ESPN2 said its goodbyes today to the English Premier League. In its three years, ESPN2 has had a few good matches and most of them called by the great Ian Darke and Steve McNanaman. In the final moments of its run, ESPN2 gave us some outtakes of the pair. Great stuff.
Coming up later, I’ll write on the transition of the English Premier League from Fox to NBC.
Last year, Fox Soccer gave soccer fans a true smorgasbord of English Premier League coverage on the final Sunday of the regular season. Utilizing Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Sports Net, Speed, FX, FoxSoccer.com, FoxSoccer2Go as well as ESPN2, fans had access to all of the games as teams positioned for European honors, cash and avoidance of relegation.
This season as Fox Soccer and ESPN end their relationship with the English Premier League at least for the next three years, games will be seen on Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, FoxSoccer.com, FoxSoccer2Go and ESPN. Most of the ten games on Sunday will be streamed online. Four of the games will be seen on TV.
In addition, we say goodbye to the excellent Goals on Sunday which really ramped up when Rob Stone joined Fox Soccer.
We have the schedule of games below.
Last-Minute Drama Expected as Chelsea, Tottenham & Arsenal Battle for European Honors Features Include David Beckham Interview & Martin Tyler Essay
Los Angeles – Every year on the final day of the English Premier League season, the 20 teams from the world’s top domestic soccer competition play each other in a frantic 10-match race for financial reward, hardware and European honors.
This year, FOX Soccer, FOX Sports Net and FOX Soccer Plus, together with digital platforms FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go, carry nine of the day’s 10 matches live, on Sunday, May 19 at 11:00 AM ET. Pre-match coverage begins at 10:30 AM ET on FOX Soccer, followed by coverage of Tottenham vs. Sunderland. The Spurs’ season comes down to this: a must-win match at White Hart Lane, plus help from other match results, in order to give them the fourth-place finish and a coveted Champions League berth. Simultaneously, FOX Soccer Plus carries UEFA Europa League champions Chelsea against Everton, who is still without a manager after former manager David Moyes replaced the retired Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
The final day of the Barclays Premier League season has drama and passion for all fans and teams involved. While Manchester United revels in glory as the League’s newly crowned champion, and the bottom three teams, Wigan Athletic, Reading and Queens Park Rangers, lament their relegation to the lower division, the battle for European qualification spots lives until the last whistle on Sunday.
The top four clubs in the Barclays Premier League earn UEFA Champions League qualification, receiving a potential reward of $75 million and the right to play in the world’s most prestigious club tournament. Pending the results of other domestic competitions, the fifth, sixth and seventh places in the Premier League also hold much significance. Once Sunday’s results are in, the holders of those spots qualify for the UEFA Europa League, a continent-wide knockout tournament with more than 40 years of history and tradition. Beginning this fall, 2013-2014 Europa League and Champions League contests air live on FOX Sports 1, America’s new sports network, launching August 17.
After the matches, the series finale of Goals on Sunday airs at 1:30 PM ET on FOX Soccer, with a feature on Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs, one of the best players to ever play in the Premier League, as well as an interview with David Beckham following his announcement to retire at the end of the season. The show also takes a look back at the English Premier League on FOX Soccer and includes a Martin Tyler essay highlighting his favorite memories.
MAY 19 MATCHES
Tottenham v Sunderland
FOX Soccer/10:30 AM ET
Chelsea v Everton
FOX Soccer Plus/10:30 AM ET
West Brom v Manchester Utd.
FOX Sports Net/10:30 AM ET
Liverpool v Queens Park Rangers
FOXSoccer.com/11:00 AM ET
Manchester City v Norwich City
FOXSoccer.com/11:00 AM ET
Southampton v Stoke City
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
Swansea City v Fulham
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
West Ham v Reading
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
Wigan v Aston Villa
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
Newcastle v Arsenal
ESPN/11:00 AM ET
That will do it.
In a Hollywood-style production in New York on Tuesday, NBC announced its coverage plans for the English Premier League starting this August. NBC says it will carry all 380 games of the 2013-14 season on the NBC Sports Group. Most will be carried on NBC Sports Network with others being carried on CNBC, USA and NBC. Telemundo and mun2 will also receive a number of games. Those games not carried on one of those networks will be seen on a new channel for English Premier League games only called “Premier League Extra Time” which will be offered to cable and satellite providers at “no extra charge” as long as they carry NBC Sports Network.
All games will be streamed on the NBC Sports Live Extra app.
In addition to the games, NBC Sports Group will have various studio programming including Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2 which will be modeled after BBC’s venerable soccer programs of the same name.
NBC Sports Network will have a Saturday morning doubleheader with games at 7 and 10 a.m. ET. NBC will take Saturday midday games at 12:30 p.m. ET.
On Sundays, NBCSN will air Sunday games at 8 and 11 a.m. ET. And NBCSN will also air Monday and various midweek afternoon games at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Here’s the breakdown of EPL games on NBC Sports Group.
And we have the official press release for you.
Live Multi-Platform Coverage of All 380 Matches
Matches to Air Live on NBC, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, Mun2, Premier League Extra Time, NBC Sports Live Extra and Other NBCUniversal Channels
All 10 Matches on Championship Sunday – May 11, 2014 – Available Live on an NBCUniversal Television Channel
More than 600 Hours of Original and Weekly Studio Programming on NBC Sports Network
New York – April 16, 2013 – All 380 games of the 2013-14 English Premier League season will be presented live on NBC Sports Group’s television and digital properties as well as other NBCUniversal channels. NBC Sports Group’s schedule, which begins on Saturday, August 17, includes live matches on NBC, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, Mun2, the Premier League Extra Time package of overflow television channels, the NBC Sports Live Extra website and app, and other NBCUniversal channels including CNBC and USA.
As previously announced in October 2012, NBCUniversal, via the NBC Sports Group, acquired the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Premier League through a multi-year agreement that begins with the 2013-14 season. Per the agreement, NBCUniversal becomes the exclusive English- and Spanish-language media rights holder to all 380 English Premier League matches across all media platforms and devices in the United States.
Details of the 2013-2014 NBC Sports Group Premier League programming include:
- All 380 matches presented live on television with studio pre- and post-game coverage;
- All 380 matches streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra;
- Games not aired on a designated NBCUniversal channel will be made available to distributors via Premier League Extra Time, a package of overflow television channels available at no extra cost for each of their customers who receives NBC Sports Network;
- Championship Sunday – May 11, 2014, when all 10 Premier League matches will be available live on a different NBCUniversal channel;
- 76 Spanish-language telecasts, 10 on Telemundo, 66 on Mun2;
- More than 600 hours of Premier League original programming.
NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: Every English Premier League match will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra, the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktop, mobile and tablets and, in most cases, on the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, telco and other video subscription services. The vast majority of English Premier League matches will be streamed via “TV Everywhere,” available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of these services.
NBC Sports Live Extra provides a primary and second screen experience across mobile, tablet and desktop, delivering high quality video, match/player stats and video highlights while aggregating Premier League content from social media.
PREMIER LEAGUE EXTRA TIME: All games not aired on a designated NBCUniversal channel will be made available to distributors on Premier League Extra Time, a package of overflow television channels available at no extra cost for each of their customers who receives NBC Sports Network.
CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY: The biggest day on the Premier League schedule is the last day of the season when all 20 teams play at the same time. NBCUniversal will present each match of Championship Sunday live across a host of NBCU channels, including NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA, MSNBC, E! and more.
STUDIO AND ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING: NBC Sports Network will present more than 600 hours each year of studio and original programming surrounding Premier League. Shows include:
- Premier League Countdown – A preview of the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League season;
- Premier League Download – With the help of a number of high-profile celebrity supporters, comedians and journalists, Premier League Download will explore what it is that’s so intensely loved – and loathed – about England’s topflight league. Long-time supporters will enjoy the lively commentary, while new fans will learn the language of the only league that matters;
- Premier League 36 – NBC Sports Network’s acclaimed 36 series that follows athletes for the 36 hours leading up to a game/match/race comes to the Premier League;
- Premier League Goal Zone – A 30-minute program airing after the matches on Sunday with highlights of all the goals scored on Saturday and Sunday;
- Game Cut-Downs – On Monday nights, NBCSN will present a two-hour show featuring cut-down versions of the Manchester United and Manchester City matches. On Tuesdays, a two-hour program will feature the Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham matches;
- Match of the Day – A two-hour show featuring extended highlights with the natural calls of every game on Saturday. This show is modeled after the highly-regarded BBC show of the same name. Match of the Day will re-air on Sunday mornings;
- Match of the Day 2 – A 90-minute show featuring extended highlights with the natural calls of every game on Sunday. This show is modeled after the BBC show of the same name;
- Match of the Week – On Sunday nights, NBCSN will re-air the best match of the weekend in its entirety;
- Barclays Premier League World – A weekly magazine show produced by Premier League;
- Barclays Premier League Preview – A weekly show produced by Premier League that previews the upcoming week’s matches;
- Barclays Premier League Review – A weekly show produced by Premier League that recaps all the matches from the past week.
TYPICAL WEEKLY PROGRAMMING GRID (All games live; All times ET)
Saturday Sunday Monday/Midweek 7 a.m. – NBCSN 8 a.m. – NBCSN 2:30 p.m. – NBCSN 10 a.m. – NBCSN 11 a.m. – NBCSN/Telemundo 12:30 p.m. – NBC
If you’ve watched ESPN’s international soccer coverage over the past few years, then you’ve probably seen Rebecca Lowe on its Women’s World Cup and UEFA Euro Cup studio programming. If you’ve lived in the UK over the past several years, then you’ve seen a lot of her.
Coming in August, Stateside fans will see Rebecca Lowe every weekend on NBC Sports Network as the Peacock has hired her to become the host of English Premier League games. This is a very good move. Rebecca is a very good presenter (the term used in the UK for host) and has good knowledge of the beautiful game.
She’s worked at the BBC, in particular on soccer and on its venerable Match of the Day recap shows, Setanta Sports and then for ESPN UK when it took over Setanta’s contract for the EPL. She became the first female host of FA Cup matches in the UK and has had a high profile in England.
Now she’ll be moving to the United States to host the English Premier League broadcasts for NBC Sports Network. We have the announcement below.
Lowe to Relocate to U.S. and Host Coverage from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.
New York – March 26, 2013 – Rebecca Lowe, who currently serves as co-host of ESPN UK’s coverage of Premier League soccer, has signed a multi-year agreement with NBC Sports Group to serve as its host of the Premier League beginning in August, it was announced today.
Lowe will relocate to the U.S. this summer, and will host Premier League coverage from NBC Sports Group’s new state-of-the-art International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn. Additional talent announcements for NBC Sports Group’s Premier League coverage will be announced at a later date.
“I’m about to begin the most exciting chapter of my life,” said Lowe. “Joining NBC to present the Premier League is an enormous privilege. Not only do I get to combine my love of football and of TV presenting, but I’m getting the chance to do that in a new country, which poses a real challenge. I’m impatient for the summer to come, and inspired by NBC’s outlook on putting live football on the telly…as we say in England.”
“Rebecca has the perfect combination of soccer knowledge and perspective to lead our viewers through all the drama and excitement of Premier League,” said Pierre Moossa, Coordinating Producer, NBC Sports Group Soccer. “When we started the talent search, Rebecca was our top choice as host, and we are extremely fortunate to have her join our team”
Lowe joined ESPN UK in 2009 to co-host its Premier League matches as well as its FA Cup coverage, and co-anchor Between the Lines, a football debate and opinion program. Lowe co-hosted ESPN’s coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011, in Germany, and its Euro 2012 coverage from Bristol, Conn. In May, 2012, Lowe became the first woman in UK history to host the FA Cup Final – a six-hour live broadcast from Wembley Stadium. Lowe will conclude her Premier League and FA Cup duties with ESPN UK in May.
Prior to her work with ESPN UK, Lowe was a presenter and reporter for Setanta Sports (2007-2009), and a host for Setanta’s coverage of the Football Conference. She also co-hosted Football Matters, Setanta’s Premier League studio program.
Lowe’s sports-television career began when won the 2002 BBC Talent Search for a football reporter, from a field of 650 candidates. While at the BBC – from 2002-2007 – Lowe contributed to the network’s soccer programming, including reporting for Final Score from a key Premiership match each Saturday; contributing features and reporting for Football Focus; and presenting a lifestyle feature each Sunday morning on Match of the Day called “Football in the Community.”
Additionally, Lowe reported for BBC Two at the 2004 African World Cup of Nations, in Tunisia, and in 2005, was the Team England reporter from the Women’s European Championships in Manchester for BBC One. She also covered the FA Women’s Cup Final (2003-2007) and the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany for BBC One.
# # #
NBCUniversal, via the NBC Sports Group, has acquired the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Premier League through a multi-year agreement that begins with the 2013-14 season. Per the agreement, NBCUniversal becomes the exclusive English- and Spanish-language media rights holder to all 380 Premier League matches across all platforms and devices in the United States.
Each of the 20 Premier League teams plays 38 matches over a 41-week period from August to May. Although specific programming details will be announced soon, NBC, NBC Sports Network, and NBCSports.com will all be utilized to present live Premier League coverage, as well as Telemundo and mun2 for Spanish-language coverage. Additional NBCUniversal platforms and networks will occasionally be scheduled to air Premier League matches, while NBC Sports Live Extra will provide the live streaming platform across web, tablet and mobile devices.
