video recaps of each stage, exclusive fan videos and interviews from some of the best riders in the world.
Since VERSUS started airing coverage of the Tour of California in 2007, the network has seen average viewership growth of 46 percent. Last year’s race saw the number of viewers tuning in to the network’s daily coverage double from 2007 (3 million vs. 1.5 million).
VERSUS’ live schedule for the 2011 Tour of California follows (all times ET, subject to change):
Stage 1: Sunday, May 15 – South Lake Tahoe to North Lake Tahoe-Northstar at Tahoe Resort 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Stage 2: Monday, May 16 – North Lake Tahoe-Squaw Valley to Sacramento 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 17 – Auburn to Modesto 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 18 – Livermore to San Jose 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Stage 5: Thursday, May 19 – Seaside to Paso Robles 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Stage 6: Friday, May 20 – Solvang Individual Time Trial 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Stage 7: Saturday, May 21 – Claremont to Mt. Baldy 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Stage 8: Sunday, May 22 – Santa Clarita to Thousand Oaks 6:30-9:00 p.m.