NBC Sports Group will also produce comprehensive shoulder programming around its live-event coverage of the Premier League, including pre- and post-match shows, as well as highlight and weekly wrap-up programs. It is also developing a package to make sure the most avid fans have access to every Premier League match.
This coming into the Fang’s Bites inbox and a little bit of a surprise. First, we began hearing that Gus Johnson was calling MLS games over the past couple of years. And Deadspin has video of one of his games from last year. Privately, I was thinking that Fox could utilize Gus on the World Cup. Then today, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reports that Fox is grooming Johnson to not only call World Cup games, but be THE Voice of the World Cup.
In fact, Gus’ first international soccer assignment will be next Wednesday in a UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Real Madrid and Manchester United on Fox Soccer. This will be the first case of Fox utilizing its own talent instead of relying on the Sky Sports or the International feed for the Champions League.
In addition to the Champions League, Fox will utilize Gus on the English Premier League in this last year of its contract and also on the FA Cup.
For the Champions League game, Fox will team Gus with studio analyst Warren Barton.
For the 2006 World Cup in Germany, ESPN utilized the miscast Dave O’Brien as the main voice and both the network and O’Brien were criticized for his lack of knowledge. Since 2006, ESPN has gone the European route for international soccer and NBC Sports tapped Brit Arlo White for MLS. We’ll see how the soccer community which can be very militant about announcers, embraces Johnson.
Here’s the press release.
Accomplished, Veteran Sportscaster Puts 18-Months of Study into Practice on Feb. 13 Calling Real Madrid-Manchester United
Los Angeles – One of America’s most distinctive and dynamic sportscasters calls his first-ever match for FOX Soccer on Wednesday, Feb. 13 when FOX Sports renowned play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson calls the highly anticipated UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Real Madrid and Manchester United, live from Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu at 2:00 PM ET. The assignment is the first in a series of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League matches Johnson is expected to call, including the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League Finals, May 11 and 25, respectively, on FOX.
Johnson, who has become a household name among sports fans for his memorable calls and signature catchphrases, has spent most of his career covering professional and collegiate sports, including football, basketball, baseball and boxing, among others. Calling soccer, however, is a relatively new undertaking.
“Over the past 20 years Gus has cemented himself as an iconic American sports broadcaster, and we’re thrilled to welcome his style to the world soccer stage,” said David Nathanson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of FOX Soccer. “Gus has spent the last year-and-a-half getting ready to call what is a new sport for him, and I applaud the work, study and time he’s devoted to his preparation. He respects how passionate and knowledgeable the soccer fan is, and while his education continues, he’s ready to lend his classic American voice to the world’s biggest sport.”
Since accepting this new challenge, Johnson has tapped several resources in his effort to learn as much as possible in such a short period of time. He called over a dozen MLS games on radio, mostly those of the San Jose Earthquakes; he has played pick-up soccer games in a park near his Manhattan home; spent several weeks in Europe last season attending games and conversing at length with Sky Sports executives and world-class football play-by-play announcer Martin Tyler. In Madrid, Johnson is partnering with FOX Soccer analyst Warren Barton, who in his playing days appeared in more than 300 Premier League matches. Barton, along with former players Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones have aided Johnson tremendously in his soccer broadcasting education, collaborating with him on numerous practice telecasts under the tutelage of FOX Soccer Executive Producer Jonty Whitehead.
“No doubt that the followers of this sport are among the most passionate, knowledgeable fans in the world, and I’m a newcomer,” said Johnson. “The effort to learn the sport and absorb its nuance has been a humbling experience. While I’ve put a lot of time into my preparation thus far, it’s definitely going to take a lot of reps before I’ve mastered soccer’s rhythm and pace, but I am determined to do so, and with all the support I’m receiving I have no doubt that I will.”
In addition to Johnson’s Feb. 13 assignment in Madrid, he’s scheduled to call another UEFA Champions League match, this one between Arsenal and Bayern Munich, on Feb. 19 with analyst Ray Clemence and a Barclays Premier League game featuring Manchester City and Chelsea on Feb. 24 with Lee Dixon as analyst.
Since joining FOX Sports in 2011 Johnson has been a staple of the network’s college football (Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12, and Conference USA) and NFL productions. This past year, he has been on the call for memorable moments such as Texas A&M’s 41-13 trouncing of Oklahoma in the 77th Cotton Bowl Classic, USC’s high-scoring 62-51 loss to Oregon last November, and Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez’s 76-yard touchdown run in the 2012 Big Ten Championship game.
Let’s see how this works. I hope it will be successful. I know Gus has his detractors, but let’s see how he does next week before rushing to judgment.
Time for the look back at the Year in Sports Media in 2012. Lots of great stuff. The year has been very interesting and we have seen a lot of things.
Just doing a Top Ten is never enough for the Year in Review. It’s always an even dozen with some honorable mentions mixed in.
Let’s go over what were the Sports Media Stories of 2012.
12. Embrace Debate Leads To Rob Parker Suspension
One of the silliest stories in 2012 was ESPN’s commitment to debate programming. Two shows were revamped to accommodate more debate among ESPN personalities, First Take and Numbers Never Lie. Due to outrageous statements made on First Take, mostly by Skip Bayless, the show received lots of attention and increased ratings. But the pressure to stand out may have caught up with Rob Parker who questioned whether DC NFL Team quarterback Robert Griffin III’s authenticity.
It led to Parker’s suspension and allegedly more oversight over the shows. We’ll see if it leads to some more control and fewer outrageous statements.
11. Steve Sabol (1942-2012)
One of the pioneers in sports television passed away in 2012. Steve Sabol’s impact on the National Football League’s popularity through NFL Films cannot be measured. With his father Ed, the Sabols brought fans closer to the game by thinking outside the box. Games weren’t just regular contests, they became movies with Hollywood production values and full orchestrations. Instead of showing games from high in the stadium, NFL Films went to field level and made extreme closeups of the players. In addition, Ed and Steve introduced slow motion photography to sports.
In 2011, Ed Sabol was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It would behoove voters to induct Steve sometime soon to join his dad.
10. Big Media Taps Into New Media
2012 saw Turner Sports purchased the much-criticized and now-improving Bleacher Report, USA Today buying Big Lead Sports and NBC Sports aligned itself with Yahoo! Sports. This is more than getting pageviews and improving comScores, this is about expanding portfolios and attracting younger audiences. According to comScore, Yahoo! has been the most popular sports news site for several years outpacing ESPN.com. Bleacher Report may get criticized for its multiple and questionable slideshows, but its hiring of some respected editors and writers have increased the quality of the site to the point where Turner Sports purchased the site for beaucoup bucks. And I have to make this disclaimer, Fang’s Bites is an independently-owned blog that is affiliated with USA Today Media Group. We will see more purchases in 2013.
9. NASCAR Renews with Fox
Fox Sports was the first of NASCAR’s TV partners to renew its ties with the sport taking the first half of the Sprint Cup season. For an estimated pricetag of over $2.4 billion through 2022, Fox remains with NASCAR in a relationship that dates back to 2002. Fox is expected to put some of its races on its new all-sports channel, but we’ll get to that later. And expect live on-streaming in this new contract. However, NASCAR’s ratings are a question-mark, but bidding for the second half in 2013 is expected to bring even more money. It’s all going to be quite an interesting year for NASCAR.
8. NBC Steals English Premier League and Formula One From Fox
October turned out to be a good month for NBC Sports Group as far as acquisitions were concerned. It first obtained the rights to Formula 1 as Fox gave just a nominal bid. Then a couple of weeks later, it emerged as the frontrunner to the English Premier League and then won out over a concerted combined bid from ESPN/Fox. While NBC Sports Network won’t be known as a college sports destination or for MLB, perhaps it can become an international sports channel with the EPL, Formula 1 and Olympic Sports. NBC Sports Network will have some sports to watch year-round with the English Premier League, Formula 1, MLS and the NHL (when it finally returns).
7. NFL Network Picks Up Its Last Two Holdouts
Since 2010, NFL Network has been gaining momentum in picking up carriage agreements with the major cable providers. It finally was able to sign deals in 2012 with its last two remaining holdouts, first Cablevision in August and then the very last one, Time Warner Cable in September. Thanks to the increased audience, NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football package had record ratings for its new 13 game schedule. It was a struggle for NFL Network to get all eight major cable and satellite providers on board, but after eight years, it finally got it done.
6. MLB New TV Contracts For A Lot of $$$
It started in August when ESPN renewed rights for its three nights of baseball games, a return to postseason and an increased amount of games for a total of $5.6 billion over eight years. Then in October, MLB announced deals with Fox and Turner for a combined $6.8 billion through 2021, providing them with TV Everywhere rights, postseason deals and a package of regular season games. For Fox, it allows the network to put games on its anticipated all-sports cable channel, but again, more on that later.
5. CBS & NBC Announce New Sports Radio Networks
2012 brought two new national networks to the sports talk radio scene. Within two days of each other, NBC Sports Radio and CBS Sports Radio were announced by both companies and with respective partners Dial Global and Cumulus Radio. NBC Sports Radio has been airing limited weekend programming since September, however, CBS Sports Radio chose to wait until this month to begin full operation with a 24/7 lineup. Both have a long way to go to match the firepower and the reputation of ESPN Radio that has been on the scene since the early 1990′s, however, CBS has hired familiar names like Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb, John Feinstein, Scott Ferrall and Dana Jacobson. NBC will wait until the NCAA Final Four to finalize its weekday lineup. No matter the case, ESPN Radio finds itself with some formidable competition to join Yahoo! Sports Radio and Fox Sports Radio for listeners.
4. ESPN Free Agency
We had some big names leave the ESPN nest, Erin Andrews, Steve Berthiaume, Michelle Beadle, Cindy Brunson, Doug Gottlieb, Dana Jacobson, Michael Yam to name a few, but many stayed including Scott Van Pelt. This seemed to be quite the year for free agency for ESPN. In some cases, the network chose not to renew and wave goodbye to those departing, others decided not to return for other opportunities while in others, ESPN went out of its way to make sure its desired talent stayed. For the first time, ESPN was transparent in making statements about its free agency signings or departures. In the past, it had issued terse statements when media inquiries were made.
3. Fox Spending Spree
As the year-end was approaching, Fox Sports through its parent, News Corp., went on a spending spree unlike any other in sports media. It not only set up an all-sports cable channel for operation in 2013 (again, more on this later), but it bought into the YES Network which will eventually lead into a majority share of the New York Yankees regional sports network and fully purchased Sports Time Ohio for the Cleveland MLB Team. In addition, Fox is reportedly close to signing a long-term deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for its media rights. News Corp. had money to spend with the company splitting off its publishing holdings into a separate company and of course, the proverbial fiscal cliff where tax credits were about to change. Will we see more of Fox’s financial muscle in 2013? I think that’s a safe bet.
2. The Emergence of Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2
While NBC Sports Network was attempting to bid for major sports properties, Fox Sports was quietly forming its cable sports strategy for 2013 and beyond. We began hearing rumblings about Fox rebranding Speed into an all-sports channel that would be named “Fox Sports 1″ then at the end of the year, the company’s Fuel channel would also be rebranded as “Fox Sports 2″.
In its new contracts with MLB, NASCAR, the Pac-12, UFC and other sports properties it signed in 2012, Fox had a provision to put games and events on Fox Sports 1. As part of its new contract with Major League Baseball, Fox Sports can place 40 regular season games on cable as well as several postseason games. We should expect a number of NASCAR Sprint Cup races on FS1 and most likely see some UFC events as well.
The strategy is in place. Let’s see how it’s enacted in 2013 and beyond.
1. NBC’s Olympics Both Fail and Succeed
Up until the London Olympics begin in late July, NBCUniversal had been downplaying both ratings and financial expectations stating that it expected to lose money and the ratings for a tape delayed event would not be as good as in 2008 when events were carried live from Communist China. Somewhere along the way, something happened. NBC broke even financially on the Olympics and they became the most watched event in US television history. That was the successful part.
The failure was the tape delayed aspect when many viewers wanted to watch events live. The #NBCFAIL hashtag on Twitter quickly spread like wildfire during the first weekend of the Olympics. In addition, online streaming was sluggish and haggard. But even with the delays and streaming problems, Americans still watched in droves. When the games were said and done, NBCUniversal could pat itself on the back.
Struggles of new regional sports networks to gain carriage agreements.
NHL Does Well; But Shoots Itself in the Foot with the Lockout
Tim Tebow Overload
ESPN Continues Dominance in College Sports
Let’s bring you some linkage. Two days in a row! This is something!
Shameless plug department: I wrote Some Long Overdue Tuesday Sports Media Thoughts earlier this morning and make sure you give it a gander. Many thanks.
Sam Gustin of Time writes that News Corp.’s purchase of a minority stake in YES could help Fox challenge ESPN down the road.
Alicia Jessop at Forbes notes how the NFL successfully marketed to women to the point where they are now 44% of the league’s fan base.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News reports on the potential megadeal between Fox and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In part two of his interview with SiriusXM’s Dino Costa, Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report goes into the relationship the Mad Dog radio host has with his boss, Chris Russo.
Salvej Schou of Entertainment Weekly says a Hollywood movie executive is angry at NFL Network for censoring at the last minute, a Rich Eisen interview with actor Bradley Cooper.
John Koblin of Deadspin speaks with some media professionals on the plagiarism issues plaguing ESPN.com and writer Lynne Hoppes.
Media Rantz looks at the impending launch of Fox Sports 1.
Les Carpenter of Yahoo! has a profile on former New Orleans Saints quarterback turned popular sports radio talk show host, Bobby Hebert.
Carl Marcucci of Radio & Television Business Report writes about CBS Sports Radio’s new morning show.
Newscast Studio looks at CBS Sports Network’s new college football studio.
Fox Soccer may have lost the English Premier League rights in the US, but Fox Sports in Australia has retained the rights to all of the EPL’s games Down Under.
The New York Post’s Kirsten Fleming talks with NBC’s Michelle Beadle.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says NBC Sports Network has added a college hockey game to its schedule.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that there’s no change to the NFL schedules in the next few weeks.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says CBS Sports Network will be re-airing a host of Army-Navy football games next week.
Dave Hughes in Press Box notes that Baltimore’s CBS-owned sports radio station will drop all ESPN Radio programming in favor of CBS Sports Radio in January.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says TNT is once again comparing the Wizards to the hapless Harlem Globetrotters whipping team, the Washington Generals.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle looks at the local weekend ratings for Thanksgiving weekend.
Scott Wright at The Oklahoman says Fox Sports will air three high school championship games on its Oklahoma Plus channel.
The Detroit Free Press summarizes an ESPN The Magazine interview with controversial Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.
Sports Media Watch notes that Fox Sports drew close to the rear in the college football ratings for Week 13.
SMW says an Iron Bowl blowout did not help the SEC on CBS’ ratings.
And SMW looks at college football TV ratings on ESPN, ABC and NBC.
Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing delves into the Fox/Dodgers deal.
Joe Favorito likes how the Green Bay Packers have embraced Movember.
Brian Clapp at Sports TV Jobs says the future is very bright for sports broadcasting.
That is going to wrap up our links for today.
Let’s do some linkage on this Monday.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with TNT’s Charles Barkley about the next phase of his career.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that Saturday nights are becoming a sports TV bastion.
Chris Chase at USA Today’s Game On blog has video of an NFL referee cursing which surprised CBS’ Kevin Harlan.
Liana B. Baker and Lisa Richwine of Reuters says US cable sports networks are in a scrum for ad dollars.
Kimberly Nordyke of the Hollywood Reporter writes that Time Warner SportsNet has signed Cox, but Comcast, DirecTV and Dish still remain holdouts.
Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable says Travel Channel has signed a deal with the NFL to produce a show on the Cleveland Browns traveling to road games.
E.J. Schultz of Advertising Age says despite the NHL lockout, hockey marketers are finding ways to find their target audience.
Media Life Magazine says CBS scored with Alabama-LSU in primetime on Saturday.
Chuck Ross at TV Week explains why baseball remains the greatest game despite its ratings.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report talks with CBS/TNT’s Marv Albert about calling games at the age of 71.
Ed wonders where Michelle Beadle will fit in NBC Sports Network’s plans.
CBS Sports reports that Dallas Mavericks announcer Mark Followill got into a bike accident over the weekend.
Radio Ink notes that former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy has joined NBC Sports Radio as an analyst.
Digital TV Europe reports that Al Jazeera’s beIN Sport in France has obtained the rights to air NBA games along with the NFL it previously signed.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes that NBC is going all in with soccer.
Phil Mushnick at the New York Post says Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York Road Runners should have admitted fault in attempting to run the NYC Marathon this past weekend.
Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that a Wizards beer ad featured an underaged 19 year old Bradley Beal.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner looks at the NBC deal to air English Premier League games starting in 2013.
Jodie Wagner of the Palm Beach Post talks with a local sports radio personality about working in the local market.
Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas says the Texas Rangers have announced their broadcast teams for next season.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle reports on the local sports radio ratings.
Jeff Balke of the Houston Press provides fans with ways to watch the Rockets for those who don’t have access to Comcast SportsNet Houston.
Neal Rubin at the Detroit News says a group hopes to land ESPN’s X Games for Motown.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox’s crew found a lot to praise about the Green Bay Packers.
Danny Ecker at Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the Big Ten Network continues to air the so-called non-revenue sports.
Paul M. Banks at the Chicago Sports Media Watch wonders why the Illinois Sports Facility Authority would hire a former TV reporter to run the agency.
John Vomhof, Jr. of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal provides a look at Fox Sports North’s new studios.
The Denver Post’s Dusty Saunders feels some sports broadcasters make predictions that can’t possibly come true.
Dusty says MLB is trying to spin the World Series ratings.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News writes about the last two holdouts for Time Warner SportsNet.
Tom has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Tom has the five things he learned over the weekend.
Sports Media Watch notes that while Alabama-LSU’s overnights were way down from last year, it still had impressive numbers for CBS.
That’s going to do it for now. Squeezed as many links as I could today.
I’ll do a few links on this Thursday. Can you believe it’s November already?
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says the NBA’s television partners are still setting their lineups as the season begins.
Hiestand reports that the Mitt Romney campaign is throwing a monkey wrench at ESPN in its attempts to get the GOP Presidential candidate to appear on the Mike & Mike radio show.
Sports Business Daily looks at some of the sports facilities in the Northeast that sustained damage due to Hurricane Sandy.
Patrick Rishe of Forbes says NBC is betting that soccer will produce eyeballs for NBC Sports Network.
Alex Ben Block of the Hollywood Reporter says Lakers fans are still shut out from seeing their team’s games on several cable and satellite providers.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says TNT had to revise its NBA plans tonight after the Knicks-Nets game was canceled.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek talks with the polarizing Frank Caliendo about his move from Fox to ESPN.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says the World Series on Fox may have finished with its lowest ratings ever, but it was still able to gain a victory over NBC in the important 18-49 demographic.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report talks with NBC/NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan about her crazy schedule during football season.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell goes over the New York City Marathon’s first live national TV coverage since the 1990′s.
Jonah Bromwich of the New York Times talks with Captain Blowhard about his new role on ESPN’s NBA Countdown.
Jerry Barmash of FishbowlNY notes that WFAN will begin its FM simulcast on Friday.
Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Goalkeeper blog talks with an NBC Sports exec about the acquisition of the English Premier League.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says Comcast SportsNet has hired a replacement for the opening left behind by Kelli Johnson who left for CSN Houston last month.
LSUSports notes that Tiger alum Lolo Jones will be the celebrity prognosticator on College GameDay this Saturday.
Mike Graham at the Dallas Morning News discusses Texas Tech’s new media rights deal with Fox Sports.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle notes that the big cable and satellite providers have not made a deal with Comcast SportsNet for the Rockets games.
David said the Rockets’ season opener scored lower ratings as compared to last year.
The Oklahoman’s Mel Bracht talks with women’s basketball legend Nancy Lieberman about her new role as studio analyst for Thunder games.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch notes a former Indianapolis Colts cheerleader becoming a popular Windy City TV personality.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says a Real Salt Lake MLS playoff game next week may not be on live TV.
Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times says the Lakers updated their fans on the carriage dispute between several providers and Time Warner SportsNet.
Joe Flint of the Times says uncertainty about the Los Angeles Dodgers’ TV rights is influencing the reluctance of cable and satellite providers in regards to picking up the Time Warner regional sports network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the five things he learned over the last week.
Sports Media Watch says Hurricane Sandy may have affected the ratings for the Celtics-Heat NBA season opener on TNT.
Steve Lepore at SB Nation’s Puck The Media says English Premier League games on NBC Sports Group should compliment the NHL, not compete with it, whenever it returns from its dreaded lockout.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth looks at some various sports radio news from across the country.
The Big Lead notes that ABC is considering to option a sitcom based on ESPN’s Sage Steele.
And that will do it.
I hope those of you in the Mid-Atlantic states are ok after Hurricane Sandy. I’m lucky to still have power after yesterday’s gusts in Southern New England. I know many are not. Hopefully you’re ok after Sandy and you can start getting back to normal. Let’s do some linkage for you.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks about the World Series’ ratings.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report wonders why the World Series ratings continue to decline.
Ed goes behind the scenes with ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Ed has an interview with Jay “The Rat” Mariotti.
Michael O’Connell from the Hollywood Reporter says the World Series ratings fell from last year, but still won their respective nights.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable notes the 2012 World Series fell way below its previous record low.
Tim looks at NBC’s deal with the English Premier League.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News talks with MLB Network head honcho Tony Petitti about obtaining the rights to the next two World Baseball Classics.
Mike says Univision has signed the rights to the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament.
Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age talks about the World Series’ low ratings.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life says Fox won Sunday night with an NFL overrun and the World Series.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that WFAN begins its FM simulcast on Friday.
NBA on TNT voice Marv Albert writes in the New York Times about welcoming the Nets to Brooklyn.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Fox has changed the NFL game being sent to the Capital Region for the second consecutive week.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the college football TV schedule for Week 10.
Pete has the NFL TV schedule for Weeks 9 and 10.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record notes the MLS Playoffs start this Wednesday.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with NBA TV’s Chris Webber about the Wizards.
Tom Jones in the Tampa Bay Times reviews the weekend in sports television.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle looks at the weekend ratings.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says a former Sooner basketball player will be the analyst for several Oklahoma games this season.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post is a fan of NBC’s Tony Dungy.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News notes that the West Coast Conference gets a TV deal.
EPL Talk looks at the new NBC Sports-English Premier League deal.
Matt Yoder from Awful Announcing analyzes what airing English Premier League games means for NBC and NBC Sports Network.
The EPL also made a new rights deal in Canada.
Sports Rantz looks at some radio and sports broadcasts affected by Hurricane Sandy.
And that will be it for now.
After we learned Friday that ESPN and Fox had dropped out of the bidding for the US rights to the English Premier League, NBC makes it official tonight that it will become the new home of the world’s most popular football league.
Overall, NBCUniversal’s properties, NBC, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, Mun2 and NBCSports.com will be home to most of the EPL’s 380 games a year. Other NBCUniversal properties will air selected games throughout the season (most likely CNBC and Comcast SportsNet). The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobiles and tablets will stream video across various devices. It does not appear that NBC will sublicense any fixtures to other networks as Fox did with ESPN.
As reported on Friday in Sports Business Daily by John Ourand, NBC’s bid is believed to be triple of what Fox/ESPN is currently paying for its contract that ends this season.
This is a huge win for NBC and gives NBC Sports Network content for 10 months of the year. Expect pre and postgame programming in addition to regular highlight shows.
It all begins with the 2013-14 season. We have the official announcement from NBC Sports.
20 Teams, 10 Months, 380 Matches Annually
Multi-Year Partnership Begins in August 2013
Agreement Includes English- and Spanish-Language Media Rights Across All Platforms & Devices in U.S.
NEW YORK – October 28, 2012 – NBCUniversal, via the NBC Sports Group, has acquired the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Premier League through a multi-year agreement that begins with the 2013-14 season, both parties announced today. Per the agreement, NBCUniversal becomes the exclusive English- and Spanish-language media rights holder to all 380 Premier League matches across all platforms and devices in the United States.
“The Premier League is the preeminent soccer league in the world, and is on the cusp of exponential popularity growth here in the U.S.,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “NBCU will provide the broadest programming and promotional commitment that the league has ever experienced here in the United States. The Premier League provides NBCU with best-in-class content for 10 months of the year across our far-reaching broadcast, cable and digital platforms. This is a perfect match.”
“The NBC Sports Group has an excellent track record in sports broadcasting and will showcase the Premier League to fans across the USA through its extensive network of channels and high quality production,” said Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore. “We are extremely pleased that NBC has chosen to invest in the Premier League and look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
Each of the 20 Premier League teams plays 38 matches over a 41-week period from August to May. Although specific programming details will be announced at a later date, NBC, NBC Sports Network, and NBCSports.com will all be utilized to present live Premier League coverage, as well as Telemundo and mun2 for Spanish-language coverage. Additional NBCUniversal platforms and networks will occasionally be scheduled to air Premier League matches, while NBC Sports Live Extra will provide the live streaming platform across web, tablet and mobile devices.
The NBC Sports Group will also produce comprehensive shoulder programming around its live-event coverage of the Premier League, including pre- and post-match shows, as well as highlight and weekly wrap-up programs. It is also developing a package to make sure the most avid fans have access to every Premier League match.
And for more information on NBC’s plans, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus on NBCU’s strategy to secure the EPL and what you’ll see across its platforms.
Time for some long overdue sports media thoughts. They’re all in bullet form. And the thoughts have to do with NBC Sports/NBC Sports Network.
- NBC Sports Network will finally get its man on Monday when it picks up the TV portion of the Dan Patrick Show and its accompanying show, The Box Score. Since the summer, NBC had been negotiating with DirecTV to become the national cable distributor of the show. Fox Sports Net had been the cable partner from 2010 until this month when negotiations to remain the home of the show broke off.
NBC Sports Network is desperately trying to become a legitimate competitor to ESPN, but with the NHL lockout plus losing out on Major League Baseball, it appeared that things were looking bleak. But some developments this week are giving NBCSN some hope to take the power back.
The first part is getting an established brand name like Dan Patrick to the network. The formal announcement will be made on Sunday Night Football during halftime of New Orleans-Denver.. Then the show starts the following day. The move has been long rumored, but it will finally come reality next week. For NBC Sports Network, the climb has to start somewhere. It has to start somehow. What better place than next week?
- The news broken by Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand on Friday that NBC appears to be the leader in the clubhouse for the US rights for the English Premier League has to feel like a bullet in the head to incumbents Fox Soccer and ESPN. When the bidding for the rights began this month, it appeared the current rightsholders, Fox/ESPN would continue for another three years beginning with the 2013-14 season. However, news broke today that the English Premier League had informed Fox/ESPN that it would no longer require its services. Ourand reported that NBC’s bid would triple Fox’s current fee of $23 million per year. An announcement is expected next week.
Of course, the Al Jazeera-owned beIN Sport which launched in the US in August has expressed its interest in the US rights, but it’s not known if it actually bid.
Let’s say for argument’s sake that NBC wins the rights, it would be huge. NBC Sports Network could conceivably air EPL games on Saturday and Sunday mornings plus air Monday afternoon games. Matches could be sublicensed to another network or placed on another NBCUniversal property like the Comcast SportsNet affiliates.
The English Premier League makes a nice compliment to the Major League Soccer games that air on both NBC and NBCSN. And if the EPL bid is successful, it suddenly gives the Peacock some street cred with soccer fans.
Plus, this is a huge blow to Fox Soccer which has heavily depended on the English Premier League for programming. And ESPN which already lost the World Cup and now 80 EPL games finds itself with just MLS once the 2014 World Cup concludes.
- Brett McMurphy at ESPN.com reports that the Big East conference is letting its exclusive 60 day negotiating window with ESPN lapse and will now start talks with Fox and NBC Sports.
While the Big East can still sign with ESPN, the conference is taking a gamble that it can get a megadeal similar to what other major college leagues have received. The Big East left big money on the table when it rejected a long-term deal from ESPN last year choosing to shop around. Now with its exclusive window with the alleged Worldwide Leader coming to an end, the Big East will get courted especially by NBC.
Over the last year, NBC Sports Network has picked up rights to the A-10, CAA, Ivy League and the Mountain West conferences, but it would be a huge win to get the Big East, a league that has been with ESPN since its inception.
Fox might be in just to drive up the bidding, but now with losing the EPL and Formula 1, it needs some inventory for its soon-to-be-launched Fox Sports 1 channel. If the Big East can convince either Fox or NBC or perhaps even both to pony up, the conference might be in line to see fees on par with the ACC. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Suddenly, NBC Sports Network’s future looks a bit brighter than it did earlier this month. And if it gets a piece of the NASCAR schedule next year, then NBCSN’s programming with the NHL (if it ever returns), English Premier League, MLS, Big East, Formula 1 and the other aforementioned properties makes the channel a decent challenger. Don’t forget the NBA contract bidding in 2014 also is looming.
That’s going to end the thoughts for now.
Once again, the extremely connected John Ourand of Sports Business Journal has broken yet another story involving the sports television bidding process.
He breaks news that the current rightsholders for the US rights for the English Premier League, Fox and ESPN have dropped out of the bidding for the upcoming three year contract that would begin in the 2013-14 season. Ourand first tweeted that the Fox/ESPN entity was dropping out and that NBC has emerged as the frontrunner to the rights.
SBD: Fox and ESPN have dropped out of the EPL bidding process. NBCU is the clear front runner. BeIN the big question mark. Link coming.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) October 26, 2012
It’s a bit of a surprise because earlier this month when NBC won the rights to Formula 1 races beating out Fox, it was thought that the Peacock would not have room for English Premier League games.
Now this has seemingly all changed with today’s developments with Fox/ESPN dropping out of the bidding. Ourand reports that NBC tripled Fox/ESPN’s bid for the rights.
The dark horse in the room is the Al Jazeera-owned beIN Sport which has deep pockets and has the rights to Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga and France’s Ligue 1. What role will it have, if any, in the upcoming EPL contract?
Fox issued a statement which notes its disappointment in losing the EPL.
Fox: We were disappointed to learn today that EPL has elected to move forward with a different media partner despite FOx’s aggressive bid
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) October 26, 2012
Fox had used English Premier League games as a launching pad for programming and depends solidly on the games for the bulk of its schedule. This leaves Fox Soccer with the UEFA Champions League, CONCACAF Champions League, Scottish Premier League, the World Cup from 2014-2022, but the loss of the English Premier League leaves huge holes in the schedule.
EPL Talk notes
that Fox Soccer and its previous incarnations had aired the English Premier League for 15 years and while an official announcement has yet to be made by the league, Fox/ESPN will continue to air games until the end of this season.
We’ll continue to monitor the developments in this story.
It’s been too long since I’ve done a links post and why not do this with a Friday megalink post.
Your Weekend Viewing Picks have all of my sports and entertainment suggestions.
Now to your linkage.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with Fox’s Erin Andrews about her being put under a bigger microscope now that she has higher profile gigs.
John Ourand & Michael Botta from Sports Business Daily handicap the bidding for the US rights to the English Premier League.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that the EPL bidding is going to a second round.
At Sports on Earth, Will Leitch makes no bones about being a Joe Buck apologist.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy looks at the ratings for three KHL airings on ESPN2.
To The Godfather, Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina who notes that in Hot Clicks, ESPN’s Samantha Steele is taken. Sorry, fanboys.
Jim Romenesko notices that ESPN.com is trying to play eye doctor.
Jane McManus of espnW looks at MLB’s new dress policy for reporters.
Sports Rantz explores the revamping of the 6 p.m. ET SportsCenter that could lead to more appearances for Lindsay Czarniak.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report talks with CBS’ Doug Gottlieb about his first job in broadcasting.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Ronnie Ramos says reporters should throw objectivity out the window when it comes to social media.
Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group says YES Network is finding a TV-friendly environment at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
David Goetzl of MediaPost says ESPN is trying to expand the SportsCenter brand beyond television.,
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid has today’s New York Post cover involving the Yankees.
Kristi Dosh as ESPN.com says GoDaddy’s hiring of a new ad agency could lead to the dropping of spokesperson Danica Patrick.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell says it’s good that the Chicago White Sox listened to their fans and dropped ticket prices for next season.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has the worst sports tweets of 2012 to date.
Leah Goldman of the Business Insider’s Sports Page has what you need to know about ESPN’s Samantha Steele.
Joe Favorito looks at the Battle for the Big Apple, NBA style.
Dave Kohl of The Broadcast Booth takes a look at Joe Buck’s rare NFL/MLB doubleheader on Sunday.
Bob’s Blitz talks about CBS Sports Radio giving writer John Feinstein a daily show when the network launches in 2013.
East and Mid-Atlantic
The Lewiston (ME) Sun Journal and Maine Hockey Journal have formed a partnership on local sports coverage.
At the Boston Globe, Chad Finn reviews Comcast SportNet New England’s NFL Pregame Live show.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette talks with a former WEEI morning show personality.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says Time Inc. has tapped a Sports Illustrated web editor to head its entire sports portfolio.
In the New York Post, Phil Mushnick wants everyone to be like him.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY notes that the Yankees and Giants top the local TV ratings.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union compares and contrasts Fox and TBS in the MLB Postseason.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call notes that a local sports talk show host is no longer employed at his radio station.
Also in Press Box, Dave says the Washington Nationals are seeking a bigger rights fee from MASN.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says the City Paper will not mention the DC NFL team by its regular name.
Dan says Fox was filming a spot regarding DC NFL team QB Robert Griffin III this week.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the Nationals’ brand is seeing more attention after its regular season success.
Rick Stroud at the Tampa Bay Times says Sunday’s game involving the Saints and Bucs did sell out in time.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle has some college football announcer pairings and a few local news and notes.
In his media notebook, Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman looks at Bill Simmons making the dangerous move to television.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Time Warner Cable picks up three local high school football games this weekend.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has ESPN college basketball analyst Dan Dakich handicapping the Big Ten.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune says the Cubs, WGN and Comcast SportsNet will quickly decide on a replacement for Bob Brenly who left and took his talents to the Southwest.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch wonders why the Sun-Times would hire Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy to be a columnist.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that the local Fox TV station had to juggle severe warning alerts while airing the Cardinals in the NLCS.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the Diamondbacks have named their new TV broadcasting team.
John Maffei of the North County Times writes on a former San Diego Charger who’s deciding whether he wants to play in the CFL or pursue broadcasting full-time.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star explores the cast changes to ESPN’s NBA Countdown pregame show.
In his media notebook, Jim says the Pac-12 Network can be found online for subscribers of participating cable and satellite providers.
Jim has his Weekend Viewing Picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News is fed up of cable carriage disputes.
Tom has some stuff that didn’t make it into his column.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail talks with former NHL coach and TV analyst Mike Keenan on how to survive the lockout.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog has some of the local sports radio ratings.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says MLB got a rare ratings win over the CFL last Friday.
And that will conclude the megalinks. Enjoy the sports weekend.
Let’s do some links now.
Austin Karp at Sports Business Daily says the MLB TV partners saw record low ratings this season.
Sports lllustrated’s Richard Deitsch reviews ESPN2′s first foray into pro hockey since losing the NHL in 2005.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that Bob Costas is back calling postseason baseball for the first time since 2000.
Chris Strauss at USA Today says Monday Night Football on ESPN easily beat the MLB League Division Series on TBS.
Gary Mihoces of USA Today writes that former NFL’er, Monday Night Football analyst and actor Alex Karras has died.
Len Pasquarelli writing for SI.com has this remembrance of Karras.
At Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski recaps ESPN2′s telecast of Tuesday’s KHL game.
The Sherman Report’s Ed Sherman talks with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit about a resurgent Notre Dame program.
Ed says it appears that White Sox TV analyst Steve Stone won’t be splitting up with Ken Harrelson.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable notes that Andrea Kremer is joining NFL Network.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine looks at Philadelphia where there are a lot of radio and TV deals and where sports radio remains hot.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid has video of an awkward CNBC interview of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson in regards to …. Tim Tebow.
Michael Bradley from the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says the media has to appeal to fans to show compassion in the wake of Kansas City fans cheering the injury to Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel.
Ryan Hannable at Boston Sports Media Watch talks with NESN’s Jenny Dell about her first season as the regional sports network’s Red Sox on-field reporter.
Anthony Sulla-Heffinger, George King III and Mark Hale at the New York Post note that the Jets beat the Yankees head-to-head in the local ratings on Monday night.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times discusses WFAN’s move to the FM dial.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record also talks about WFAN going to FM.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says a local sports radio station will air selected AHL games.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post says Nationals fans are angry about the early start time for today’s NLDS Game 3 against the Cardinals and the fact that it’s on MLB Network.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle gets Milo Hamilton’s reaction to the Astros letting go of its radio team.
David has some local and national ratings.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman has the ratings of various events over the weekend.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Hall of Fame Reds voice Marty Brennaman will be throwing out the first pitch before today’s NLDS game against San Francisco.
Charles E. Ramirez, Ted Kulfan and Lynn Henning at the Detroit News remember long-time Red Wings public address announcer Budd Lynch who passed away this week.
Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune has new Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco talking about the league’s TV rights and possibly creating its own in-house network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notices the omissions for the Ford C. Frick Award for the Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcasters Wing.
Tom talks with Jennifer Allen, the daughter of the late Los Angeles Rams coach George Allen, who narrates tonight’s NFL Network “Fearsome Foursome: A Football Life” documenary.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says losing Hockey Night in Canada would create huge holes for CBC in more ways than one.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star says CBC is looking to fill NHL lockout holes with classic games as voted by viewers.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says CBC is hurt the most as the NHL lockout goes further into the regular season.
The Classic Sports TV and Media site gives us a fascinating look at how ABC filled college football and MLB Postseason conflicts with its #1 announcer for both packages, Keith Jackson.
Joe Favorito has some suggestions on how MLB teams could make money during rain delays.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing looks at the Boston Globe’s crusty curmudgeon Dan Shaughnessy blaming the internet for just about everything wrong in the world.
Sports Media Watch notes that taped delayed English Premier League action on Fox beat a live MLS game on NBC.
And that’s going to do it.
As we speed into the last quarter of 2012 and prepare for what’s ahead in 2013, there is one thing that is on the horizon for US sports fans and that is the expected appearance of a new all-sports cable channel. No, it’s not NBC Sports Network, although its trials and tribulations this fall will be the subject of a sports media thoughts post this week.
Sometime over the next two years, Fox Sports will announce that the sometimes all-motorsports, sometimes reality channel SPEED will be converted to an all-sports channel that will air MLB, Big 12 and Pac-12 sports, MMA, some NASCAR and anything else it can its hands on. You’re seeing a little bit of this through Fox’s increased sports programming on FX. Two Saturdays ago, FX had a college football doubleheader followed by a UFC on FX Fight Night.
Imagine that next year on the new SPEED which will in all likelihood be rebranded as Fox Sports 1. Why Fox Sports 1? Because it will be part of a company rebranding of Fox’s other sports channels, Fox Soccer and Fuel as Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 3, respectively. And there is precedence for this. Fox’s Australian channels are called Fox Sports 1, 2 and 3. Each channel serves to carry certain sports and big events like the Olympics or the Australian Open.
For American sports fans, expect the sports properties to line up as follows once the rebranding takes shape:
FOX SPORTS 1 (FORMERLY SPEED)
- College Basketball (Big 12 & Pac-12)
- College Football (Big 12 & Pac-12)
- English Premier League (Survival Sunday)
- Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)
- UEFA Champions League
- World Cup Soccer
FOX SPORTS 2/FOX SPORTS 2 PLUS (FORMERLY FOX SOCCER/FOX SOCCER PLUS)
- English Premier League
- Scottish Premier League
- UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Europa League
- Australian Rules Football
FOX SPORTS 3 (FORMERLY FUEL)
- Extreme Sports
- Australian Rules Football
- Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)
Fox has already signed for 40 MLB games on Fox Sports 1, taking 14 games away from its over the air package and another 13 away from TBS to form the new slate of games on cable. In addition, the new cable channel will air some League Division Series games starting in 2014.
Fox is about to announce a renewal of its NASCAR rights and expect part of its current schedule of 13 races in the early portion of the Sprint Cup calendar to migrate to Fox Sports 1. If Fox keeps the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the races could be split among Fox Sports 1 and 3.
And if Fox manages to hold off Al Jazeera’s expected bid for the US rights to English Premier League games, perhaps Fox Sports 1 could gain a package of early Saturday or Sunday morning matches with the rest going to Fox Sports 2.
There are a lot of possibilities for the Fox Sports channels. It could also be in very good position to gain NBA games when the new set of packages go to bid in 2014. And let us not forget about a potential 8 game Thursday Night NFL package that could cover the first half of the regular beginning in 2014 that Fox would certainly be interested in.
It was thought that NBC was positioning itself to challenge ESPN’s supremacy, but with its acquiring of MLB, NASCAR and college sports plus the World Cup in 2015, Fox just might have leap frogged ahead of the Peacock as ESPN’s main opponent.
I’m going to make a concerted effort to do linkage regularly again. It’s the reason why I started Fang’s Bites back in 2007 and I was able to do the links daily, even on weekends. But lately, my schedule has been so busy that the site has become a press release dump and I want that to stop.
So I hope to do the links every day for you this week unless I have to be off-site, but I’m going to do my best to bring you the linkage.
So without further delay, here’s the linkage.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about the drama that was the Ryder Cup at Medinah.
In Sports Business Journal, John Ourand notes that NBC Sports Network’s ratings have really fallen after getting big ratings for the 2012 London Olympics.
John reports that Fox Sports is about to renew its deal with NASCAR.
Over to the ESPN Front Row PR blog where ESPN PR maven Bill Hofheimer tells us that tonight’s Monday Night Football game between Chicago and Dallas will be Mike Tirico’s 100th contest. Congrats, Mike!
Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal delves into which MLB announcer is the most biased and the results will probably confirm your suspicions.
Bloomberg’s John Helyar, Scott Church and Scott Soshnick report on MLB’s secret TV deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report says the European post-Ryder Cup press conference was an embarrassment to golf.
Ed explains how the Ryder Cup become a coveted property for NBC Sports after it was originally a sleepy event.
And Ed talks with NBC’s Roger Maltbie about his first job in television.
Mike Barnes of the Hollywood Reporter remembers former ABC and CBS motorsports voice Chris Economaki who died last week at the age of 91.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says the Pro Bowlers Tour is back on ESPN.
As part of a special section, Advertising Age’s Brian Steinberg notes that NBC’s Seth Winter is one of the publications Media Mavens.
Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group writes about the launch of Comcast SportsNet Houston which kicks off on participating cable and satellite systems (not DirecTV though) today.
Mike McCarthy at Sports Biz USA talks about how track athletes are attempting to unionize to combat the International Olympic Committee’s Rule 40 which prevents them from being in non-Olympic sponsor ads during the Games.
At the New York Post, Phil Mushnick wants NBC’s announcers to kick Tiger Woods to the curb.
Newsday’s Neil Best says Fox’s Michael Strahan and co-host of “Live with Kelly and Michael” says he got good practice for his latest gig by talking with reporters when he was a New York Football Giant.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union talks with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with MLB Network Radio co-host Jim Duquette about the Nationals.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle tells us about today’s launch of the latest Comcast SportsNet regional sports network.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal and Sentinel says the Green Bay Packers got screwed by the replacement and the real NFL referees.
Chicagoland Radio and Media says WGN in Chicago, not WGN America, will air tonight’s Bears-Cowboys Monday Night Football game plus a locally produced pregame show.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch says former Comcast SportsNet reporter Sarah Kustok received an honor last week.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post notes that CBS’ Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will have called three consecutive Broncos games after next Sunday.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Tom has five things he learned from the weekend.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail says drunk tweets from an NHL player made the lockout hit home.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star previews this week’s Blogs with Balls 5 event which takes place in Canada for the first time.
At SB Nation’s Puck The Media, Steve Lepore notes that four sports networks will combine for 50 college hockey regular season games, none of them named “ESPN”.
Steve DelVecchio at Larry Brown Sports says comedian Norm MacDonald actually predicted the European Ryder Cup comeback on Twitter the night before Sunday’s matches.
EPL Talk says Fox Soccer needs its own English Premier League highlight show similar to what BBC has in its venerable “Match of the Day.”
Sports Media Watch says ESPN will shuffle an IndyCar race in primetime to ABC next year.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has ten minutes of bloopers from New York Yankees radio voice John Sterling.
Matt notes that NBC inserted salsa music for Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz after scoring a touchdown for the second time in as many seasons.
And that’s going to wrap up the links for today.
Let’s go to a press release from across the Atlantic in regards to programming that can be accessed in the United States. Received this last week. The UK and Global radio rightsholder for all English Premier League and FA Cup games (except in Europe), talkSPORT, can now be heard in the US and Canada thanks to a new agreement with SiriusXM.
SiriusXM will have offer talkSPORT’s games and talk programming dedicated to the English Premier League and the FA Cup.
We have details of the agreement between talkSPORT and SiriusXM. It’s all in the press release that is featured below. Check it out.
talkSPORT’s Barclays Premier League and FA Cup Commentaries to be Broadcast on SiriusXM Across USA and Canada
talkSPORT, the world’s biggest sports radio station and Global Audio Partner of the Barclays Premier League, has signed a new agreement with Sirius XM Radio in the USA and Canada to broadcast talkSPORT talk shows plus talkSPORT Live Barclays Premier League and FA Cup play-by-play coverage throughout the 2012/2013 season, bringing the best of English domestic soccer to listeners across North America.
The agreement gives SiriusXM’s subscribers access to multiple live matches every week throughout the Premier League and FA Cup seasons in addition to an expanded range of award-winning talkSPORT programming including the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Drive with Darren Gough and Adrian Durham, Kick Off, Extra Time, and Weekend Sports Breakfast with Micky Quinn and Mark Saggers, on Sirius channel 92 and XM channel 207. The programming will also be available to subscribers through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smartphones and other mobile devices and online at SiriusXM.com.
This is the first time that talkSPORT live play-by-play commentary has been available on SiriusXM.
The agreement expands the availability of talkSPORT Live, talkSPORT’s new live service for global fans of the English soccer. talkSPORT Live is separately available via talkSPORT.com, with live play-by-play commentary on all 380 Barclays Premier League games as well as FA Cup matches in multiple languages, including English, Spanish and Mandarin outside the European Economic Area . talkSPORT has exclusive packages of international audio broadcasting rights with both the Premier League spanning the next four football seasons (2012/13 – 2015/16) and with the FA for the next six seasons.
Scott Taunton, CEO, talkSPORT, said: “English soccer coverage is increasingly popular across USA and Canada, so it’s perfect timing to be expanding the range talkSPORT programming available via SiriusXM. We already know from listener feedback how much SiriusXM subscribers enjoy listening to talkSPORT’s programming and we’re excited to expand the offerings to include both live Barclays Premier League and FA Cup play-by-play coverage. This agreement with SiriusXM is an important means of extending talkSPORT Live in North America.”
”We’re very pleased to work with talkSPORT to expand our play-by-play offerings to SiriusXM listeners,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming. “Our subscribers have enjoyed talkSPORT’s excellent lineup of talk programs and now, with the availability of their EPL and FA Cup play-by-play broadcasts, we are able to provide a superior listening experience for soccer fans.”
That is it.
Let’s go over what’s coming up on the next NFL Sunday.
Our NFL Week actually began on Thursday? – Yup. First of 13 Thursday Night Football games on NFL Network this season.
So I won’t hear a disclaimer for “60 Minutes” on CBS at 7 p.m.? – Not when the Tiffany Network has the NFL doubleheader. With the late games now starting at 4:25 p.m. ET, both CBS and Fox have to make adjustments. When CBS has the doubleheader, primetime will start at 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT. In the Mountain and Pacific time zones, the Sunday primetime lineup won’t change. The entire CBS lineup will be pushed back a half-hour and there won’t be any shows that will be preempted.
What’s with Fox showing this soccer documentary? – On five Sundays, Fox will run programming either before or after its single NFL game depending on when your contest will air in your region. This week, Fox airs the premiere of its Fox Soccer documentary series called “Being: Liverpool”. On three other Sundays, Fox will air tape delayed coverage of English Premier League action. And on the other Sunday being programmed by Fox, it will have a UFC special previewing that weekend’s MMA card on the network.
Blackouts? Tell me about the blackouts? – None this week. The San Diego Chargers narrowly avoided embarrassment by having its home opener and tribute to the late Junior Seau blacked out. An extension to sell the last remaining tickets worked. The Dolphins did not sell out their home opener, but the team bought all of the remaining tickets and the game against the Raiders on Sunday will be seen in South Florida. Finally, the Cincinnati Bengals sold out their home opener after problems selling out last season.
What are your Games of the Week, compadre? – On CBS, I’ll choose Baltimore at Philadelphia (Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf). Ravens look really good. Philadelphia has to show something after barely defeating my Browns last week. The other for CBS is Tennessee at San Diego (Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts). It should be a rather emotional scene as the Chargers pay tribute to the late Junior Seau before the game.
For Fox, I choose New Orleans at Carolina (Ron Pitts/Mike Martz/Kristina Pink) as both teams have to show something after lackluster performances last week. And Dallas at Seattle (Kenny Albert/Daryl Johnston/Tony Siragusa) as we need to know if both teams were really what we saw in Week 1. Was Dallas really as good as it showed in the NFL Kickoff Game against the New York Giants? And what about Seattle? Questions abound after its loss to Arizona.
Anything else? – Sunday Night Football with a decent game as the Detroit Lions take on the San Francisco 49ers (Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth/Michele Tafoya). I wonder what “Get Off My Lawn” commentary Bob Costas will make on Sunday.
That concludes the Viewing Guide for Week 2 in the League Where They Play for Pay.
In a repeat of last year’s successful programming of NFL Sundays, Fox Sports has decided to bring back tape delayed English Premier League games and UFC shows to help fill the period before or after NFL regional action on five separate weeks.
Fox found an audience for the English Premier League games and the UFC shows also brought a lead-in audience to the 4:05 p.m. ET game or held their audience after the 1 p.m. contests.
Fox will start the programming this week with the premiere episode of “Being Liverpool”, a new documentary series that will air on Fox Soccer throughout the season. The show will air either at 3 p.m. ET for markets getting the 4:05 game or at 4:30 p.m. following NFL action.
Fox has announced three English Premier League games, two of which involve Manchester United, to fill time and then on December 2, Fox will have a UFC special that will preview a mixed martial arts card on the network the following weekend.
Here’s the schedule for Fox NFL Regional Sundays.
Ground Breaking Series BEING: LIVERPOOL Premieres Sunday, Sept. 16
English Premier League & UFC’s Road to the Octagon Heat Up Fall NFL Schedule
New York, NY – FOX Sports brings fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at soccer’s most iconic football club, the best matches in English Premier League Soccer and the most intense, in-depth preview of UFC on FOX 5 to complement singleheader NFL action on Sundays this fall.
It all begins this Sunday, Sept. 16 with the premiere of BEING: LIVERPOOL, a ground-breaking profile of the Liverpool Football Club. The documentary marks the first time that cameras have been allowed inside a English Premier League locker room, with FOX Sports onsite during the club’s formative transition under new manager Brendan Rodgers. The six-episode series is narrated by Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Clive Owen.
BEING: LIVERPOOL airs either preceding (3:00 PM ET) or following (4:30 PM ET) local NFL on FOX singleheader coverage, with two repeats that night on FOX Soccer. Future episodes of BEING: LIVERPOOL debut in prime time on FOX Soccer and MundoFOX beginning Sunday, Sept. 23 (9:00 PM ET/PT).
FOX Sports’ regular season English Premier League (EPL) coverage kicks-off Sunday, Sept.23 with a tape-delay match featuring Liverpool vs. Manchester United. It is the first of three marquis matches showcasing some of the world’s most storied soccer clubs. In addition to the Sept. 23 match, FOX Sports airs EPL contests on Sunday, Oct. 7 when Newcastle takes on Manchester United (tape-delay) and Sunday, Nov. 4 when Liverpool and Newcastle face-off (tape-delay). All three tape-delay games, which air either from 2:00-4:00 PM ET or 4:30-6:30 PM ET, will have aired live earlier in the day on FOX Soccer.
On Sunday, Dec 2, in anticipation of the UFC’s next live prime time main event on FOX the following weekend, FOX Sports offers UFC’s ROAD TO THE OCTAGON, a powerful one-hour, behind-the-scenes look at the fighters’ preparation leading up to the Saturday, Dec. 8 bouts.
NFL game assignments determining what time these specials air regionally are announced two weeks prior to game day.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
3:00 – 4:00 PM ET for markets getting 4:00 PM NFL
4:30 – 5:30 PM ET for markets getting 1:00 PM NFL
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2012
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE SOCCER
Liverpool vs. Manchester United (Tape-Delayed)
2:00 – 4:00 PM ET for markets getting 4:00 PM NFL
4:30 – 6:30 PM ET for markets getting 1:00 PM NFL
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2012
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE SOCCER
Newcastle vs. Manchester United (Tape-Delayed)
2:00 – 4:00 PM ET for markets getting 4:00 PM NFL
4:30 – 6:30 PM ET for markets getting 1:00 PM NFL
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2012
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE SOCCER
Liverpool vs. Newcastle (Tape-Delayed)
2:00 – 4:00 PM ET for markets getting 4:00 PM NFL
4:30 – 6:30 PM ET for markets getting 1:00 PM NFL
SUNDAY, DECEMBER, 2, 2012
UFC’S ROAD TO THE OCTAGON
3:00 – 4:00 PM ET for markets getting 4:00 PM NFL
4:30 – 5:30 PM ET for markets getting 1:00 PM NFL
There you have it.
So weird to have the 4th of July in the middle of the week. You get the holiday after two work days and then have two work days afterwards. Some of you have the entire week off which is good, but for me, there’s no such thing as a vacation. In fact, I haven’t had a vacation since August 2001. That’s true. Anyway, you don’t care about that. Let’s get to the links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today lists which sports media personality has donated money to which politician.
Michael says ESPN NASCAR pit reporter Jamie Little will work her last race for a few months this weekend.
The BBC reports that a single yellow cable that will carry the Olympics from London to Europe was almost cut in Belgium.
Trefis Team at Forbes says ESPN contributes heavily to Disney’s stock price, but that could be reduced over time.
Keach Hagey of the Wall Street Journal looks at the new NBC Sports/Sports Illustrated partnership.
Mike Barnes of the Hollywood Reporter says former mustachioed Oakland Raiders defensive lineman turned pitchman Ben Davidson has died at the age of 72.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News writes that ESPN set a viewership record for the EURO 2012 final.
Bill Cromwell of Media Life reports that NBC is close to selling out its Olympic ad inventory.
The Associated Press says the ACC has signed a 12 year deal with the Orange Bowl.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report talks with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo about his two decade long partnership with WFAN’s Mike Francesa.
Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing writes that ESPN’s Chris Fowler gave John McEnroe a lesson about Twitter parody accounts at Wimbledon this week.
Joe tells us about reporter-on-reporter Twitter crime between ESPN’s Buster Olney and CBS’ Jon Heyman.
Melissa Jacobs at the Football Girl agrees with Erin Andrews’ assessment that sideline reporters are a necessity when used correctly.
Speaking of Erin, she speaks with Adam Silverstein of the Only Gators blog about moving to Fox.
Dave Nagle in ESPN’s Front Row public relations blog notes the network’s new broadcast position at Wimbledon.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says Barclays’ recent troubles are trickling down to the Brooklyn Nets as they prepare to occupy their new home.
Claire Atkinson of the New York Post reports that The Whistle, a sports media company geared towards kids, will have a programming block on NBC Sports Network starting in September.
Dan Steinberg in the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that DC NFL Team radio analyst Sam Huff will work a reduced schedule this season.
Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman says the U.S. Olympic Trials topped the local ratings this past weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that Annika Sorenstam joins the NBC golf team this weekend at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch urges the White Sox to calm down in asking people to do last-minute voting for the All-Star Game.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says the Pac-12 Network will be a success in Utah knowing the failings of the mtn.
Bill Mooney of the Thoroughbred Times says Fox Sports Net will air the West Virginia Derby next month.
Media Rantz notes that the NBC President who was responsible for the “Heidi Game” and forever changed how sports was aired on TV has passed away.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says CTV will bring back a few features for this year’s Olympics that were used in 2010 for Vancouver.
EPL Talk has a partial list of English Premier League games that will be aired in the States on ESPN2 and Fox Soccer.
Sports Media Watch says TNT took a ratings hit for last Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest notes that the US Olympic Committee will pass on bidding for the 2022 Games dashing hopes for a couple of cities. It means the earliest an Olympics will be held in the United States will be 2024.
And those are the links that I could manage to squeeze out of the internet today.
And can you believe I’ve been able to do linkage for most of the week? Hasn’t been like that in a long while. Glad I’ve been able to get it done.
Time for your Friday megalinks. As usual, we provide the Weekend Viewing Picks which has plenty of MLB and U.S. Olympic Trials action.
Let’s go to the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand looks at ESPN extending its current deal with the Rose Bowl.
Michael looks at Erin Andrews’ departure from ESPN.
Sports Business Journal has a sampling of what some sports business and sports media figures addressed to the graduating Class of 2012 at the nation’s colleges and universities.
At the Sherman Report, Ed Sherman explores the strange dispute between the Arizona Diamondbacks and TV voice Daron Sutton.
Ed also notes some media bashing of Chris Berman a few months in advance of his Monday Night Football debut.
Stuart Kemp of the Hollywood Reporter writes that the BBC has launched a new Facebook app to allow UK users to watch the Olympics online.
John Eggerton from Broadcasting & Cable says the Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling throwing out the FCC fine against CBS for the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show. Man, that was a long time ago.
Tim Baysinger of B&C says NASCAR Digital Media has hired five executives in advance of the sport’s takeover of its digital rights from Turner Sports next year.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group notes ESPN’s X Games production evolution.
The Nielsen Wire blog ponders the question of whether NBA Draft picks can do well in marketing products.
Deadline reports that ESPN’s ratings for the EURO 2012 semifinals this week are way up from EURO 2008.
One more week of writing, “CNBC’s Darren Rovell”. Today, CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that with less than a month to go until the Olympics, a major ticket dispute has erupted.
Joe Favorito notes how Delta Airlines’ sponsorship of English Premier League team Chelsea shows that the company wants to go outside of the US to gain awareness.
Sports Media Watch has a look at some of NBC’s Olympic assignments for London.
The Big Lead notes that ESPN and Bill Simmons removed a potential offensive part of his NBA Draft diary that is way too long for anyone to read.
Ryan Yoder of Awful Announcing has the winners and losers from Thursday’s night’s NBA Draft coverage on ESPN.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes about a documentary on an Olympic hopeful who is attempting to gain a spot on the US women’s gymnastics team.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette talks with the Voice of the Worcester Tornadoes minor league baseball team.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY talks with WFAN’s Mike Francesa on whether he’ll return to the station when his contract expires in two years.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post is not happy about Chris Berman calling Monday Night Football.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette notes that local sports anchor Andrew Catalon gets another Olympics assignment.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union notes that the NBA Draft’s ratings on ESPN were down from the year before.
Pete looks at 25 years of WFAN.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record analyzes the NBC Olympic assignments.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call talks about the later start time for the NFL national Sunday afternoon game.
Keith has some fun facts about WFAN’s 25th anniversary.
Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com says Philadelphia Union voice JP Dellacamera will be calling Olympic soccer games for NBC.
DCRTV’s Dave Hughes in Press Box says the Baltimore Orioles’ ratings on MASN are up.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has the Nationals’ radio ratings.
Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner speaks with NBC’s Phil Liggett about the Tour de France which kicks off this weekend.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald culls media opinions regarding the Heat’s chances to repeat.
Jimmie E. Gates of the Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger says a lawsuit against ESPN over a 30 for 30 documentary can proceed in state court.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says the Rockets are changing radio stations.
David writes the person who helped launch Houston’s original regional sports network will be part of the team that launches the city’s newest RSN.
Mel Bracht in The Oklahoman says a local sports radio network will be slightly affiliated with the new CBS Sports Radio.
More links later.
UPDATE, 9:20 p.m.: Time for more linkage.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley says Fox has replaced Daron Sutton from this Saturday’s Arizona-Brewers game.
Robert Channick of the Chicago Tribune says WMAQ sports anchor Mike Adamle who’s been on leave from the station is expected to return soon.
Paul Christian in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin goes over the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 series.
John Maffei of the North County Times talks with TBS’ Cal Ripken about the MLB All-Star Game.
Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star rails against the current format of the All-Star Game.
Jim reviews some of this week’s sports media news in his notebook.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times says the NFL has laid down guidelines for the league to return to the nation’s second biggest market.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News isn’t thrilled about NBC pulling tape delayed shenanigans for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Tom has more notes in his blog.
And we are finally done.
Time for some sports media thoughts. These have been percolating in my head all day Monday. It’s fine time to pour them out and have you peruse through them. As always, they’re in bullet form.
- Monday’s announcement from NFL Network regarding its new morning show could be a game changer for sports television. If “NFL AM” is successful, it could lead other sports networks to follow NFL Network’s lead. But if the show fails to catch on, then it will be back to the status quo with repeats of the previous night’s highlights program. With “NFL AM” set to launch on July 30 from 6-10 a.m. ET, one wonders if there will be enough content to fill the time, but as a director once told me when I was working at a Providence TV station, “Have no fear. We’ll find a way to fill the show. I’ve never had a half-hour of black,” meaning he never had to show a blank screen. That will have to be the philosophy of NFL Network for “NFL AM”. Plus with people going to work and school, not everyone will see the entire four hours.
If the show works, I can see other league-owned channels attempting similar ventures. MLB Network’s Quick Pitch airs on a loop on most days from 1 a.m. – noon ET. That’s too long. An MLB Network morning show could work as would a morning NBA program.
But before we get to the point of multiple live morning sports programs, “NFL AM” has to get off the ground successfully. By this time next year, we’ll have an idea whether NFL Network’s “NFL AM” is a success or a failure.
- When I began this site five years ago, Erin Andrews was the darling of the sports blogosphere. Any picture or even a slight mention of her would increase a site’s traffic. There was a reason why she was nicknamed “Erin Pageviews”. Before she re-signed with ESPN in 2010, Erin seemed to be in demand. Her star never shone brighter and it appeared that she could have the pick of any job.
Now cut to 2012 and it appears Erin is no longer the darling of sports bloggers. Others like Michelle Beadle, Jenn Brown, Charissa Thompson and Molly Qerim et.al. have become favorites as well. This isn’t to say that the Internet is ignoring her, TMZ still pays attention even speculating that she had a boob job. And she was referenced twice in the premiere of the new HBO series, “The Newsroom”.
Deadspin which once championed her (and was the first to link to the infamous hotel room video in 2009) came out with an article this month pointing out that Ms. Andrews seemingly has no place to go other than ESPN.
Deadspin reported that Erin is no longer working for Good Morning America and she’s removed the reference to GMA from her Twitter bio.
Does this necessarily mean that Erin has no other place to go than ESPN? If you believe the speculation from Deadspin and The Big Lead, the answer is yes. But does it mean that she hasn’t had any other offers or couldn’t get work if she decided to walk away from Bristol, CT?
She can still attract viewers and page views. The NHL thought Erin had enough star power to invite her to its annual awards show last week and present two trophies. Could a league-owned channel like NHL Network find room for Erin? I’m sure it could if the opportunity was presented. But we have not heard of any offers asides from her present employer.
Overall, I still think Erin can move the meter on the Internet and she’ll continue to so for a while. Just for how long she’ll be at ESPN is anyone’s guess.
- Without any EURO 2012 action until Wednesday’s semifinal game between Spain and Portugal, I went into soccer withdrawals. International soccer is a sport that ESPN continues to excel. Understated coverage with Bob Ley heading the studio and Ian Darke the main play-by-play man, I can easily say this is a Golden Age for soccer on American television. Couple this with having Martin Tyler calling English Premier League games on Fox Soccer and fans have been hearing some of the best announcing of the sport.
Granted, we get hiccups like Fox’s silly dumbing down of the Champions League Final last year, but overall, the coverage on ESPN, Fox Soccer and Gol TV has been good.
With ESPN having just the FIFA World Cup in Brazil left to broadcast, it is setting the bar very high. Fox will have a long ways to go to match ESPN’s coverage and while this year’s Champions League Final was an improvement over 2010, the network will have a big hill to climb to equal or surpass the Alleged Worldwide Leader on soccer.
- Count me as one who loved the premiere of “The Newsroom” on Sunday. I enjoyed Jeff Daniels as the erascible anchor Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer as his idealistic Executive Producer MacKenzie McHale. Yes, in typical Aaron Sorkin fashion, some of the dialogue was overwritten, but I enjoyed the show and I hope it has a long life on HBO. As long as Sorkin doesn’t go overboard on preaching, I think the show will do just fine.
I went longer than I expected on the thoughts. That’s to your benefit.
Just announced in the last half hour, the English Premier League has awarded Sky Sports and BT rights to a total of 154 matches a season starting in 2013. ESPN UK which was thought to be a favorite and Al Jazeera which was hoping to get a foothold into the EPL were effectively shut out. ESPN which entered the EPL scene in 2009 after Setanta Sports went bankrupt and let their rights go up for bid giving ESPN 46 games at first, then a total of 23 games from 2010 through 2013, will enter its last season of airing EPL games in the UK starting in August.
Now with Sky and BT obtaining the rights, ESPN will have to depend on other programming in the UK to attract viewers.
Overall, Sky or BSkyB as it’s known in the UK will have the rights to 116 games a season with new entry BT gaining 38 games. The new TV contract takes effect in the 2013-14 season.
The rights are for 3.018 billion British Pounds or over US$4.6 billion so the English Premier League remains the richest football league in Europe.
ESPN still retains US rights to a package of English Premier League games through this season in a sharing agreement with Fox Soccer.
Here’s the announcement from the English Premier League.
Premier League announces audio-visual rights
The Premier League has concluded the sales process for the seven packages of live audio-visual rights for transmission in the UK during seasons 2013/14 to 2015/16.
The seven packages – five of 26 matches and two of 12 matches – totalling 154 matches were awarded on the following basis:
- BSkyB has secured packages B, C, D, E and F totalling 116 matches.
- BT has secured packages A and G totalling 38 matches.
The overall value delivered for the seven packages following the structured and independently scrutinised sales process is £3.018 billion.
Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said: “The Premier League continues to provide excellent football and enthralling drama as we saw last season. The value this drives for our rightsholders is evident and we are extremely pleased that this has been realised for our UK live rights.
“As ever, the security provided by broadcast revenues will enable our clubs to continue to invest in all aspects of their football activities and plan sustainably for the foreseeable future. This deal allows them to keep delivering what fans want; top quality football in some of world’s best club stadia and an increasing focus on and commitment to areas such as Youth Development.
“The continuing support of BSkyB for Premier League football is significant beyond the revenues delivered; the longevity and quality of their commitment has done much for the English game as a whole. We are very happy to see this relationship maintained for another three seasons.
“We welcome BT as a new Premier League broadcast partner. They are a substantial British company that is at the leading edge of technology and infra-structure development. They are clearly investing in quality content to use on their platforms and when combined with the reach and pull of Premier League football they will deliver new ways in which fans will be able to follow the competition.
“These are exciting times for both the football and media worlds and we should all be proud of the value both industries contribute to the UK culturally and economically.
“I would also like to place on record the Premier League’s thanks to the numerous other highly credible bidders that showed such interest in the live UK rights.”
Late last month, the BBC retained rights to weekend Premier League highlights for its Match of the Day program and was allowed to stream the program on its website.
More on this story in the links which will come later today.
As we continue with the guest columns this week, we have this one from reader Matt Lichtenstadter. In this post, Matt writes about the possibility of Al Jazeera’s new US soccer channel making in-roads through obtaining the rights to the English Premier League. It’s a fascinating scenario and one that could change the landscape of sports in the US if Al Jazeera is successful.
Matt looks at Al Jazeera’s attempts to obtain programming and start a war with ESPN and Fox.
It’s no secret now that soccer is becoming more and more popular in the U.S, especially the club variety. The English Premier League is quickly becoming a rights commodity for FOX and ESPN alike, and it’s almost time to negotiate TV rights for the 3 seasons starting in 2013. These negotiations worldwide will net the Premier League over $1.5 billion (for comparison, the new NFL deals in total netted around $3 billion for 8 years). While the British rights are often the most interesting to follow, the US rights may be more interesting than that. Not only will FOX and ESPN duke it out, there will be a new player in the mix that may cause quite a stir.
Al Jazeera is often thought of as the network for the Middle East, and it is one of the largest media networks in the world. They have a large sports division that covers sports for the Middle East as well. Now, with money backed up by the Qatari royal family, they have started a sports network called beINSport USA, which next year will cover La Liga from Spain, Serie A from Italy, and Ligue 1 from France. They have already poached the famous duo of Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson from GolTV most likely, and the Premier League will very likely be their next rights target. They have tons of money to play with, as seen with some of the club teams that Qatari’s own, but will that be enough to sway the pendulum away from the status quo?
Al Jazeera English, the news arm of the network broadcast in English, is only carried by Dish Network right now, and it’s assumed that they will also carry the new sports network. But aside from that, they have no other apparent carriage deals in the hopper. It’s very likely that most of the country will be shut out from watching 3 of Europe’s biggest club soccer leagues this year because of carriage issues. If Al Jazeera wants to grab Premier League rights, they’ll have to expand their footprint on American carriers, fast. ESPN obviously has an incredibly wide distribution, and FOX Soccer has a good network as well. FOX and ESPN have a lot to play for in these rights negotiations, especially considering these networks are the home of the World Cup up until 2022. FOX wants to keep its soccer profile high leading up to the World Cup in 2018, and since John Skipper is a major proponent of soccer at ESPN, you know he’ll be very interested in getting the major package for his network in order to keep their soccer profile high after they lose FIFA events after the next World Cup.
It’s no doubt that Al Jazeera has plans for their brand new sports network, and the Premier League could be at the top of their wish list. They have the money to make it happen, but can they compete with the likes of FOX and ESPN, especially considering what they have at stake with their soccer broadcasts? Time will tell, but if you want to see how well Al Jazeera is doing, check on their carriage rights deals and see how many they have by December, when the rights will most likely be sealed. There’s a new player on the US soccer scene, and everyone better take them seriously.
Bio: Matt Lichtenstadter has his own sports blog, Matt’s Sports Musings, which you can find at http://www.mattssportsmusings.com/. He’s also written a few pieces like this for other blogs as well. He wants more work. Help his pour blogging soul. He’s also on twitter @JagsFan93.
The guest columns continue through tomorrow. Thanks to those who have provided the guest columns this week and I’ll be back Monday.
I’ve accumulated a lot of links. They’re slowing down my browser so let’s clear them so I can let my computer get back some memory. Lots of stuff going on.
Let’s start with ESPN stuff as it dominated the news today with its network upfront presentation to advertisers and also confirmed personnel moves.
First, Sports Media Watch talks about Scott Van Pelt reupping with ESPN.
The ESPN Front Row blog has a Q&A podcast with Van Pelt in which he explains why he decided to remain with the Bristolians.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today recaps today’s ESPN upfront presentation in New York.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today notes that with Michelle Beadle leaving ESPN, the network is now focusing on keeping Erin Andrews in the fold.
The Hollywood Reporter goes over some ESPN upfront news including its plans to bring back the 30 for 30 documentary series.
Stuart Levin from Variety also has a story on the new set of 30 for 30 docs.
Jeannie Poggi of Advertising Age also reviews ESPN’s upfronts.
Alex Weprin from TVNewser says ESPN and ABC News will co-produce an interview series to be fronted by Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts.
Mike Shields from Adweek says ESPN.com will now partner to sell ads.
Chad Scott at ChuckOliver.net explains how third tier media rights work in college sports.
Andy Fixmer and Alex Sherman at Bloomberg report on how ESPN may expand its WatchESPN app to Apple TV platforms.
Andy Fixmer of Bloomberg says CBS is ready to take the coveted 18-49 ratings title from perennial winner Fox with the airing of Super Bowl XLVII next season.
The great SportsbyBrooks tweets that Erik Kuselias’ move to NBC Sports Network from Golf Channel’s Morning Drive is being considered a demotion by network higher-ups. I had a feeling this was the case. Do you consider this tweet inane, Mike Francesa?
Ed Sherman from The Sherman Report enjoyed watching Survival Sunday on the Fox Sports platforms, but wondered why the most important English Premier League game was on another network.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has four different calls of the same moment when Manchester City won the EPL title on Sunday.
John Ourand from Sports Business Journal writes about a now-defunct Twitter account that got under the skin of several sports network executives.
Earlier today, WFAN’s Mike Francesa
If you want to see Mike’s veins popping out during this rant, you can see it here on the YES Network website.
And while Francesa seemingly hates Twitter, Media Rantz points out that Francesa has an app where he does something similar to Twitter.
Bruce Jenkins from Sports Illustrated says Tennis Channel failed to serve the WTA Tour’s Madrid Open like it did with the ATP’s side of the same tournament.
Phil Allaway at Front Stretch looks at ESPN’s coverage of this past weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Race.
BBC Sport has announced it will have 24 live HD streams dedicated to the Olympics this summer.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says NBCUniversal has set the Olympics programming lineup for Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC.
John Eggerton at Multichannel News notes that a Federal Appeals Court has upheld an FCC ruling that Time Warner Cable did not discriminate against MASN when it refused to put the regional sports network on its North Carolina systems.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the college conference realignment game won’t be settled for at least another decade.
NESN goes behind the scenes with Jenny Dell and the network’s production team on what goes on during a typical Red Sox gameday.
Rich Elliot of the Connecticut Post has SNY’s president talking about the regional sports network’s plans to air UConn Women’s basketball next season.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with NBC Sports’ Mike Emrick about calling his old team, the New Jersey Devils in the NHL Eastern Conference Final.
In the New York Times, Jay Schreiber talks about the last time the Devils and the New York Rangers met in the Eastern Conference Final and how he had to monitor the series without smartphones back then.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports on ESPN’s plans to bring back 30 for 30.
Jerry Barmash from Fishbowl NY writes that MSG Network will provide of wraparound coverage of the NHL Eastern Conference Final.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says YES Network will air a Yankeeography on David Wells this week.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record notes that MSG Network will begin airing the WNBA’s New York Liberty starting this weekend.
Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer says two local global conglomerates including Comcast expect to make some big money from the London Olympics.
Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com Sports goes behind-the-scenes with ESPN’s MLS production.
Jeff Barker from the Baltimore Sun says the Orioles and the Washington Nationals are waiting word from MLB on a decision on how much MASN should pay the Nats.
Over to Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog who writes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is making a change in its DC NFL team beat reporter.
Dan talks about former Post columnist Howard Bryant ranting against Washington Nationals ownership.
Mike Finger at the Houston Chronicle says the Longhorn Network may offer more Texas football games in another attempt to get carriage from state cable providers.
Mel Bracht in The Oklahoman writes that the Oklahoma City Thunder on TNT set another local ratings record.
In Chicago Sports Media Watch, Paul M. Banks goes over some hate mail.
Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Tribune writes that Utahans should be able to see the Running Utes thanks to wider distribution of the Pac-12 Networks than the soon-to-be defunct the mtn.
Tuesday night, KNBC-TV did a story on the busy postseason in Los Angeles, but aired the wrong graphic for the Kings and showed the Sacramento Kings instead of the LA Kings. C’mon, man!
Martin Miller of the Los Angeles Times says ESPN upfront presentation showed the network was ready for some football.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media is telling everyone that a New York Rangers-Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Final might not mean boffo ratings as some NHL observers are saying.
Jay Koot of Busted Coverage is disgusted by Erik Kuselias’ engagement to Morning Drive news reader Holly Sonders.
And that’s where we’ll end the links tonight.
Happy Mother’s Day.
It’s been quite the day in sports already. A few thoughts in bullet form.
- Fox promised us unprecedented coverage on the last day of the English Premier League season and it delivered. Using FX, Fox Sports Net, Fuel and Speed in addition to its Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus on online platforms, it provided full coverage of the final day of the EPL season as teams were scrambling for the Title, Champions and Europa League spots and avoiding relegation. With ESPN2 allowed to air the Manchester City-Queens Park Rangers match, Fox focused on the other 9 games of the day. Using FX as its main hub, there were real time updates on the Fox Box as well as cut-ins by Rob Stone showing scores from other games.
If Fox retains the US rights for the English Premier League, I would love to see more of this coverage not only for what was dubbed “Survival Sunday” by Fox, but for the Opening Weekend of the season as well.
I admit I wasn’t a fan of Rob Stone when he was at ESPN, but he’s grown on me as host of the Premier and Champions League on Fox Soccer. And the way Fox utilized its platforms today was excellent. One could argue they should have been doing this all along.
If Fox is going to do this next year, then open up the pay platforms of Fox Soccer Plus, Foxsoccer.com and Fox Soccer2Go for the weekend. Those of us who don’t subscribe to those platforms were shutout today.
- One pet peeve I have about Fox is that it won’t allow online streaming of its sports properties. Whether it be MLB, NASCAR, college football or NFL, the network makes us watch its product on television. If we can’t be in front of a TV, then we’re pure out of luck. Some the online rights are locked with the league as with the case of MLB and the NFL, but ESPN, NBC and CBS have been diligent in getting online rights. Fox remains steadfast in not streaming its events. I hope that changes as the network goes forward with the NFL and any other sports properties it obtains from here on out.
- And Friday’s development that Michelle Beadle is leaving ESPN is not a surprise. While there has been no firm confirmation from neither ESPN, NBC where she’s reportedly heading nor from Michelle herself, she’s about good as gone.
I told you in the past that sports is not what Michelle wants to do full-time. By keeping a hand in special events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl should be enough for her. And by co-hosting Access Hollywood, it gives NBCUniversal a versatile personality.
She’ll do well for NBC.
That’s going to do it for now.
Let’s do some Friday megalinks. You’ve been owed some and I haven’t been able to do links for most of the week.
Of course, you have the Weekend Viewing Picks which provide plenty of college sports, soccer, baseball and the NBA and NHL postseason action.
Now let’s do your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today explores Jason La Canfora’s decision to leave NFL Network and bolt to CBS.
Media Rantz looks into the potential departure of Michelle Beadle from ESPN to NBC.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says E! will produce a special on New York Jets QB Tim Tebow.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report hears from a Fox Soccer executive on why the Fox Sports Media Group chose to air so many English Premier League games on the final day of the season.
Michael David Smith at Pro Football Talk writes that despite reports to the contrary, it appears that the New York Jets won’t make another appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer.
Eriq Gardner at the Hollywood Reporter says a group of fans have filed a class action lawsuit against MLB and its TV partners on the antiquated and silly blackout policy.
Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel says while the Minnesota Vikings will finally get their long-awaited stadium, one state legislator attempted to sneak a bill ending all local NFL blackouts. I think that was a great idea.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable writes the long-anticipated Time Warner Cable Los Angeles Lakers-centric regional sports network will launch in October.
At Adweek, Anthony Crupi writes that Fox has sold out its ad inventory for the UEFA Champions League Final.
Thomas Pardee of Advertising Age says social media is changing the way we watch sports.
In the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times says there are times when the N-word should to be published in full.
Eric Goldschein at SportsGrid says CBC Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean stretched his analogy too far in comparing the 9/11 First Responders to NHL players this week.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group looks at NBC/Golf Channel’s joint production of this week’s Players Championship.
Brandon Costa of SVG explores ESPN’s expanded multiplatform rights for NCAA Championships.
And SVG tells us about the Big East Conference’s in-house production of the league’s Baseball Tournament.
Kristi Dosh at ESPN.com looks into the dollars and cents of the major college sports TV rights contracts.
Patrick Rishe at Forbes says while the ACC signed a rich contract with ESPN, it still doesn’t compare to the Pac-12′s huge megadeal.
My Twitter Trophy Wife, Amanda Rykoff chronicles her day spent at the MLB Fan Cave for espnW.
Paulsen at Sports Media Watch crunches the numbers behind the ratings rise for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and the lower for the NBA Playoffs.
Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing also looks into the ratings for the NBA and NHL Postseasons.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead notes the disturbing arrest of the PA Announcer for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth looks at some of the sports media stories that are irking him this week.
East and Mid-Atlantic
I haven’t been able to address the death of Carl Beane, the Red Sox public address announcer. Carl was a radio reporter in Western Massachusetts and also free-lanced for ESPN Radio, CBS Radio, Fox Sports Radio to report on various NFL and college games. He died this week when he suffered a heart attack and crashed his car. He was 59. It seemed everyone in New England had some connection to Beane. I’ll give you some of the stories that have been written about him this week.
David Scott at ESPN’s Front Row PR blog gets reaction from people at the network who knew him.
Gordon Edes at ESPN Boston says Beane felt he was born to be the Fenway Park public address announcer.
WEEI’s Mike Petraglia writes about his personal connection to Beane.
Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe says the Red Sox paid tribute to Beane at last night’s game by not having anyone do the PA.
Amanda Bruno of the Springfield Republican writes that Beane was a role model and mentor to her.
To other stories now, heading back to the Globe, Chad Finn says the ACC got its huge deal and it will affect member school Boston College in many ways.
Chad says former Red Sox voice Jerry Trupiano is getting some familial help in trying to get the Houston Astros radio gig.
Desmond Connor of the Hartford Courant says the Big East’s interim commissioner is hopeful his conference can cash in on the recent big spending by ESPN and other networks.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir talks with the legendary Vin Scully.
Richard profiles the person behind a fake Walt Frazier Twitter account.
Jack Bell of the Times interviews Fox Sports President Eric Shanks about Sunday’s unprecedented English Premier League coverage.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Times rails over player unions defending their membership for the wrong reasons.
The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with NBC’s Pierre McGuire.
Justin has five questions for TNT’s Kenny Smith.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY says a former local sports reporter is returning to her roots with Time Warner Cable’s Southern California network.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union says technical difficulties plagued a local radio broadcast of the Yankees.
Pete says many of NBC/Golf Channel’s cameras will be focused squarely on one hole at the Players Championship this week.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record explores the new SNY deal to air UConn women’s basketball games.
At the New Jersey Newsroom, Evan Weiner asks if high school football is doomed.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call watched the train wreck of former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens appearing on Dr. Phil this week and being confronted by his multiple baby mommas.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post says MLB Network compared the swings of the late Mickey Mantle and the Nationals’ Bryce Harper.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says a new local sports radio morning host comes with some baggage from his old job.
David says Comcast and ESPN cut a deal this week for subscribers to watch the network online.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman notes that Fox Sports Oklahoma will air specials next week on the state’s two major college football programs.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Reds TV and Radio ratings are up this season.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch explores the Cubs’ Kerry Wood blowing up at the local media this week.
Paul Christian at the Rochester (MN) Post Bulletin looks at NBC’s coverage of The Players Championship.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that a local sports anchor gets to talk news on the radio.
John Maffei of the North County Times says the local media plans to cover Junior Seau’s public memorial today.
Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star notes that outgoing flagship TV station KCAL gave another farewell to the Los Angeles Lakers this week.
Jim looks at the 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass which will get plenty of attention on NBC/Golf Channel at the Players Championship.
Jim provides his weekend viewing picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at Time Warner Cable’s new sports channels.
Tom tries to give Kings fans missing their local TV voices a silver lining.
Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News goes over the latest developments at the Pac-12 Networks.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC’s Ron MacLean had to clarify his 9/11 remarks before Game 6 of the New York Rangers-Washington Capitals series.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has the announcing assignments for both CBC and TSN in the NHL Conference Final round.
And we are done. Enjoy your sports weekend.
Thursday turned out to be quite the crazy day for those of us who follow the sports media beat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. On any given day, you just don’t know when sports media news will break. We had two stories throw us for a loop. I’ll do the thoughts as always in bullet form.
- We knew the Michelle Beadle story was going to come to a head, we just didn’t know what direction it would take. Finally, we did hear about some movement. And it all moved around 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. Whether Michelle decides to leave ESPN and go to NBC as SportsbyBrooks tweeted on Thursday or remain at the Alleged Worldwide Leader (highly unlikely), she’s going to get paid. I do believe that she will leave, take the job at NBC and be featured on the Olympics this summer, either as a contributor on the Today show, or as a host on one of NBCUniversal’s cable networks, most likely NBC Sports Network.
I’ve said all along that Michelle’s future is not in sports and if SportsbyBrooks’ tweet is correct, then being a co-host on Access Hollywood with Billy Bush would be right up her alley. And Michelle could always return to sports every two years during the Olympics. But as Michelle herself once told me, the truth will come out soon.
- Now the other piece of sports media news from Thursday was the surprising move by Jason La Canfora to leave NFL Network and join CBS in July to become an NFL insider at its dot com site and on television. As Michael Hiestand of USA Today discovered for Friday’s edition, not only will La Canfora replace Charley Casserly on The NFL Today, he’ll also appear on CBS Sports Network which could have its own Sunday morning NFL pregame show plus other NFL-related programming.
I thought La Canfora did a good job on NFL Network especially in replacing Adam Schefter in 2009 after he bolted for ESPN. In regards to replacing Jason, NFL Network has recently hired a trio of on-air reporters who could conceivably take his place or it could fill the insider by committee. Whatever direction NFL Network goes in the Insider position, I’m sure it will be someone solid.
- I watched some of ESPNU’s coverage of the SEC Softball Tournament. Beth Mowins did a very good job on the play-by-play. She’s called college football, the Women’s World Cup in Germany in addition to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and she’s called each sport quite well.
- I’m looking forward to Sunday morning when Fox Sports goes all out for the final day of the English Premier League season. All ten games on Sunday will be aired on ESPN2 and nine Fox platforms including Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Sports Net, Fuel, FX, Speed, Fox Deportes as well as online. It’s going to be bedlam, but in a good way.
That’s going to conclude the thoughts for now.
With teams fighting to stave off relegation to the lower Football League, Sunday is going to be a very interesting day in the English Premier League. We already know that Blackburn and Wolverhampton are going to be out of the EPL next season. Queens Park Rangers and the Bolton Wanderers are fighting for that last spot to stay in.
In addition to relegation, there’s the final standings which determine which teams go to the UEFA Champions League for next season (top four places go) and which teams go to the UEFA Europa League (5th and 6th place teams). It’s all quite interesting and will be a day to behold.
With that said, Fox Sports Media Group is devoting nine of its platforms to nine of the ten games being played on this last day of the English Premier League season. FX, Fuel, Fox Sports Net, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Deportes, Speed as well as Fox Soccer2Go and Fox Soccer.com will be utilized in this unprecedented day of soccer coverage in the United States.
The only game not covered by Fox will be Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers and that will be aired on ESPN2. All games will begin at 10 a.m. ET with pregame coverage a half-hour earlier.
We have the entire game and network lineups for Sunday. This will be a big day.
LOS ANGELES – Finally, the wait is over – Survival Sunday has arrived. For the first time in U.S. television history, nine live games from the most dramatic day in soccer are being carried on one family of outlets. On Sunday, May 13, the final day of action from the Barclays Premier League, FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) presents the best in international soccer, as England’s top teams compete for financial survival, hardware and European honors.
Led by FX, FOX’s fully-distributed cable powerhouse, FSMG networks SPEED, FSN, FUEL TV, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes, along with digital platforms FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go, are carrying all nine matches live at 10:00 AM ET. Pre-match coverage begins at 9:30 AM ET on all networks with the exception of SPEED, with all outlets carrying post-match coverage of this hallmark event. FX anchors halftime coverage. Pre-match, halftime and post-match coverage (English) is hosted by Rob Stone, with analysis from Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Brian McBride. All FSMG outlets are showing the Barclays Premier League trophy presentation following the day’s events along with highlights from all 10 Survival Sunday games.
Today FSMG announced its full lineup for Survival Sunday, highlighted by Manchester United’s must-win match at Sunderland to keep its title hopes alive on FX and in Spanish on FOX Deportes. Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle United are currently behind Manchester City and Manchester United in the race for highly lucrative UEFA Champions League positions. All three clubs fight for their place among the elite on Survival Sunday, with Arsenal traveling to West Bromwich Albion on FSN, Tottenham hosting Fulham and American superstar Clint Dempsey on FOX Soccer, and Newcastle battling Everton carried by FOXSoccer.com.
Chelsea faces recently-relegated Blackburn Rovers on SPEED ahead of their 2012 UEFA Champions League Final clash with Bayern Munich (May 19/FOX Sports). Liverpool looks to rebound from FA Cup disappointment at Swansea City on FUEL TV, while Bolton must win at Stoke City to stay alive in the Barclays Premier League (FOX Soccer Plus).
Teams live and die with each goal on Survival Sunday, and fans can follow all of the action at once via FOXSoccer.com/SurvivalSunday with real-time standings updates after every change. Twitter conversations surrounding all games will be streamlined on FOXSoccer.com/SurvivalSunday, allowing fans to follow the day’s events simultaneously (hashtag #SurvivalSunday). There will be live play-by-play for all 10 Survival Sunday matches with FOX Soccer MatchTrax, along with exclusive video highlights from every game throughout the day.
WHAT: Survival Sunday – the final day of England’s Barclays Premier League, where all 20 teams face off at the same time (9:30 AM ET). The bottom three teams are relegated from the BPL (clubs 18-20), while the top four sides ensure passage to the world’s most prestigious (and lucrative) club tournament – the UEFA Champions League. Teams finishing in fifth and sixth place can qualify for the 2012-2013 UEFA Europa League.
WHEN: Sunday, May 13 – 9:30 AM ET (except SPEED, who will join at 10:00 AM ET).
Sunderland v Manchester United — FX & FOX Deportes
Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United visits Sunderland needing a win to keep title hopes alive in the race against Manchester City.
Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers — SPEED
Chelsea’s midseason revival continues against recently doomed Blackburn. Rovers were relegated following Monday’s defeat to Wigan, and Chelsea needs to win in order to remain in the hunt for European qualification.
Swansea City v Liverpool — FUEL TV
Following FA Cup disappointment against Chelsea, English giant Liverpool and captain Steven Gerrard look to finish their season on a high note against upstart Swansea City.
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal — FSN
In a vital match for Arsenal, the Gunners aim to secure their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League by winning at West Bromwich Albion.
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham — FOX Soccer
Chasing an all-important UEFA Champions League position, Tottenham hosts Fulham and American superstar Clint Dempsey at North London’s White Hart Lane.
Stoke City v Bolton Wanderers — FOX Soccer Plus
At one of the most intimidating venues in English soccer, Stoke City hosts a Bolton team desperately seeking to avoid relegation at the Britannia Stadium. Sitting in the relegation zone in eighteenth place, Bolton must win to avoid dropping into the English second division.
Everton v Newcastle United — FOXSoccer.com
In one of the most important clashes on Survival Sunday, Newcastle looks to secure its place in next season’s UEFA Champions League, while Everton needs to win for a shot at UEFA Europa League qualification.
Norwich City v Aston Villa — FOX Soccer 2GO
In its first season since gaining promotion to the Barclays Premier League, Norwich City has impressed and looks to go out on a high against Aston Villa at Carrow Road.
Wigan Athletic v Wolverhampton Wanderers — FOX Soccer 2GO
Safe from relegation after defeating Blackburn Rovers on Monday, a resurgent Wigan team celebrates its Barclays Premier League survival at home against last place Wolverhampton.
Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers — ESPN2/MatchTrax
Manchester City seeks to capture its first Barclays Premier League title against a Queens Park Rangers team fighting to avoid relegation.